Happy Anniversary, National Geographic Society! (And…brinicles!) #ClassroomConnections

The National Geographic Society was founded on this date in 1888. I love their books for kids, I subscribe to their magazine, and Randy and I have attended a number of their traveling lectures. I’m super proud to have poems in two different National Geographic anthologies (both edited by the amazing J. Patrick Lewis).

Book of Nature Poetry
Photo: Tracy Nelson Maurer

Do you know what a brinicle is? It happens when super-salted, super-chilled water forms a “stalactite” from the frozen surface of the ocean to the seafloor. Man, if you’ve never seen this “icy finger of death,” check out this video from Frozen Planet, featuring time-lapse video as a brinicle forms and freezes sea life below it. Amazing.

And here’s my poem:

Brinicle

Arctic Ocean,
dark, vast
water cave guarded by an
arc of sea ice above

Ceiling recedes,
feeds salt to the deep
Super-saltwater ribbon flows,
grows, and sinks

Stalactite
with a frigid core
wears a crystal
cloak of ice

Brinicle gushes,
rushing down to the
sea floor,
an icy finger of death

© Laura Purdie Salas, all rights reserved

And here are links to my other poems:

Thank you, National Geographic, for all you do to explore and educate the world!

[My Classroom Connections posts share a way to connect one of my books or poems to a classroom topic–often something timely that you might be covering in the next month or so. Please share this post if you have educator friends who might be interested–thanks!]

4 Responses

  1. Laura, I was reading my email at my lunch break and saw this post. I can’t wait to share it with my new 2nd grader tomorrow. Today we read some Riddle-ku from Lion of the Sky. You should have seen her jumping around to answer the riddles. Together we wrote this one about the ocean.
    Waves at me with blue
    hands with white foamy fingertips
    cover hydrosphere

    Thanks!

    1. WOW! That is so fantastic. I adore the pun with “waves” at me. Hahahaha. Wordplay–yes, please! And then continuing the metaphor with those white foamy fingertips. This is just a delicious poem!

      1. Thanks Laura! It was on the board and my 5th grader pointed out that fingertips has 3 syllables. Ha!

  2. I did not know what a brinicle is.…and it’s wow! The video is amazing. I love that line, ‘feeding salt to the deep.’ The brinicle looks alive but it’s just super chilled water. Amazing. Thanks for this. And, Happy National Geographic Day! I grew up with Nat Geo. and all the wonders that magazine brought the world.

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