Water, Water Everywhere [Poetry Friday]

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

I’m back with a third poem from The Poetry of US, J. Patrick Lewis’ newest anthology with National Geographic. I originally wrote this poem for one of my books for teachers, Wacky, Wild, and Wonderful: 50 State Poems. Other than family, the only thing I miss about Florida is the beach. So lots of watery, beachy poems made it into that book. It is so lovely to see my Delaware poem paired with this gorgeous National Geographic photo. And I’m sharing a page with Laura Shovan’s fabulous “Beach Day!”


A spread from The Poetry of US
A spread from The Poetry of US

Here’s the text of the poem, plus a bit of extra info.

Delaware: Water, Water Everywhere
Delaware River,
Garrisons Lake,
Broad Creek slithers
like a snake
Nanticoke River,
Chesapeake Bay,
Atlantic Ocean,
cold and grey
Breakers and currents
kidnap sand,
Neptune’s stealing
Delaware’s land
Note: Delaware is a small state that packs a big wet punch. Numerous rivers, ponds, and swamps saturate this state, and the Atlantic Ocean and the Delaware Bay form its entire eastern boundary. Tidal flooding and wind and wave erosion wash sand into the water, eroding the shoreline. In some areas, authorities pump sand from offshore back onto the beach.  [Chant]
A Note from the Poet: I love the names of places. It’s fun when I visit other states or even other countries to look at the signs for towns and cities that sound so different from the ones I’m familiar with. For the second stanza, I especially looked for place names that had c- and k- sounds. I like how harsh and sputtery it sounds when I read that stanza aloud.

Michelle at Today’s Little Ditty has the Poetry Friday Roundup today, so you’ll find lots more poetry there!

21 Responses

  1. Hi, Laura. I’m so glad to see your post. I was excited when I found out we were sharing a sandy page in this wonderful book. Neptune is stealing Delaware’s land indeed. Our coastal area and the whole Chesapeake Bay watershed are in trouble. Kudos to you on the poem.

  2. I like “Breakers and currents/kidnap sand,” and your further explanation, Laura. I’ve never been to Deleware, glad to hear of its watery beauty!

  3. Congrats on having multiple poems included in the new National Geographic anthology. I love the cheer feel of “Water, Water Everywhere.” I can totally see teachers using this as a choral read/chant in class.

    1. Thanks, Michelle! April Pulley Sayre’s chant picture books inspired me for the form:>)

  4. This one is great fun to say aloud–yes, I can imagine a class of kids chanting it. And how nice that you were able to recycle one of your 50 state poems for another audience!

  5. Oh, this is delightful! The names are perfect and you fit them with a great beat. I love it. It’s nice to see Delaware wit a poem like this. When I travel north or south on I‑95 I tend to refer to DE as “the parking lot”. I need to see it with a more positive personality. This poem does it.

    1. Thank you, Linda–that’s my FAVORITE thing about a poem…when it makes me see something familiar in a new way:>)

    1. Wow, thank you! I’m slowly making my way through the book and loving seeing so many friends’ names and works!

  6. What a fun poem. It reminds me of our vacation to a Delaware beach a few years ago.

  7. We learn so much about the Delaware river in your short rhythmic poem–and I love your ending with Neptune snuck in there–lovely!

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