Thursday, January 6, 2011


Welcome to Poetry Friday Roundup!!

It's such a pleasure to host, and thanks as ever to Mary Lee at A Year of Reading for always putting out the call and providing the code and basically making Poetry Friday easy-easy so we can all focus on the joy we find in poetry.

What have I been doing so far this new year? Well, reading. A lot. As in a mad frenzy of reading to be ready for next Monday's Newbery Award announcement.

One of the titles I adored was this one, THE DREAMER by Pam Munoz Ryan and Peter Sis, about young Pablo Neruda -- before he called himself Pablo Neruda! What a beautiful book, and what a hopeful story for anyone who has felt a parent doesn't approve of one's life choices.

Of course, I love Neruda's poems. No poet writes so beautifully about love. And this little book illuminated the roots of that poetry. So today, for the first Poetry Friday of 2011, I offer you this poem:


You will remember that leaping stream
where sweet aromas rose and trembled,
and sometimes a bird, wearing water
and slowness, its winter feathers.
You will remember those gifts from the earth:
indelible scents, gold clay,
weeds in the thicket and crazy roots,
magical thorns like swords.
You'll remember the bouquet you picked,
shadows and silent water,
bouquet like a foam-covered stone.
That time was like never, and like always.
So we go there, where nothing is waiting;
we find everything waiting there.

- Pablo Neruda


  1. Irene, thank you for a perfect poem to start the day. Weeds in the thicket and crazy roots is the line that speaks to me best. And maybe that book would also be useful for a parent on the other end of that life process - one having doubts about a child's choices. Hmmmm.

    At The Writer's Armchair today, I share a photo-and-poem pairing I came across, "I'm a girl, I'm a tree."

  2. I can't see my link up above...maybe it takes awhile for it to show? Just in case, I'll add it here: I'm in with an original haiku today.

    Thanks for the kind words, Irene! Anybody who wants the code for a Poetry Friday Roundup html gadget for their sidebar, just let me know: mlhahn at earthlink dot net

  3. Hi, Irene--

    I gave this book (signed by Pam Munoz) to my 8-year-old dreamer as a Yule gift, but it may be some time before a child who writes about "Smily the levitating smily face from Planet Comical" will come to it! Neruda's poems are striking in how often they can speak to young readers as well as us adults.

    Thanks for hosting!

  4. i've got a little x next to my name. i feel like a kid with his name on the chalkboard for doing something wrong. and i'm always forgetting to include the name of my poems when i link them...

    i've been curious about the neruda book for some time, and i think you've pushed me over the top into finally checking it out.

    thanks for hosting this week!

  5. Hi Irene,

    I've heard nothing but praise for The Dreamer, and I'm dying to see it! Thanks for sharing that beautiful poem today.

    I'm welcoming in the New Year with a soup song and Campbell's Kids memorabilia.

    Thanks for hosting today, and have a nice weekend. :)

  6. Thanks for hosting, and for sharing that beautiful poem. I love the image of the bird "wearing water/and slowness." Love Neruda!

  7. PS: I hope I didn't just post my link twice. The first time I kept getting a "problem loading page" message, so I did it again, and it seemed to go through. So if it shows up two times, and you have a way to delete one, please feel free to do so!

  8. Thanks for that beautiful Neruda poem, and thank you for hosting. I'm in with a dashed off original one this week. Mostly just happy to be feeling better .... :)

    Happy Poetry Friday!

  9. Irene, thanks for Neruda and hosting and for The Color of Lost Rooms, which I look forward to blogging about one Poetry Friday soon. Once I stop savoring.

  10. Hi Irene,
    Thanks for hosting this week and for sharing this lovely book.

  11. Thank you so much for hosting today! I think Neruda is the bee's knees. *grin*

    I wrote an original poem about sledding today.

  12. Thanks so much for hosting! I like the new linky widget - cool! That Neruda poem is just wonderful! I have a place like that in my childhood that is so precious. Perfect poem!! I have a snow haiku today, since it is snowing and I can't tear my eyes away from the library windows.

  13. Thank you for hosting today!
    I was so drawn in by the cover of this book, and it proved to be a wonderful read. The last two lines of Neruda's poem were so beautiful...I'm still savoring them.

  14. I absolutely ADORE this book. My daughter Sallie just finished it, and Anne is waiting in the wings to get her hands on it.

    Believe it or not, I actually had to defend it to one of their teachers because it is rated below their reading level (darn AR!!). Although sparse looking, the book is gorgeously written and conceptually sophisticated. And, the artwork is beautiful.

    I picked it up at the library, but it's one I need to buy for my shelves.

    I've heard a bit of buzz about it for the Newbery. We shall see ...

    Congrats on your ALA notice!


  15. "where nothing is waiting, we find everything waiting there"

    I love Neruda, too. Do you know Jimenez? I always think of the two poets together--they share some imagery. "Flowers Beneath Lightning" is one my favorites of Jimenez's.

    And, so, we survived the debut year. I'm a little bedraggled.

  16. I thought this was a beautiful book also, but I'm wondering about the kid appeal. It fell under what I call "literary fiction" for kids, and I'm not sure if many kids would pick this up. What do you think?

  17. Thanks for hosting, Irene. What a beautiful Neruda poem. I especially love:

    sometimes a bird, wearing water
    and slowness,

    I really liked The Dreamer (though I do agree with Fourth Musketeer)!

  18. I have The Dreamer in my TBR pile - and it's signed by Peter Sis. NO good excuse for not having read it yet, I'm afraid. Coincidentally, I just posted a book review of Neruda's Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair, which is my Poetry Friday entry. Kismet!

  19. I really enjoyed this poetry page. I love poetry of any kind. I could not take my eyes off of this page. I was glued here. Poetry is my favorite and I enjoyed all of your poetry and comments. I read some very interesting poems. I learn so much from everyone else. I am just so amused by the talent here. I did not believe Antologies were real. I use to get mad when I write poems and they only make into antologies than I never see them again unless I buy these expensive books that I can not afford.

  20. Hi Irene,
    I have big reading plans for this winter weekend. You make me want to squeeze in time for The Dreamer. Thank you for hosting. Here is my contribution, a poem about something lost and found as challenged in the Poetry Stretch at


  21. Thank you for hosting this week, Irene, and for sharing the Neruda poem.

    I loved the refrain "You will remember" .

    As for the book, well, I wanted to like it more than I did.

  22. Irene, I'm a long time Neruda fan and that poem is new to me. I love it, thanks.

    And I also can't wait to read The Dreamer. Thank you for bringing that to our attention, too.

    Happy New Year!


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