Friday, August 12, 2022

Picasso Dog Poem

 Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Margaret at Reflections on the Teche for Roundup.

I'm continuing my ArtSpeak: Animals Picasso mini-series this week with a dog drawing. 

I'm not sure what Picasso intended when he drew this dog, but to me, it looks like a dog vigorously scratching—on the side that we cannot see. (What do YOU see?) Thanks so much for reading. 






dog can't stop

tiny itchy visitors

summer picnic

- Irene Latham

Friday, August 5, 2022

Picasso Cat poem

 

Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Molly at Nix the Comfort Zone for Roundup.

Earlier this week BE A BRIDGE was released! It's the 4th book Charles Waters and I have created together (brought to us by Carolrhoda/Lerner, illustrations by Nabila Adani), all about acceptance and inclusivity, with some really concrete ways even very young kids can practice being a bridge. It's got some fun, useful back matter, too, to extend this topic through activities and a Bridge Builder Pledge. 

We can all be bridge builders!

This week's ArtSpeak: Animals poems begins a new sub-series I'm doing. Recently I spied in an antique shop a framed set of 6 of Picasso's simple line animal drawings. I took a picture, and when I came home, I discovered Picasso did 24 of these! 

I'm excited to write poems for them....starting with this cat. :) Thank you so much for reading.



old cat wakes

stretches snow out of bones

morning prayer


- Irene Latham

Friday, July 29, 2022

If Cows Were Red or Yellow (poem)

 Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Marcie Atkins for Roundup.

A bit of a rough week here in LathamLand, traveling to help my mom through round of chemo, only to have those plans foiled by covid—which has delayed her treatment until next week. In the meantime a series of other unfortunate events, but nothing that can't be overcome. Thanks for your prayers and well wishes...my mom is a trooper!

I decided to write about cows, because my mom LOVES cows. She has a long history with them, not the least of which was her 4-H Grand Champion dairy cow, Penny.

Mary Hedden (16) & Penny

The art I found invites imagination, so I was able to bring in some thoughts/ideas/imaginings I've had lately about the word "someday."

I've always loved the promise of "someday," but recently I read/heard (somewhere) that "someday" is a meaningless word, because there's no real date/time associated with it. It's all pie in the sky, as any future could happen—or not. Which begs the question, what in the world is certain anyway? Not that got my cows making the long walk home!

What are your thoughts/feelings on the word "someday"? 

Here's my poem. Thank you so much for reading.


Someday


cows will be red or yellow
we'll fill our pails with orange milk

escape the swelter, take shelter in a barn
where cool dirt curls between our toes—

remember brown cows, sweet milk?
our together-breath will purple the air

such joy a secret delicious thing
in the land of what may or may not be

- Irene Latham




Friday, July 22, 2022

Camel poem

Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit marvelous Mary Lee at A(nother) Year of Reading for Roundup. 

I'm at a doctor's office this morning—bleh! (Just yearly check-up time, so no worries.) Hope all of you are doing well and surviving the heat. (Another 'bleh!')

This week's ArtSpeak: Animals poem features a camel.

For a long time, I thought camels carried water in their humps. Not true! Also, I didn't know that camels are born without a hump. The hump develops as soon as the came begins to eat solid food. Here's a great list of other camel facts.

I'm drawn to camels for a lot of reasons, not the least of which was the camel ride our family enjoyed (when I was a child) in front of the Great Pyramids in Egypt. "Our" camel was named "Florida"... at least until the next tourist-family came along and told the camel handler where THEY were from. :)

If you'd like a great dive into the mind of a camel, check out ONCE UPON A CAMEL by Kathi Appelt. 

And now here's my poem. I wanted to include facts about the purpose of a camel's hump(s), but in a roundabout apply-it-to-humans way. Thanks so much for reading.



Be a camel when you travel

carry inside you
        a suitcase
packed with provisions—

that way you'll weather
any delays with grace

you won't be distracted
by grit of hunger

your teeth won't chitter
no matter how bitter
the sandswept night

wherever you wander,
whatever your adventure

          you will be filled

- Irene Latham

Friday, July 15, 2022

Daffodil, Crow...and a Poem Grows

 Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Elisabeth at Unexpected Intersections for Roundup.

You're invited to read my brand new post over at Highlights blog on How to Revise Poetry: 20 Questions to Ask. Hope you find it useful!

I've got my head down this week, closing in on a revision of a BIG historical novel, so my mind is full of the puzzle pieces that must fit together just so...

No wonder I wanted to write something short for this week's ArtSpeak: Animals poem.

 Well. You know how challenging the short form can be, right? And with my brain a bowl full of mush, I've had difficulty deciding which effort is the best effort...so I decided to include ALL my efforts here today. :)

Maybe this gives you a bit of a picture of the poetic pathways in my brain, the imaginative leaps, the way I like to play with sounds and images...I think this kind of sharing can be useful for any poet studying the craft—how do we get from idea to poem? For better or for worse, here's this week's path.

Please let me know which version you prefer! (I formatted the last one, since that's where I stopped.) Thanks so much for reading. 

Here's the art I selected:

untitled by Sohrab Sepehri 
(who was also a poet!)

1. 

Hope is a crow
finding a daffodil
in the snow

2.
snow-dusted daffodil
smiles at a passing crow—
hello! hello!

3.
eager daffodil
throws off blanket of snow—
hello crow

4.
daffodil lifts head
from pillow of snow—
hello crow

5.
crow doesn't know
to call it daffodil—
another sudden sun

6.
what we call
daffodil
crow calls hope

7.
Daffodil in Love

She throws off
blanket of snow—
hello crow

8.
trembling daffodil
throws off blanket of snow
hello crow

9.
crow is first
to notice daffodil rising
from snow

10.
crow is first
to notice new sun
climbing out of snow

11.
crow is first
to notice daffodil rising—
snow queen

12.
crow is first
to notice bold bloom
breaking free of snow

13.
crow is first to notice
yellow petals burning
through late winter snow

14.
crow folds its wings
before yellow snow queen—
hello spring



Friday, July 8, 2022

Goldfish Party (poem)

 Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit beautiful Jan at bookseedstudio for Roundup.

Today's ArtSpeak: ANIMALS poem features fish! I wasn't sure if the fish in the art were goldfish or koi—or something else! But the information I found here made me go with "goldfish." 

I've always loved fish ponds and aquariums...this art is my kind of party! Thank you so much for reading.



summer wind

stirs a party of goldfish—

orange confetti


-Irene Latham

Friday, July 1, 2022

Flamingo School of Dance (poem)

 Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Janice at Salt City Verse for Roundup.

I'm traveling today, but I do have an ArtSpeak: Animals poem to share with you. 

This art screams two things to me: "Florida!" And, "summer." 

I had a lot of fun playing with words to write a flamingo-dance poem. Thank you so much for reading!


Flamingo School of Dance


It may take
two to tango

but flamingo
prefers a tangle—

six legs
three long necks
one pool full
of fluffy
feathered skirts—

flamingo
     flamango
            flamenco!

- Irene Latham

Friday, June 24, 2022

Peacock in Love (poem)

 Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Catherine at Reading to the Core for Roundup.

Big news! After a long covid-induced delay, Charles Waters and I will be in-person, teaching a workshop at Highlights October 8-11, 2022 called Poetry for Kids: A World of Publishing Possibilities. We'll be talking about many things, including:

 1) finding your voice in the wide world of children's poetry

 2) revising poetry (one of my most favorite things to teach!)

 3) performing poetry (for school visits, online outlets, and other events)

Please join us for fun, fellowship, learning, and inspiration! Click here to learn more.


Today's ArtSpeak! Animals poem is a love poem. I think love poems are my favorite comfort food! And...we saw a peacock in love recently when we visited Garvan Woodland Gardens in Hot Springs, AR. (If you are in the area, please do not miss it! Acres of gorgeousness!)

As for the peacock in love, his name's George. The photo does NOT do him justice at all! (too shady) 

But Walasse Ting's art does. :) Thank you so much for reading!


Peacock in Love


two eyes aren't enough
so with a gentle rustling
of feathers
he pops open his parasol,
trains a hundred more eyes
on her and her alone

a benediction
bright enough to eclipse
hunger, sickness,
doubt

all his iridescent attention

hers

- Irene Latham

Friday, June 17, 2022

After Sorrow poem

 

Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Michelle Kogan for Roundup.

On the eighth day of kindness, I will give to you...

celebrating next Tuesday's release of THE TWELVE DAYS OF KINDNESS (Penguin Random House, illus. by Junghwa Park) with a series of kindness quotes. Enjoy!


Today's ArtSpeak: Animals features one of my favorites: horses! Thank you so much for reading.


[untitled]

after sorrow
comes a tower
of blue horses

they carry
one crescent
moon
for each thing
you have lost

it's time,
they say
fill your belly
with stars

 - Irene Latham

Friday, June 10, 2022

The First Day of Kindness + Donkey Poem

 

Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Buffy Silverman for Roundup. 

So...exciting news! I've been named an Alabama State Council on the Arts Literary Fellow for 2022!

You guys, I have applied for this fellowship many, many times over the past decade. In fact, I looked it up, and this was my 9th time to apply. Wanna hear the story?

The very first year I got a "close by no cigar" note from the director. I thought for sure I'd get it the next year. I didn't. Or the next or the next...

A few years in, I said, forget this, I'm never going to get it. I didn't apply that year. 

Lo and behold, one of the program directors Anne Kimsey invited me to instead sit on the panel to review submissions. She knew I'd learn a lot! And I did. 

I thought, oh I'll get it next year for sure! NOPE. I didn't get it that year. Or the next or the next. 

But one of the main reasons I kept on submitting is because I read a study that found men are more likely to get literary awards not because they're better (duh) but because they keep submitting. Women, it turns out, are much more likely to give up MUCH sooner than men. 

So I decided: I'm not going to be one of those women. 

And I gotta tell you, this year I had SO MUCH on my plate come submission time I really didn't want to make it a priority. But I did. And I'm so glad.

So: here's my message to all my Poetry Friday (women!) friends: don't be one of those women who throws in the towel too soon. KEEP GOING. 

In other news, and on the same theme... I have a new picture book releasing this month: The Twelve Days of Kindness (Penguin Random House) with illustrations by Junghwa Park.

I wrote (and sold) this book 6 1/2 years ago...which wins the "longest time between sale and publication" award for any of my books so far. The book came to be because of a series of kindness quotes I shared in the days leading up to Christmas 2015. I just knew there was a way to adapt "The Twelve Days of Christmas" song to a picture book about kindness! 

Fun news: the audio version of the book features a spoken and a sung version of the book, which I absolutely love... and know families and groups are going to have so much fun with!

The book might not have happened without a little help from my local SCBWI critique group. Big thanks especially to Claudia Pearson who helped me tweak the "first day of kindness" verse, which of course is everything, because it repeats twelve times!

Anyway, since then there have been about a billion kindness books! Which is great, because what better message is there to share with kids of all ages?

As a way to celebrate, I'll be sharing on social media over the next 12 days those quotes from my original blog series. Here's the first:


And now switching to ArtSpeak: ANIMALS.

A dear friend of mine collects donkeys, so I am always on the hunt as I visit antique stores, thrift shops, and yard sales. Surely that's why I couldn't resist writing a poem about this donkey art! Thanks so much for reading.


Donkey Frieze

So many donkeys

parading a pasture

can't be wrong:

the sky is not falling;

no disaster awaits.

Today is simply—today.

Kick up your heels,

graze with soft eyes.

Joy nuzzles

as often as it brays.

- Irene Latham



Friday, June 3, 2022

Swan Poem

 Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Karen Edmisten* for Roundup.

It's June! How can that be? I always think of June as wedding season, although I've actually not been to many June weddings—and Paul and I were married in April. But someone's getting married in June, yes?

That's why today's ArtSpeak: ANIMALS poem features some wedding imagery. Thank you so much for reading!




Swans


The bride arrives
dressed in silk feathers
and wedding lace

promises to love
and cherish the pond
forever—

or at least as long
as summer surrounds
her with admirers,

swaddles her
in warm gurgles
and ripples of light.

- Irene Latham

p.s. For more swans, try "The Swan" by Mary Oliver. 

Who doesn't remember Summer of the Swans by Betsy Byars? (I still have my childhood copy!)

And one of the most beautiful pieces of music ever: "The Swan" by Camille Saint-Saens, performed by Yo-Yo Ma and Kathryn Stott.




Friday, May 27, 2022

Frog Haiku

 Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit lovely Linda at A Word Edgewise for Roundup.

It's been a rough week in the news. My heart is with all those families in Uvalde, and with all of you. There are no words.

Meanwhile, rain blows over, flowers bloom. Memorial Day weekend marks the start of lake season—hurray! And that's got me thinking about frogs.

And thinking about frogs got me thinking about haiku. Perhaps you've read Basho's oft-translated frog poem... Seriously. So. Many. Translations! You can read many here.

Here's the one I see most often, translated by Robert Haas:

The old pond —
a frog jumps in,
sound of water.

Beautiful, yes? 

I also love Kermit the Frog's "It's Not Easy Being Green."


And then I found this gorgeous art in my ArtSpeak: ANIMALS file, and voila! A frog poem! Thank you so much for reading.



pond shrinks to puddle

mud cracks—still

five frogs sing


- Irene Latham

Friday, May 20, 2022

Sheep in the Snow Poem

 Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Carmela at Teaching Authors for Roundup.

I'm on a just-me writing retreat all week, so I've actually prepared this poem ahead of time. And to continue the "out of time" theme, I've got a snow poem... I know! But I am told by a Montana friend that she has seen snow fall every month of the year.  (Ultimately the poem is about faith, so why not snow?) Thank you so much for reading!


Sheep in Snow

What is this wet
mess?
Where did
the green go?
Shall we follow
these trails,
leap these rails?

Wait—sun always
comes back.
Surely pasture
will, too—
I believe in light.
Just look
at all this bright!

- Irene Latham

Friday, May 13, 2022

Butterfly Poem

 

Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Rose at Imagine the Possibilities for Roundup. 

I'm on the road today, heading for Murfreesboro, TN, where tomorrow I'll be part of the Southern Kid Literary Festival. I can't wait to share D-39 and The Cat Man of Aleppo with 3rd-5th graders! And...I get to hang out with my mom and the Tennessee contingent of my family. YAY!

I'll leave you with an ArtSpeak: Animals spring-y butterfly poem. Since the collective noun for sharks (shiver) was so well received last week, I decided to include one of the collective nouns for butterflies. Thank you so much for reading.





Meadow Kaleidoscope

A hundred butterflies
arrive

find flower-dish
after delicious flower-
dish—

O sippety-slurp!—

enough for you and you
and you!

What is spring,
but a smorgasbord

of wishes
come         true?

Friday, May 6, 2022

Shark Poem

 Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Indulge in ALL the deliciousness over at Jama's Alphabet Soup

I've got sharks on my mind. And when I found Utagawa Kuniyoshi's gorgeous piece of art, I knew I needed to write a shark poem this week. 


But before we get to that... have you had a chance to read ZOOBILATIONS! by Douglas Florian? It's full of animals and puns and art kids will be able to relate to. There's humor, of course, and some lovely surprises, like "The Dove," which is two lines of wonderment. Get the book and tell me you agree. :)

As for my ArtSpeak: ANIMALS poem, you'll notice the formatting looks different on the graphic than in the body of this post. I wanted to shape this poem like a tornado, but there wasn't room for it on the graphic! So...I tried an alternate formatting for the graphic. (Isn't poetry fun??) Thank you so much for reading!





When a shiver of sharks rise from the deep


you forget for a moment

fins tail teeth—


so graceful

so sleek!


They are one

gray tornado

aswirl

in a world

deeper

than blue.


- Irene Latham

Friday, April 29, 2022

Why Grasshopper Wants to Meet the Moon (poem)

Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Jone Rush MacCulloch for our last Roundup of National Poetry Month. (It flew by, didn't it??)

Today's ArtSpeak: Animals poem features a grasshopper! I wrote quite a few drafts for this one, with different angles and ideas... and along the way, I did a little research. One thing I learned is that grasshoppers have existed longer than the dinosaurs! Here are the particulars:

" Modern-day grasshoppers descend from ancient ancestors that lived long before dinosaurs roamed the Earth. The fossil record shows that primitive grasshoppers first appeared during the Carboniferous period, more than 300 million years ago. Most ancient grasshoppers are preserved as fossils, although grasshopper nymphs (the second stage in the grasshopper lifestyle after the initial egg phase) are occasionally found in amber."

 You can read the whole article at Thought Co.

And here's my poem! (Sadly, their dino-history didn't make it into this version of the poem.) Thanks so much for reading.


Why Grasshopper Wants to Meet the Moon


Sunhopper knows

afternoon

will be over soon—


one must leap,

reach


h a n g  on—


for sky is where

dreams bloom.


- Irene Latham

Friday, April 22, 2022

I followed a little cat one day (poem)

 Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Margaret at Reflections on the Teche for Roundup.

Spring has most certainly sprung in these parts! I love this time of year for many reasons, not the least of which is arts & craft fairs. This weekend I'm daytripping to three such occasions...yay!

Earlier this week I presented with Karim Shamsi-Basha at University of Montevallo about The Cat Man of Aleppo. Huge thanks to all you fabulous folks at Montevallo!!

(l-r) Carey Heatherly, Irene Latham,
Karim Shamsi-Basha, Sheila Brandt

Which may explain why this week's ArtSpeak: Animals features a cat poem. Our beloved Maggie is 12 years old now. What a sweet friend she is! In fact, she helped me with this poem. Thank you so much for reading.



I followed a little cat one day

I crouched
          pounced
yowled and scatted.
I chased my own tail.
Later, I puddled
in a circle of sunshine.
I bathed with July eyes
and an August tongue.
I   s tr e t c h e d—
all the way to next year.
I learned claws
are for sharpening,
string for tangling.
A box is a beginning,
and a purr?
Now this little cat
knows a purr
is the cure
for just about anything.

Purrrrrrr.

- Irene Latham


Friday, April 15, 2022

On Parrots and Friendship (poem)

 

Hello and Happy National Poetry Month! Be sure to visit Matt at Radio, Rhythm, & Rhyme for Roundup.

Happy almost Easter! On this Good Friday I'm out gallivanting with my Garden Girls, but I do have a poem...and a pic of me and the sweetest, fluffiest Angora rabbit you ever did see. Holding it, I felt like I was 8 years old again. :)

Today's ArtSpeak: Animals poem features parrots. Don't you love those across-the-decades friendships where you can instantly dive in with honesty and vulnerability? Today's poem is about that.



Two Parrots Take a Walk Together in Spring


While songbirds patter about sky and rain,
parrots promenade like twin kings.

Old friends, they chatter about the beauty
the season brings—

Bees, wide-awake petals;
heat, and tender new wings.

Never enough time, so they're quick
to say the important things—

You are the cure for winter.
When we're together, my spirit sings.

- Irene Latham

Friday, April 8, 2022

On Indecision (and Zebras!)

 Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Janice at Salt City Verse for Roundup.

Our community is simply bursting with poetic goodness this month, isn't it? So lovely.

My ArtSpeak: Animals poem today features a zebra. 

I have attempted to write on this particular piece of art several times so far this year, and it just wasn't working!  

Today's effort has an emotional focus—about something I struggle with in real life! I'm a fence-stradler, a Pisces (fish swimming in opposite directions)...I can most often see both sides of a situation. Do I have to choose? Can't I have BOTH? Sigh. And so...this poem. Thank you so much for reading.

Indecision


Sometimes

my zebra heart

doesn't know



when to

         Giddyup!



and when to


             Whoa.


- Irene Latham

----

Long-time readers may remember I had another zebra poem in my debut poetry book for kids (way back in 2014!) DEAR WANDERING WILDEBEEST: And Other Poems From the Water Hole.

It features that quality among zebra herds in which the zebras work as a team. The whole herd starts moving about so that predators can't tell where one zebra begins and the other ends! 


 If you're one of those writing a poem a day this month, what a gift you're giving yourself and the world. KEEP GOING!!! xo

Friday, April 1, 2022

National Poetry Month Begins!

Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Heidi at my juicy little universe for Roundup. Yay for the start of National Poetry Month, too.

In case you missed it, Tuesday 2-Minute Writing Tip #20 is about "How to Live Your Poem." What better time than National Poetry Month to share the wisdom and guidance poetry can provide? To hear some of the lines that inspire me, check out the (short!) video on youtube.

AND... I am away from my desk today, but I do have the first line of our Progressive Poem for you!


It's not an original-by-me line. Instead I lifted a line from one of my most favorite books ever: THE IMAGINARIES: Little Scraps of Larger Stories by Emily Winfield Martin. All the lines (and art) in this book were meant to inspire new projects... so, voila!





2022 Progressive Poem

Where they were going, there were no maps.

---

I can't wait to see what happens next! You can follow along with this schedule. Thanks so much to Margaret for organizing and creating the beautiful graphic!

1 April 1 Irene at Live Your Poem

2 Donna Smith at Mainly Write
3 Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core
4 Mary Lee at A(nother) Year of Reading
5 Buffy at Buffy Silverman
6 Molly at Nix the Comfort Zone
7 Kim Johnson at Common Threads
8 Rose Cappelli at Imagine the Possibilities
9 Carol Varsalona at Beyond Literacy Link
10 Linda Baie at Teacher Dance
11 Janet Fagel at Reflections on the Teche
12 Jone at Jone Rush MacCulloch
13 Karin Fisher-Golton at Still in Awe
14 Denise Krebs at Dare to Care
15 Carol Labuzzetta @ The Apples in my Orchard
16 Heidi Mordhorst at My Juicy Little Universe
17 Ruth at There is no such thing as a God-forsaken Town
18 Patricia at Reverie
19 Christie at Wondering and Wandering
20 Robyn Hood Black at Life on the Deckle Edge
21 Kevin at Dog Trax
22 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche
23 Leigh Anne at A Day in the Life
24 Marcie Atkins
25 Marilyn Garcia
26 JoAnn Early Macken
27 Janice at Salt City Verse
28 Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference
29 Karen Eastlund at Karen’s Got a Blog
30 Michelle Kogan Painting, Illustration, & Writing

and now, the latest poem in my Artspeak: Animals adventure! Today I have a(nother) tiger for you. Thank you so much for reading.


Tiger Talk Triolet

When a tiger's tail begins to flick
she's roaring with her muscles:
Go away, quick!
When a tiger's tail begins to flick,
giving her space is the trick.
Notice how your heart rustles
when a tiger's tail begins to flick?
Tiger's not the only one roaring with her muscles.

- Irene Latham

Friday, March 25, 2022

Empathy Has Long Ears (poem)

 Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Amy at The Poem Farm for Roundup. Amy has a new book If This Bird Had Pockets that I haven't read yet, but am very much looking forward to!

It's always exciting to read books written by those in our community. This week it was my delight to read two: What Snail Knows by Kathryn Apel and Hidden Powers: Lise Meitner's Call to Science by Jeannine Atkins.

Both are verse novels. Both feature girls who are shy and who bust through limitations to achieve important things.

In What Snail Knows, I instantly related to in-her-shell, always-moving Lucy. I also felt like I knew her don't-need-anyone dad. And I LOVED how playful Kat was with language and shape in the poems! (In the very first poem there's text in the shape of a number 2! (There's also a car-shaped poem, and a snail-shaped one... AND then there's wordplay, like this poem, which happens when the class is helping the environment by participating in an organized catch of an invasive toad species:


We Loop

We group.

    We troop.

        We swoop.

              We scoop.

                  We whoop!


We nab a knot

          ( a lot!)

of toads.

- Kathryn Apel

Yes, a group of toads is called a knot! (New to me -- I love learning things in books!)

This book reminded me of what's possible for our young age 6-7 readers. Lovely! Don't miss it!

Turning now to Hidden Powers. As a book collaborator, I was drawn to Lise and her collaboration with Otto...and how they hang out with Einstein and the Curies. The story behind the discovery and development of the atomic bomb is fascinating. And Jeannine is brilliant at painting her characters as real, full-fleshed out individuals. And this book really shows the struggle women experience, particularly in male-dominated fields. I always enjoy Jeannine's fresh, beautiful figurative language, like:

"She runs her hand over her mother's hair,

wrinkled and gray like a lake in a storm."


Jeannine reminds us the power of verbs in poetry, like here:

"Lise crushes the newspaper, tosses it into the hearth.

The paper flares, darkens, and shivers into ash."


and Jeannine shows us the elegance and emotional truth that poetry offers:

"She won't wish that she didn't discover

what she discovered. But she wishes everyone

would try to see as if by the light of two candles:

one calling to witness, one to remember."


Thanks to both for these beautiful books!

Gratitude also to Saemi for including Live Your Poem alongside some other wonderful poetry blogs for children. View the post of recommendations on Twinkl!

---

For today's ArtSpeak: Animals poem, I decided to go with a rabbit! (Hoppy Spring!) It took me a while to find the character trait I wanted to use for the metaphor, but when I did, if felt just-right. I love when that happens. :) Thanks so much for reading.



Empathy Has Long Ears

always soft,
mapped

with veins
of understanding

both radar
and weathervane

listening
signaling

I'm here
I hear you


you
are the song
I sing

- Irene Latham