It’s Poetry Friday!

18923_originalWelcome to Poetry Friday!  Our nine-month sojourn in North Carolina is over, and I’m pleased to be back in Michigan and hosting Poetry Friday.  Last week I attended a three-day training for passage writers for a new Michigan assessment.  I’ve always had mixed feelings when writing test passages, and this gig is no exception–do Michigan high school kids really need another assessment?  But this assessment will be prepared with or without me, and hopefully the nonfiction and poetry passages that I’m writing are reasonably interesting and worth a student’s reading time (and there’s a paycheck at the end of the project, which is always nice.)  Writing these passages got me thinking about test-taking, so I fished out a poem that I’d started earlier this year (although I’m not sure if these tests are taken with pencils.)  I suspect that the teachers among you would like a break from thinking about this particular facet of school–I apologize in advance!

With Number 2 Pencils in Hand:pencil

brows furrow
teeth gnash
legs bounce
feet jerk
fingers scratch
knuckles crack
chins tremble
stomachs churn
palms sweat
hands smudge
papers tear
pencils break
clock ticks.

In other poetry news, I recently submitted a poem to a children’s poetry anthology being prepared by Carol-Ann Hoyte on food and agriculture, and was happy to learn this week that the poem was accepted.  I’m in good company with many other Poetry Friday folks–look for the anthology in October of this year.

Please post your links in the comment section, and I’ll update during the day.

Julie Larios is traveling, but she found time to post an original poem titled “Song of the Hog” that will go live at 12:01 a.m. on Friday at The Drift Record.

Over at Alphabet Soup Jama shares three poems from Anna’s Garden Songs by Mary Q. Steele and Lena Anderson.

On Today’s Little Ditty Michelle has the June ditty challenge wrap-up and is giving away a copy of The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science.

If you’re looking for some time-travelling fun, head over to Author Amok for an exclusive interview with Emily Dickinson aka poet and performer MiMi Zannino, who is performing a one-woman show as Dickinson for Chatauqua this summer. And don’t miss Laura’s Thursday post where she shares her terrific news!

Emily Dickinson is also making an appearance at Tamera Wissinger’s journal where she shares a poetry movie inspired by Janet Wong and Sylvia Vardell’s challenge at Ditty of the Month Club.

We’ve definitely got an Emily theme going today.  Karen Edmisten recommends a gorgeous book: The Gorgeous Nothings: Emily Dickinson’s Envelope Poems.

Robyn Hood Black shares a terrific poem from the summer poem swap that she received from Margaret Simon, and a poetry confession that has absolutely nothing to do with me :).

Diane Mayr has two original Sketchbook Project poems about mill workers at Random Noodling; a poem celebrating Helen Keller by Langston Hughes at Kurious Kitty; and a Langston Hughes quote at KK’s Kwotes.

Myra shares the Poetry of Basho and some ruminations about the essentials in life at Gathering Books.

Matt’s been spending time at the beach and shares news of his latest published poem, “Oceansides.”

SORRY for the morning delay–I had internet woes, but hopefully all is working now!

Laura Purdie Salas is sharing a morbidly funny poem today by Kurt Cyrus from Your Skeleton Is Showing: Rhymes of Blunder from Six Feet Under.

Carol Varsalona posts an original poem “Connected Educators – Together We Are One!” and an invitation to submit a poem and photo of locale that affords each person a serene spot to her site.

Violet Nesody shares thoughts on writing with an original poem entitled “Writing”–and news of her new e-book!

Greg Pincus has an original homophoem called Bowled Over at Gottabook. 

Over at Teaching Authors, April Halprin Wayland mulls over Marion Dane Bauer’s terrific post about writing to market or writing what you love.  She also includes a revision of an original poem.

Lisa Santika Onggrid has an original free-verse, and shares a favorite poem by Indonesia poet Sapardi Djoko Damono with Lisa’s translation.

Mary Lee shares an original poem from what is developing into her “Wishes” collection.

Tabatha shares a gem of a poem she received from Donna for the summmer poetry swap!

Catherine shares a Halloween poem by budding poet eight-year old Matthew.

Liz Steinglass reports on two of her early favorites in her summer reading list: Laura Purdie Salas’ Water Can Be… and Kwame Alexander’s The Crossover.

Carol shares Mary Oliver’s, “Breakage” on her blog.

At A Teaching Life Tara shares some summertime thoghts through “Starfish,” a poem by Eleanor Lerman.

Irene has a look at Marilyn Nelson’s A WREATH FOR EMMETT TILL.

Jeannine shares her thoughts about revising poetry with love and doubt–I can relate to the doubt part!

At My Juicy Little Universe, Heidi continues her haiku study and has some reflections as well as a beach haiku for kids.

At Reading Through Life Crystal shares some poems by Sarah Kay and Phil Kay, and a book review.

Monica takes us to the edge with her original poem, “House Above the Creek.”

At Booktalking, Anastasia shares a lantern poem from If It Rains Pancakes: Haiku and Lantern Poems by Brian P. Cleary.

At Poetry for Children Sylvia plugs the ALA Poetry Blast and the poets who will be presenting there on Sunday.

Lorie Ann is on her way to ALA, but she’s still dropped by with an original haiku that’s cool as winter. At readertotz she shares a poem from I Saw Esau.

In honor of Helen Keller’s birthday, Kelly shares “Swimming to the Light,” J. Patrick Lewis’ villanelle about Helen Keller.

Jone shares an original poem about growing vegetables, flowers, and community.  Check it out!

Margaret reviews Barbara Crooker’s book “Line Dance” and shares one of her poems.

Holly shares an original poem that she was inspired to write after a recent writing retreat–she writes that her inspiration came partly from Mary Lee’s wishful poem and….Emily Dickinson (that’s number four for Emily this week!)

Over at The Miss Rumphius Effect Tricia shares “Wildflowers,” a poem by Reginald Gibbons.

43 thoughts on “It’s Poetry Friday!

  1. Hi Buffy! I’m chiming in very late on your Poetry Friday post, but I want to congratulate you on your anthology acceptance – I was happy to be included too and extra happy to be with you! Thanks for sharing your testing poem and your thoughts on writing passages for tests. The high school students of Michigan are lucky to read your work. Maybe I will eek out a little more time to participate in PF more regularly…I hope. Happy Monday!

    1. It’s actually kind of fun to write the passages for this one, Margaret. (I’m writing nonfiction pieces about natural history stuff that I think is cool and some poems.) But it does make me feel pretty ambivalent when I imagine kids having to read them in yet another testing situation. I once took a job writing the items/questions for a test–that’s no fun at all imho and something I wouldn’t do again.

  2. Thanks for hosting, Buffy! As a teacher, who spent the last two months of school administering required assessments, even the thought of testing makes my teeth clench and shoulders ache. At the same time, I love the format you have chosen. Perfect. I’m in with Mary Oliver’s, “Breakage.”

  3. Hi Buffy,
    Congratulations and thanks for hosting. I haven’t had a second to write since school got out but I have made a little progress on my list of poetry books to read this summer. I thought I’d report back on two of my early favorites–Laura Purdie Salas’ Water Can Be… and Kwame Alexander’s The Crossover.

  4. Welcome back, and thank you for hosting! It sounds like you have quite a fun there. The exam poem has me looking back fondly (or not so fondly) at those days.
    This week I have an original free-verse, and one of my favorite poem to share. The name Sapardi Djoko Damono may be foreign around here, but beautiful poetry is beautiful poetry regardless of its country of origin.

  5. Howdy, Buffy! Thank you for hosting…I REALLY appreciate the time it takes to host!

    I like all the sounds in your poem. I do hope they still use pencils. Pencils have a very particular smell…and a pencily feel…and can be gnawed.

    I’m in today finishing up our TeachingAuthors series in which we’ve mulled over Marion Dane Bauer’s terrific post about writing to market or writing what you love…

    My changing view of the Magic Table of my critique group resulted in my revising a poem I’ve included in my post:

  6. Buffy,

    I am so glad that I strolled over to your blog post to find that you are involved with the assessment initiative in Michigan and would love to hear more about it. I found your poem to be serious and humorous at the same time. In NYS, parents are up in arms about testing so I am glad that there are credible educators trying to make a difference by including enjoyable texts into the mix.

    I would like to submit my new poem about connected educators to the Poetry Friday site. I have found that through my involvement with co-moderating our state chat, #nyedchat, that I have met so many passionate educators across the states and across the seas. The links in the blog will lead Poetry Friday writers to a new site that I launched, REFLECT WITH ME: Summer Serenity. I hope this community of writers will submit a poem and photo of locale that affords each person a serene spot so that the gallery collection will grow.

    Thank you for linking my poem, Connected Educators – Together We Are One!, at to the Poetry Friday site.

  7. Thanks for hosting today, Buffy! A perfect poem to wrap up the school year…something the kids can forget about for a couple months! Today, I’m sharing a poem that was just published 2 days ago, and the news about that food anthology, as well! (link goes live shortly after midnight)

  8. Welcome back, Buffy! Congratulations on the acceptance, too.

    Wow, from reading the comments thus far, it looks like this is an Emily Dickinson week! Alas, not for me. I’ve got two Sketchbook Project poems about mill workers at Random Noodling:

    Kurious Kitty is celebrating Helen Keller’s birthday with a poem by Langston Hughes:

    At KK’s Kwotes, the quote is by Langston Hughes, too.

  9. Congrats on the poem!

    I’m in this week with a nod to a gorgeous book about Emily Dickinson — The Gorgeous Nothings: Emily Dickinson’s Envelope Poems. The link is here.

    Thanks for hosting!

  10. Hi Buffy,

    Thanks for hosting Poetry Friday. I enjoyed your test poem…it clicks along just like the clock! Congratulations on your poem being accepted in the food and agriculture anthology; great news.

    On my journal I’m sharing a short Emily Dickinson poetry movie inspired by Janet Wong and Sylvia Vardell as part of Michelle Barnes’s June Ditty of the Month Club.



  11. Congrats on your publication, Buffy! I loved your pencil poem — I’ve watched children during testing do all of these things.

    I’m excited to have an exclusive interview with Emily Dickinson this week! Actually — it’s poet and performer MiMi Zannino, who is performing a one-woman show as Dickinson for Chatauqua this summer. MiMi shares her insights about the poet, and I have information about her *free,* family-friendly events.

  12. Welcome home, Buffy– I bet it’s good to be back. Your poem had me shaking in my shoes (I’m SO glad I’m not in test-taking situations anymore), but what a lot of fun to read! Congrats on both of your paychecks to come. 😉

    On Today’s Little Ditty, I have the June ditty challenge wrap-up and am giving away a copy of The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science.

  13. Cool poem — and congrats on the anthology acceptance!

    At Alphabet Soup I’m sharing three poems from Anna’s Garden Songs by Mary Q. Steele and Lena Anderson (I’ve been on a Lena Anderson kick lately):

    My link goes live at 6 a.m. EDT. Thanks for hosting, Buffy!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.