It’s Poetry Friday!

18923_originalWelcome to Poetry Friday! I’ve had a busy couple of months, filled with travel for young author presentations, school visits, and a big work-for-hire project. I’m looking forward to a more relaxed summer–but not so relaxed that I return to my slacker ways and forget to write! In an effort to jumpstart some summer writing, I participated in The Love of Poetry Challenge that was meandering around Facebook the past couple of weeks, and decided to write some poems to go with the gazillion and one photographs I’ve taken in May.

My inspiration for one poem was Elaine Magliaro’s “Things to Do If You Are a Pencil,” from Falling Down the Page: A Book of List Poems edited by Georgia Heard. I love the way this poem turns a pencil into a dancer who creates a poem:

Things to Do If You Are a Pencil

Be sharp.
Wear a slick yellow suit
and a pink top hat.
Tap your toes on the tabletop,
(read the rest of the poem here.)

Last week I got the chance to get up close and personal with a trilling gray tree frog, and think about things that froggy might do. My husband was clearing a clogged gutter and scared a calling male tree frog off a downspout. I further tormented the poor frog by moving him to a photogenic spot for his portrait. He leapt away after a few shots–here is the list poem I wrote as a tribute to him:_MG_2851

Things to Do If You Are a Tree Frog

Thaw in springtime. Climb a tree
and vault
from branch to branch.
Stick the landing with your toes.
Dress in barky gray or leafy green.
Join a choir.
Trill from treetops.
Wait for love to find you.
Buffy Silverman, all rights reserved

This style must have seeped into my brain, because I found myself starting another list poem today for Laura Salas’ 15 word-or-less challenge.  The dangling window washer’s boots that were in the challenge photograph somehow disappeared when I expanded the poem, but the window (or at least the window ledge) remains in this draft:

Things to Do If You Are a Window Ledge:

Cradle a nest of falcons.
Feel the grip of ivy’s roots.
Adopt a flower box.
Wear a cloak of cat or squirrel.
Warm up in the summer sun.
Welcome an evening breeze.
Buffy Silverman, all rights reserved

Come fill your Friday with poetry!  Please leave your links in the comment section, and I’ll add them throughout the day.

Jan Annino shares lines of a summer hat poem from E.B. White, an original summer poem, and a list of cool tips for a pregnant pal in humid hot, heated Florida.

Laura Purdie Salas and the other members of the Poetry Seven have been writing odes. Laura pays tribute to junk food.

Robyn Hood Black is studying nursery rhymes and offers a couple of views of “Mary, Mary.” I vote for the cowslips.

Jama’s Alphabet Soup is serving one of my favorite desserts–brownies–with a poem and recipe from Judyth Hill.

Penny Parker Klostermann features a trio of guests on A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt: the poetry and artwork of Carrie Finnison and Carrie’s son and daughter.

Diane Mayr has an original and updated take on “Summertime” at Random Noodling. At Kurious Kitty Diane celebrates National Donut Day.

Joyce Ray has taken up the fiddle! Her violin lessons inspired an original poem, based on the  “Say” poems by Nikki Grimes in her book Words with Wings.

Kelly Ramsdell Fineman has also been writing odes and shares one with an…errr… provocative title: “Ode to the F-word.”

Matt Forrest Esenwine shares an original poem and invites folks to check out his post about Poetry Voiceovers.

Over at Friendly Fairytales, Brenda is traveling by magic carpet ride with her original poem.

It’s time for a new challenge at Today’s Little Ditty. Michelle welcomes Corey Rosen Schwartz and her latest picture book, WHAT ABOUT MOOSE?

Tanita Davis also shares an ode today. She sings to her bling with an Ode to Adornment.

A special congratulations to Linda Baie who retires today after teaching for 26 years! She’s thinking less of what’s next and more of just being present.

Carol Varsalona invites Poetry Friday friends to contribute a poem/photo combination to her newest gallery. She shares “Envisioning Spring’s Symphony.”

Lorie Ann Grover has some thoughts of a feathered nature with her haiku, Beak Retreat.

Greg Pincus is also celebrating National Donut Day over at Gottabook!

Over at The Drift Record Julie is thinking of 1) squirrels, 2) transcendentalists and 3) talent, all via a little poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson called “Fable.”

Tabatha Yeatts shares shares an Australian bush poem today by Louis Lavater.

Today at The Poem Farm, Amy has an apology poem and an invitation to notebookers!

And here’s another ode from Andromeda–exploring the sad and rrrrrrippiting connection between frogs and knitting.

Speaking of odes (and seven of you are) Sara is thinking tangentially with her “An Ode to…well you’ll see–I think” at Read Write Believe. 

Heidi is back with a “Things To Do” poem, this one by Bobbi Katz (who Heidi thinks invented the form) who inspired the poem of Elaine that inspired the poems of Buffy.

Tricia has also been writing odes. I’ll admit that I often find myself thinking of new lines/rewriting a poem on the porcelain throne. Tricia found inspiration there too with her “Ode to Where My Backside’s Been.”

Kimberley shares a poetic recipe for bread starter that’s handed down from baker to baker…and teaching second graders!

Mary Lee shares a poem by Billy Collins and her own thoughts about silence as the school year comes to a close. Be sure to answer Mary Lee’s call for roundup hosts for July-December.

Over at Reflections on the Teche Margaret has written a poem from the notes she took while listening to a traiteur, a Creole healer.

Jim shares an original pantoum (which my auto-corrector wants to change to phantom..) that should put us all in mind for summer: “I’m Jealous of the Watermelon Seed.”

Donna has been playing in the tall grass, and has a poem to show for it at Mainely Write.

Liz is also contributing an ode–this one inspired by her curls and her girls.

There’s a birthday party (have a happy!) with plenty of cat love (or at least cat poems) at Gathering Books. 

Ruth shares “Deep Enough to Dream” a summery song by Chris Rice.

Sherry shares Tolkien’s “Goblin Feet” at Semicolon.

Janet reviews “Doggy slippers: poems by Jorge Lujan” (with the contribution of Latin American children), translated by Elisa Amado with pictures by Isol.

If you’ve spent too much time in the sun and need a little cool down, head over to Dori Reads for a n(ice) penguin poem by Dennis Webster.

Speaking of the weather, Joy knows what to do on a gray day. Read her poem, “Of this Day,” on Poetry for Kids Joy.

Jone shares three student poems at Check It Out.

At her Hatbooks blog, Holly writes about the Kenji Miyazawa poem “Ame ni mo makezu” often translated as “Strong in the Rain.”

Over at TeachingAuthors April shares 3 Ways to Inspire A Poem…with a poem about a little god who’s looking for a poem…and what the clouds say about that.

Cathy has been watching fluff floating in the air. She shares two poems about “summer snow.”

Happy Yesterday Birthday to Ramona, and her birthday twin–Joyce Sidman. Ramona is celebrating Joyce’s poetry, in honor of their shared birthday.

Over at Poetry for Children Sylvia shares this week’s exciting poetry news: Jacqueline Woodson is the new Young People’s Poet Laureate! Sylvia also shares a favorite poem from Jacqueline’s Brown Girl Dreaming.

That’s all for now, folks. If I missed your link or made an error please let me know!


57 thoughts on “It’s Poetry Friday!

  1. hi, Buffy. I’m catching up on posts I missed when I was traveling earlier this summer. I love Falling Down the Page! It’s filled with poems that make great models for writing. I used a Naomi Shihab Nye poem from the book with third graders this year and they did a great job writing from her model. The opening line of your ledge poem is really wonderful.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Laura–Falling Down the Page is a wonderful book to use with young ‘uns! (And thanks for reminding me of my window ledge poem, which I meant to revise and forgot about once I posted it.)

  2. The cloak of cat & squirrel are my favorite in the lovely ledge poem.
    And the pink hat brought a big smile in Elaine’s pencil pretend.
    I hope your frogs & all our frogs find love…

    I enjoyed going to Elaine’s link & reading these artful list poems.
    Here is my thought, also –

    Things to Do If You a Late-Comer!

    Don’t fret.
    Savor the succinct.
    Remember that lingering late shouldn’t be a habit..
    Appreciate what others have left behind.
    – jan annino

    I also love being able to read all the responses.

    A naturally sweet June post Buffy.
    Appreciations for so much!

  3. Buffy, when I first read this post, I remember thinking that your tree frog poem would be a good fit for Soring’s Symphony Gallery. I am finishing the designs and wondered if you would like me to post the poem and photo. I would be delighted to do so.

  4. Hi, Buffy, thanks for hosting. I understand if it’s too late to join this week’s Poetry Friday party, but I’ll give it a shot. My post is about the new Young People’s Poet Laureate announced this week: Jacqueline Woodson. FYI. Have a great summer!

  5. I, too, love Elaine’s Things to Do poems, and have written my own and shared with children and teachers who also love them!

    Here is my Poetry Friday post on my Hatbooks blog about the Kenji Miyazawa poem “Ame ni mo makezu” often translated as “Strong in the Rain.”

    I hope that readers will enjoy the different versions of the poem and consider the process of translation of poetry. How I wish there were more poems for children and teens translated from Japanese into English!

    Holly Thompson

  6. My selection is “Doggy slippers: poems by Jorge Lujan” (with the contribution of Latin American children), translated by Elisa Amado with pictures by Isol.

  7. I can’t get to Tanita’s post no way, no how. Not sure where to go even when I get to her site. I’ve tried her link in her comments and your link, and then tried the calendar even that she has on her page. There doesn’t seem to be anything there. Help!

  8. Hi Buffy! Thanks for sharing Elaine Magliaro’s poem and your very own! I giggled at “Wait for love to find you” of course, and I will have to look up that collection of poems edited by Georgia Heard.

    I’m celebrating my birthday today with cat poems over at GatheringBooks!

    Thank you for hosting the poetry round-up!

  9. Hi, Buffy! I just love this poetry form, which I think it deserves to be called, and I think Elaine would not mind my pointing out that as far as I know, the “Things to Do” form was originated by Bobbi Katz. See Elaine’s post about it here:

    Besides being fun overall, these poems work so well with inanimate objects (love your “Window Ledge”!) because they access the dramatic in us–and as such I’ve had really great success in using this form with kids who are the great pretenders.

    I’m not posting today–my poetry stance this week is ranting about my hard life #firstworldproblems–so I’ll just shut up and enjoy the smorgasbord.

  10. Love what you did with the form, Buffy – especially that window ledge — and you & I both mention squirrels this week. Must be they are getting sassy and hard to ignore in the late spring???

    Thanks for hosting this week’s Poetry Friday. Over at The Drift Record I’m thinking of 1) squirrels, 2) transcendentalists and 3) talent, all via a little poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson called “Fable.” Here’s the link:

  11. Buffy, thank you for hosting Poetry Friday today. I loved your imaginative poems. This line stood out: Wear a cloak of cat or squirrel. Taking the ordinary and making it into a noteworthy object is what you did for me. Today, I am offering my piece on “Envisioning Spring’s Symphony” as I gear up for the design of my newest gallery. I am hoping that many Poetry Friday friends will contribute poem/photo combinations to grace the gallery’s wall. You can find my post at

  12. I loved your window ledge poem, Buffy, when I saw it this morning, & love Elaine’s poem too. Plus, I had interactions with several frogs on my trip to the Chesapeake Bay with my students. I love frogs & we see them rarely in Colorado. I like “Join a choir”-of course! I had my final week of school with students this week, really my final week-I’m retiring. My post speaks of that, but also thinking less of what’s next & just being present. Thanks so much for hosting!

  13. I am having frog envy. With the drought, they’re a bit quieter this year… but I expect that we’ll have a mild winter, and they’ll be baaaack! Meanwhile, great shot of that one, and I love the phrase, “stick the landing.”

    I’m in with an ode like my six poetry sisters – mine is an Ode to Adornment, cause what else is there to do on a Friday but sing to your bling? The link is here.

    Thank you for hosting.

    1. I could not get to your post, Tanita. Searched around your site when I did get there, and still could not find your offering today….though I loved your pictures from the hot air balloon ride!

  14. Thanks for hosting! Love these, Buffy…tat ‘stick the landing’ line really is a winner. I’ve read other excerpts of Georgia’s book and I need to find it – and write some of my own! Today, I’m also sharing a poem that first appeared on Laura’s blog, and am inviting folks to check out this past Tuesday’s post about Poetry Voiceovers:

  15. Buffy, I love the idea of Things to Do poems! Elaine’s “dance a poem across the page” line in the pencil poem is lovely. Your window ledge poem really makes this inanimate structure come alive. I’d like to try my hand at this style soon.

    Today I’m sharing a poem inspired by Nikki Grimes and my new challenge – violin lessons!

    Thanks for rounding up!

  16. I love Falling Down the Page: A Book of List Poems, too! It’s such a fun book. And I love the poems you wrote. Both have that Buffy charm that shows the world around us in an extra special way.
    Thanks for hosting.
    For Poetry Friday,I have have Carrie Finison collaborating with her daughter and son on A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt.

  17. Like your list poems, Buffy, and the Georgia Heard book is one of my favorites. So nice to see Elaine’s poem in there :).

    This week I’m all about brownies with a poem and recipe from Judyth Hill:

    Thanks so much for hosting this week!

  18. Hellloooo, Buffy! I can always count on you to bring the close-ups of the natural world, and some very lively poems. Love your tree frog poem… On the fitness trail here this morning, an older gentleman stopped me and asked if the cacophony of noises he was hearing were frogs. (He doesn’t live here year-round.) Oh yes, I assured him – especially after the deluges we’ve had the last couple of days.

    I’m in with a slightly tamer version of the natural world – flowers! And nursery rhymes. Mary, Mary, specifically….

    Thanks so much for hosting (holds out imaginary little bouquet).

  19. I LOVE that book, and I often share Elaine’s poem, because I write Things to Do If… poems with students a lot. My next book out with Millbrook is one big Things To Do If… poem, in fact. I love your Stick the landing line, especially–clever! And the “wear a cloak” line–lovely.

    I’m in with an ode to junk food. It’s another Poetry 7 date, when we’re all sharing a specific poetic form. Mine’s at

    Thanks for hosting, Buffy!

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