Friday, February 4, 2022

Confidence Wears a Prickly Coat (poem)


Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Elisabeth at Unexpected Intersections for Roundup.

I've got snails on my mind...because SNAIL'S ARK comes out next Tuesday! It features gorgeous illustrations by Mehrdokht Amini—who also did the illustrations for DICTIONARY FOR A BETTER WORLD. (The wooden Noah's Ark is a treasure I found recently at a yard sale!)

...and Kat Apel has a snail book coming, too: WHAT SNAIL KNOWS. It's a middle grade verse novel about a shy kid... I can't wait to read it!!

AND I've got CONFIDENCE on my mind, too. Who better than a (prickly) hedgehog to deliver this message? I'm sure there are many animals that could do it, but I'm particularly attracted to quiet confidence. And so...

Confidence Wears a Prickly Coat

it forages
with soft,
quick feet

it rolls
into a simple

stays round,

until it's ready
to amble on

- Irene Latham

Thanks so much for reading!


  1. I don't know which I love more: the title or the first line! But thank you for the word image of "confidence forages" (and I LOVE your artwork choices).

  2. Oh how I love your yard sale ark! I look forward to seeing your new book! I also love your ode to the hedgehog. Kind of a scary guy but he's about his business munching and crunching and not looking for trouble. The painting is lovely, too.

  3. What a find that ark is!
    Congrats to you and Kat <3
    I love that Confidence keeps itself intact by rolling into a ball when threatened. Life is like that! xo

  4. Congrats on Snail's Ark. I love the cover. When threatened, I know I wish I could roll up into a ball.

  5. Irene, I love that poem and the metaphoric hedgehog. Lovely! The new book looks excellent. Congratulations.

  6. Wheeeeee! A new picture book to enjoy. And, the pairing of your work with Kat's is such a lovely pairing. Quiet confidence. I have no idea what that feels like. I think I'm going to go ponder that a bit. I would love to grow in that. Thanks, hedgehog.

  7. Wooty-woot-woot on your and Kat's book news.
    I love those prickly friends. I've been lucky enough to meet that quiet confidence, though Smidgey might 'hedge' on her appreciation. ;)

  8. Two books about snails! Yay. And the hedgehog does't get a lot of attention, so I enjoyed his ramblings in your poem. :)

  9. Congratulations on your newest book! I'm looking forward to Kat's as well. I love this poem and the idea that confidence can take a break en route...steady up and then move on.

  10. aNOTHer book? Dear Irene, what a roll you are on! I love the idea that even confidence has to curl up and pause sometimes...very healthy thinking.

  11. More than one of my classes wished to have a hedgehog for a pet. When they discovered it was nocturnal & often rolled into a ball when approached, it was not a good choice. However, your poem makes me want one all the more, those 'soft, quick feet'. Animal's way of evolving protection is always amazing to me. Looking forward to the snail books, another look at evolution!

  12. Oh I do love hedgehogs! Very occasionally we will see (or hear!) them snuffling in the hedges at night. There is something so endearing about these creatures - equal parts vulnerable and prickly. Maybe that's why we humans are so attracted to them - they remind us of ourselves ... Thanks for sharing this and being part of the Poetry Friday party this week!

  13. Irene, Congratulations on Snail Ark! I peeked on Amazon. Your words on the first page hooked me. The illustrations are beautiful. I'm looking forward to reading the whole book. Your new ark and your book look beautiful displayed together. Nice poem and painting. I've always thought a hedgehog's defense of rolling into a ball was great.


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