Thursday, March 5, 2009

Poetry Friday

I read a quote this week that exhorts me to seek delight. (Thanks, Kelly!)

Even the sound of the word makes you think of joy and all things wonderful. And I dare you to say the word without feeling your facial muscles lift into a smile. It's a word whose sound and meaning are perfectly combined.

As I paid more attention to my daily comings and goings, I found I am blessed with many delights. I'm delighted to sit in my son's bed and stroke his back before he sleeps. I'm delighted to watch my daughter execute a powerful yet graceful Tae Kwon Do move. I'm delighted by the words I read.

[5 365 Afternoon Delight by spud. Flickr, Creative Commons.]

Another thing that delights me: children's poetry.

The Poetry Friday Roundup has been instrumental in exposing and teaching me about poetry, not to mention allowing me to "meet" real poets in this new world of blogosphere.

Naomi Shihab Nye is one of the first poets I discovered in the PF Roundup. Her book, Come WIth Me: Poems for A Journey (illustrated by Dan Yaccarino), is a collection of deceptively simple poems that create a longing for the things she describes. I don't know about you, but I want experience the quiet minute between two noisy ones, tucked under the wing of the day. (from her poem Come With Me) I wonder why I never thought about whether I would turn or pause at a street corner (When You Come To A Corner). And I most certainly want to be as tall as a riddle and as full as a shadow (Somebody's Story).


Douglas Florian, on the other hand, is someone whose work I knew before PF. I love the whimsy in his art and his words. We have lizards, frogs, and polliwogs and mammalabilia on our shelf at home.

Pick a page, any page, and you'll find something that tickles and delights: the ex-ibex, the gila monster and the glass frog disappearing into their environment (a tree and a composition book), a lynx who thinks it stynx that people wear fur. I have a special fondness of the bear who slumbears. When my daughter was an infant, I got to name her teddy bears. Their names are Patti Le Bear, Eleanor RigBear, and Beary Manilow.

Julie
Larios is a regular on Poetry Friday Roundup. Her Imaginary Menagerie: A Book of Curious Creatures (illustrated by Julie Paschkis) has been honored many times, most recently by being a finalist in the Cybils Awards . Each poem deals with a mythical creature found in folklore of different cultures, from Russia to Egypt to the Mekong River. With very few words, she captures the essential myth of each being, and manages to push us to rethink our understanding of these imaginary creatures. The mighty Sphinx who once asked impossible riddles is now silent, Gargoyle who flies when the bells ring. And what would you do if a sea serpeant, ship swallower, calls you friend and invites you to swim with it?

Go enjoy more poem to your hearts' delight at Anastasia Suen's Picture Book of the Day.

16 comments:

jama said...

What a lovely post, full of some of my favorite poets! Love all the bear names, BTW -- and it was indeed an honor to be a Cybils Poetry judge this year and bask in Nye's and Larios' beautiful work.

Nick (CFKS) said...

Cool. I'm always on the look out for good poems.

Kelly said...

Great post with great poets!
I love the teddy bear names, too!

Julie Larios said...

I'm so glad you like Imaginary Menagerie, Yat-Yee - and it's always delightful (you're right about that word "delight" - that word just brings a smile) to be in the company of poets like Douglas Florian and Naomi Shihab Nye! Thanks.

Kelly Fineman said...

Lovely post! I'm glad you found so many things to bring you delight this week!

Janet said...

I love your idea and your poet list. I'll be seeking delight this week...

Sara said...

Isn't Poetry Friday wonderful? It teaches me something new each week. Thanks for the roundup of these books and more ways to "seek delight."

Yat-Yee said...

Thanks for dropping, by, Poetry Friday friends! Delight to all!

a. fortis said...

Imaginary Menagerie looks really cool! I keep meaning to look for that one at the library.

Yat-Yee said...

The artwork is really cool. The illustrator gives the Medieval manuscript art a certain stylized earthiness.

susan said...

I own more poetry collections than any other genre but reading your post gave me pause: I read very little children's poetry. Thanks for pointing me in the direction of new reads.

Mary Lee said...

Isn't it fun that there are several children's poets who participate in Poetry Friday? Lucky elbows ours to rub up against theirs!

Hey, as I scrolled through the comments, the last one was beside your Pikes Peak Writers button. I grew up in Burlington, CO!

Nandini said...

Yat-Yee, this post is delightful! It's great that you are mindful of those moments of everyday beauty. Thanks for the introduction to the extraordinary poets of PF. I must get their books!

Yat-Yee said...

Susan: I, on the other hand, have always been intimidated by poetry and own very few collections. Children's poetry is one genre that I am starting to get into.

Mary Lee: Our elbows are certainly lucky! BTW, I lived in the midwest for 10 years, in Indiana. The incessant gray skies
are not something I miss.

Nandini: Thank you! And I hope you'll enjoy them.

poemhome said...

Thank you Yat-Yee!

Fiddler said...

Oooh, more books for my library list--thanks, Yat-Yee! I love the cover of Imaginary Menagerie.