Camping in Fall and Lee Bennett Hopkins #PoetryFriday

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Readers, if you’re here on August 23rd, welcome! I got my dates mixed up, and I initially posted this poem last week. Now I am re-sharing this on the proper date, and today’s beautiful Poetry Roundup is with Amy Ludwig VanDerwater at The Poem Farm.

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

Today is actually a sad Poetry Friday, as children’s poets reflect on the loss of Lee Bennett Hopkins, who passed away last week. But it’s also a time of joy and thankfulness. Joy that we found Lee and enjoyed his work while he was alive. Thankfulness for the generations of poets he touched and inspired.

Jone MacCulloch had the awesome idea that anybody who wanted to would take a line from one of Lee’s poems and use it IN or use it to inspire a poem. I spent a lovely hour Tuesday browsing through some of Lee’s poems in his countless anthologies and collections. I chose the line “miles of piles of leaves,” from his poem “Autumn” in the gorgeous Sharing the Seasons, illustrated by David Diaz.

Fall is my very favorite season. Even though some people think of it as a season of dying, to me it is filled with abundance and fresh beginnings. And that seems so like Lee and his abundant impact on poetry. In fact, I think of all the poems being shared today, poems inspired by Lee and his work, as beautiful leaves drifting down on a stunning autumn day. Thank you, Lee.

I played around with a couple different ideas. I didn’t really get to a poem I’m completely satisfied with, but it’s a work in progress. I’m sharing it here anyway, in honor of and as a thank you to Lee. (I also shared a tribute poem to Lee last week.)

For lots more poetry, don’t miss the Poetry Friday Roundup with Christie Wyman!

26 Responses

  1. I actually like your poem and photo combo, Laura, even though you say it is a draft. I would love to see how you revise it. The last paragraph closes with such an appealing thought. Lee Bennett Hopkins was an amazing poet and your poem honors his legacy.

      1. Laura, would you consider offering this poem or the revision for my Abundant Autumn Gallery that I was not able to publish last season? I plan on revealing it this season.

  2. Beautiful…and soothing. It is good to remember poetry friends in this way.

    1. Thanks, Linda. It was kind of meditative to think about Lee and his legacy while drafting this…

  3. We are heading off camping with friends the first week of September. Your poem makes me wish we were already there.

    1. Thanks, Jone–it was a happy accident, but I was happy my poem fit both the tree and the LBH theme!

  4. Your poem has a very magical, conjuring up feeing Laura. I love the orange in the image it makes it feel cozy and alive at the same time, thanks!

  5. No mistakes, just happy accidents. 🙂 I welcome the preview of what we can expect next week—thanks for leading the way! Your poem draft is warm and inviting, Laura—you set the fall/campfire mood beautifully with both words and presentation.

  6. I’m glad to find out about the Lee Bennett Hopkins theme next week, since I hadn’t heard about it! You did a lovely job on your poem. Ruth,

  7. So beautiful, Laura. Poem and image and words about Lee. He, like, fall, was a colorful presence. I, too, love this time of year and look forward to the brilliance of trees on our hills. xx

  8. What a beautiful tribute to Lee. I love your chosen line and what you did with it. Your poem has a lovely read-aloud rhythm.

  9. It is a treasure to me when fall begins, hiking through those “miles and piles of leaves”, doing all that you added, too, Laura. It is a wonderful poem for remembering Lee.

  10. Lovely, Laura–you’ve got me wishing for miles and piles of leaves, and autumn’s glittering light. (But not too soon–a few leaves have been drifting down this week!)

  11. I too love camping in Autumn (well really I love camping anytime of year) I love that the crowds are mostly gone, it’s not so hot, and as you have highlighted, there are piles and piles of leaves.
    I adore the rhythm of your poem here.

  12. Yes, fall is my favorite season (and a time of new beginnings, too). I love this poem that wraps up so much of what I love about fall in the perfect pairing of words and images.

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