Still Shining (a gratitude sonnet) and a Poetry Gathering at NCTE [Poetry Friday]

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

Some Poetry Friday folks–l. to r. back row: Heidi Mordhorst, Christie Wyman, Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, Kat Apel, Tabatha Yeatts, Janet Fagal, Matt Forrest Esenwine; l. to r. lower front row: Carol Varsalona, Irene Latham, Laura Purdie Salas, Laura Shovan

At NCTE, Laura Shovan organized a lovely dinner for kidlit poetry people. It was a huge gathering featuring lots of seafood (or, you know, creme brulee if you’re a seafood hater like me)! Here’s a photo of the Poetry Friday folks who were there. Wow! So lovely to meet some people in person for the very first time! You can see my NCTE photo album here, and you’ll find lots of other poets and Poetry Friday people who just couldn’t be at this dinner.

Also, this month’s Poetry Princesses challenge was a sonnet (or any form) on the theme of gratitude. This one, written first draft in the bathtub and second/third drafts at McDonald’s, was inspired by an actual rock I found on Minnesota’s North Shore (and dropped), plus the beauty and grace shown by friends who have experienced monumental losses–losses that pretty much broke them in two–and yet who still shine.

And here are links to poems by some of my poetry sisters. Some of us have cups overflowing with life right now. I’ll add links for whomever ends up participating:>)


25 Responses

  1. Ah yes, thank goodness broken things still shine. Lovely sonnet, Laura! And thank you for all your help and guidance during NCTE, which I’m also spotlighting today. I hope to go back again at some point!

    1. Thanks, Matt, and you’re very welcome. NCTE was so big and overwhelming the first few times I went and knew basically nobody.

  2. It’s a beautifully poignant poem, Laura. I love that you used the drop and break of a rock to show little losses, like big ones, can still shine. I loved going to NCTE and it is wonderful that so many of you gathered!

    1. Thanks, Linda. It WAS amazing to get to see so many poetry friends there. Missed you!

  3. “Little losses make me sadder.” sob
    Why is that so painfully true? And yet: what a BEAUTIFUL gain, to be able to see the striations within the piece — and it is lovely. And now you have another piece of it. (We started going to gem and rock shows about two years ago. You should see my house — there are little displays of rocks in various places all over. Let me know when you figure out the name of the one you have — I’d like to find something like that!)

    1. Thank you, Tanita! It definitely seems to be a Lake Superior agate, which is what I was hoping for:>) That’s what the striations indicate. Yay! It’s the biggest aggie I’ve ever found. Usually I just find tiny pebbles, but this one is 1–1/2–2 inches long. This one doesn’t have super distinctive bands, but it’s still lovely. It’s our state rock here in Minnesota. Here’s a bit more info/visual:

  4. “It shows each deep and fragile line”- This line shares the fragility of life — inspired by the last line where broken things can shine and do…Thanks for that beautiful poem, Laura, and the sharing of our amazing meet-up.

  5. “little losses make me sadder…” isn’t that the truth?! Wonderful sonnet. I wrote a sonnet for this week as well. It’s tough! But, super fun too. What a pretty stone that I at first thought was a cookie!

    1. HAhaha–as much as I feature sweets, I’m not surprised you thought it was a cookie:>) Thanks, Linda.

  6. I love the ending–broken things still shine. There is such hope in the midst of loss here. And I love that picture from NCTE. So nice to see you all together. I wish I could have joined you!

  7. Sensitive analogy between your warm stone and a warm person perhaps, and then a break– a loss– with hope at the end, lovely Laura. Thanks for sharing the beaming picture, it’s fun to see you all together!

    1. Thanks, Michelle. And thank you for noticing the warmth. I know we usually think of stones as cold, but I didn’t want this one to be cold, and when it’s paired with a person holding it, it’s not :>)

  8. Just…wow. Such truth. Thank you for this blessing, this permission to shine, even when broken. (Especially when?)

    1. Thank you, Mary Lee. Especially when. Sometimes I think we feel like we don’t have that permission unless we’re perfect and whole. Ha! I guess nobody would truly shine then.

  9. Oh, my goodness. This post was buried in my email for me to find today. I love that broken things still shine and how nature gives us so many life lessons if we pay attention. I’m so sad that I missed the NCTE gathering. I realized recently that I have everyone of your books. Such a fangirl!

    1. Thank you, Margaret! Honored that you have all my books! They couldn’t be in better hands:>)

  10. I love the curiosity in this poem…and the compassion. It reminds me of the Leonard Cohen quote: There is a crack in everything…that’s how the light gets in.” Shine one, dear poetry sister…

    1. Thank you, Sara–I have a whole picture book manuscript (unsold) inspired by that very quote:>)

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