September 29, 2013

September 27, 2013

Poetry Friday--Poems By Heart

Last week I read a School Library Journal article about poetry apps for an iPhone or iPad. The article recommended watching a short video for the Penguin Classics book Poems By Heart. I watched the video, and have posted it below in case you haven't seen it.



Since the app is free, and since I have an iPad, I downloaded it. It comes with two poems; if you wish to learn more, additional ones can be purchased.

First off, the app is very colorful and inviting. However, I wish there had been a short introduction to explain what was expected. It was easy enough to figure out that I had to pick out missing words, but, I didn't realize I was going to be timed and scored. I also didn't realize that an app could be so impatient! Hey, app! Give me a break--I'm slow! Or rather, I like to take my time! [Note: I've always found the Penguin colophon to be delightful, so, I really liked the 2-second animated penguin that appears as the app opens!]

The user is challenged to fill-in-the-blanks with missing words, which are provided within a police line-up of likely words. By doing the exercise over and over again, the poem is almost effortlessly memorized. I could see it working with the poem I tried! The day after, though, I couldn't even remember the first line, oh well.

What I would really like to do is to record poems on my own, which I could add to the app, so that I could learn what I want to learn! I'd love to memorize some of my poems, but, I'm really horrible at memorization and could use some help--like, for instance, a bossy app!

Visit The Poem Farm today where Amy is hosting this week's Round-Up.

Sunday is our annual excursion to The Big E, which is always good for poetic inspiration! An exhibit from a prior year was written about here, and maybe next week, I'll have something new to share.

September 24, 2013

Haiku Sticky #220


© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

Lots of geese flying overhead this week. I just found out that a vee of geese is called a skein. How could I not know this?

September 22, 2013

September 20, 2013

Poetry Friday--"My BFF"

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. To see another photo of Skippy and the bookcase, click here.

Truly, my best friend forever is the thesaurus. I used to merely like it, but it has worked its way into my heart, become indispensable, and there it will remain as long as I keep writing. Admittedly, I'm stuck on the online version from Thesaurus.com, but, in the olden days, I was equally as familiar with my copy of Roget's Super Thesaurus by Marc McCutcheon. You can see the Super Thesaurus in the photo on the left, I've had it since it was first published in 1995, there is now a 4th edition available.) I also had another thesaurus from the 1940s. Why, you ask, did I use a 70 year old thesaurus? Because, I found it handy when I was working on Kids of the Homefront Army: Poems of World War II America. Language has definitely changed!

As I get older, when I'm writing, I find a lot of words clinging to the tip of my tongue. The thesaurus helps me to shake them loose.

So, do you have a BFF reference source you're dependent on?

From here, head over to Tabatha Yeatts: The Opposite of Indifference to meet more poetry friends.



September 17, 2013

September 15, 2013

September 13, 2013

Poetry Friday--"Sliding Pon"

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. WPA poster courtesy Library of Congress. Click on the image to enlarge it for easier reading.

I was thinking about the quick slide from Labor Day until Christmas and ended up with this poem that has nothing to do with either holiday, but instead, playground equipment from the past!

I'd like to know if any of my readers called a playground slide a "sliding pon" or "sliding pond"? I believe it's a name used in the New York City area years ago. In my mind I saw it as stemming from "slide upon," but I thought I would look to see if I could find its origins. The Word Maven dismissed my guess: "Two problems with this are that upon is a more formal word than children would normally use, and also of course that slide-upon is not known to have ever been used." Then, I found an entry at Wordwizard, "At the turn-of-the-century (Twentieth!)a company named 'SLIDE-UPON' manufactured the original slide that appeared in many of New York's great playgrounds." It looks like I was at least partially right!

Hey, does anyone remember throwing dust or fine sand on the slide to make the downward ride even faster?

Head over to Teach Mentor Texts for today's Round-Up.

September 10, 2013

Haiku Sticky #218


© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

A small, but committed, group of individuals rallied at the NH state house on Sunday to oppose the proposed U.S. strike against Syria. The passers-by were either supportive, or totally oblivious. The one yelled-out-of-a-car epithet was, "F**king hippies!" It struck me as totally incongruous considering that there were few in the crowd wearing tie-die or anything else vaguely hippy-ish, and that a good number of the attendees were over the age of 70, or, were nuns. At least this time, I didn't hear anyone yell, "Get a job!"

September 8, 2013

Happy Haiga Day!

A tanka for today.


© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

September 6, 2013

Poetry Friday--A Haiga Dot

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. Also appears on the Celebri-dots blog.

If you haven't heard of International Dot Day, please check it out! It is a day for everyone, especially kids, to make their mark (their dot), and it will be taking place next week. (The 15th, or, since the 15th is on a Sunday, schools will probably be participating on the 13th or 16th.)

The day was inspired by author/illustrator, Peter Reynold's book, The Dot, which, I'd venture to guess, is found in most American public libraries and many of you have already read.

Somehow, I heard about the Celebri-dots blog (if I had to guess, I'd say it was a friend's post on Facebook). On the blog "...authors, illustrators, and celebrities who share in the dream of a more creative world" share a dot that is a personal expression. I spent some time on the blog and thought to myself, "I'm not a celebrity, but I have published some picture books, and I definitely would like to spread the "more creative world" message far and wide. And, I love a challenge! So...I created my own dot and submitted it. It was accepted and appeared yesterday!

I have hundreds of photos of my cats, especially Skippy. She is more photogenic than Smudge who always manages to close her eyes when the camera snaps. I enhanced the eyes and I experimented until I found a small dot that actually looked like a laser pointer dot. And, of course, I made the whole thing round! Read the post to learn more about the haiga.

I want to leave you with this joyous video, "O Ponto/The Dot," created by school kids in Portugal. I love the end where hands and faces come out of the giant painted dot!



Also, check out an iPad digital dot gallery here.

Laura at Author Amok is the hostess with the mostess this Poetry Friday!

Go out and make your mark on the world, and spread the message!

September 3, 2013

September 1, 2013