The Poetry Friday Roundup Is Here!

Happy Poetry Friday! Welcome, everyone! (Wondering what Poetry Friday is? Click here.) I’m so happy to be hosting this week. I’m feeling sad about a breakup in the family, and this is a good distraction–along with being super busy with deadlines, storytimes, and promoting my forthcoming picture book.

Poetry Princesses Challenge

This month, our Poetry Princess challenge was to choose a poem by a poetry sister and write a tanka in response or inspired by or in conversation with. I’ve never felt comfortable with tankas, though I love haiku, which are related. You can learn more about tankas in this post from Kelly. She says, “The final two lines elaborate on the subject by delving deeper into the emotional heart of the poem. The use of metaphor or simile is encouraged in the tanka, particularly in the closing two lines.” So I delved.

This one was inspired by Mary Lee’s gorgeous haiku on the sounds of autumn. I wondered what the trees of early fall were saying, and this is what came out. I wanted to work in the mournful creak of the U‑Haul as we sadly unloaded boxes down the ramp, but it didn’t fit. 

Then I picked another poem, a recent one from Liz. It was her fabulous deeper wisdom poem about pennies. I’m afraid I couldn’t let go of autumn, one of my favorite poetry topics.

And that’s all I’ve got, unlike some of my ambitious sisters! Don’t forget to check in with them!


Mary Lee

(And click here to see all our previous Poetry Princesses collaborations.)

Did you write a tanka along with us? Please share using #PoetryPals or just stick it in the comments. Looking forward to seeing them!

My Forthcoming Picture Book

Also, I want to take a moment to share that I have a new picture book coming out in October. It’s called If You Want to Knit Some Mittens, and it’s a crafting/friendship story about how wool gets from a sheep to mittens. Illustrator Angela Matteson and I (but mostly Angela!) have put together some activity sheets, and you can also see the book trailer and more about the books if you click on the link above or the cover below.  Please feel free to spread the word to any of your crafter/maker/knitter friends!

Mr. Schu revealed our book trailer on Monday. Check it out here!

And I visited with Lydia Lukidis for a Blissfully Bookish interview AND GIVEAWAY!

Want to write with us in October? Our challenge is a Wordplay Poem, as invented by Nikki Grimes. Wordplay poems are fabulous! Check out Nikki’s description here on Michelle Heidenrich Barnes’ lovely blog: You’ll have to scroll down a ways to get to it. Here’s my poem for that challenge: And here are a few more _ Is a Word poems I’ve done since then: And here are all the ones done by loads of people for that original challenge: And here’s my lesson plan (with messed up photos) from a young authors conference where I taught this form. No need to look at ALL of this. Just giving you options :>) So write your Wordplay Poem and post it on October 29th! Share it with #PoetryPals if you post to social media, too!

Mr. Linky is rounding us up today, so please fill out the doohickey below to both leave your link and to check out all the other links you can explore. Thanks for being part of Poetry Friday, and I look forward to reading all of your posts throughout the weekend!





39 Responses

  1. I love both of your autumn tanka-conversations! You nailed both endings, and your images are fantastic!

  2. Love the metaphors in both your tankas Laura. There sure is lots of letting go in Fall. I like your twist from “time teeters” to your hillside full of wishes. All the best with your new book, and what an enchanting trailer! Thanks for your cornucopia post and hosting the Roundup!

  3. Laura, your tankas are terrific and I wanted to let you know that I watched the trailer on Mr. Schu’s blog and loved it. Loved the reverse motion of the knitting that you created.

  4. Laura, I love fall, too and there is something about “time teeters on a high wire” that resonated with me. It’s an emotional time. And leaves like bright pennies is something I have never heard before. Lovely work. Your new book looks fun and do knit when I can.

  5. I especially love both endings of your tanks, Laura. Ah, autumn is such a beautiful time, “Leaves love the tree…but let go” & “Wishes shine on the hillside” — gorgeous! I’m excited about your new book. My younger granddaughter (10) is a knitter. She will love it! Thanks for hosting!

  6. Hi Laura, I had to sit with your UHaul Tanka — very poignant. Thank you for hosting, and congratulations on your charming new book! (I DO want to knit some mittens)

  7. Thank you for hosting today, Laura! I’m sorry about your daughter’s breakup. We never stop worrying about our children, do we? Thank goodness for the solace of poetry! Your tanka are beautiful. I especially love those pennies dangling “from copper-heavy branches.” IF YOU WANT TO KNIT SOME MITTENS looks adorable! I can’t wait to read it!

  8. Laura! These are both just beautiful! I love that last line of your U‑Haul poem (and it reminds me so much of Mary Lee’s poem “no one stays for long” !!) and oh, that time teetering… gorgeous!

  9. Oh, I loved your book trailer! Such journey stories are important, and when I knit, I love thinking about how it all started. We had sheep for a time (Icelandics), but we never got to the point where we used their wool. Delightful!

    And “Leaves love the tree…but let go.” So true. Today I go with my mom, likely to be with her as she says goodbye to her wonderful old dog Max. She loves him so.

    Thank you for hosting and for making such a warm, safe, joyful place to visit.

    xx, a.

    1. Amy, I’m so glad you can be with her if that goodbye is/was necessary today. Support for goodbyes is so crucial…And you were in my initial idea for this book. Somewhere, maybe on Lydia’s blog, I shared the initial idea from my Picture Book Ideas document. And I excised the name, but I had written: “If You Need Mittens… Funny, nf approach. How to Make Mittens. 1) Buy a sheep. Funny, but true. Back matter, basics of knitting. Amy LV could be a resource? Could I go visit her?”

  10. Like you, autumn makes me happy (such a glory of color) and terribly sad (it will all be gone). You’ve done a superb job of capturing both emotions in your tankas. Thank you for hosting, and so glad it’s you for today’s special Poetry Sisters challenge—seems fitting.

  11. Thank-you for hosting us today, Laura. I am stuck on your line; ‘Leaves love the tree… but let go.’ It’s unexpected yet true. It lingers… Love the title for your new book — and your unravelling trailer. Very clever.

  12. Oh, the perfection of poetry princesses! I love that you were taking inspiration from each other for this challenge. Your tankas are lovely and highlight the way autumn makes us think about the bittersweetness of both loving and letting go.

    “Time teeters on a highwire.” Swoon.

    IF YOU WANT TO KNIT SOME MITTENS looks adorable. Congrats on your latest!

  13. Thank you for hosting today Laura! I love how both of your poems celebrate autumn, and how you’ve used that to explore the emotion of letting go of things (people,places) we love.

    1. Thanks, Elisabeth–and wonderful to meet you in person (well, Zoom almost counts as in person, right?)!

  14. Laura, Thank you so much for hosting today. I love both of the poems you offered. The color words stand out to me, especially the copper pennies. Best wishes for a successful book launch.

    1. Glad it finally appeared for you. So strange! I’m guessing that for some reason your device was loading a cached page instead of the current one. So frustrating. Your bog photos and haiku were great (I often feel compelled to title my haiku, despite the “rule”)!

  15. Why yes, I think I will write a word play poem. Thank you! Thanks for hosting this week. I’m busy, busy, busy and trying to keep up. Going to plunge into some PF reading right now.

  16. Thank you for hosting and bringing us so much beauty! So sorry about the sadness — they say we’re only as happy at any moment as our least happy child. <3 Ruth,

  17. I love the leafy tree images, the treasure of “copper-heavy branches,” and the wistful tone of your autumn poems, Laura. The trailer is so sweet! Although I don’t remember how to knit, I’ll be looking for your new book.

    1. I’m a low-level knitter, but the whole sheep to mittens process amazes me :>) Thanks, JoAnn!

  18. Laura, I have been so busy with the family this weekend that I just realized I did not add my comment on Friday after viewing your marvelous book trailer. Of course, I want to thank you for hosting PF this week. Love your thought on your new book: “Knitting is about the power we have to change things. To try things. To create things. To gift things.” Congratulations also on all the new books that you will be publishing soon.

  19. Congratulations on your new picture book — looking forward to reading it! Thanks for sharing your tanka; the sadness in the U‑Haul one is palpable. Your response to Liz’s poem is so lovely!!
    Thanks for hosting — I left a comment on Friday but I see now it didn’t go through. Hope this one works!

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