Friday, September 15, 2023

Dizzy with Moonness!

 Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure and visit radiant Rose at Imagine the Possibilities for Roundup.

Don't you love that "dizzy with moonness" phrase in the subject line?! It comes from a new picture book DORIS by Sarah Jacoby. I'm kind of in love with Doris, and I can't stop thinking about that spread in the book. Check it out! 

THE MUSEUM ON THE MOON officially opens next Tuesday. Finally!

The Kirkus review is in, and it's a good one: "A provocative tally of treasure and trash." 

Thank you, Kirkus!

I've created a MOON Discussion Guide, now available for free download on my website. Educators, I hope you find it useful!

Y'all have shared so many wonderful Moon poems, and they are all collected as a permanent exhibit on The Museum on the Moon padlet. Thank you!

Today I have some more "moon" offerings for you, all pulled from a beautiful anthology for adults entitled To the Moon: An Anthology of Lunar Poems edited by Carol Ann Duffy. The collection is arranged chronologically, which is super-interesting! I offer you below a few of the selections (that are in the public domain).

But first, a few other moon notes:

You probably heard in the news about India becoming the 4th nation to land on the Moon... and the 1st nation to land on Moon's south pole. View footage here.

As much as we're hearing lately about space travel, there's still a lot of problems that will need to be addressed. Fascinating article here!

Finally, you're going to love this video of things left on the moon. (I addressed many of these in THE MUSEUM ON THE MOON!)

And now, poems!

These lines, from the Chinese Book of Odes, written around 500 B.C. (from the introduction of TO THE MOON, edited by Carol Ann Duffy)


I climbed the hill just as the new moon showed,

I saw him coming on the southern road.

My heart lays down its load.


To the Moon

by Giacomo Leopardi 

Now that the year has come full circle,

I remember climbing this hill, heartbroken,

To gaze up at the graceful sight of you,

And how you hung then above those woods

As you do tonight, bathing them in brightness.

But at that time your face seemed nothing

But a cloudy shimmering through my tears,

So wretched was the life I led: and lead still. . .

Nothing changes, moon of my delight. Yet

I find pleasure in recollection, in calling back

My season of grief: when one is young,

And hope is a long road, memory

A short one, how welcome then

The remembrance of things past— no matter

How sad, and the heart still grieving


excerpt from The Moon was But a Chin of Gold 

by Emily Dickinson

The Moon was but a Chin of Gold

A Night or two ago —

And now she turns Her perfect Face

Upon the World below—


Wind and Silver

by Amy Lowell 

Greatly shining,

The Autumn moon floats in the thin sky;

And the fish-ponds shake their backs and flash their dragon scales

As she passes over them.


Moon's Ending

by Sara Teasdale

Moon, worn thin to the width of a quill,

In the dawn clouds flying,

How good to go, light into light, and still

Giving light, dying.


excerpt from The Moon in Your Hands

by H.D.

If you take the moon in your hands

and turn it round

(heavy, slightly tarnished platter)

you're there


And now, this week's ArtSpeak: LIGHT poem! Perhaps you know this poem by Emily Dickinson. I didn't! But something I often do when crafting poems is google phrases I'm order to find out if others have already used that phrase. It could be on a national commercial for all I know, or it might have multiple meanings I'm not aware of. Always good to check! Anyhow, the phrase that opens my poem is in the same wheelhouse as Emily's poem—but not the same—so, YAY! 

Also: please note the different line breaks in the graphic vs. the text version of this poem. The lines were just too long for the art, so I used different line breaks in my graphic. This is a great example of how flexible we need to be as poets, and how the art can inform the text in multiple ways. I hope this helps you as you craft our own ekphrastic poems! Thanks so much for reading.

if you want to make me happy

bring me sunrise in a mug,
join me by a window spilling water

together we'll watch poems sway
as dawn drifts into day

- Irene Latham


  1. What a delightful post...I'm having fun clicking all the links and comparing a cup of sunset to a cup of sunrise. Google phrases...what a good idea. We all inadvertently use what we 'know.' But, I'm not in a good habit of checking myself. Hooray for The Museum on the Moon. I hope there are benefits of a slow roll out....maybe more title recognition? Thanks for the lots to enjoy and learn.

  2. Irene, so much to learn about the moon. You have taken a deep dive, as always! In the pictures of India’s moon landing in the link you included, I was amazed at how similar the picture of the control room and the emotions of the people look to the control room pictures from the US moon landing – newer computers, but the same emotion! Also, “Together we’ll watch poems sway…” beautiful!

  3. I love celebrating Moon! Thanks for including all these wonderful moon poems, Irene. And I love the delicious opening of your poem - "bring me sunrise in a mug"

  4. That Sara Teasdale one...sigh. I love the idea of dawn drifting into day. That's so surreal and in the moment, and it makes me picture dawn as a small pinky-yellow sailboat with its sails slack, drifting into an Ocean of Day. Beautiful. Can't wait to read your book, Irene!

  5. Love all these moon moments, Irene. You have inspired to look back through my archives and re-connect with some lunar love. Next week, I hope to go-full moon, not gibbous!

  6. I did know Emily's "sunset in a cup," but not the whole poem, so thanks for the link. Love your "sunrise in a mug"! Thank you for sharing so much shining, shimmering goodness here this week - and so excited about the MUSEUM. Also, reading the Lowell poem excerpt, I can't help thinking about Laura Purdie Salas's post and poem today, and how once again a perfect image might conjure itself in more than one poet's mind... xo

  7. Well, you know I love all the moon poems, and that new book plus the video of things left. But I also love your light poem this week, Irene. It begs to be read aloud, is lilting! Love the title, too! Thanks for all, including the tips!

  8. Oh, my. What a rich post! So many new ways to look at the moon: a chin, a heavy tarnished platter, a quill...

  9. Irene, this post can be a mentor text for children interested in the moon. I can see taking bits and pieces and molding them into an original poem about moon sightings. I think your adds on for educators are going to be a plus. I plan on sharing them and link your blog to my blog so teachers can bring the best of your out-of-this-world thoughts about the moon.

  10. Oh, so lovely! I love "watch poems sway" and "sunrise in a mug" Yes, your title is perfect! So fun to have my post on the same day as this ArtSpeak poem today. So much moon love, too. I love "Chin of Gold."

  11. "sunrise in a mug" !!! Yes! I was telling a fourth grade teacher about your book this week. We have it on order. Fourth grade teaches about the moon (and the Apollo missions) and poetry, so I can't wait to share it with them.

  12. Thanks so much for sharing my supermoon poem on your new book padlet, Irene. Happy book birthday!

  13. Irene, I love all the ideas you shared in your post, from googling phrases, to the flexibility of line breaks. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us all. The moon is such a fascinating subject - I know your book will be a huge success!

  14. Oh Irene - I'm stuck on Leopardi's heartwrenching ode and then I read yours and immediately find my lips break to a smile... I think you may have a morning window like mine...

  15. What a post, Irene, brimming with goodness. I am sitting her repeating this line: "My heart lays down its load" and thinking it is such a lovely one.


Your thoughts?