Happy Poetry Friday! (Wondering what Poetry Friday is? Click here.)
Hooray for Elaine Magliaro!
I am so happy to write this post, because it’s celebrating a book I have looked forward to for a long time! For many years, Elaine Magliaro blogged incredibly regularly about writing poetry for and with kids. As an elementary educator and a poet, she always had cool things to share. Back in the…I don’t know, maybe 2007-2012 range(?), I read her blog/poems religiously. Her writing always felt so fresh and inventive! She retired from teaching and also started spending a lot of time with family, so her blogging slowed to a trickle. I missed it! But she’s back now, and you won’t want to miss her blog, Wild Rose Reader!
The Connection Between Things to Do and If You Were the Moon
Five or six years ago, she sold a poetry collection to Chronicle, and I’ve been waiting for this book ever since. I especially feel a kinship to this book because it’s Things to Do, a collection of Things to Do If… poems. That’s the same kind of poem that my forthcoming If You Were the Moon (which I pitched and sold as Things to Do If You Are the Moon). I am not 100% sure, but I think Elaine’s blog was where I was first introduced to this form. Back in 2009, her poem “Things to Do If You Are a Pencil” was included in Georgia Heard’s anthology, Falling Down the Page. That might have been the first time I saw this poetic form, and I love it. I’ve played around with it ever since.
From Bobbi to Elaine to Me to You?
Yesterday, I was listening to Matthew Winner’s All the Wonders podcast, and Elaine popped up in the episode list! It was great to hear Elaine’s voice again, and also to be reminded that she first became familiar with this form through Bobbi Katz‘s work. (I don’t know if Bobbi Katz invented this form or not.) I felt so strongly the sense of being a recipient of a wonderful gift. Passed from Bobbi to Elaine to me. Who knows how many students or poets have tried the form after seeing it from one of us. That’s one of the many joys of poetry–passing it along, not just specific poems, but forms and approaches, too. I write Things to Do poems with students all the time, and I often share Elaine’s pencil poem as a mentor text. So, thank you, Bobbi, and thank you, Elaine, and thank you to all the poets constantly sharing work, ideas, forms…Our community makes us each stronger.
Things to Do If You Are Rain
OK, sorry about the digression! Things to Do is absolutely gorgeously illustrated by Catia Chien in dreamy scenes. LOVE.
Here’s one of my favorites from the book. The text is easy to read, but I lost the contrast in my pic. Sorry about that. I wanted to show the gorgeous colors of Chien’s artwork, mainly.
And here is Elaine’s amazing poem:
Things to do if you are RAIN
Polka dot sidewalks.
Whoosh down gutter spouts.
Gurgle into drains.
Patter ’round the porch
in slippers of gray.
Tap dance on the roof.
–Elaine Magliaro, all rights reserved
Congratulations, Elaine! It’s been a long journey, but this book is a jewel–worth the wait!
And for lots of wonderful poetry, don’t miss the Poetry Friday Roundup with Karen Edmisten at The Blog with the Shockingly Clever Title.
PS: Would someone be willing to add me to the roundup? I’m off the grid today and won’t be able to. Thank you!