Monday, February 28, 2011

Monday Poetry Stretch - Fairy Tale Items

While traveling this weekend I took with me a well-worn copy of is The Poets' Grimm: 20th Century Poems from Grimm's Fairy Tales, edited by Jeanne Marie Beaumont & Claudia Carlson. I love this book! Since a Kindle can't be used during the entirety of a plane flight, poetry gets me through my least favorite parts--takeoff and landing.

While reading through some of these poems, I started thinking a bit about fairy tale poetry. We've actually written quite a bit about the stories and characters for stretches, but never really about some of the more memorable items, like the magic mirror, magic beans, a poisoned apple, red cape, golden ball, spinning wheel, and more.

So, let's write about a magical or fairy tale item, one of those things you can't imagine a story without. Leave me a note about your poem and I'll post the results here later this week.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Monday Poetry Stretch - Anaphora

I couldn't stomach Valentine's poems last week, and in deciding what to write about this week, I thought we should go back to form. Anaphora is "the repetition of the same word or phrase in several successive clauses." Whitman uses anaphora in the poem Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking. Here is an excerpt.
Out of the cradle endlessly rocking,
Out of the mocking-bird's throat, the musical shuttle,
Out of the Ninth-month midnight,
Over the sterile sands and the fields beyond, where the child
leaving his bed wander'd alone, bareheaded, barefoot,
Down from the shower'd halo,
Up from the mystic play of shadows twining and twisting as
if they were alive,
Out from the patches of briers and blackberries,
From the memories of the bird that chanted to me,
From your memories sad brother, from the fitful risings and
fallings I heard,
From under that yellow half-moon late-risen and swollen as
if with tears,
From those beginning notes of yearning and love there in
the mist,
From the thousand responses of my heart never to cease,
From the myriad thence-arous'd words,
From the word stronger and more delicious than any,
From such as now they start the scene revisiting,
As a flock, twittering, rising, or overhead passing,
Borne hither, ere all eludes me, hurriedly,
A man, yet by these tears a little boy again,
Throwing myself on the sand, confronting the waves,
I, chanter of pains and joys, uniter of here and hereafter,
Taking all hints to use them, but swiftly leaping beyond them,
A reminiscence sing.
You can learn more about anaphora at

So, your challenge is to write a poem that uses anaphora. Leave me a comment about your work and I'll post the results here later this week.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

2011 Green Earth Book Award Winners

The winners of the Green Earth Book Award were recently announced. Given by the Newton Marasco Foundation in partnership with Salisbury University, this award promotes books that inspire a child to grow a deeper appreciation, respect and responsibility for his or her natural environment. You can read about the prize criteria at the Newton Marasco Foundation site.

Picture Book Winner
The Earth Book
written and illustrated by Todd Parr

Nonfiction Winner
Not Your Typical Book About the Environment
written by Elin Kelsey and illustrated by Clayton Hammer

Children's Fiction Winner
Mallory Goes Green
written by Laurie B. Friedman and illustrated by Jennifer Kalis

Young Adult Fiction
Boys, Bears and a Serious Pair of Hiking Boots
written by Abby McDonald

Honor Books
For more information on this award and its past winners, check out the March 2008 issue of Book Links and the article "The Green Earth Book Award" by Fred Chapel, Sharon James, and J. Cynthia McDermott.

Tuesday Poetry Stretch - Musically Inclined

I've spent the last two weeks reviewing scholarship applicants to the university. These folks are the best of the best, already admitted and standing on mountains of accomplishments. Interestingly enough, the one thread that seems to tie the all together is music.

Music has always been a huge part of my life, whether listening or performing. I still prefer music over television, and am almost never without it. So, let's write about music. Leave me a note about your poem and I'll post the results here later this week.