Monday, July 11, 2011

Monday Poetry Stretch - Books and Reading

I am five days away from vacation--count 'em--just FIVE! If I can get through 6 candidate interviews, my last class sessions, and final grades, I'll be home free. I am looking forward to the last HP movie and reading until my eyeballs fall out of my head. As Emily said, "There is no Frigate like a Book/To take us Lands away," so let's write about reading and books. Leave me a note about your poem and I'll post the results here later this week.


  1. friggin books

    I weighed anchor and steamed through libraries
    leaping from deck to burning deck
    plowing through fogs and squalls and sunny doldrums
    (going down with a few ill-wrought ships)

    then arrived at safe harbor. Took on cargo.
    Now I paddle my little skiff built of stanzas
    live for the puff of a poem
    steer clear of rocky coasts and cliffs where sirens sing:

    cacophony of sinuous voices, calling me
    to stop paddling, jettison cargo, fling my yearning soul
    into the sea of stories and never surface.
    I tie myself to a mast made of a stack of clocks and resist.

  2. A fever dream inspired by Jane Yolen’s Facebook post asking “Can you have too much of a good thing?” and Jack Gantos's quote at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast about the pleasures of reading slowly.

    By Steven Withrow

    I can read
    at impossible
    it’s a gift,
    yet it’s worse
    than a curse.
    I get hooked
    on a book,
    then I look
    up to find
    that I’m
    and I frown
    ’cause my eyes
    won’t slow down!

    Too soon
    I’ve consumed
    every word
    in my room,
    every tome
    on my shelf,
    every poem
    by itself,
    every glorious
    I can,
    that I scan
    or I skim
    on a whim
    without plan!

    Still hungry,
    I run
    out my door
    to eat more.
    In the hallway
    I fall
    to my knees
    and I freeze
    at the faces
    in frames—
    I’ve misplaced
    all their names—
    (N0, READ ME)

    ©2011 Steven Withrow, all rights reserved

  3. Great, Good, Bad

    A great book is a homing device
    For navigating paradise.

    A good book somehow makes you care
    About the comfort of a chair.

    A bad book owed to many trees
    A forest of apologies.

  4. J Patrick, I LOVE that! (But I have to ask, did you mean "owes"?)


    At recess, I'm in the library. Maybe I can read every single book.
    In class, my book's on my knees, where the teacher won't notice.
    After school, I read at the kitchen table, with a peanut butter sandwich
    to keep me company. Everyone wants me to do homework and chores.
    They want me to play handball. But I read, I read and I read.
    I'm not even there anymore. I'm long gone.

    When I do come back, I will be an empress with a bejeweled scepter.
    I will be a magic-maker, a botanist, a mountain climber, a waltzer, a dream.
    I will be a new me, someone only books have the eyes to see.

    —Kate Coombs, 2011, all rights reserved

  5. Ouch. Yes, Kate, I did indeed mean "owes."
    Thank you,

  6. Always lovely to write about reading and books! Have a happy 'reading' vacation!

    Today I wanted to confess
    that I have times of deep distress
    deep down real unhappiness
    when I have nothing to read.

    I have gone to great extremes
    often let out wild screams
    to others I’m crazy (it often seems)
    when I can’t find a book.

    Just call me an unreformed bibliophile
    My feelings of book-loving have never been mild
    I’ve been known to read cereal boxes a while
    When I can’t locate a book.

    The changes that come over me
    are wonderful for all to see
    I think it’s terrific just to be
    when I am reading a book.

  7. Second time trying to post this. I may have shown you all this one before.

    The Best-Selling Author

    Getcha red hot metaphors here,
    Your poetry stretches line by line.
    Yes, you can handle the similes
    I think you’ll find they’re rather fine.

    Alliteration always sells,
    Even in recessions,
    But slant rhymes are another kettle
    Of fish, of flesh, of fissions.

    I’ve got some second-hand paragraphs,
    Some small, used punctuations
    Suitable for a senior prom
    And for most graduations.

    And pssst, if you will come back here,
    You’ll find that you’re in luck.
    I’ve got some first class sentences
    That just fell off the truck.

    © 2011 Jane Yolen allrights reserved

  8. RHYME

    When my clock begins to chime
    I fall asleep in rhyme,
    Words fitting together
    (like laces to boots of leather,)
    I wake up rejuvenated
    At what my dreams created.

    (c) Charles Waters 2011