Sing a Song of Seasons

Lucky me! Last week’s mail had a treasure chest of a new book, Sing a Song of Seasons, A Nature Poem for Each Day of the Year, illustrated by Frann Preston-Gannon and selected by Fiona Waters. As you might guess from the title, this delightful collection has one poem for each day of the year, celebrating the sights and sounds of the natural world. Many of the poems are familiar classics–for example, Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” for January 6th, William Carlos Williams’ “The Red Wheelbarrow” for April 3rd, and Carl Sandberg’s “Fog” for October 23rd. Others are less well-known (at least unknown to me) but thoroughly charming. All are simple enough to read aloud to young children, and show a slice of what is occurring as each season progresses.

Both the poems and the artwork inspire wonder–they make me want to head outside and observe something small or something big! The artwork is particularly captivating. Each illustration runs across two pages, with one to four poems on it. Geese fly across the pages of October, as do colorful leaves, rainstorms, foggy harbors, night creatures, and pumpkins and bats.  Consider this leafy masterpiece, with four poems for today through Monday (the book is too large and my scanner too mediocre to combine these into one illustration, so you’ll have to imagine them side-by-side:)

I think this book would be a wonderful addition to a classroom library–imagine a ritual of reading the day’s poem, either by a teacher or student. What discussions might the illustrations and poems spark? What observations might they inspire? Where might they lead students’ writing? What mood would they set for a morning or afternoon?

Sing a Song of Seasons would also be a treasure for a home library. I remember when my daughter was in fourth grade and received a children’s collection of Emily Dickinson poetry. We shared many together, and then she read them over and over on her own, eventually memorizing quite a few. I think that book turned her into a writer! And I believe this book could also turn many youngsters into poetry lovers and writers.

For a children’s poetry writer, this book is a bounty of inspiration. Last week on a rainy afternoon I read several October rain poems. The patter of the poems echoed the sounds of the storm outside my window. I collected some of the words from the rainy pages and sprinkled them into this poem:

October Storm

Gray clouds grumble.
Acorns tumble.
Whips and howls,
dark sky growls.

Raindrops splatter.
Branches scatter.
Rumble, cackle,
lightning crackles.

Wind gusts slow.
Oak leaves blow.
Sprinkle, drizzle,
showers fizzle.

Puddled street.
Boots on feet.
Stomp and dash–
time to splash!
–©Buffy Silverman

Sing a Song of Seasons has found a happy home on my coffee table, where I plan to read and reread it. Thanks to Candlewick Press for the review copy.

Head over to Friendly Fairy Tales where Brenda has the Poetry Friday round-up.


36 thoughts on “Sing a Song of Seasons

  1. I really enjoyed your poem. I love the fall–and you captured so many wonderful images.
    And that poem –An Autumn Greeting–from the book is one I used to use in my early childhood classroom. I learned it as a song with more verses and did it as a puppet story with dancing leaves–it brings back happy memories.

  2. I want this book for my home library! Thank you for sharing it, and your own rain poem. It does echo the sounds of rain splashing through the seasons.

  3. This sounds like a book that would be a popular pick for Poetry Friday presentations in my classroom! Thanks for the review…I’m off to order it now!

  4. Buffy, this looks like a fabulous book! I know I’d have some students who would delight in checking out each day’s poem. Your poetic response is wonderful with all those fabulous verbs! I also loved your response on the ditty challenge this month. Thanks for sharing!!

  5. What a beautiful book and how rich to have the sequence of poems through the seasons, as well as the contrast of a range of poems on similar topics such as the leaves. So much there to ponder but also to inspire creative response.

  6. With a poem for every day, it’s a luxury to be able to see so many different poetic approaches to the same topic! (In this case, leaves.) As for your poem, I love being carried through the storm’s progression, the journey is vivid with your skillful choice of words.

  7. Thanks for spotlighting this anthology — will have to add it to my wish list! The art looks gorgeous. Love your poem — such delicious, snappy words :)!

  8. “hazel, gold and chocolate brown” and all your autumn verbs, wonderful, Buffy. I saw your FB post & mentioned then that I have this book, will treasure each day’s poem, I know, and that it’s illustrated, too makes it even better. Thank you!

  9. Your poem is wonderful, Buffy! And the book looks gorgeous… I am in love with the poem a day format and may add this to my morning readings for 2019. Thank you! xo

  10. Lucky you indeed! And hopefully lucky me too. I love your poem, Buffy. It has your tell-tale language and sounds and deep love of the natural world.

    1. Glad my poem speaks to you–I hadn’t thought of how the different parts spoke to each other. Always interesting how others see more in a poem you wrote than you realized was there!

  11. very nice poem…here’s mine:

    By Dianne Moritz

    Twirling, swirling without a sound.
    Drifting, shifting on grassy ground.

    Raking, making one giant mound.
    Racing, chasing…and in we bound!

    Buffy, do you know how to get poems recognized for publication in anthologies?
    I would love to hear from you!

    1. Thanks for sharing your poem, Diane. It took a long time before I got invited to submit to any anthologies, and it doesn’t happen that often–so I might not be the best person to ask! Participating in Poetry Friday is a great first step because you’ll start to see who is putting together anthologies, and you’ll become part of a poetry community. When you feel you’ve got some strong poems to share, send them to anthologists whose work you admire and ask them to keep you in mind when they are putting together an anthology. (That’s the self-promoting step that I’m not very good at, but am trying to push myself in that direction.)

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