Friday, January 31, 2014

Poetry Friday Is In the HOUSE!

I haven't hosted Poetry Friday in ages, so welcome. I'm happy to have you here today! I'll be rounding up old-school style (no Mr. Linky), so leave me a note about your contribution and I'll update links to posts throughout the day. Without further ado, here's my contribution to poetry goodness today.

It's no secret that I love math . . .  wait! Where are you going? If you love poetry then by association, YOU LOVE MATH! In reading and writing poetry you can't escape patterns (just think rhyme scheme or look to forms like the sestina, villanelle, roundel, and more!), counting (how many syllables in a line of iambic pentameter or lines of haiku?), geometry (some poems are beautifully shaped, either intentionally or by serendipity), fractions and measurement (where exactly should I break this line?), and probably so much more.

My love for math means I have an affinity for poems that touch upon numbers. Among them you'll find Child Margaret, Number Man, and Arithmetic (see this amazing video) by Carl Sandburg, Take a Number by Mary O'Neill, Equations by Patricia Hubbell, The Magic of Numbers by Kenneth Koch, and Cardinal Ideograms by May Swenson. 

Today I'm sharing an old favorite by Mary Cornish and a new favorite by Jared Harel.

by Mary Cornish

I like the generosity of numbers.
The way, for example,
they are willing to count
anything or anyone:
two pickles, one door to the room,
eight dancers dressed as swans.

I like the domesticity of addition--
add two cups of milk and stir--

Read the poem in its entirety.

by Jared Harel

My grandmother never trusted calculators.
She would crunch numbers in a spiral notebook
at the kitchen table, watching her news.
Work harder and I’d have more to count,
she’d snap at my father. And so my father worked
harder, fixed more mufflers, gave her receipts

If you're interested in infinity, here's a small collection of poems.

Do you have a favorite mathematically-inclined poem or a book of mathematical poetry? If so, please share and I'll include them here!
Thanks to Ed DeCaria for sharing the poem Slumber to Numbers by Eric Ode, an entry in last year's MMPoetry competition. 
I'm THRILLED that Mrs. Bennett has shared links to two recent posts on ways that math and poetry intersect. These posts show how the Common Core standards in ELA and Math can come together. Check out her thoughts on this in the posts "Do Not Go Gentle' with that Math Practice Standard #7 and A Sestina Follows a Pattern. 
Thanks to Laura Shovan for sharing this AMAZING video showing the graphing of a sestina!
And now, on to the round-up.

Book Reviews and Interviews
Linda Baie of Teacher Dance is sharing a review of the book WEIRDO ZOO by Catherine Johnson. This one includes a giveaway!

Catherine from Reading to the Core shares a bit about EUREKA! POEMS ABOUT INVENTORS by Joyce Sidman. She's also sharing an original poem.

Laura Shovan of author Amok is sharing an interview and excerpts from WORLD CLASS: POEMS INSPIRED BY THE ESL CLASSROOM by Jane Elkin.

Jama Rattigan of Jama's Alphabet Soup is wrapping up the blog tour for THE POEM THAT WILL NOT END, by Joan Bransfield Graham. This one includes a book review, recipe and a giveaway!

Diana Mayr of Random Noodling is sharing her thoughts and some poems from CHINESE MOTHER GOOSE RHYMES, selected by Robert Wyndham, and illustrated by Ed Young.

Sylvia Vardell of Poetry for Children is sharing a sneak peak of the forthcoming (2014) poetry titles. Hurray!

Janet of All About the Books with Janet Squires shares a bit of WINTER EYES: POEMS AND PAINTINGS by Douglas Florian.

Lyrics as Poetry
It seems many of us are missing and honoring Pete Seeger this week.
Mrs. Bennett of Used Books in the Classroom is sharing thoughts on Pete Seeger and the lyrics to This Land is Your Land. Don't miss the video.

Michelle Barnes of Today's Little Ditty is also sharing thoughts on Pete Seeger and the lyrics to Oh, Had I a Golden Thread. This one also contains a wonderful video.

Ruth of There is no such thing as a God-forsaken town is sharing the lyrics (and video!) from the song Green Garden by Laura Mvula. This one will make you want to get up and dance!

Original Poems
Steven Withrow at Crackles of Speech is sharing an original poem entitled City of Birds.

Linda Baie of Teacher Dance is sharing a "chalky" poem. (You'll just have to read to find out what that means!)

Greg Pincus of GottaBook is sharing a hilarious poem entitled Notes on Spirit Day at My School (Part 1).

Amy Ludwig VanDerwater of The Poem Farm is sharing an original poem entitled Once Somebody Asked Me.

Mary Lee of A Year of Reading is sharing a climbing rhyme entitled Sweet Little Kitty.

Liana Mahoney of Commas Have Wings is sharing an acrostic poem for the word Clutter.

Margaret Simon of Reflections on the Teche shares an original chalky poem and two from her students.

Laura Purdie Salas is sharing an audio of her poem Blush from STAMPEDE!: POEMS TO CELEBRATE THE WILD SIDE OF SCHOOL.

Heidi Mordhorst of My Juicy Little Universe is sharing a poem entitled tenebrio molitor. Don't let the mealworms scare you away. There is beauty in this one.

Liz Steinglass shares a poem about her cat entitled Song and Dance.

Anastasia Suen of Poet! Poet! has posted an original poem entitled The Learning Curve.

Keri Lewis of Keri Recommends is sharing an original mask poem entitled Dollar Bill.

Briget Magee of wee words for wee ones is sharing an original poem entitled Resolution Reflection.

April Halprin Wayland of Teaching Authors is sharing her mask poem entitled Gardenias Ask the Night. April reminds us that today is the last day to enter a contest to win Jill Esbaum's rhyming picture book I HATCHED!.

Diane Kendig of Poemeleon posted a comment to a very old poetry stretch of mine and I felt her poems were too good to pass up, so I'm posting them here for you. She shares two nesting poems entitled Nesting and Winging It respectively.

Betsy H of I Think in Poems and the hostess (instigator?) of Chalk-A-Bration shares her first chalky poem of 2014. Visit her blog Teaching young Writers to learn more about Chalk-A-Bration.

Lorie Ann Grover of On Point: Writing Through Life shares her original haiku entitled Headlight.

Joy Acey of Poetry for Kids Joy is sharing her original poem entitled Friday.

Carlie of Twinkling Along is sharing an original poem about homesickness for your ancestors entitled My Roots Are Showing.

Doraine Bennett of Dori Reads took up this week's poetry stretch and is sharing her climbing rhyme entitled Snow Day.

The Poetry of Others
Jone of Check It Out is sharing the poem Poetry from ASK ME: 100 ESSENTIAL POEMS by William Stafford.

Tabatha Yeats of The Opposite of Indifference is sharing poems of empathy and encouragement by Robert Frost, Wendell Berry, and Robert Bly.

Renee LaTulippe of No Water River shares the poem Soccer Ball by Joan Bransfield Graham. If you write a Winter Olympics themed poem that "speaks" to a piece of sporting equipment and leave it in the comments, you'll be entered in a giveaway to win Joan's new book!

Tara Smith at A Teaching Life shares the poem Mindful by Mary Oliver.

Diane Mayr of Kurious Kitty's Kurio Kabinet is mindful of the Chinese New Year and is featuring a poem by the classic Chinese poet, Li Bai. The poem, Drinking Alone With the Moon is translated by Vikram Seth.

Irene Latham of Live Your Poem is sharing some snow poems by Karla Kushkin.

Little Willow of Bildungsroman is sharing the poem Snowy Night by Mary Oliver.

Becky Shillington of Tapestry of Words is sharing two poems by Robert Burns. She also shares an original poem entitled Snow Day.

Karen Edmisten is on the same wavelength as Tara today and is also sharing Mindful by Mary Oliver. The road that took these women to this poem is different, so be sure to visit them both. While you're visiting Karen, be sure to wish her a happy 30th anniversary!

Meredith Henning of Sweetness and Light is sharing the poem Address To a Haggis by Robert Burns.

Fats Suela from Gathering Books is sharing The Princess: Sweet and Low by Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

The Writing Life
Ed DeCaria of Think, Kid, Think! is sharing some wonderful thoughts on writing in a post entitled 10 Writing Tips From My Junk Drawer.

Diane Mayr of Kurious K's Kwotes is sharing a quote/poetic excerpt from Li Bai and encouraging poets to "recognize their green mountains."

Before you go, please considering stopping by yesterday's blog tour post with Joan Branshfield Graham to learn a bit about her and her new book, THE POEM THAT WILL NOT END. At the end of that post you can enter to win your very own copy.

Enjoy your weekend and all the poetry goodness shared today!


  1. Thanks for hosting, Tricia, and for sharing the great math poems!

    Today I have an original poem at Crackles of Speech called "City of Birds":

    Steven Withrow

  2. Hi Tricia, and thank you! I love the Mary Cornish poem, have used it in a speech in the past, a happy poem! This week, maybe for the first time, I have two posts. On the final day of each month, Betsy Hubbard has begun a Chalk-a-bration, where people chalk a poem on sidewalks, wherever they'd like too.
    And I have a review of Catherine Johnson's new book, Wierdo Zoo, and a giveaway! Thanks again, and have a wonderful day! Snowing here!

  3. Ooooh, you had me at "math poems"....

    I'm up with an original this week: Notes on Spirit Week at My School (Part 1)

    Thanks for hosting!

  4. I love both of these poems, Tricia! Jared Harel's poem describes my grandmother exactly, right down to the spiral notebook. My favorite math poem is at school, so I'll have to share it with you later.

    For now, I'm sharing thoughts about using Joyce Sidman's Eureka! Poems about Inventors to inspire 5th grade students to create erasure (or found) poems about inventors and inventions (many of whom used math!) they're studying. I created an erasure poem based on Jacqueline Briggs Martin's Snowflake Bentley to use as a model.
    Thanks for hosting!

  5. Hi, Tricia. Thanks for hosting. I came here to share my poetry-infused post "10 Writing Tips From My Junk Drawer" (, but since you mentioned math poems I cannot pass up the chance to highlight Eric Ode's oh-so-funny "I Slumber To Numbers" ( from last year's March Madness Poetry tournament. (And, OH YEAH, visitors to Poetry Friday should definitely be applying to #MMPoetry 2014! -- but I'll spare you a third link.)

  6. Hi, I am finishing a month of William Stafford:

  7. Hi Tricia! Thanks for hosting and for the number poems. I have liked Mary Cornish's poem for a long time, but Jared Harel's is new to me. Had to read it twice -- such wonderful details!
    I've got Frost, Berry, and Bly today:

  8. Hi, Tricia. Thanks for hosting. I do love math poems. The little guys I teach have a blast writing Fibs. And have you ever scene a graph of a sestina? Gorgeous math there.

    My post features an interview with poet J. C. Elkin. Her new book "World Class: Poems Inspired by the ESL Classroom" comes out tomorrow. Jane's book features portrait poems about the struggles and stories she and her class of adult English learners share as they learn a new language together.

  9. Thank you for hosting, Tricia! Your lists of poems are always fantastic, and I'm marking this one to share.

    Today at The Poem Farm, I have a poem about a wish...and a suggestion for writers about a way to get started when idea-finding doesn't seem so easy.

    Happy Poetry Friday!


  10. Thanks for hosting, Tricia. I'm sharing my Poetry Stretch climbing rhyme poem:

    And on a side note, I am bookmarking your post and making a mental note to pick your brain (and/or your blog) about math poems and the math/poetry connection. Math and poetry is my table at a roundtable session at NCTE this coming year (pending approval of session, of course).

  11. Hi Tricia, and thanks for hosting today! Loved both of these math poems, and I agree that math and poetry go hand in hand. I've always believed that music fits perfectly with both as well, and is, perhaps the link between them. At, I am de-cluttering today. I share an acrostic poem about it, and invite others to join the party. --Liana

  12. Wouldn't you know it that my last TWO Poetry Friday posts have been about the math in poetry? Timing is everything, I guess. One of them was on a sestina!
    Today's offering is a Pete Seeger/Woody Guthrie tribute using "This Land Is Your Land"
    Thanks for hosting.

  13. Thanks for hosting, Tricia. I don't like math, but I love that Mary Cornish poem!

    Today I have Joan Bransfield Graham's poem "Soccer" plus a giveaway of her new book. Stop by to leave a comment or an apostrophe poem for a chance to win!

  14. Thanks so much for hosting today, Tricia, and for introducing me to both of these "numbery" poems-- they're wonderful! On Today's Little Ditty, I am sharing my personal recollections of the legendary Pete Seeger:

  15. Nice to read Mary Cornish's poem again and discover a new-to-me-poet, Jared Harel.

    I'm wrapping up the Blog Tour for THE POEM THAT WILL NOT END at Alphabet Soup with a review, Joan's recipe for Rosemary Potatoes, and a Giveaway:

    Thanks for hosting today. Have a nice (hopefully warmer) weekend!

  16. Thanks for hosting today, Tricia. Your poems make me rethink my distaste for all things mathematical - perhaps there is hope for this hopeless mathematician?! Here's my contribution, a poem about being mindful by Mary Oliver:

  17. Math poems are fun for me and for my students. Shout out to Greg Pincus for "14 Fibs," a fiction book built with Fibonacci poems. It's making the rounds in my classroom.
    Today I am doubling up with Chalkabration about ice storm Leon.

  18. Tricia! I found a video of sestina form being graphed. Amazing stuff.

  19. Hi Tricia--These are lovely! I adore Marvelous Math, the Lee Bennett Hopkins anthology. A couple of my favorites in it are "Math Makes Me Feel Safe" (Betsy Franco), "Sky" (Lee Bennett Hopkins), and "Hourglass" (J. Thomas Sparough).

    Today, I'm in with my poem "Blush," from Stampede! It will be up at the site eventually, but for now, I have an audio clip of it on my blog at

    Happy Poetry Friday!

  20. Hi, Tricia--nice to have you hosting once again! Poetry taught me that I love science, and poetry is teaching me to love math once again, too (along with my own two children, who have both the now suspect "math gene" that I always felt I lacked, and the math courage that I definitely lacked). Reminds me to do a better job in the classroom with this. Thanks!

    I'm in today with a mealworm poem, "tenebrio molitor".

  21. I have some song lyrics today. Thanks for hosting!

  22. Happy Chinese New Year, Tricia! Numbers are a great way to celebrate. I'm celebrating with Chinese Mother Goose rhymes at Random Noodling.

    Kurious Kitty has a poem by the classic Chinese poet, Li Bai.

    And, KK's Kwote for today is by Li Bai.

  23. Tricia, I love what you said about the relationship between math and numbers! So many poets claim not to be math people... but probably they secretly are. :) I'm in today with Snow Poems by Karla Kuskin: Thanks so much for hosting!

  24. Hi Tricia, Thanks for hosting today. I love poetry AND numbers. When you said I love math, I drew closer. I love the poem "Numbers" and thanks for introducing me to a new poem. Today I have an original poem about my cat, entitled "Song and Dance."
    Happy Poetry Friday!

  25. Anastasia @ Poet! Poet! (THE LEARNING CURVE)

    Thanks for hosting,Tricia! I love this line in your post:
    "It's no secret that I love math . . . wait! Where are you going?"
    Ha! It so true, but you're right, we do need math to write poetry.

    Today @ Poet! Poet! I am sharing a haiku about THE LEARNING CURVE.

  26. I have posted my annual "sneak peek" list of forthcoming poetry for children and teens today. I welcome any input on others I have missed and will keep adding them (throughout the year). Happy Poetry Friday, Tricia! My link:

  27. Thanks for hosting! Good to "see" you.
    I love math. I see numbers everywhere.
    I posted Snowy Night by Mary Oliver at my blog, Bildungsroman:

  28. Money is math, right? I've got an original mask poem today, "Dollar Bill," at Thank you for hosting!

  29. Thanks for hosting! Math + Poetry = Perfect Combination. = )
    Today I have an original poem appropriate for the end of January called, "Resolution Reflection" :
    Happy Friday!

  30. Tricia--thank you--you made me feel mathish! I thought I just MARRIED into math--but perhaps I am,too? Thanks for two inspiring poems that make me want to take my own poetry to the next level...

    Two posts for you from TeachingAuthors:
    1) Today's the last day to enter a contest to win Jill Esbaum's rhyming picture book starring a hyper baby killdeer: I HATCHED! Enter to win and then stay to read a short mask poem from the point of view of some gardenias. You never know what flowers are thinking…

    2) Need a little help getting your writing juices flowing? Poet Joan Bransfield Graham shares her dandy Olympic Games poetry prompt for based on her terrific new book, The Poem That Will Not End—Fun With Poetic Forms And Voices.

  31. Thanks so much for hosting today, Tricia! These math poems are fabulous! In my post today I'm sharing some poems by Robert Burns and a Snow Day poem by me:

  32. Tricia, thanks for all the great math-related poems! I'll be using some of these in my ongoing "Poetry Scavenger Hunt" with my daughter.

    I'm in with plumbing problems and Mary Oliver this week. :)

    The link is here.

    Thanks for hosting!

  33. Thanks for hosting Tricia and sharing all these wonderful poems! I am in with an original chalk poem celebrating Chalk-A-Bration today!

  34. Thanks for hosting.
    My selection is "Winter Eyes - poems and paintings" by Douglas Florian.

  35. Hi Tricia, joining in today with some Burns. It's been a really long time since I contributed, so glad you were hosting!

    Here's my link:

  36. Thank you so much for hosting! I love the warm layout of your blog and the reminder to appreciate math. :~)

    At On Point, I have my haiku Headlight.


  37. Hey Tricia, Thanks for hosting today. I love the math poems! I have an original poem titled FRIDAY today and a poetry prompt for young writers.
    Should I feel guilty, it is currently 70 degrees here in Tucson?

    1. Oops, I forgot the link--

  38. Hi Tricia! Thank you for hosting Poetry Friday today! I like that poem by Mary Cornish that you shared! I have Alfred, Lord Tennyson's poem today, The Princess: Sweet and Low. Have a wonderful weekend! =)

  39. Thank you for hosting! I am excited about browsing through the wonderful stack of links up there over the weekend. Saturday morning with a mug of tea never looked so good.

    I am sharing an original poem about homesickness for your ancestors over at my blog, Twinkling Along.

  40. I'm soooo late to the party! I tried the Monday Poetry Stretch this week while we had snow days!

  41. I didn't make it time for the event, but I did want to stop by to see what everyone was up to this week. Poetry Friday is one of my favorite round-ups, but I've got to figure out this Friday thing. Finding minutes on a Friday seems a challenge.

    I enjoyed your post and laughed at all the ways you tied poetry into math. Impressive! (and fun!) The first stanza of the Numbers poem really makes one pause, especially the first line: "I like the generosity of numbers." On my way to click over to the poem in its entirety.

    Thanks for hosting "old school style". It looks like there are lots of great stops. Thank you for organizing them in such a thoughtful way.


    1. Hi Cathy,
      I don't ever have time on a Friday to post. Usually over the weekend or on a Monday or Tuesday night after class (when I'm so wound up I can't sleep), I read poetry and think about what I want to post. I write it up for Friday and schedule it. Then all I need to do on Friday is link up to the host. It usually works for me, so this might work for you.

      Thanks for stopping by and saying hello.

  42. How about my COUNT ME A RHYME (with photos by Jason Stemple) from Boyds Mills Press?

    Jane Yolen

    1. Of course, I love this book, but while I was writing I was hard pressed to pick a favorite poem to represent it!