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Poetry Friday: Welcome to the Party!

There is so much happening in our world right now, it can be hard to take it all in. In these times, more than ever, I am grateful for poetry.  Sometimes I write it.  Sometimes I have no words of my own, so I read and reflect on the poetic words of others.  Either way, poetry helps me process my thoughts and feelings about the world and my experiences in it. My poetic offering today is a poem I wrote earlier this spring, on a rare day when my husband had to go to the office for an in-person meeting and I took our usual lunchtime walk alone.  I am a creature of habit, but on that day I challenged myself to break routine and change direction, and this poem was the result. Today I go against the grain, turn left  Instead of right, Let the path take me away from home Instead of towards it. Today I go against the grain, go up the slope I usually walk down. Climbing uses different muscles Than descent. Today I go with the grain, walk downstream Instead of up, Walk with the flow, Instead of a
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Poetry Friday: Pond Snails

We are surrounded by snails. We see snails of all sizes on the paths after the rain. We see large land snails, brought to Switzerland by the Romans, who liked to eat them (they're protected by law now). This one's shell is about 2 inches in diameter, and his foot is about 3 inches long. And we see snails in the pond on our daily walks.  This poem is the result of my musings as I watched the pond snails like the one above. Our host for Poetry Friday this week is Jan at Bookseed Studio . Mosey on over to find lots of wonderful poetry to linger over this week. Thank you Jan for hosting us! Next week the round up party is here! The post will go live and ready for posting links at midnight UTC+1 time. I can't wait to see what poetic goodies you'll bring to the party!

Poetry Friday: World Refugee Day

This week Monday (June 20th) was World Refugee Day, an international day designated by the United Nations to honour refugees around the globe.  Our poem for that day in the poetry anthology that we read from every night after dinner was this poem by Brian Bilston .  The poem and his masterful use of poetic technique to powerful effect is best appreciated without excerpting, so I encourage you to check it out on his website. On our lunchtime walks, we pass a low wall near a cul-de-sac. For months now, someone has been clearing out things and giving them away, so we are used to walking past the wall and seeing books, DVDs, dishes and more with signs saying they are free to take home.  But today we saw something different. Today we saw a note, weighted in place with a rock. Here is a translation of the note (with names and places redacted for privacy, and some corrections to capture the actual meaning of the words): I came with children from the Ukraine. From the first of July we've

Poetry Friday: Perspective & Pansies

 It's been a busy couple of months, with several writing deadlines. Now, with deadlines met, I'm embracing the pause that follows the busyness of this spring.  When I think of pauses, my mind immediately goes to music. In musical notation, the symbols for pauses are called are rests. To me, rests are the punctuation of music - periods at the ends of phrases, breaks that allow us to process what we've just heard and to anticipate what might be coming next.  Pauses - rests - are full of potential. Like neurons, even at rest we are full of potential energy. Ideas hums and buzz beneath the surface. In the pauses, we can hear our own voice more clearly, and we can adjust our focus - zooming out or in on our life for a change of perspective. As I'm enjoying this pause, I'm also enjoying the new anthology edited by Tabatha Yeatts : Imperfect II poems about perspective: an anthology for middle schoolers . I'm honored that my poem "To the Pansy by the Front Door&qu

Poetry Friday: The Trouble at Turtle Pond

Let's talk about turtles! Last month I was lucky enough to get an advance copy of the wonderful new middle-grade novel, Trouble at Turtle Pond , by Diana Renn, which is out in the world this month!  If you took all the things I care about and rolled them up into one book, it would be The Trouble at Turtle Pond : nature, mysteries, and authentic, inclusive portrayals of neurodiverse characters (in this case, ADHD). This book is full of humor, heart, adventure - and lots of interesting facts about turtles!  When eleven-year-old Miles moves to Marsh Hollow, he’s desperate for a fresh start. At his last school, his ADHD-related challenges earned him a reputation as a troublemaker and cost him his friends, especially after he lost a beloved class pet. With just one chance to make a first impression, “Mayhem Miles” is determined to do something great in this town. Like solving a mystery. After witnessing people burying something in his neighbor’s backyard one night, he’s sure there’s tro

Poetry Friday: A Bit of This, A Bit of That

There's been a lot going on in my writing world lately, so today I thought I'd round up some of my latest news. I recently talked with Joy Bean, Lead Editor at Arctis Books, about bringing books for young readers in translation to the US market. You can get insights into that publishing process, including her thoughts on which books translate well across markets, in our interview over at  Cynsations . April is National Poetry Month in the US, which means the internet abounds with extra helpings of poetic goodness. Over at Ethical ELA, they are celebrating with Verselove . There's a new post every day to inspire you, including this one by Poetry Friday regular, Denise Krebs . If you're looking for interesting poetic forms and mentor poems, it's a great place to visit this month. I'm excited to have a poem in this new anthology for middle-graders, edited by Tabatha Yeatts . I love writing for middle graders, and I loved the first Imperfect anthology, so it was an

Poetry Friday: Daffodils

  Spring is here! Officially, on the calendar, and unofficially (or is it more officially?), in nature. Every day we see more blooms. photo © 2022, Elisabeth Norton Snowdrops were followed by crocuses, and now the daffodils are stealing the show.  photo © 2022, Elisabeth Norton This expanse of daffodils, which we see on our lunchtime walks, has been reminding me of William Wordsworth's classic poem about daffodils every time we pass it, so this week I decided to reread it and look for other poems about daffodils.  Daffodils by William Wordsworth I wander'd lonely as a cloud That floats on high o'er vales and hills, When all at once I saw a crowd, A host of golden daffodils, Beside the lake, beneath the trees Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.                             read the rest of the poem here .  Though we're not walking over hills and vales, Wordsworth's poem definitely captures the rush of joy I feel each time our path takes us past this gentle slope c