Sunday, March 31, 2013


So I've just been savoring Amy's first book of poems, thinking about how this spare, lovely verse is rich in exactly the same way that the woods are. I especially love thinking about how the forest and its creatures communicate with us -- if only we take the time to look and listen.

Amy writes of this in her poem "Forest News" :

I stop to read
the Forest News
in mud or fallen snow.
Articles are printed
by critters on the go.

Foxes pass.
Deer run through.
Turkeys scratch
for hidden food.
Young raccoons
drink sips of creek.
Mouse and hawk
play hide-and-seek.
Here a possum
climbs a tree trunk
with her child.
And in this place
while people sleep
a rabbit hops.
A housecat creeps.

Scribbled hints
in footprints
tell about the day.
I stop to read
the Forest News
before it's worn away.

- Amy Ludwig VanDerwater

It reminds me of a picture book I loved reading with my boys:

And this book, for adults:

If I had to pick a favorite forest of all the ones I've experienced so far, I'd pick Muir Woods. You can read a poem I wrote about it here (p. 38).

I also love the Alabama woods, but I have this not-so-little problem: I get poison ivy just by breathing it, apparently. NO FUN. But oh, it's gorgeous 'round these parts right now! Azaleas! Dogwoods! Flowering Cherry! And dare I say it: pine pollen. Allergies, anyone?? Sigh. Sometimes it's hard to be human in this world.

Happy almost National Poetry Month! The Progressive Poem will start at Amy's blog tomorrow! Meanwhile, HAPPY EASTER!!


  1. I know your spring has long arrived, Irene. What a lovely group of books, starting with Amy's new one, which is beautifully done. I love The Last Child In The Woods, believe that it's so important to get kids out of doors, playing, hiking, moving... As for the poison ivy, my husband was very allergic too. It is a big problem when one really wants to BE out there! Happy Easter!

  2. Ah, poison ivy. I've had my run-ins with it, too! Still, there's nothing like the woods.

    Amy's book has arrived at my library and is being processed. I hope to get my hands on it soon.

  3. I LOVE this book! Was happy to receive my order and peruse this week. I'll be going back, and back, and back, walking through its forest-filled pages, letting it leave its tracks on me... thanks for featuring, Irene, and congrats again, Amy!

    (Irene - I thought of your 2013 word with the poem, "First Flight" - :0) )

  4. Love Amy's new book - I've rally been enjoying the poems and artwork...and catching her interview, too, which she's posted on FB!


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