Featuring cherita!

July 30, 2010

Poetry Friday--One Big Rain

Charlesbridge isn't known for their books of poetry, so when I read that One Big Rain: Poems for Rainy Days compiled by Rita Gray and illustrated by Ryan O'Rourke was recently released by Charlesbridge, I ordered it for the library to see how they handled poetry.

Admirably, I'd say, now that I've had a chance to look at it!

The collection of poems is spare--20 poems spread over 32 pages, but they are well-chosen. Within are many haiku from Japan, a lovely Norwegian poem called "Rain" that should delight children with its wordplay, a poem translated from Spanish, and a sampling of English language poems by a variety of poets.

Here's a haiku by Issa, translated by William Higginson.
a bush warbler...
muddy feet wiped
on the plum blossoms
I am so very pleased that Rita Gray used haiku translated by William Higginson and Patricia Donegan. Both were/are noted haiku experts and their translations do not conform to a 5-7-5 syllable format that you see in so many books for children. They do not use one syllable more than is necessary to detail a moment.

The illustrations are pleasing. The artist uses oil on paper in nice muted tones--mostly grays and greens. (I grabbed the image above from the web, the colors on my book's cover don't pop like they do in the web image, which I think is rather odd.)

The book size is approximately 9" high by 7" wide (would you believe I don't have a ruler?). I guess the smaller size accounts for it's being reasonably priced at $9.95 (list).

All in all, a nice effort from Charlesbridge--I hope to see them publishing more poetry in the future!

Visit Irene Latham at Live. Love. Explore! for this week's Poetry Friday Round-Up.

July 27, 2010

July 25, 2010

July 23, 2010

Poetry Friday--"A Soft Day"

By time this posts, I'll be miles away from home up in the farthest northern part of New Hampshire. It'll be nice to get away for a few days. Even if it rains, there's a porch, and I have a book (make that a dozen books) that I should be reading.

For today I'll share this poem by Winifred M. Letts called "A Soft Day," which explains some of the delights of a rainy summer's day.
      A soft day, thank God!
      A wind from the south
      With a honey'd mouth;
      A scent of drenching leaves,
      Briar and beech and lime,
      White elderflower and thyme,

And the soaking grass smells sweet,
Crushed by my two bare feet,
      While the rain drips,
Drips, drips, drips from the eaves.

      A soft day, thank God!
      The hills wear a shroud
      Of silver cloud;
      The web the spider weaves
      Is a glittering net;
      The woodland path is wet,

And the soaking earth smells sweet
Under my two bare feet,
      And the rain drips,
Drips, drips, drips from the leaves.

A little bit of information about Winifred Letts can be found here.

The Poetry Friday Round-Up is being held at Language, Literacy, Love. I'll have to catch up on all the P.F. posts when I get home on Sunday. Have a great weekend.

Photo by uneduex

July 21, 2010


The artist, Blu, hails from Bologna, Italy. I can't imagine any U.S. city allowing work of this scale to be done. Amazing! (It made me a little dizzy, though.)

To learn more about Blu, visit his website www.blublu.org.

July 18, 2010

Happy Haiga Day!

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. Image courtesy Library of Congress.

I have another haiga posted today at KK's Kwotes. Check it out, it's a happy haiga day!

July 16, 2010

Poetry Friday--The Ever Inspirational Snoopy

Have you read Snoopy's Guide to the Writing Life edited by Barnaby Conrad and Monte Schultz (Writer's Digest Books, 2002)? If you're a writer, you simply can't miss it. It comes
With insights and advice from more than 30 of the world's most popular and respected storytellers, including Ray Bradbury, William F. Buckley, Jr., Julia Child, Clive Cussler, Fannie Flagg, Elizabeth George, Sue Grafton, Elmore Leonard, Ed McBain, Sidney Sheldon, Danielle Steel, Jack Canfield
The advice is interesting, and, helpful, but Snoopy is the real reason to read the book. There are many, many daily and Sunday comic strips that feature the little beagle in his role as writer--complete with his portable typewriter. (Don't you dare ask, "What's a typewriter?")

Since this is POETRY Friday, I've used Snoopy's words and mine (in red) to write a "poem" (according to the school of "a poem is whatever you say it is"):
The Elements of a Really Good Book (With Examples from a Master) and a Little Advice

It was a dark and stormy night.

It was a sort of dark and kind of stormy night.

Some nights were dark. Some nights were stormy.

Unbeknownst to everyone, it was a dark and stormy night.

If I remember correctly, it was a dark and stormy night.

It was one of those dark nights when you weren't sure if it was going to be stormy or not.

It was a dark and stormy marriage.

The cat left the room.

Then came the dog.

She threw herself in front of a Zamboni.

He was a dark and stormy knight.

"Ah, ha!" cried the Inspector, "The plot thins!"

Snow White and the Seven Beagles

Why Dogs Are the Most Superior of All Creatures On Land, Sea and Sky and Maybe Space

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night

Good Writing is Hard Work!

Visit Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe for this week's Poetry Friday Round-Up.

July 14, 2010

Announcing--Berry Blue Haiku

I don't know how I forgot to do this last month, but I forgot to announce the publication of a new haiku journal--for kids! It's Berry Blue Haiku and its first issue came out in June. Check it out here. And look for the haiga on page 2!

An interview with the publisher, Gisele LeBlanc can be found here. The next issue will be out on September 15, and a one-year subscription can be ordered for just $4.99.

July 13, 2010

July 11, 2010

Un-Happy Haiga Day

For my dear friends Sally and Marnie.

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved

July 9, 2010

Poetry Friday--Tomatoes

Two years ago I came upon a website for a tomato festival that is held annually in East Nashville, TN. Since summer, for me, is defined by two things, fresh tomatoes and ripe peaches, I was motivated to explore the page promoting the festival. I found that the Tomato Art Fest included a tomato haiku contest. Whoa! Right up my alley! I submitted several poems, but I didn't win. I was mildly irritated by the fact that the "winners" were 5-7-5 format, and not what I'd consider to be genuine haiku.

Last year, the haiku contest was repeated, but, non-5-7-5 poems were actively sought. I was tickled tomato red to see this expansion of the contest. I submitted, and again, I didn't win. But, I never really expected to--I think local event contests should be won by locals.

Just last week I got an email telling me that the Hot Tomato Haiku Contest is being held again. I think I'm almost out of tomato ideas, but I may submit something since I see that LOSERS can be resubmitted.
You may resubmit a haiku from past years as long as it wasn’t chosen for the Top 10 in any category.
If you're interested, submission information is found here.

The haiku in this haiga isn't something I would submit since it is region specific, but I thought I'd share it with you.

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved

For non-haiku tomato poems, visit the Poetry Foundation website where you'll find two dozen poems that have at least a mention of tomatoes! A poem by Louise Gluck, "Vespers [In your extended absence, you permit me]" captures the experience of tomato growing in New England--even better than I did.      ;-)

Ketchup on this week's Poetry Friday offerings by visiting Carol's Corner.

July 7, 2010

Defining Haiku

For those who are still have not discovered that haiku do not have to be written in three lines of 5-7-5 syllables, the recent issue of Simply Haiku contains an explanation of the form by Robert D. Wilson. It is worth reading--I found the part about kire to be particularly helpful. (Kire are cutting words--in English, we use punctuation in their place.)

After you've read Wilson's article, read the rest of the journal, too! You'll find other forms you may not be familiar with--haibun and tanka. I'm a newcomer to tanka, having only started experimenting with it over the past year. I've been writing haibun for less time than that.

In his article, "Defining Haiku," Wilson mentions Patricia Donegan and her book Haiku: Asian Arts & Craft for Creative Kids (Tuttle Publishing, 2003). As a librarian, I purchased the book for my library's collection. It's one of the best explanations of haiku, for kids (and adults), that I have come across. It's worth checking out from your local public library. If they don't have it, request it on interlibrary loan.

July 2, 2010

Poetry Friday--Let's Celebrate!

No need to explain this original poem for today!

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. Image courtesy Library of Congress.

Head on over to The Poem Farm for this week's Poetry Friday Round-Up.

Have fun and be safe this weekend!