Friday, June 14, 2013

MENAGERIE OF SMALL POEMS BY VALERIE WORTH

So I've been writing short poems and reading for inspiration Valerie Worth's ALL THE SMALL POEMS AND FOURTEEN MORE, with illustrations by Natalie Babbitt. For the next few Poetry Fridays, I thought I would share a few on a theme. Today's theme is ZOO ANIMALS! Be sure and visit our Louisiana poet-friend Margaret at Reflections on the Teche for Roundup.



giraffe

How lucky
To live
So high
Above
The body,
Breathing
At heaven's
Level,
Looking
Sun
in the eye;
While down
Below
The neck's
Precarious
Stair,
Back, belly,
And legs
Take care
Of themselves,
Hardly
Aware
Of the head's
Airy
Affairs.

- Valerie Worth

painting by Eric, 2nd grade


tiger

The tiger
Has swallowed
A black sun,

In his cold
Cage he
Carries it still:

Black flames
Flicker through
His fur,

Black rays roar
from the centers
Of his eyes.

- Valerie Worth

painting by Eric, 2nd grade


flamingo

The
Flamingo
Lingers
A
Long
Time
Over
One
Pink
Leg;
Later
He
Ponders
Upon
The
Other
For
A
While
Instead.

- Valerie Worth

photo by Irene, Birmingham Zoo


sea lions

The satin sea lions
Nudge each other
Toward the edge
Of the pool until
They fall like
Soft boulders
Into the water,
Sink down, slide
In swift circles,
Twist together
And apart, rise again
Snorting, climb
Up slapping
Their flippers on
The wet cement:
Someone said
That in all the zoo
Only the sea lions
Seem happy.

- Valerie Worth

(sorry, I don't have a sea lions painting or pic to share!)


9 comments:

  1. Every time I read the small poem books, I have a difficult time choosing a favorite. They are so good! But since you narrowed it down, Irene, I think I love the giraffe one best today. Valerie Worth chooses to look at the unusual that we might never think of, doesn't she?
    "Back, belly,
    And legs
    Take care
    Of themselves,
    Hardly
    Aware
    Of the head's
    Airy
    Affairs."

    Thank you!

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  2. One of my all-time-favorite, if-you-were-stranded-on-a-desert-island books, EVER. Thanks for sharing. (I'd just read the giraffe poem a couple of days ago, too!)

    "Black flames
    Flicker through
    His fur" - I mean, Valerie Worth gives William Blake a run for his money.

    Thanks for sharing!

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  3. Love Valerie Worth poems....love the art.

    Cathy

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  4. Love all these poems! Great idea to group them by theme. Can't wait for more. :)

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  5. Oh, I love these. And that door one is just always a favorite too. xo, a.

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  6. The giraffe one is my favorite. "breathing at heaven's level, looking at sun in the eye"! Wow. What an image.

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  7. Sent this to my mother, who loves giraffes. :-)

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  8. Valerie Worth is one of my favorite poets! Thanks for sharing these...especially "the tiger" poem.

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  9. Can't wait to read YOUR small poems!

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