Friday, November 13, 2020

Three New Poetry Books and ArtSpeak: RED poem "Water Lilies"

 Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Robyn at Life on the Deckle Edge for Roundup.

I'm excited to share with you some poetry books today. One you already know about, as many of you have poems included— congratulations!! The other two are from the UK, and I learned about them through the CLiPPA Awards. Beautiful books, all!

But first: my session info for #NCTE20. Our title was inspired by the poem "Remember" by Joy Harjo.

... also, good news for THE CAT MAN OF ALEPPO: it's the winner of the 2020 Middle East Book Award (Middle East Outreach Council). Hooray! Also, the audiobook will soon be available (the narrator's voice is PERFECT, I say. PERFECT!), and it's been listed on Evanston Public Library's 101 Great Books for Kids of 2020. Yay for more folks discovering Alaa's amazing good works.

And now, the books. I selected 2 poems from each, just to whet your appetite. You'll want to add these to your holiday gift list for sure. Enjoy!

CHERRY MOON: Little Poems Big Ideas Mindful of Nature by Zaro Weil, illustrated by Junli Song

After the Purple Rains
by Zaro Weil

after the purple rains
restless clouds of
crayon-box wildflowers
hurtle and tumble
in between rock beds
over squelchy slopes
through stone walls
to up-pop
outside my window
how very luck-dazzle
how very spring

by Zaro Weil

said the wise-talking wind
to the seed
then rainumandgrowum
and infivehudredyearsum
a mighty great
forest you'llbeum

HOP TO IT: Poems to Get You Moving
 by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong, illustrations by Franzi Paetzoid

When I Move
by Carole Boston Weatherford

When I swim, I become a fish.
When I jump, I become a wish.
When I run, I become the heat.
When I dance, I become the beat.
When I bike, I become the wind.
When I flip, I become the spin.
When I lift, I become the strength.
When I stretch, I become the length.
When I grind, I'm beyond extreme.
When I climb, I behold my dream.
When I move, I'm a force so free
I feel the planet move with me.

Rabbit Dance
by Joseph Bruchac

Over the meadow
a full moon is shining
almost as bright as the sun.

It is the time when
the rabbits all gather
after the day's light is done.

Making a circle
they dance in the moonlight
hopping and stomping their feet,

hearing the music
that's kept in their hearts
moving to that ancient beat.

I've never seen them
dancing and dancing
but I know that it is so.

I've seen their footprints
all in a circle
there in the late winter snow.

 poems by Karmelo C. Iribarren, translated by Lawrence Schimel, illustrated by Riya Chowdhury

What the Streetlight Says
by Karmelo C. Iribarren, translated by Lawrence Schimel

What a 
humiliating life:

by day
the dogs
and at night
the drunks.

wasn't I born
a table lamp?

by Karmelo C. Iribarren, translated by Lawrence Schimel

When night begins to fall
and the first apartments turn on their lights,
the buildings that border the plaza
look like gigantic crossword puzzles.

Finally, here's my latest ArtSpeak: RED poem. I'm so glad that several of you have discovered the padlet galleries -- I love seeing all that art in one place! Yes, please share these with students. Thank you!

This week, I've returned to Monet— and revised "red" to "pink" —all in the name of alliteration.:) 

I am hyper-aware that my "red" year will soon come to a close... just six more RED poems! Which art to choose, which art to choose? And... what should be my theme for 2021??? These are the questions... meanwhile, thank you so much for reading!

Water Lilies

Spring pond
dons glossy
green skirt
with plump

- Irene Latham


  1. What a delight...poems for breakfast for me! What the Wind Blew In simply intrigues me. You're right. I need these books. I cannot help but think of general and specifically when I read a new poem. It's almost like some people always have a joke for a kid...I am the person that thinks of a kid for a poem.
    Alas, I will not be part of NCTE. I look forward to hearing about your presentation from friends.
    I have SO enjoyed RED. You've given me ideas for my own new word for 2021. Thank you for not only lovely poems but the inspiration to write.

  2. Congratulations on your Cat Man of Aleppo award, Irene! "What the Streetlight Says" made me laugh out loud today.

  3. What a rich post, Irene! I'm a new fan of Zaro Weil and especially "After the Purple Rains". What a delightful poem! I also loved the peeks at poems in other books and the "plump pink buttons" in yours. I can't wait to see what your theme will be for 2021!

  4. I do love your Cat Man book, Irene. Congratulations for its honors. The two books will go on my list (I already have Hop To It) & wow, the word play by Zaro Wells is creative fun, "you'llbeum" predicts our burned forests & their re-birth for me. Thanks for every bit & happy weekend!

  5. Thanks for this feast of poetry! I can't wait for your NCTE session!

  6. I'll meet you there, Mary Lee! Irene, thanks for highlighting titles that have NOT come across my doorstep for NCTE reading--and of course the CLiPPA designation explains why. Did you know I taught in London for 5 years? And during that time I had Michael Rosen come to our school, when he was a little less Grandfather-of-British-Children's-Poetry. Your padlets are grand and I humbly suggest a 2021 ArtSpeak theme of HAIR. To get you going:

  7. (I am not sure if I accidentally erased my comment, or if it's moderated - but thanks for all, Irene, Congrats, and your session will rock!!)

  8. Thank you for sharing this smorgasbord of poetry goodness, Irene. Carole Boston Weatherford's movement poem and Karmelo C. Iribarren's Streetlight poem are especially delightful. Love the image of "plump pink buttons". Congrats on your award and enjoy your NCTE session. :)

  9. Bridget mentioned my favorites! Wonderful about the Cat Man's awards :-) xo

  10. Wow. So much goodness in this post, Irene, including the memories you've triggered with your NCTE session mention. (I'm steeped in thoughts of America, because this time last year I was there, surely the highpoint of the last two years (and more?) of my life! So much joy. Just as well, because it has had to sustain me for sooooo long!!)

    Huge congratulations on the Cat Man's award. That is wonderful news! And you are so deserving of every accolade that comes your way. Thank-you for sharing these poems that are bursting with wordplay and the seeds of new ideas.


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