Friday, April 11, 2014

Poets on Poetry: PAUL B. JANECZKO

Hello, and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Michelle at Today's Little Ditty for Roundup. Wow, has National Poetry Month been awesome, or what? Our Progressive Poem continues to progress... please visit Linda at Write Time to see where we are!

In celebration of National Poetry Month, I will be sharing in each post during April a favorite quote from a favorite poet on poetry. Enjoy!

"A good poem is like a booster shot of human kindness. We need more of that. I think that's the
'so what' of poetry." - Paul Janeckzo

Complete interview by Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect.

It was my great pleasure this week to pick up FIREFLY JULY: A Year of Very Short Poems selected by Paul B. Janeczko with illustrations by Melissa Sweet. I love that there are poems from both children's poets and adult poems, contemporary poets and not contemporary ones. None of the poems has more than ten lines, and the title poem is by J. Patrick Lewis. Really, really lovely.

I offer you one poem for each season:


for fish heads

- X.J. Kennedy



Sandpipers run with
their needle beaks digging -- they're
hemming the ocean.

- April Halprin Wayland


What is it the wind has lost
that she keeps looking for
under each leaf?

- Jim Harrison and Ted Kooser


A wild winter wind
Is tearing itself to shreds
On barbed-wire fences.

- Richard Wright


  1. Those poems are fantastic, every one!
    Your quote reminds me of the poem "Reading Myth to Kindergartners" by Jackie Bartley (

  2. I just reviewed this earlier, too, Irene. It is a wonderful book, now off to our library! I adore April's poem, that hemming in. I think we have nearly all of Paul Janeckzo's anthologies, so filled with beautiful poems. Thanks for sharing, love hearing you, too!

  3. These are just fantastic. I will definitely need to add this book to my collection.

  4. Geez, I was reading these poems expecting to find a favorite, yet each one sang out to me in a personal and powerful way. That's pretty darn incredible.

  5. love love love these selections. Wonderful metaphor by April Halprin Wayland!

  6. Such a gorgeous book! I love the idea of the wind searching for something under the leaves.

  7. Ordered it and Amazon tells me it will be here this week. Thanks! Just in time to finish out poetry month.

  8. Thanks for sharing these, Irene! I told Paul I can't wait to pick up a really sounds great!

  9. I have been finding so much about this book and love that you shared the poems from each season. Can't wait to read it myself!! I have been put on a poetry book died by my husband who (correctly) points out that I have no more room for poetry books, but honestly. I think he is wrong. I just need more bookcases in nooks and crannies around my house!
    Janet F.

  10. I love short poems so I pre-ordered this book. Many wonderful selections are included for each season!

  11. This book is sitting on my kitchen table waiting for me to stop having to WRITE so many poems so that I can READ some!

  12. So much love for Firefly July! I really have to find this poetry book very soon. I love Paul Janeczko's poetry and am a fan of Melissa Sweet's illustrations too. What a pair indeed! I love the poem about fall:

    "What is it the wind has lost
    that she keeps looking for
    under each leaf?"

    - beautiful.

  13. I haven't gotten my copy yet...thanks for reviewing it, Irene, and THANKS for including my poem! <3 (That poem was originally published in Cricket Magazine a gazillion years ago...)


Your thoughts?