This week my big stack of library books includes NIGHT BECOMES DAY: Changes in Nature by Cynthia Argentine (Millbrook Press, 2022.) The book draws connections between seemingly disparate agents of change in nature–waves washing away footprints in sand is compared to rivers wearing away canyons; the speed of pumpkin tendrils wrapping around a rope compared to the slow growth of an acorn to an oak; and hot magma bursting from a volcano compared to the cold, slow scraping of a glacier. The stunning photos that accompany the text pull a reader in, and I imagine a child would pore over them, gradually seeing the similarities between river and waves, the growth of different plants, and geological forces that shape the land. And perhaps drawing their own connections when they observe the world around them.
I was particularly taken with the lyrical language in the text. Although written in prose, some lines read like poetry. Consider the description of snowflakes in this spread:
Did you know that snowflakes are born of dust? I had forgotten that fact, although it reminded me that clouds begin as “flecks of airborne dust.” Aha! Maybe I can follow the books lead and write something that connects snowflakes and clouds… dust specks and dust specks? Here’s a speedy draft, inspired by Cynthia Argentine’s description, that perhaps I will revisit.
Flecks of dust lift
High in the sky
a raft for water
to cool, cling, condense–
into puffs and piles
High in the sky
with cold, cold water
that fall and grow,
fall and grow
into sparkling, starry
Although we’ve had a few snow storms, we are now snow-free in Michigan. Maybe by Tuesday’s solstice there will be some starry snow.
Looking for more poetry? Jone Rush Macculloch is rounding up this week’s Poetry Friday Post with the jingling and tinkling of bells.
26 thoughts on “Poetry Friday–The (almost) Solstice Edition”
I loved following this transformation of dust. Fascinating *and* beautiful. Thanks, Buffy!
Lovely poem! I did not know about snowflakes’ dusty origins. The book sounds like something the second graders I read to will like. Thank you!
Hello, Buffy! Yes, I loved this book too, and we received it for consideration for the NCTE Poetry Notables. We all noticed the beautiful, lyrical language, and I’m also a fan of the bold layout, which is going to catch the eye of many a graphic novel reader–but like you we decided it was not poetry per se. I have learned something new today from your “instadraft”–but a professional like you can muse lightly on an idea and write a well-crafted piece right before our eyes, like the snowflake can “fall and grow/fall and grow”.
Beautiful sparkling poem Buffy, I love the change from crystals falling into snow–flakes, and the repetition in your poem too! I’ve always been fascinated by snowflakes and crystals they seem so magical. Thanks for sharing your poem and this book–hope some snowflakes float your way…
‘Snow’ much goodness in this post, Buffy. From Cynthia’s amazing book to the poem it inspired. 🙂
zounds! dear Buffy. I luv your lines in “Dust” d r a f t that an ice crystal might begin with you & me! Please keep with this poem. Cynthia Argentine’s book sounds mind-expanding – I hope you send her a link to your post.
Wishing you & your Family a Soothing Solstice.
Here at latitude 30 N. we are in Leaf Time which is what my 1st post [in about half a year1] celebrates at Bookseedstudio https://bookseedstudio.wordpress.com/2021/12/01/leaf-time/
I wasn’t going to link as I’m not sure I’ll be able to visit ’round Poetry Friday the way I like, but I will now because this post is magic.
Thanks for your kind words, Jan. Heading over to read your post now!
Jan, I have read this post and am thoroughly enjoying the discussion that is growing from it! It is very rewarding to see how my book inspired Buffy’s poem, which in turn is inspiring others to look at and think about nature in new ways! You used the word “mind-expanding,” and that brought a big smile to my face. I hope Night Becomes Day does expand the minds of readers, young and old. Thanks to commenting!
I love your science-packed poem, and hearing the backstory about how it came to be!
Thanks, Mary Lee!
I am thrilled to discover this post! Buffy, this made my day! How wonderful to learn that my book inspired your lovely poem. I also love all the comments from other readers. A reason for all that dust! 🙂 And to think… a part of you or me could be a seed for a beautiful, fleeting, crystalline star.
So glad you stopped by to read, Cindy. Thank you for writing such a wonderful book!
Buffy… finally… finally an answer to my aunt’s question: Why did God create dust??? Haha. She was such a cleaner and duster, and dust always plagued her. But now, the beauty of a snowflake begins with a mote of dust. I must mull this, although, like you, I had heard it before. I love your poem, and I thank you for sharing it. I’m reminded of two of my favorite Ted Kooser poems… let me know if you want me to find them/send them.
Well that’s a compliment–my words reminding you of Ted Kooser! Yes, I’d love to look them up. Thanks, Karen.
What a great book this is, a book that can inspire ideas like your poem. I love the way water becomes “puffs and piles/ of clouds.” I think the only hope for our planet is for people to understand and appreciate the miracle that is nature.
Agreed for sure–and helping kids fall in love with nature seems like a worthwhile task.
I always learn something from your blog posts. I didn’t know clouds and snow are made from dust! Wow!
I love the repetition of “fall and grow” in your poem and the image of sparkling starry snow. Now I want it to snow! : )
Thanks, Linda– and me, too! Snow is in the forecast here for tonight. If it’s going to be cold anyway, I’ll take it.
Love thinking about starry snow! Thanks for sharing about this new and fascinating book. Enjoyed your poem!!
Thank you, Jama. I felt a bit guilty lifting the books stars, but what the heck…
Lovely, Buffy, & I will find that book, too! It looks wonderful. Wishing you some of that ‘starry snow’. We had a record of ‘no snow’ until a week ago, just enough to measure. Now it’s dry again, a strange December. Happy Solstice to you & your family!
I think you will enjoy this one, Linda!
What a thought…in your poem. Maybe a speck of dust from me can become a snowflake…growing arms and leg-branches, becoming more beautiful as I freeze. Love your take on the book! And, I definitely want to read it. It strikes me as one you could/would write with the beautiful photography and words. I’m crossing my fingers for starry snow for you on Tuesday!
I really admire the author’s ability to write prose that sounds so lyrical–and to draw all these cool connections!
Thank you, Ann!