Friday, November 11, 2011

Poetry Friday - Cardinal Ideograms

I have been reading a bit of May Swenson these days. I always read Analysis of Baseball each spring as a way to celebrate the return of the sport. Currently I'm ruminating on the poem below.
Cardinal Ideograms
by May Swenson

0     A mouth.  Can blow or breathe,
       be a funnel, or Hello.

1     A grass blade or cut.

2     A question seated.  And a proud
       bird’s neck.

3     Shallow mitten for a two-fingered hand.

4     Three-cornered hut
       on one stilt.  Sometimes built
       so the roof gapes.

The round up today is being hosted by Teaching Authors. Do stop by and take in all the wonderful pieces being shared this Veteran's Day. Before you go, check out this week's poetry stretch results. Happy poetry Friday all!


  1. It takes a reading more than once, as do others of her poems. I am in awe of the creativity, one who looks at 2 and sees 'A question seated'. Of course!

  2. Oh, how fun - thank you for sharing. My favorite is:
    6 O unrolling,
    tape of ambiguous length
    on which is written the mystery
    of everything curly.

  3. You had me at May Swenson. I LOVE her poetry! Why haven't I seen (or don't I remember) this one. I think I've got a math lesson for Monday!!

    (Word verification: blessi. I send you a blessi and look forward to seeing you at NCTE!)

  4. Me again.
    Go look at Liz Scanlon's PF post. Right now.
    Here--I'll make it easy for you:

    You two are giving me the shivers!! (and helping my math lesson grow, as I said to Liz, EXPONENTIALLY!!!)

  5. We were DEFINITELY on the same wave length, Tricia. I LOVE this M. Swenson poem....

  6. Love this! Especially 6 - the mystery of everything curly. Yum.

    And are you going to NCTE, Tricia? Did you hear about the Sunday afternoon get-together I'm organizing, because I can't get to the dinners the night or two before?

    "Kitty O'Shea's at the Chicago Hilton between 3 and 5
    Saturday afternoon--near the entrance foyer. If you should arrive and
    can't find us, please call me on my cell at xxxxx--if you're going, email me for my cell unless you still have it from DC:>) We may end
    up in Rebecca and Elaine's room (thanks for offering, you guys!) instead!

    Hope to see you there!