Friday, October 4, 2019

"This Old Boat" and Other Treasures

Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Cheriee at Library Matters for Roundup.

Some exciting things around here:

1. It's CYBILS time! Be sure to nominate your favorite books, now through Oct. 15. I'm exciting to be serving this year as a round 2 panelist for Elementary/Middle Grade Nonfiction. Yay!

2. CAN I TOUCH YOUR HAIR? released this week in the UK, thanks to Oneworld Publications, Rock the Boat imprint. (Don't you love that name?) October is National Poetry Month in the UK, so it's quite good timing for a poetry book release.

3. My NCTE plans are coming together! I am excited to see many of you in November. :) :) :)

4. While driving around Blount County, Paul and I made a discover that was begging to be a poem. Enjoy!

This Old Boat

After so many voyages,
so many seas
now she floats
in a kudzu lake,
surrounded by pine trees.

See how she dips,
How bound she is
to each new day?
These gentle waters offer shelter
from once-relentless
storms: Go or stay?

Who could have imagined
her life would turn out this way?
This boat cresting waves
that belong to nobody.
This old boat, waiting 
                               for me.

- Irene Latham



  1. I agree. Some things do beg to be written about. I love your old boat in a lake of kudzu. The ending is so sweet and poignant.

  2. That boat definitely needed her own poem. Love how you personified her.

  3. What a wonder of a find, Irene, and to write to give it some attention, maybe there so long without a thought. You've made me imagine all the ghosts remembering good, or scary?, times. Somehow I love the idea of "Go or stay?", wishing the boat could answer.

  4. I love your boat photo and poem! And it sounds as though you have a lot of excitement in your life right now!

  5. This old the line, "to go or stay" such a choice and such a decision of weather, time, personality, persistence. Your boat find is definitely a treasure and a treat!

  6. "A kudzu lake" sent me searching to uncover kudzu, a term new to me. Love the boat that begged to be a poem and the poet who responded. Enjoy every moment of NCTE!

  7. What character that old boat has, and you've brought even more to her via your poem–a treasure in both. Congrats on the Publication of "Can I Touch Your Hair?" in the UK–how exciting! xo

  8. Love how you turned this discovery into a poem! Congrats on the further reach of "Can I Touch Your Hair" and on all of your other recent celebrations! Can't wait to see you at NCTE!

  9. What a great photo and poem it inspired! I also love the "kudzu lake/surrounded by pine trees." This boat has certainly seen better days, but imagine the stories it could tell! Congratulations on the UK publication of Can I Touch Your Hair! Looking forward to seeing you at NCTE!

  10. Oh, I love how you found this boat and recognized its poetic potential. That "kudzu lake" is a wonderful image, though I just read about the horrors of kudzu in "When Plants Attack!"-- an engrossing nonfiction read. With that in mind, it's hard not to envision your old boat bobbing and swaying on a fast growing sea of kudzu. Congrats on "Can I Touch Your Hair? and have fun at NCTE. I so wish I could be there!

  11. Congratulations on the release of Can I Touch Your Hair? in the UK. It's such a brilliant book. As I read your poem, (at least twice) I marvelled at how you managed to capture the essence of forlornness. (Is that even a word?)

  12. I love your boat sailing in a kudzu lake. I pass an old sailboat pulled up in a grassy holler on my drive to work. I've often wondered about it, but haven't written a poem. Have fun at NCTE and yea for Can I Touch Your Hair?

  13. A lake of kudzu symbolizes the inactivity and tiredness of this poor boat.

  14. Congratulations on your UK release of "Can I Touch Your Hair"! How Marvelous! The old boat was waiting for someone to find him. Thanks for sharing your poem, Irene. See you at NCTE.


Your thoughts?