October 11, 2013

Poetry Friday--The Mortimer Minute


Many thanks to poet extraordinaire, Julie Larios, for inviting me to partake in The Mortimer Minute, a Children's Poetry Blog Hop event. The Mortimer Minute was begun in early September by April Halprin Wayland.

I was tagged by Julie, who last week posted a lively exchange with Mortimer the rabbit.

Here are the "rules":

1. Answer three short questions, one of them taken from the previous Mortimer Minute.

2. Invite another blogger (or two or three) to take part on the following week--writers, teachers, or anyone who loves children's poetry is the perfect choice.

3. Link to the previous Mortimer Minute and to your choice for next week.

I've followed #3 and will do #1 next, but, sadly, Mortimer appears to have reached the end of the road here in New Hampshire. I haven't been able to find another blogger who hasn't already been tagged, or who is willing to take on the task of being questioned by a rabbit. (Perhaps it's a problem of rabbit allergies? Or not knowing the language?) If anyone wants to take part next week, please comment below and I'll add your link.  Update:  Donna J. T. Smith of Mainely Write has graciously volunteered to be tagged! Yay, Donna! Check out her beautiful poem for today, "Days of Roses."

By the way, Mortimer speaks English, although he does speak very quietly, so you have to listen carefully. Mortimer told me he is multilingual and he taught me the word for rabbit in several languages: Spanish = conejo; German = Kaninchen; Indonesian = kelinci; Afrikaans = haas; Czech = králík; Swahili = sungura; Hindi = खरगोश. Rabbits are found on every continent except Antarctica! They are not native to Australia, but after they were introduced there by the Europeans in the mid-19th century, they multiplied like...like rabbits!

Here's Mortimer to ask me three short questions:

Mortimer:
Do you have a pet rabbit?

Me:
No, I have two cats. I did, however, have a grandbunny by the name of Miles. Sadly, he moved into that big hutch in the sky. Miles is featured in a haiku I wrote, which you can see here. Here's a photo of Miles in 2009 when he lived in the Bronx (before he moved back to Massachusetts, and then to his final home):

Resting under a non-edible piece of furniture, alongside some pieces of DJ equipment. FYI: Miles was named after Miles Davis.

Mortimer:
He's a fine looking rabbit! Do you have any human grandchildren?

Me:
Yes, I do! A little grandson who will be one at the end of this month. Here's a photo of him saying, "Cool." It's a handy word--it can mean temperature, as in the weather, or, awesomeness, as in "Mortimer, you're one, cool, coney."


Mortimer:
I also asked this of Julie: what children's poem do you wish you had written?

Me:
Last Friday I mentioned "Ducks' Ditty," by Kenneth Grahame. I also wish I could have written this one by Aileen Fisher:
Little Talk

Don't you think it's probable
that beetles, bugs, and bees
talk about a lot of things--
you know, such things as these:

The kind of weather where they live
in jungles tall with grass
and earthquakes in their villages
whenever people pass!

Of course, we'll never know if bugs
talk very much at all,
because our ears are far too big
for talk that is so small.

Mortimer:
Oh, I love it! I know just what she means when she's talking about the jungles and the earthquakes!

Me:
I'm glad you like it. Both "Little Talk" and "Ducks' Ditty" are found in an older (1965) anthology called Piper, Pipe that Song Again: Poems for Boys and Girls, selected by Nancy Larrick.

Mortimer:
Thanks, I'll look for it.

Me:
It's no longer in print, but you should be able to find it from a used book vendor. I looked at AbeBooks the other day, and there were several copies available for less than $4.00, and that included shipping!

Mortimer:
Well, it's time to go! Which way to the highway?

Me:
I-93 is less than a mile from here. Head south if you want Massachusetts, go north if you're headed for Canada! And, if you're looking for the Round-Up, hosted by Laura Salas, click here.

24 comments:

  1. Miles the Bunny is possibly not quite as jazzy as Miles the Musician...? Cutie, though. And oh, love the cool grandbaby, Diane!!

    Thanks for posting the Fisher poem.

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  2. Thanks again for tagging me, Julie!

    Don't you love the last two lines of Fisher's poem?
    because our ears are far too big
    for talk that is so small

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  3. LOVE the Fisher poem, Diane -- those last two lines are too adorable, so childlike.

    Enjoyed your conversation with Mortimer and seeing your adorable grandson. :)

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    1. He sure is a cutie! I've kept him off my social media pages for privacy reasons, but, I thought it would be okay to post a photo as long as there was no other identifying information.

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  4. I agree, Diane. Aileen Fisher is one of my favorite poets--as are you . . .

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    1. Thanks, Marileta! So nice to have you stop by.

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  5. Oh, I wouldn't mind being interviewed by a rabbit...Mortimer looks and sounds quite refined. Let me know if you need another poet for next week still!

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  6. Replies
    1. Okay, I'm all set for this Friday! Having my own troubles finding a tag...maybe it needs to be passed on a different way...a sign up?

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    2. I wouldn't worry about it. The Blog Hop seems to have run its course. I think that with the limited pool of children's poets/poetry lovers who blog, the original idea of tagging two or three people may have been too much. However, I'm sure that those who originated the M.M. must have had their reasons for structuring it the way they did. Thanks again and I'll see you and Mortimer on Friday!

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  7. This poem has such a wonderful kid-like perspective--thanks for sharing it (and the photo of that beautiful blue bunny boy.)

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  8. Ooh, fun to learn more about you! And what a great poem--I love her book, Do Rabbits Have Christmas? I need to seek out more of her work. Thanks!

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  9. I'm not familiar with Do Rabbits Have Christmas? I'll look to see if I can ILL it. Thanks for the suggestion.

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    1. What a doofus, I am! I just looked it up and saw the cover and immediately realized I had written a Kurious Kitty post on the book. I had completely forgotten the title!

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  10. I love thinking about what bugs might chat about. I'm thinking of the aphids and ladybugs on the milkweed in our land lab. Are the ladybugs bossy, or benevolent farmers? Hmm...

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    1. Definitely bossy! Anything that can wear a black dotted red coat isn't about to mess around!

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  11. As a beekeeper, I often wonder what the bees say when we "invade" their homes with smoke and light. They probably all need therapy. Thanks for letting us learn more about you (grandbaby = PRECIOUS) and for sharing a fun poem!

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    1. I worry about the future of the bees, but people such as you, Keri, make me hopeful! Keep up the good work.

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  12. Mortimer? Quiet? I think he's getting plum worn out with all the travel... or maybe you just knew the secret to making him feel at home. Nice move pulling out the bunny and grandson photos! Worked for me too actually ;) Cool.

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  13. Well, I didn't think anyone wanted to hear me go on and on again about haiku, so, I took the easy way out! Small animals and babies? What's not to like? (Unless you're W.C. Fields, and then you'll find plenty.)

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  14. I enjoyed your Mortimer Minute! There must be so much small talk for which our ears are too big. Thanks for sharing the poem.

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  15. What a fun Mortimer Minute. I love this idea. Mortimer must be tired from visiting all the blogs.

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  16. Hi Ruth and Jone!

    Mortimer is amazing--he's often in several parts of the country simultaneously! Ah, the power of poetry--it enables rabbits to fly!

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