Blue Whale’s Apology #PoetryFriday

Happy Poetry Friday! (Wondering what Poetry Friday is? Click here.)

A few cool things before my poem:

  • I’m excited to share the awesome news that Snowman-Cold=Puddle is on the ILA Teachers’ Choice Reading List!
  • Also, I recently created a bunch of #readaloud videos of some of my books and a few poems and put them on a readalouds page on my site. We’ll call these “rustic” videos, as they are not slick at all! But just trying to give teachers things to share in these difficult times.
  • And if you’re interested, you can watch a readaloud of my newest book, Secrets of the Loon!

Okay, now a poem. This one’s from my book A Need to Feed:

Note: The blue whale is the largest animal on Earth, and it eats the smallest creatures, zooplankton. When blue whales fill their mouth with ocean water and then exhale, the water goes out but the tiny sea animals are trapped in their baleen plates.
A Note from the Poet:
When I started working on poems about predators, I realized that I was thinking of only aggressive, violent-sounding animals. But many animals we think of as cute or gentle are also predators, because they eat other animals. Is there anything LESS dangerous than the graceful, slow, huge blue whale? It might seem that way to us, but to krill, the blue whale is a deadly foe.

And here’s the video.

For lots more wonderful poetry, don’t miss the Poetry Friday Roundup with Michelle Heidenrich Barnes at Today’s Little Ditty. I have been reading The Best of Today’s Little Ditty 2017–2018 recently, and I just love it. I dip in for a few poems each morning. It’s such a lovely way to start the day, and I especially like seeing so many of my Poetry Friday friends’ names!

23 Responses

  1. Awwwww the big, luvable Killer Whale. This kind of poem with science facts but also poetry really intrigues me these days. Your lines are very graceful…and the last word, of course, krill.…so much like kill. I so enjoyed listening to you read from Secrets of the Loon. And, congrats on your inclusion on the ILA list. Love seeing the great books keep coming.

  2. You are so very clever, Laura! Loved seeing and hearing you read your wonderful whale poem. Your poem pairs beautifully with my Big Blue Whale shape poem. I’ll have to add a link to this page on my site. 🙂

  3. Laura, what a delightful rhyme in your heartfelt Blue Whale Apology. It made me smile. I liked the poem’s appearance on the page and your sad reading of it.

  4. I love this, Laura, science in poetry that’s fun to read, then be inspired to look further! I had a tall piece of baleen that was given to my class a long time ago. I left it there when I retired, but it was quite amazing to think this “thing” that was about 7 feet tall fit into a whale’s mouth!

  5. Congrats on SNOWMAN’s place of honor and the success of your book launch, Laura! You’re so right about our tendency to stereotype what a predator looks like. “I wistfully kill you all by the mouthful” is a wickedly wonderful choice of words.

  6. PS. Thanks for the kind words about TLD3 too! 🙂

  7. One of my daughters is afraid of whales. I have no understanding of this. I think they are amazing and beautiful. Is A Need to Feed forthcoming? I’m so impressed by all that you do, such a busy poetbee.

    1. Afraid of whales? Their immense size could be intimidating, I guess. They just seem so peaceful! Well, not orcas, but those are dolphins, not whales. Thanks for the kind words, Margaret! Happy Mother’s Day :>)

  8. Laura, Congratulations on your many accomplishments. Blue Whale sounds so sweet in your poem. What a great idea to have him apologize to little Krill. I guess I will think about that when I swallow my krill pills. Have a wonderful weekend. Is snow coming your way?

    1. Hahaha on the krill pills. Real life connections! Looks like we might have some snow tomorrow. A cold, grey weekend overall. Bah. (Usually, I don’t mind that kind of weather at all, but I am wishing we could do a Mother’s Day picnic!) Happy Mother’s Day, Carol!

  9. “I love you, dear krill…” Perfect! An interesting viewpoint. Thanks…

  10. Hi Laura,

    I love your poem and I am sure I will find the book captivating. Children are drawn to non-fiction and your poem brings the blue whale to life. I am with those above who also loved the ending!! Congratulations on your Snowman — Cold=Puddle distinction. Will be looking to hear more about your Need to Feed book. When is its birthday?

    1. This is an indie pubbed collection I put out years ago. I took several poetry collections that came close to selling but didn’t, and I packaged them up for teachers. So they have notes and facts and teaching ideas from classroom teachers. More info at‑2/ Thanks for the kind words, AND, on a side note, for that beautiful ballet video you shared on Facebook!

  11. Congratulations on all your good news! It was so interesting to read about the thought process behind this “Blue Whale’s Apology.” I love the poem (with that gorgeous photo background) and listening to you read it aloud. Thanks so much for generously sharing your poetry in read alouds!

  12. I love this! Whales are among my favourite animals, and your poem is clever. I also love to hear your voice. Thank you.

  13. It’s incredible to imagine the largest creature being sustained by the smallest. (There’s some kind of life lesson in that, isn’t there?!?)

    1. Indeed! Makes me think of huge corporations making billions and not wanting to pay extra for their line workers. And for teachers, so grossly underpaid all the time, given their impact.

  14. I love this apology poem. The voice is so lovable. Congratulations on your good news! xo

  15. Your poem gives us a beautiful and truthful depiction of what krill are for the Blue Whale–lovely reading too! Congrats on “Snowman-Cold=Puddle” getting on the ILA Teacher’s Choice Reading List! Thanks, xo

  16. Oh, I love this! The big bumbling murderous whale! Ruth,

  17. You’ve really made me think of blue whales, and predators in general, in a different way. Love the voice of your poem, and hearing you reading it. 🙂

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