Friday, November 13, 2015

The Beauty of the Bone

Hello, and happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Bridget at Wee Words for Wee Ones for Roundup!

It's been a wild week, thanks to all of you... what fun the WILD Roundup has been! If you haven't had a chance yet to check it out, please do. Thanks, everyone, for joining in the celebration...I look forward to each of YOUR 10 year Blogiversaries!

And now I am struck by the calendar: mid-November, really?! Where-has-the-time-gone thoughts prompted me to pull an old favorite book from the kids' bookshelf: A CHILD'S CALENDAR by John Updike, illus. by Trina Schart Hyman. With poems originally published in 1965, this version is from 1999, and look, it features a multiracial family! Nice to find diverse books on the backlist, yes?

by John Updike

The stripped and shapely
Maple grieves
The loss of her
Departed leaves.

The ground is hard,
As hard as stone.
The year is old,
The birds are flown.

And yet the world,
Displays a certain
Loveliness --

The beauty of
The bone. Tall god
Must see our souls
This way, and nod.

Give thanks: we do,
Each in his place
Around the table
During grace.


  1. Hey, I used to have that book! I wonder who borrowed it! (Looking around...) Thanks for another lovely post.

  2. This book is on my self too. In reading this poem today, I see a connection between the grieving maple tree in stanza one and "Tall god" later in the poem.

  3. What a lovely poem! "the beauty of the bone" :)

  4. Updike captured this month perfectly - thanks for sharing Irene. His first stanza got me - a Maple mourning the loss of leaves departed. Beautiful. =)

  5. This is new to me. Thanks for sharing. It's one to read again and again.

  6. I have this lovely book, will now get it out to look again, Irene. Thanks for sharing it, "the beauty of the bone". I love when I read still another way to see things.

  7. In my library we're lucky enough to have both the 1965 and the 1999 versions still on the shelf. The 1965 version is illustrated by Nancy Ekholm Burkert.

  8. I don't have this book but will have to look for it this was beautiful
    I'm hoping that there are still families and friends that set at miles and shear in laughter and conversations enjoying the company of each and not losing great moments of making new memories instead lost in technology of gadgets

  9. When I was looking for poems on November, I missed this one, Irene. Thank you for your lovely recitation. Will I see you at #NCTE15? (I added the wrong post for today, so I went back in to add the right one, "Thankful" at


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