Friday, April 13, 2012

Fictional Favorites, part four, plus a progressive poem

So much going on here today! Thanks for coming.

We'll start with the KidLitosphere Progressive Poem, day 13:

If you are reading this
you must be hungry
Kick off your silver slippers
Come sit with us a spell

A hanky, here, now dry your tears
And fill your glass with wine
Now, pour. The parchment has secrets
Smells of a Moroccan market spill out.

You have come to the right place, just breathe in.
Honey, mint, cinnamon, sorrow. Now, breathe out
last week’s dreams. Take a wish from the jar.
Inside, deep inside, is the answer…

Unfold it, and let us riddle it together,


Tomorrow, Diane will have the next line. For the full line-up, click here.


This series of posts considers What would fictional characters' favorite poets/poems be?

Tara from A Teaching Life and Linda from TeacherDance are sharing their Fictional Favorites today. Tara chose Anna Karenina and Linda picked Ántonia Shimerda.

Tara says:

I connected the fierce urgency and determination of Mary Oliver's "The Journey" with Anna Karenina's feelings the moment she knows she must go with Vronsky, whatever the cost. My own thoughts about Anna have changed so much over the years...the more I experienced of life, the more subtle and sympathetic a character she became. I've also always loved this Oliver poem - the elemental strength of it. Anna felt strength like this when she follows Vronsky - I hear it especially in those last 10 lines.

The Journey
by Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice --
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.

It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do --
determined to save
the only life you could save.


Linda Baie chose Willa Cather's Ántonia Shimerda from the novel My Ántonia. Ms. Shimerda's favorite poems would be Meadowlarks by Sarah Teasdale and Nothing Gold Can Stay by Robert Frost.

by Sarah Teasdale

In the silver light after a storm,
Under dripping boughs of bright new green,
I take the low path to hear the meadowlarks
Alone and high-hearted as if I were a queen.
What have I to fear in life or death
Who have known three things: the kiss in the night,
The white flying joy when a song is born,
And meadowlarks whistling in silver light.


Nothing Gold Can Stay
by Robert Frost

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.


Thank you so much, Tara and Linda, for sharing your fictional favorites today! And thanks, Irene, for the progressive poem fun!

Booktalking is our Poetry Friday host.


Irene Latham said...

Tabatha, SO MUCH to love here today!! Yes, let us riddle. How wonderful! (I have always loved riddle as a verb.) And Tara and Linda's suggestions are so apt. I ADORE that Mary Oliver poem. ADORE IT. Happy day to you!

Katya said...

I love Robert Frost's 'Nothing Gold'. Every spring when the new green-gold leaves come out I remember it.

And I also love your addition to the progressive poem. The mystery deepens.

Author Amok said...

Hi, Tabatha. Wow. The Mary Oliver poem is a perfect choice for Anna Karenina. These matchings are so clever! It's great fun to watch the progressive poem unfold. The sensory lines in particular capture my attention.

Jone said...

Love "let us riddle it together". Mary Oliver is one of my favorites. Thanks.

jama said...

It's been so much fun seeing the progressive poem unfold -- mystery and intrigue with an exotic flair!

Love all the poems Tara and Linda chose. Frost, Oliver and Teasdale all in the same post. Wonderful.

Robyn Hood Black said...

Almost too much to feast on in one spot today! Congrats, Tabatha, on another intriguing line in this "unfolding" poem, and Tara and Linda: WOW on your thoughtful pairings. I feel so much smarter after stopping by here...

Tara said...

Love the bends the progressive poem is's coming my way very soon and I have not the faintest idea where it will go.
Lind'as pairing was spot favorite Frost poem!

Andi Sibley said...

Fabulous poetry collection here today! I've been missing Friday Poetry but you have brought me back! Thanks so much!

Ruth said...

Wonderful post! Like Tara, I'm anticipating the arrival of the progressive poem at my blog -- a little apprehensively!

Martha Calderaro said...

"If you are reading this
you must be hungry"

I am. Thank you for this fabulous post. Much to savor here! Can't wait to see how the progressive poem continues!

Julie Larios said...

Hooray for riddling it together - I love that line. And the Frost, yes, it's so beautiful.

Now, though, I'm going to have to take a break from work and imagine what poem would go with what fictional character - I've never done that before. That's going to occupy the rest of the day, I bet! (Forget work....)

Myra Garces-Bacsal from GatheringBooks said...

Dear Tabatha, I dread to find out what the 21st line would be, you guys are just so wondrous with those carefully-selected words, would have to really prepare for the time that the poem reaches us. It's unfolding into a very beautiful, heart-tugging piece.

Regarding the Fictional Favorites, I should get around to looking into that as well. Currently reading Jasper Fforde's The Eyre Affair, and I shall see if I can find a poem that'd suit Tuesday's character. :)

I feel so unschooled since I haven't read both Anna Karenina and My Antonia! So many books!!! :)

Amy Ludwig VanDerwater said...

I read your kitchen post first...and now this! It is a full and hearty table. Thank you for offering these pairings (now I am thinking about the character in my current read) and the riddle. I like the speaker in this poem so much, more so with every line. a.

Penny Klostermann said...

I love the line you added to the progressive poem. I have so enjoyed being a part of it! It will be very interesting to see where it ends up!

Mary Lee said...

Me too on all counts: Perfect picks for the characters (especially love the meadowlarks for Antonia), and love the riddling!