Friday, December 16, 2022

Lion and Sun (poem)


Nelson Grice, Miss Fancy,
and Irene Latham

Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure and visit Karen Edmisten for Roundup.

I've heard several of you teacher-poets talk about moments with students, or former students, when you realize you had an impact on a person's life—how gratifying that is, and what inspiration to continue the work. I had a moment like that this past week! 

It happened at the Miss Fancy event, which was perfectly delightful in every single way. But the best part was talking to Nelson Grice, the sculptor of the new Miss Fancy statue. He said that while he was researching, he read MEET MISS FANCY, and it was then that he decided one of the children riding Miss Fancy's back needed to be African American. (!) 

No, that didn't happen in the real history. But this is 2022, not 1913, and we as artists have the freedom (and responsibility!) to create art that represents ourselves and our feelings and our times. I'm so humbled that a book I had a part in made a difference in someone's thinking, and that something so beautiful and lasting came out of it. Click to watch video coverage of the unveiling. (The children on Miss Fancy's back are more visible in the video than in my photo.)

For this week's ArtSpeak: Animals, I've got a lion for you! I love the name of this piece: The Two Majesties by Jean-Leon Gerome so much that I decided to steal "majesties" and put it in my poem! 

Aside: are you a fan of the Netflix show THE CROWN? This latest season has been particularly heartbreaking, perhaps because I remember all that drama playing out in real time... and the actress who plays Diana is amazing!

(Current show we're watching: Yellowstone. I have to close my eyes a lot.)

Here's the poem. Thank you for reading. See you next week, when Roundup is here at Live Your Poem!

as morning crowns

lion and sun are twin majesties

roaring, roaring

- Irene Latham


  1. What a delicious word: majesties! And you tee'd it up beautifully with your first line. Love this.

  2. I love that "roaring, roaring." I'm so happy you got to have that feeling you describe of making a difference. You make a difference a lot every day--it's just that you don't get to see it when we read your books to kids. That is a moment to hold in your heart forever. Good on ya!

  3. Using "majesties" and "crown" in your poem is perfect, Irene! Thank you always for your inspiration. By the way, I'm a big fan of Yellowstone (and 1883 and looking forward to 1923). The scenery is so beautiful!

  4. Every word in your poem is perfectly chosen! Huzzah! Also, what a moment to know that your work had such a positive effect on the way Miss Fancy will be remembered!

  5. I love how you pack so much into so few lines. Here with the royal view of lion and sun! I'm so proud of how your book influenced the artist for this amazing sculpture!

  6. What a wonderful outcome to your efforts! I appreciate your thoughts about artists having a responsibility to represent the times. I've met "The Two Majesties" at the Milwaukee Art Museum, and I always linger there. Thanks for the reminder to go back for another visit!

  7. I'm so glad you had that moment and were able to know how your work influenced some one. Your poem is wonderful. Each word builds on the last and the whole is a stunner! Love it!

  8. The royal imagery you conjured in this short poem! ❤️ Loved the story about Grice's decision about the sculpture, too. Beautiful.

  9. Love! And yes, we devoured The Crown.


Your thoughts?