The theme for today is MISSING. That's because lovely Linda Baie sent me a Summer Poem Swap poem by the same title, which I will share shortly.
But first, I want to share a little Insider Information about a poem missing from my new book DEAR WANDERING WILDEBEEST And Other Poems from the Water Hole, coming September 1. Thanks to the amazing Poetry Friday community for your enthusiasm for the book... I am excited to be visiting a number of blogs (with giveaways!) in the coming weeks.
When Millbrook Press acquired the manuscript, there were two elephant poems... the keeper, "Dust Bath at Dusk" appears in the book and illustrator Anna Wadham beautifully used the spread to move the book from the daylight hours to the nighttime ones.
Which leaves the missing elephant poem: "Elephant Digs for Salt."
There were some problems with the poem, not the least of which was the fact that it featured the animal as a worker... and I'd already done that in "Dung Beetle at Work." Also, there was a little problem of the introduction of humans in the poem -- when none of the other poems included humans. AND, some other problems you'll probably spot right away.
So....since we already had an elephant poem anyway, we decided that instead of revising, it was probably best to simply eliminate. Here it is:
Elephant Digs for Salt
Tusks are picks
at this excavation site—
Elephant carves tunnels
to get the nutrients right.
with such expensive tools –
poachers still hunt the ivory,
even though it’s against the rules.
no need for dynamite.
With such power and diligence
it soon satisfies its appetite.
- Irene Latham
And now for Linda's poem! I cannot tell you how this poem made my day. Both the topic, the text, and the presentation. LOVE. Thank you again and again, Linda. Here it is:
All That's Missing
by Linda Baie
Missing: hydrogen molecules two:
without them there wouldn't be
a wishy-washy, splishy-splashy
water world for you and me.
Missing: a hen with no clutch of eggs;
without them, she'd only scratch,
clucking around the chicken pen
to find chicks that didn't hatch.
Missing: the sun that will not set;
all would work, still thinking it's day.
Without our evenings, we'd have no rest
and miss lovely time to play.
Missing: the yeast that chemically boosts;
without it, there would be an outcry
for soft rolls or slices, bagels and buns.
T'would be such a sad goodbye.
Missing: those words that make poetry hum;
without them, our lives would be less.
We'd live with just prose on our pages,
no rhymes for us to possess.
Please go find those molecules two;
I'll bring eggs and yeast that we lack.
Call back the sun and create the words.
sigh, relief, we have our world back!
Thank you, Linda! My favorite is still the hen with the missing eggs. Poor hen! :)
And now for Roundup!! Please leave your link below!
Hi Irene- I already have my copy of DEAR WANDERING WILDEBEEST! I can't wait to share it with my students in the coming weeks. Your "missing" elephant poem is fantastic! Linda's poem is also wonderful. Oh, that poor hen!ReplyDelete
I'm in today with an interview with the very talented Heidi Bee Roemer at http://lindakulp.blogspot.com/. Have a great weekend!
Hi, Irene. I'm SO looking forward to your book. I agree with Linda. Long live the elephant poem! With so many elephants being killed for their ivory, I love how you showed that tusks have a purpose for the elephant. They're not just ornamental.ReplyDelete
Thank you for noticing that, Laura! Unfortunately poaching is still a reality. Thanks for visiting!Delete
These are beautiful! I love your elephant poem--they are such graceful creatures. And I love hearing the back stories of the editing/cutting process. Linda's poem is so melancholy and lovely...missing...that would make a great poem prompt for teens!ReplyDelete
I'm at http://www.laurasalas.com/blog/for-teachers/pf-goodbye-hello/ with a poem in Highlights this month!
Laura, you are so right about Linda's poem, and yes, what a great prompt! I also love you describing elephants as "graceful." They are! Congrats on your Highlights poem.Delete
Nothing is missing in your awesomeness, Irene! Fabulous poetry from both you and Linda! Plus your super-hero-save-the-Poetry Friday is greatly appreciated.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Bridget! I love Linda's poem so much. And you know, Robyn inspires superheroism, doesn't she? xoDelete
Thanks for hosting and sharing more of your book. I'm exciting to get my hands on a copy!ReplyDelete
aww, thank you, Keri. I hope you enjoy your visit to the water hole. :)Delete
How nice of you to pinch-hit for Robyn, Irene. What a treat to read the elephant poem that was left on the cutting room floor-- it's kind of like a bonus track! Linda's poem is a treat as well-- especially love the presentation. But the best treat of all is looking forward to a whole month of featuring that beautiful book of yours!ReplyDelete
A bonus track! I like it. :) Thank you for visiting and for featuring WILDEBEEST at your blog. I appreciate you! xoDelete
I'm glad to be back after my summer blog break -- and happy to see the other elephant poem (elephants are my favorite of all the safari animals). Love your book!
Linda's poem is wonderful -- such a novel idea and as you said, a great presentation (the yeast stanza is my favorite). :)
This week I'm sharing an interview with Burleigh Muten about her verse novel, MISS EMILY (my link will go live at 6 a.m. EDT Friday).
Thanks so much for pinch hosting for Robyn!
Ooh, I have been wanting to read MISS EMILY ever since I heard Jeannine talking about it! And why doesn't it surprise me you like the yeast?? :) Thanks for stopping by. xoDelete
Irene, I love how the delicious verbs in your elephant poem mimic the shape of tusks. And what fun Linda must have had choosing what should go missing in her poem! Thank you for standing in for Robyn whose mother wing is injured! I'm sharing a Philip Booth poem that celebrates Maine and Andrew Wyeth at Musings www.joyceray.blogspot.comReplyDelete
Joyce, you are so right when you describe Robyn's "mother wing." She mothers so many, not just her kids! She would have swooped in for any one of us. And thank you for mentioning the verbs. Verbs are such an important tool for poets, aren't they?? Thanks for visiting. xoDelete
I agree with Jama--the yeast stanza! I will write up an order card for Wildebeest. You'll be in at least one NH library, but I guarantee there will be a whole lot more!ReplyDelete
Oops, my comment disappeared! Thank you for visiting, Diane, and for bringing the water hole to NH. :) I love Linda's yeast stanza too! xoDelete
I love both the poems, Irene. Perhaps the one left out will be for another book about 'saving grace'. The illustration is lovely & I didn't know about the dust baths as sunscreen. Animal lives are just amazing. And thank you for such a nice showing of my poem; I loved writing it for you! I'll be back with my post, highlighting my final poem swap, from Robyn! Thanks for being our host today for her.ReplyDelete
Saving Grace! I love it. I have binders and binders of those. :) Thank you again for my Missing poem... love so much! And look forward to reading Robyn's poem. xoDelete
I shared Linda's poem to me as well. Love the stanza about the missing words in poetry. Thanks for hosting. Apologies if this a duplicate comment.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Jone, for stopping by! xoDelete
Loved all three of these, but especially the first elephant poem...great use of rhyme and enjambment within the structure!ReplyDelete
Thank you, Matt -- elephants inspire enjambment, don't they? :) Happy day to you!Delete
Thanks for pinched-nerve hitting! (sorry for the pun, Robyn!!)ReplyDelete
I discovered a Growth Mindset poem...by Emily DIckinson! Happy First Friday of the School Year! http://readingyear.blogspot.com/2014/08/poetry-friday-so-much-joy.html
Ha! Robyn is with us in spirit, isn't she?? :) I'm excited to read your post, Mary Lee. Appreciate your help getting the word out about the switcheroo this week. xoDelete
Irene! So nice to see you--you look lovely, as always! Thank you, Joyce, for pointing out the shape of the tusks--it's a wonderful poem and an alluring form. I vote for an all-elephant poetry book! And Linda's poem would be a great jumping off prompt for other Missing poems. Thanks for hosting!ReplyDelete
I had one teeny tiny problem in posting my link: it's not clear that I'm with TeachingAuthors...is there anyway to make that clear?
In any case, thanks for jumping in while Robyn's on the mend <3
April, nice to see you too! : ) I will see if I can amend your link. Love to you friend! xoDelete
Thanks for stepping up to the plate for us, Irene, so that PF doesn't have to go missing! I love both poems, your elephant one and Linda's "Missing" with its wonderfully unique viewpoint.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Violet, for stopping by! I love Linda's poem too. Unexpectedness is one of my favorite things in poetry, and she brings it!Delete
Thanks for hosting, Irene. I've been in hiding (aka busy) for weeks and weeks. But I had to give the moon its due this week on Poetry Friday, with a poem called "Back Yard" by Carl Sandburg. URL is http://julielarios.blogspot.com/2014/08/poetry-friday-all-moonmad-again.htmlReplyDelete
Hi Julie - I can relate to your hiding (busy). :) Thanks for stopping in!Delete
Thanks for taking over today. I was sorry to hear about Robyn's injury. I wish you could've included the Elephant poem. I see the values in it. The form especially.ReplyDelete
The poetry swap is special. I love receiving gifts of poems in the mail.
Yes, Margaret, the Poem Swap IS very special! It has been a bright spot in my summer for sure (both writing and receiving!). Thanks for being a part of it! xoDelete
Thanks for hosting, Irene! I'm excited to see WILDEBEEST and share it with kids. When I do, I will come here so they can hear you reading your poetry. What a treat!ReplyDelete
I'm in with some back to school poems. http://carolwscorner.blogspot.com/2014/08/this-is-our-first-official-week-back-to.html
Thank you, Carol, for sharing in the WILDEBEEST excitement. And yay for back to school!! I appreciate you stopping by. xoDelete
Many thanks to you today, Irene...for the poems you shared here, for hosting, for allowing me to share your poem on my blog, and for giving me that poem in the first place! xo, T.ReplyDelete
Tabatha, thank YOU again and again! What joy you bring to all of us. xoDelete
My favorite stanza of your poem: Elephant pokes/digs/rubs/with such expensive tools –/poachers still hunt the ivory,/even though it’s against the rules.ReplyDelete
I appreciate you explaining why it didn't fit into your book. It can be hard to "kill our darlings."
I can't pick a favorite part of Linda's poem. I thought it was the water stanza, but it has to be the poetry one, right?
I know! The poetry stanza is great... anything that has to do with WORDS... thanks for your thoughts on the elephant poem!Delete
Irene! It's been so long! I am thrilled for you and your WILDEBEEST and can't wait to get my hands on it. It looks just beautiful - those colors! Let me know if you'd like to do a video for it. :)ReplyDelete
Thank you for sharing "the one that got away" and teaching me so much about elephants. You're such an elegant writer. Lovely. And Linda Baie and her work are a treasure. Wonderful post all around -- two trunks up!
Two trunks up. :) Oh, Renee you always make me smile! Thank you. I appreciate the video offer and would love to do it! Thanks for visiting. xoDelete
Thanks so much for hosting, Irene. I love both of your elephant poems, and agree with Tabbatha's choice for favorite stanza. These lines from Linda's poem, "wishy-washy, splishy-splashy/water world for you and me" make me want to go dive in the pool!ReplyDelete
Oh, I had the same reaction to wishy-washy splishy-splashy. :) Pool party, anyone? Thank you so much for stopping by!Delete
Congrats on your new book! I was so excited to see it finally appear in the searches from my public library this week, so I was able to already get on this list (though I suspect this one will be a classroom Must Have)! Thanks for helping out with the round up and for peeling back the curtain for a little of a "behind the scenes peek" about the book and the poem choices. Cool!ReplyDelete
Thank you, Katie -- I hope you enjoy your visit to the water hole. I learned so much through the process of this book... will share more in the coming weeks. xoDelete
Thank you for filling in, Irene! I loved hearing you read "Dust Bath at Dusk" with its rich details and internal rhyme. Linda's poem certainly fits the theme!ReplyDelete
JoAnn, thank you so much for listening! It was a fun poem to write. And I am completely enamored of the "missing" theme. You might have noticed. :) thanks for visiting!Delete
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Thanks for hosting, Irene. I can't wait to share your new book on my blog!ReplyDelete
Thank you Anastasia. Here's to a happy Poetry Friday! xoDelete
Dear Wandering Irene, Thank you for staying put and and rounding up all of these wonderful offerings since I became suddenly out of commission - not just helping to find someone, but taking it on yourself and getting the word out! Thanks too for sharing your elephant poems and Linda's ever-fresh poetic take on life!ReplyDelete
I appreciate you more than you know; we all do! (Yesterday I had a session with a neuromuscular massage therapist/PT. Mixes of "ahhh" and "ouch" and other colorful vocab. Should be back among living soon.) Many, many thanks xo
Aah and ouch... I know that scene too well. :) I know you must really have been ailing to even suggest a replacement... so happy it worked out that I could help. Love you!Delete
Thanks for hosting! Have a great weekend, everyone!ReplyDelete
And Happy Poetry Friday to you! Thanks for visiting. xoDelete
Thanks for doing the roundup this week!ReplyDelete
Over at Flowers for Socrates, I've got some of my original fractured nursery rhymes.
oooh... fractured nursery rhymes... I am excited to read! Thanks for stopping by!Delete
Thanks for subbing/hosting! I love everything about what's Missing this week. :)ReplyDelete
I'm in with Hours by Hazel Hall, and so happy I discovered her via poets.org.
Hmmm. A new-to-me poet... I love how this community educates me. Thank you, Karen!Delete
Irene, thank you for hosting Poetry Friday this week and for a peak into your 1st book for children. Congratulations! An interesting line that I think children will enjoy is "trunks become dust hoses."ReplyDelete
Thank you, Carol! Yes, those elephants are regular vacuum cleaners that go on to SPEW... :) Thanks for visiting!Delete
Love both your elephant poems, Irene--the one in the book and the one that got away (which is dynamite in my opinion--gave me a whole new picture of elephants!)ReplyDelete
Thank you, Buffy... those elephants are pretty amazing, aren't they? Thank you for your kind words. xoReplyDelete
Thanks for hosting in a pinch. It was fun to get my weekly poetry pick-me-up.ReplyDelete
Hi, Irene, you know how much I love DEAR WANDERING WILDEBEEST! Congrats on its growing success. And thanks so much for jumping in to host Poetry Friday today.ReplyDelete
Thanks for hosting today, Irene. I'm looking forward to adding your lovely book to my classroom library, and sharing its delights with my sixth graders. Hooray for elephants, and poets who celebrate them. Linda's poem was a delight to enjoy, too - those poor hens and their travails, especially. :)ReplyDelete
Irene, thanks for stepping in. I can't wait to check out your new book (requesting it now). Loved Linda's poem, she's a dear friend. Taking my first plungeReplyDelete
into Poetry Friday, I've lurked for far too long. Just realized that there's a theme - missing - so School Supplies is missing from my personal collection, but I've remedied that situation with a few clicks.
I'm not sure how to link up - http://pleasuresfromthepage.blogspot.com/2014/08/school-supplies-book-of-poems-collected.html
Thanks for hosting.ReplyDelete
My selection is "R is for rhyme: a poetry alphabet" written by Judy Young and illustrated by Victor Juhasz
Beautiful Missing Poem from Linda. It was the lost sunset that got to me the most. :)ReplyDelete
And yes, thank you so much for hosting dearest Irene! :)ReplyDelete
I look forward to reading your book of poems! Thank you for sharing the missing one! And Linda's poem is fantastic!ReplyDelete