Thursday, November 29, 2012


As part of my Cybils panelist responsibilities, I've been reading Julie Andrews' TREASURY FOR ALL SEASONS: Poems and Songs to Celebrate the Year.

Generally I am not in favor of "celebrity" books, because they hog the media attention and publisher's marketing dollars, and the masses buy them simply because they're familiar, and the not-yet-famous, perhaps never-to-be-famous have an even more difficult time finding readers for their oh so beautiful books....

But. This one has such cheerful illustrations and so many lovely poems, and I like the way it is organized first, by month, then with special sections for "other celebrations & special occasions." And hello, there's song lyrics. Some of the best poetry EVER is found in songs, so I especially appreciate its inclusion here.

My favorite? Yep, a song. Lyrics and music by Fred Ebb and Jon Kander, from the section in the book titled "Coming of Age/Rites of Passage"

A Quiet Thing

When it comes all true,
Just the way you planned,
It's funny, but the bells don't ring.
It's a quiet thing.
When you hold the world
In your trembling hand,
You'd think you'd hear a choir sing.
It's a quiet thing.
There are no exploding fireworks
Where's the roaring crowds?
Maybe it's the strange new atmosphere,
'Way up here among the clouds.
But I don't hear the drums,
I don't hear the band,
The sounds I'm told such moments bring,
Happiness comes in on tiptoe.
Well, whatd'ya know!
It's a quiet thing,
A very quiet thing.

Listen to Eileen Farrell singing it on youtube!

And, because I've been wanting to share them, and Julie Andrews brings them to mind, here are a few of my favorite recent things, all somehow related to the release of DON'T FEED THE BOY:

"elephant" quilt from Pat

Framed signatures & messages from friends
and readers and loved ones who came to book release events

"Whit" doll from Phyllis

...and here's Whit with Ludelphia, the heroine
from LEAVING GEE'S BEND (also a gift, and one
of my favorite things). Don't the look cute together?!

Wishing everyone a happy Poetry Friday! Roundup is with one of my favorite poets Amy at The Poem Farm.


  1. I almost wrote about songs as poetry today too, Irene! I heard an interview with Leslie Caron on NPR today, & it brought back old memories of her movies with Fred Astaire and all the others. I love the song you shared, have never heard it I don't think. Isn't that sweet about the quiet thing-how true that there is often no large fanfare, just quiet. Your dolls from your books are precious-what thoughtful gifts for you!

  2. Great post, Irene. My kids and I have enjoyed Julie Andrews' books, especially "Little Bo." I imagine this poem would speak to kids who are a little quieter and self-reflective. So much attention at school goes to children who have big, confident personalities. Poetry can reach the deep, still water kids. The dolls are so sweet -- thanks for sharing those photos.

  3. Ooh, I sang "A Quiet Thing" in my musical theatre class, from FLORA, THE RED MENACE. It's a lovely song (Liza Minelli is the original singer, as K&E wrote many songs/musicals for her). Kander and Ebb are one of my favorite duos - CABARET, FUNNY LADY, CHICAGO, etc. So great to see lyrics celebrated as poetry!

    I love all your goodies, too. Those dolls are adorable!

  4. Beautiful post, Irene - thanks for sharing, and for sharing your thoughts about this anthology. I feel the same way about celebrity books, but I've always loved Julie Andrews, so it's great to know hers is full of goodness.

    LOVE the Whit doll with Ludelphia, and that wonderful quilt Pat made!

  5. Aren't you lucky, to have such beautiful favorite things?! I like "A Quiet Thing" very much and will send it to my oldest. Thanks, Irene!

  6. "A Quiet Thing" is lovely -- as are all your special treasures. Good to know this particular anthology passes muster despite its celebrity status.

  7. I didn't remember this song until I heard it so thanks for posting that connection as well. I love using songs to teach poetry and will be adding this one to my list.

  8. That does look like a lovely anthology, and thank you for sharing some of your favorite things!

  9. She's in town soon for a book signing - can't wait!

  10. "Happiness comes in on tiptoe." Oh.....
    Thank you for this post, Irene. I bought this book at NCTE and now am inspired to finally open it up, quietly, on tiptoe.
    It was a delight to meet you, and I so hope that we will have more time together next time! xo, a.

  11. What a beautiful song/poem. I've never heard it before, but I do like it, especially that tiptoe line. Love those special things. What sweet gifts.


Your thoughts?