Friday, July 16, 2021

Because No One's Cheerful All the Time...

 Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Molly at Nix the Comfort Zone for Roundup.

There have been some exciting things this week, including: early morning phone call with Radio Europe (in Spain!), sharing about THE CAT MAN OF ALEPPO.

...the arrival of a single author copy of WILD PEACE. I would buy this book for its endpapers alone... bravo, Il Sung Na

...also in the mailbox, the Japanese edition of CAT MAN. (You can imagine how special this is to Yuko Shimizu!)

...Betsy Bird's cover reveal of AFRICAN TOWN (and interview with me and Charles) over at A Fuse #8 Production.

...and a new octopus friend to add to my collection, thanks to a dear one among us. 🐙 I'm so grateful for this community!

For today's ArtSpeak: FOUR SEASONS poem, I return to van Gogh. We've had a lot of storms lately, and that kind of shows up in this poem! Thank you so much for reading.


Clouds rise,
thunder calls—

a raven:

caw caw

Sun sputters,
cypress shudders.

No one's cheerful
all the time—

not even 

- Irene Latham


  1. Love love love this, Irene!
    Congrats on all the beautiful books! xo

  2. Your poem speaks all kinds of truth!
    Congratulations on all the publications and praise!

  3. LOVE this poem-- and so so happy for you and all your success! Keep on!

  4. Oh this is lovely! I love the rhythm of this poem and the wonderful conclusion. Congratulations on all your good news.

  5. This line is speaking to me today, "No one's cheerful
    all the time—"

  6. Irene, the sun is shining upon you warming all of our hearts. Congratulations for all the accolades and success. Your poem, Sometimes, is wonderful and the painting so lovely. Clouds rise here and thunder calls before the storm. Sometimes there's only a fleeting downpour that quiets earth.

  7. "somewhere a one's cheerful all the time" is absolutely true and beautiful and crisp and right to the heart. I love that paired with a Van Gogh painting. Possibly the most perfect pairing you've made. Wow.

  8. Wow, congratulations on all your book news! I enjoyed all the links. I'm happy for you and your colleagues. What a beautiful poem and painting. I love the personification here: "sun sputters, cypress shudders." Ravens make beautiful sounds. Once, upon a mountain summit, my husband and I were fortunate to see a family of ravens circling the mountain over and over. We could hear their different calls halfway down our descent. Thank you for sharing.

  9. Such great news, Irene. I saw the book cover for yours and Charles' new book. And I purchased the one that your read that spark the curiosity.
    I love your poem for summer and the ravens. I wish were would have a good summer star.

  10. No-one's cheerful all the time - but you sure must have been much of the time, this wonderful week! So much joy shared. So happy for you, Irene. xx

  11. Congrats on all your exciting news Irene!!! You're correct, Mother Nature Summer can be treacherous sometimes… Your poem captures the mood of Van Gogh's painting, and his painting reminds me of the Joseph Yoakum exhibit I saw at the Chicago Art Institute today.

  12. Congratulations on all your recent exciting news! I can't wait to get my own hands on Wild Peace! Your pairing today speaks so much truth. Van Gogh is a favorite of mine and I love this painting. I also love your word choice (the sputtering sun and shuddering cypress) and "No one's cheerful all the time--"is a line that really resonates.

  13. A great combination of poetry and art. Very nice!

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