Friday, January 2, 2015

One Little Word for 2015

wee "wild" me
Hello, and happy Poetry Friday! Please visit Tricia (whom I was so lucky to meet at NCTE!) at The Miss Rumphius Effect for Roundup.

First: It's been a float-y couple of days what with learning DEAR WANDERING WILDEBEEST was included in the 2014 Nerdy Book Awards and as a 2014 CYBILS Finalist. I am so thrilled and grateful! Special thanks to all my Nerdy friends including one Mary Lee Hahn who wrote such a beautiful post about some beautiful poetry books. Thank you! And to Amy at Hope is the Word (who nominated the book!) and to the CYBILS Poetry Round One judges (Kelly Fineman, Nancy Bo FloodTricia Stohr-Hunt, Jone MacCulloch, Margaret Simon, Sylvia VardellBridget R. Wilson), throwing you kisses! Having served on the committee in the past, I know just how hard it can be to winnow the list. I'm so honored you chose to include WILDEBEEST. Poetry popsicles for everyone!!

And now: I'm thrilled to be sharing with you my 2015 One Little Word  - and some related poetry:

WILD (adj.): Occurring, growing, or living in a natural state (The Free Dictionary)

No, I'm not talking the girls-gone-wild kind of wild. More of a return to, or discovery of, the true-est me.

The kind of wild that's found in the following poems:

The Summer Day
by  Mary Oliver

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean --
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaw back and forth instead of up and down -
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
How she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
I don't know exactly what prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

The Peace of Wild Things
by Wendell Berry

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

And here are a couple of other rather famous "wild" poems. Any others come to mind?? I think I will work on a Wild Poetry Playlist during 2015. If YOU have a "wild" poem, please do share! xo

"Wild Geese" by Mary Oliver

p.s. Want to see what magic two musically-minded high school kids (one of whom is my son...) can create?? They are in 9th grade. :) They'll Be Going Far!


  1. It's a wonderful word! Perfect. And I love your wild poems.
    What a great job on the video. Pass along my compliments to the boy! I know you are one proud mama.

  2. Congrats, Irene. And thanks for posting these "wild" poems. Terrific reads.

  3. Love the poems you found, Irene! Absolute favorites. How about "Wild Card" by Cathryn Essinger and "Wild Goose Harvest" by Kelly Searsmith?

  4. Love that your wild and wandering Wildebeest is doing so well, Irene. Well deserved accolades! You've picked a great word to keep in your pocket this year... assuming your "natural state" has a pocket. ;) Happy New Year, my friend. <3

  5. "Wild" is one amazing word, Love "I come into the peace of wild things". When needed, a walk in wild places helps a lot. AND-loved your son & friends' video. What talent I see. I know that it's so possible for young people to create the marvelous, & they did! Congrats to them, & to you for the honors of Wandering Wildebeests, Irene! Happy New Year in the "wild"!

  6. Not a poem, but a quote for you: "The mind I love must have wild places."
    –Katherine Mansfield

  7. Entertaining mystery does indeed lead into the wild--could it be any other way? I wonder if you and your ErBeeko and his crew have heard the setting of Wendell Berry's poem to music?
    So happy for your wild New Year!

  8. My dear wild friend - Thank you for these reminders of who we are. Can't wait to see how your word prowls here and there this year.
    Congrats to ErBeeko and Company - love seeing talented kids creating!

  9. Love this wild theme, Irene...congratulations, too, for all the honors for your fabulous book.

  10. Dear Irene,
    Appreciations for an "ah,ha" moment this post provides - now I know the origins of this lovely phrase:
    "what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"
    Mary Oliver's poem is so wonderful, complete. I wish she got more credit for that part of it.
    Mr. Berry is a trekker-poet for wild, eh? Just back from being among the wild things in a marsh & although we've seen our share of creature vs. creature events out there, a peace like he writes of wrapped around us, as it usually does there. Thank you for that sharing, too.
    That's a lovely invitation you present & I will root around my poetry collection to see if I can find a poet & their poem you might want to look at for the wild poems list.
    Finally - brava! on how Wandering Wild Wildebeests is being even more esteemed with these events in the making. I haven't had a chance to read it in person but I've enjoyed the sharing on line & will have that hand in book pleasure.
    Happy 2015!

    j a n/ Bookseedstudio

  11. What a great word! I'll often be immersed in yours while I NOTICE with mine!

    Thanks for the props on the Nerdy Poetry post. I have so much fun with that! It just seems right to introduce poetry with poetry!

    And that music video? Just...WOW.

  12. Love the poem and loved listening to you read it. Enjoyed the Going Far video, I believe they will!

  13. Wonderful word, and wonderful poems--I so relate to The Summer Day and her meditations on the grasshopper! Congrats again on all your good news.

  14. Irene, I love both of these poems, and find Berry's lines especially comforting. Your son and his friends are amazing! Thanks for sharing their fine work, and congratulations on your well-deserved Nerdy Award & Cybil nomination. Happy New Year!

  15. Your post reminded me of a picturebook I must find soon: WILD. I love all the possibilities that your one wonderful word would do for you this year. Congratulations dearest Irene on having Wildebeest out there. I am looking forward to finding it and featuring it for our Cybils reading theme too for Jan-Feb. :)


Your thoughts?