[poetry friday] Otter’s Winter Song (by me)

Last week, I shared a sad and serious pantoum I wrote?as part of?the Poetry 7’s latest shenanigans. This week, I’m sharing a slightly (ha!) more lighthearted pantoum.

Photo: Franco Atirador

Otter’s Winter Song

The frigid air sings–
time to tumble and dive!
I’ve got better things
to do than survive.

Time to tumble and dive!
There’s so much more
to do than survive.
The ice! The squeal. The slippery shore.

There’s so much more!
The river’s my toy!
The ice! The squeal. The slippery shore.
I’m a fumble of joy.

The river’s my toy–
I’m a slip-sliding flurry.
I’m a fumble of joy.
Let other otters worry.

I’m a slip-sliding flurry.
The frigid air sings–
Let other otters worry.
I will do better things.

–Laura Purdie Salas, all rights reserved

The Poetry Friday Roundup is at Merely Day by Day today. Enjoy!

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48 Responses

  1. Love this silly song of the otter, especially, “the river?s my toy!
    The ice! The squeal. The slippery shore.
    I?m a fumble of joy.” Fumble of joy! I’d like to use this poem as a model of a pantoum for my students. You make the repetitive line beat out and become the heart of the poem.

  2. Love this silly song of the otter, especially, “the river?s my toy!
    The ice! The squeal. The slippery shore.
    I?m a fumble of joy.” Fumble of joy! I’d like to use this poem as a model of a pantoum for my students. You make the repetitive line beat out and become the heart of the poem.

  3. I like this! Just saw that Margaret said what I was writing in my comment–“I’m a fumble of joy” is my favorite line. Plus the hopeful, cheerful voice.

    1. THank you, Kate. I wrote this one before the Jan Palach one, and it was a relief to come back and read a happy one again after that!

  4. I like this! Just saw that Margaret said what I was writing in my comment–“I’m a fumble of joy” is my favorite line. Plus the hopeful, cheerful voice.

    1. THank you, Kate. I wrote this one before the Jan Palach one, and it was a relief to come back and read a happy one again after that!

  5. You do it so well, Laura! Pantoums seem too much like puzzles for me, and I don’t generally have the patience for constructing a puzzle. I definitely need an attitude adjustment, because I’m missing so much!

    1. Thanks, Diane. You always do such a neat job of reflecting history and social issues, something I am rarely able to accomplish. And when I do, it’s in a pretty heavy-handed way (ex. Jan Palach!). It’s always fun to try new approaches, but it’s also a good thing that we each have our own set of poetic skills. I love puzzles in general, so poetic forms are always fun to me.

  6. You do it so well, Laura! Pantoums seem too much like puzzles for me, and I don’t generally have the patience for constructing a puzzle. I definitely need an attitude adjustment, because I’m missing so much!

    1. Thanks, Diane. You always do such a neat job of reflecting history and social issues, something I am rarely able to accomplish. And when I do, it’s in a pretty heavy-handed way (ex. Jan Palach!). It’s always fun to try new approaches, but it’s also a good thing that we each have our own set of poetic skills. I love puzzles in general, so poetic forms are always fun to me.

  7. I really enjoyed this, Laura. You caught me by surprise a number of times in this poem, and I love “Let other otters worry” comes in just at the right moment.

    Steven

    1. Thanks, Steven–I appreciate that. Especially because I admire your skill with rhythm, and I really struggle with anything that’s not a perfect beat. I can’t figure out if I like this one or not, but I think I might be okay with it…

  8. I really enjoyed this, Laura. You caught me by surprise a number of times in this poem, and I love “Let other otters worry” comes in just at the right moment.

    Steven

    1. Thanks, Steven–I appreciate that. Especially because I admire your skill with rhythm, and I really struggle with anything that’s not a perfect beat. I can’t figure out if I like this one or not, but I think I might be okay with it…

  9. Oh that’s adorable, Laura and hoepfully inspiring to everyone to have fun!

  10. Oh that’s adorable, Laura and hoepfully inspiring to everyone to have fun!

  11. Love this, Laura — the upbeat tone and sheer joy expressed. Who doesn’t love otters? “the river’s my toy” and “I’m a fumble of joy” are my fave lines. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Jama. You know, the tone of this poem kinda reminds me of your personality. I mean–you work so hard on your blog, I know, but the tone is always so joyful!

  12. Love this, Laura — the upbeat tone and sheer joy expressed. Who doesn’t love otters? “the river’s my toy” and “I’m a fumble of joy” are my fave lines. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Jama. You know, the tone of this poem kinda reminds me of your personality. I mean–you work so hard on your blog, I know, but the tone is always so joyful!

  13. This poem is as much fun as otters! I love these lines:
    The ice! The squeal. The slippery shore.
    I?m a fumble of joy.
    (The squeal is wonderful as a noun!)

  14. This poem is as much fun as otters! I love these lines:
    The ice! The squeal. The slippery shore.
    I?m a fumble of joy.
    (The squeal is wonderful as a noun!)

  15. I heard your writing peeps were doing pantoums and saw some of them last week. I adore this one! Masterfully written Laura! So much fun too!

    1. Thanks, BJ! It was fun doing a lighthearted one:>) I love watching otters when I go to the zoo. (Although the smell usually chases me away before too long.)

  16. I heard your writing peeps were doing pantoums and saw some of them last week. I adore this one! Masterfully written Laura! So much fun too!

    1. Thanks, BJ! It was fun doing a lighthearted one:>) I love watching otters when I go to the zoo. (Although the smell usually chases me away before too long.)

  17. Well, everybody else said it first, but “fumble of joy” is wonderful. How amazing is it that two such different poems can come from the same inspiration?

    1. Thank you, Ruth–it’s what I love about a good poetic form. It’s like a basic sewing pattern–it helps you build something, but the variety within that something is enormous. Thanks for weighing in on your favorite phrase. It’s incredibly helpful to get that kind of feedback and know what’s working…or not. :>)

  18. Well, everybody else said it first, but “fumble of joy” is wonderful. How amazing is it that two such different poems can come from the same inspiration?

    1. Thank you, Ruth–it’s what I love about a good poetic form. It’s like a basic sewing pattern–it helps you build something, but the variety within that something is enormous. Thanks for weighing in on your favorite phrase. It’s incredibly helpful to get that kind of feedback and know what’s working…or not. :>)

    1. Thank you, Michelle! And thanks for weighing in with your favorite phrases. So helpful to get that kind of feedback from poetry people:>)

    1. Thank you, Michelle! And thanks for weighing in with your favorite phrases. So helpful to get that kind of feedback from poetry people:>)

  19. oohlala, it’s so great to learn about so many poetic forms and structures through Poetry Friday friends! Fun pantoum indeed. I also loved ‘fumble of joy.’ 🙂 Beautiful imageries.

    1. Thank you, Myra. It’s true–I still learn about new (or new-to-me) poetic forms almost every time I actually take the time to go through all the PF posts (which I will be trying to do this weekend). So much to learn…so many cool forms to experiment with. Thanks for the kind words:>)

  20. oohlala, it’s so great to learn about so many poetic forms and structures through Poetry Friday friends! Fun pantoum indeed. I also loved ‘fumble of joy.’ 🙂 Beautiful imageries.

    1. Thank you, Myra. It’s true–I still learn about new (or new-to-me) poetic forms almost every time I actually take the time to go through all the PF posts (which I will be trying to do this weekend). So much to learn…so many cool forms to experiment with. Thanks for the kind words:>)

  21. I see that many loved this poem Laura, & I do too! You just seem to understand how to write those words for children, a “fumble of joy” indeed!

  22. I see that many loved this poem Laura, & I do too! You just seem to understand how to write those words for children, a “fumble of joy” indeed!

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