Friday, June 21, 2013

SMALL POEMS ABOUT CHILDHOOD PLAY BY VALERIE WORTH

Happy Poetry Friday! Carol at Carol's Corner is our friendly Roundup host. Go see!

Last week I featured zoo animal poems by Valerie Worth. Today I want to focus on some of those simple childhood pleasures. Enjoy!

marbles

Marbles picked up
heavy by the handful
And held, weighed,
Hard, glossy,
Glassy, cold,
Then poured clicking,
Water-smooth, back
To their bag, seem
Treasure: round jewels,
Slithering gold.

- Valerie Worth

I still love marbles, though I was never much good at playing them. Mostly I liked collecting them in an old flower vase. They caught the light and were so cool... sensory magic and great food for the imagination.

barefoot

After that tight
Choke of sock
And blunt
Weight of shoe,

The foot can feel
Clover's green
Skin
Growing,

And the fine
Invisible
Teeth
Of gentle grass,

And the cool
Breath
Of the earth
beneath.

- Valerie Worth

Really, is there any better thing than being a kid running barefoot? I have so many memories of wild days with my siblings through pasture and woods and wherever. And during any season. (Okay, it probably helps that we always lived in warm climates.) Shoes were not important. Freedom was.

jacks

The way
Jacks nest
Together in
The hand,

Or cupped
Between
Two palms,
Jingled up

And thrown,
Land in a
Loose starry
Cluster,

Seems luxury
Enough,
Without the
further bliss

Of their
Slender
iridescent
Luster.

- Valerie Worth

I have memories of playing jacks and hopscotch at school, all the way through 6th grade. I loved how it was a game you could just carry in your pocket, and during the day, when I was bored or daydream-y, I could reach in my pocket and finger the jacks.

doll

Her eyes beam,
Full of sweet
Blue glass,

Her dainty
Shallow mouth
Curves pink;

Even when her clothes
Are lost, her curls
Left in knots,

Her smile
Remains the same,
I think.

- Valerie Worth

I was definitely a "baby doll" kind of girl. No barbies for me. My sister and I spent a lot of time playing house. (I made her be the Dad, so I could always be the Mom. Oh, Bossy Big Sister, that's me!) Sometimes we pretended to run a daycare in which one day, no one every came back to pick up their babies! So we had to take care of them all. It was awesome. :)


book

Such a
Bountiful
Box of
Tricks:
Packed
With the
Five senses,
The seven
Seas, the
Earth's
Four winds
And corners,
All fitted
Exactly in.

- Valerie Worth

There has never been a time when I didn't love books. Box of tricks, indeed! And adventure and love and mystery... I'll leave you with a pic of wee me that would not have happened if my mother hadn't brought along my favorite book. (Apparently I was not all that fond of being photographed!)



23 comments:

  1. Ahhh! The pleasures of summer! I love, love, love Valerie Worth. I always marvel at Valerie Worth's ability to choose just the right word to capture a sensory detail. She is truly amazing! Thanks for sharing these!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Carol, Valerie Worth gets it right, doesn't she? Hope your summer lives up to these poems. Thanks for stopping by. xo

      Delete
  2. So excited to see more Valerie Worth poems. She's phenomenal. LOVE all of these -- she just gets it right every single time. Adorable photo of you!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh thank you, Jama. My mom was just pleased to get SOMETHING out of that photo session. :)

      Delete
  3. They are beautiful poems. Thanks for sharing, Irene.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by, Catherine. xo

      Delete
  4. I love all the poetry and your side commentaries Irene that paint a picture of a beautiful childhood. And yes, I agree with Jama, that's a very lovely photograph! I also enjoyed playing jacks when I was younger - and huge dolls, didn't get much into the barbie phase either. :) Your post made me nostalgic. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Myra, why doesn't it surprise me that we have these things in common? I really did have a beautiful childhood, and I feel SO LUCKY about that. Thanks for stopping by. xo

      Delete
  5. Ohhhh, I love that cluster/luster rhyme. And the comparison to stars! I was never any good at jacks, but I liked watching other girls who were so amazing at it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ruth, I bet you could get good at jacks if you wanted to. Let's play. :) Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  6. I so love Valerie Worth's poetry. She always seems to catch the true essence of whatever she is writing about. And this post was made all the better with your own personal observations and memories. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Michelle - fun to remember those sweet times.

      Delete
  7. I loved your animal collection, but these go perfectly together for summer and childhood. So many memories of marbles, jacks, dolls, barefoot in the grass...and of course BOOKS. They all ring true for me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Mary Lee, BOOKS! I hauled home books from our library a couple of times a week. (My sister and I would take the wagon and fill it up. :) Happy summer to you. xo

      Delete
  8. Thanks for sharing these--they bring me back to childhood. I loved collecting marbles as a kid, and this poem describes the feel of these treasures so well (and by the way, there was a story on NPR today about the national marble championship...so very timely.) And jacks--that was my favorite summertime activity!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Buffy - there is also a fun MG novel by Stephanie Blake called THE MARBLE QUEEN. Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete

  10. Love Valerie Worth!


    These two lines will stay with me for a bit: "Shoes were not important. Freedom was." <. Childhood should be that!

    Cathy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, Cathy! Some of my best memories don't include shoes. :) THanks for stopping by.

      Delete
  11. Lovely all, but I think jacks is my favorite. I did love that game.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Next time I see you I am totally bringing jacks. We can brush up on our skills. :)

      Delete
  12. I just reviewed the new Jenkins/Worth book, Pug last week Irene. Valerie Worth's poems are so wonderful. She just puts those images into our minds that are true! I especially love the lines about pouring marbles into our hands. I can hear them! Thanks also for the little memories-sweet to hear!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I adore Valerie Worth! thank you for presenting some of her poems here! they are so simple - not a word wasted. I loved collecting marbled too as a kid; not playing marbles but just enjoying them as the little treasures they are.

    ReplyDelete

Your thoughts?