Friday, January 30, 2015

What do icicles know?

I had stopped to watch a family of brilliant icicles drip-dripping from the eaves of a frame house. So clear-cut were their pointed shadows on the white boards behind them that I was sure the shadows of the falling drops should be visible too.
~Vladimir Nabokov

Icicles by Philip Bitnar

I decided to have a go at Michelle Heidenrich Barnes's January challenge, which was to write a Deeper Wisdom poem in the style of Joyce Sidman. I tweaked the format a wee bit, which is usually two stanzas of three lines each.

What do icicles know?
by Tabatha Yeatts

What do icicles know?

Harden fast inside the cold.
Night rejuvenates your hold.

Sharp points don’t always wound.
Dissolution is presumed.

Draw new drops into the fold.
Fragility can still be bold.


One more ice quote:

There’s always that first step in skating, from dry ground to slick ice, when it just seems impossible. Impossible that two thin blades of metal will support you; impossible that because its molecules have begun to dance a little slower, water will hold you up.
~Carol Goodman

Paul at These 4 Corners is the Poetry Friday round-up host.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Wonder Woman

Make a hawk a dove,
Stop a war with love,
Make a liar tell the truth.
Wonder Woman,
Get us out from under, Wonder Woman.
All our hopes are pinned on you.
And the magic that you do.
~Wonder Woman theme song

Boy, did I love the Wonder Woman tv show when I was a kid! Lynda Carter was the best. (My other favorite: Bionic Woman Lindsay Wagner).

Lynda Carter

Wonder Woman in Armor
by JGiampietro

Classical Greek Wonder Woman
by Marelia

Future Tech Wonder Woman and Boo Bo
by Matthew Armstrong

Wonder Woman gets turned into a mermaid in Wonder Woman vs. Circe
by Josh Hood

Wonder Woman
by Robert Ziegler

Truth or Dare
by Elsevilla

DCnU Wonder Woman
by Sshiftie

Frida Kahlo as Wonder Woman
Street Art by Houston's Youth, Neighborhood Centers Inc.

Monday, January 26, 2015

The Pompous Trousers

Don't you think they were dangerous?
When I put them on
People thought there was no one in them
'Til they heard talking and said, "Aw"
~A' Bhriogais Uallach (The Pompous Trousers)

I don't understand Scottish Gaelic, but I like it all the same. This is a bit of a tall tale about trousers that were so big you could make two or three pairs of pants out of them.

Battlefield Band:

Friday, January 23, 2015

Zen Pencils

Australian Gavin Aung Than is the artist behind "Zen Pencils," where he shares "cartoon quotes from inspirational folks." Gavin has kindly given me permission to share his work here. I wish I could share two without it becoming unwieldy, but instead I'll send you to his blog to see C.S. Lewis' To Love At All.

My son, the teen history buff, likes making connections between things he knows. He was pleased to discover that the Ozymandias of Percy Bysshe Shelley's poem was a real person, Egyptian pharaoh Ramesses II. My son had already heard of this long-reigning pharoah who spearheaded what was probably the largest chariot battle ever fought -- The Battle of Kadesh.

On to the poem!

by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822)

I met a traveller from an antique land,
Who said— “two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert…near them, on the sand,
Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lips, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal, these words appear:
My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings,
Look on my Works ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.


Tara at A Teaching Life is our Poetry Friday round-up host today.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Enkel Dika

From the moment I held the box of colors in my hands, I knew this was my life. I threw myself into it like a beast that plunges towards the thing it loves.
~Henri Matisse

Sharing work by Enkel Dika today. Thank you to Enkel for giving me permission!

Mind Reader
by Enkel Dika

Time Flies
by Enkel Dika

The Ripper
by Enkel Dika

Tree of Life
by Enkel Dika

Extraordinary Observer
by Enkel Dika

Home Sweet Home
by Enkel Dika

A-Z Art History
Design by Enkel Dika & Evan Ferstenfeld

Honey Moon
by Enkel Dika

You can buy these designs as prints or on shirts, phone cases, tote bags, mugs, etc. here or on Threadless.

Is Honey Moon a pun? Word play? I don't know what the definitions are. In case you want (more?) puns, here you go.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Variations on a Korean Folk Song

Man's heart is like water streaming downhill;
Woman's heart is well water—so deep and still.

Young men's love is like pinecones seeming sound,
But when the wind blows, they fall to the ground.
~from "Bonjo Arirang"

Maybe a lot of people who have been in band or attended band concerts have heard this great piece? It was inspired by “Arirang,” which John Barnes Chance chanced upon in Korea.

Andy Pease has some interesting information about the composer (and links) on his blog:
John Barnes Chance (1932-1972)... [played] percussion with the Fourth and Eighth U.S. Army Bands during the Korean War. Upon his discharge, he received a grant from the Ford Foundation’s Young Composers Project, leading to his placement as resident composer in the Greensboro, North Carolina public schools...He went on to become a professor at the University of Kentucky after winning the American Bandmasters Association’s Ostwald award for his Variations on a Korean Folk Song. Chance was accidentally electrocuted in his backyard in Lexington, Kentucky at age 39, bringing his promising career to an early, tragic end.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Inaugural International History Olympiad

Attention history-loving students (and their teachers and parents, etc.)!

Inaugural International History Olympiad
July 9-15, 2015 at the College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, VA, USA

IHBB is currently planning the inaugural 2015 International History Olympiad, which will be held at The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, USA on July 9-15, 2015.

The International History Olympiad will be a week-long celebration of history for students from around the world, with competitions, field trips, seminars with professors, social events, and more.

How to Qualify
Subscribe to the Email List

Thursday, January 15, 2015

It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven

Have you ever read something that is misattributed and had it drive you a little crazy?

“When I saw you I fell in love and you smiled because you knew.” -- not Shakespeare

Maybe it's because I wrote a book about Einstein, but seeing things misattributed to A.E. is kind of like chalk on a blackboard for me. ("Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid." -- not Einstein)

When we see stuff like that, my son and I like to refer to Abe Lincoln, who advises:

But back to (real) Shakespeare...

Love the quote, even though the character who is saying it is scary (Lady Macbeth). The drawing is by Today is Going to be Awesome's Lisa Congdon, who also drew this marvelous quote by Mary Oliver.

So today's poem is a speech by Portia in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice. I'm including a video of it below.

The quality of mercy is not strain'd,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest;
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes:
'Tis mightiest in the mightiest: it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown;
His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
But mercy is above this sceptred sway;
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute to God himself;


Irene at Live Your Poem is the Poetry Friday round-up host.

Addendum: Nigerian poet Damilola Michael Aderibigbe is editing an anthology of poetry and short prose responding to Baga and the atrocities committed by Boko Haram. Send 5 poems or 1 piece of short prose, in plain text, to Damilola Michael Aderibigbe at: dammyg1989ATliveDOTcom. Deadline: February 27, 2015

Lions and snakes and fire, oh my!

The circus had been unlike anything I could ever imagine and I could not walk away. I wanted to be a part of the magic, create it and wield it with such skill that it looked effortless. I wanted to fly.
~Laura Lam

Lion tamer
Chromolithograph, Gibson & Co. (Cincinnati, Ohio), published c. 1873

Group of Circus Renz artists, with Carl Godlewski
by Christian Wilhelm Allers (1857–1915)

Gus Hill, circa 1880

Vintage illustration of a man in cage with snakes

Circus in Saska Kępa
Franciszek Kostrzewski (1826–1911)

shared by Chrysti

Marvellous High Wire Artists

Fire Fans
photo by Daniel Rusiłowicz

* Circus Physics
* Cut Paper Circus Lesson Plan
* Lesson plans using Saint-Saëns' Carnival of the Animals
* How to Do Circus Tricks
* How to Join the Circus

Monday, January 12, 2015

A Trumpeter's Lullaby

This will be our response to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully and more devotedly than ever before.
~Leonard Bernstein

This song, composed by Leroy Anderson and performed by Wynton Marsalis, is a lullaby, but I think it makes a nice ease-into-your-morning song as well.

A bit of Leroy Anderson trivia: Anderson was fluent in English, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Icelandic, German, French, Italian, and Portuguese.

Also, Leroy Anderson composed Sleigh Ride (a favorite of mine!).

Thursday, January 8, 2015

All the Complicated Details are Completed!

The Poetry Friday round-up is here! Thanks for coming. I hope 2015 is starting well for you, and, if not, I hope it turns around tout de suite! Please leave your link in the comments and I will share them below :-)

Hat tip to my friend Katherine for today's poem:

Winter Trees
by William Carlos Williams

All the complicated details
of the attiring and
the disattiring are completed!
A liquid moon
moves gently among
the long branches.
Thus having prepared their buds
against a sure winter
the wise trees
stand sleeping in the cold.


I also wanted to share the link for this U.S. News & World Report article: Unlocking the Inner Poet: How Poetry Helps People With Dementia

Robyn is shining a light on January's Student Haiku Poet of the Month, Pearl Sullivan.

Random Noodling has two illustrated haiku inspired by Emily Dickinson poems. (The first one would fit nicely into my "Morning" post.)

Kurious Kitty has a quick lesson on the Dewey Decimal system, and a short list of poetry how-to books.

Penny has Episode 9 of A Great Nephew & A Great Aunt!

At Gathering Books, Myra shares excerpts from Brown Girl Dreaming.

At Today's Little Ditty, Michelle posts an interview with Joyce Sidman –January's spotlight author– and this month's ditty challenge based on a form she uses in Winter Bees.

Jama is back from her holiday blog break with two poems by Barbara Crooker.

At Teaching Authors, they're each sharing "What am I 'Plotting' in 2015?"...and April has turned onto a side road to reflect on possibly plotting...nothing, plus she includes a poem by Paul Bennett from his book, Loving Grief.

Laura Purdie Salas is in with a triolet called "Broken Yolk."

Welcome to Robyn Campbell, who is celebrating Poetry Friday for the first time this week!

Laura is getting ready for Author Amok's annual poetry project. What will this year's theme be? Check out her post, which includes a poem by Matthew Rohrer about a sad little robot.

Linda Kulp brings us her One Little Word, and the song lyrics that inspired her to choose it.

Linda Baie shares her unexpectedly (instinctively?) perfect swap poem and gifts from Keri Collins Lewis.

Busy Matt at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme gives us a charming short poem about his dog.

Sally Murphy has been playing Poetry Tag!

At GottaBook, Greg brings a poem that wasn't autobiographical for him, but unfortunately was for us...

Carol Varsalona is reflecting on winter and its entrance as the main character in her newest collection of curated artistic expressions, Winter Whisperings Gallery. She invites all to participate to showcase different perspectives on this brilliant season.

Michelle Haseltine shares a Nikki Grimes poem with us.

At My Juicy Little Universe, Heidi provides an introduction to Simon Armitage for those who don't know his his work. (I shared one of his poems a while back, if you'd like more S.A.)

Mary Lee shares an original -- a surprising turtle sighting last Friday.

At Keri Recommends, Keri is in with a poem inspired by her tiny home invaders.

Over at The Poem Farm, Amy has an original poem about whittling. What a fun topic!

Take a trip to Carol's Corner, where she offers a short grace she found this week.

Live Your Poem with Irene and a trio of wild winter poems.

At Dori Reads, Dori shares an original poem that springs from thinking about her one little word for the year.

At The Logonauts, Katie has a post about Teaching Poetry with the book Love that Dog that also includes 2 student poems inspired by WCW. (I love the word "logonaut" every time I see it!)

Ruth is thinking about the commemoration of the five year anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti at There's No Such Thing as a God-forsaken Town.

Tara is sharing a morning poem by one of my favorite poets.

In honor of national puzzle month, Tricia is sharing a Russell Hoban poem.

Please welcome Alex Baugh, who brings a poem by John Updike called "January." (Yes! John Updike writes poems!)

At Elementary Reflections, Krista contributes an original poem about a timely topic: "Snow Day."

JoAnn posts an original poem about a poem she wrote but cannot find (she thinks it was perfect!).

At Reading to the Core, Catherine is thinking about Marilyn Nelson and her newest book, How I Discovered Poetry.

Sylvia Vardell has her annual "sneak peek" list of poetry for young people set to be published in 2015.

At Wee Words for Wee Ones, Bridget cooked up a poem entitled "Recipe for a Realistic Resolution."

Yay, another tree poem! Mainely Write's Donna is sharing her Winter Poetry Swap ornament and poem "Courtship" about winter birch trees from and by Matt Forrest Esenwine.

Ever-lovely Little Willow offers "Unwritten Poems" by William Winter at Bildungsroman.

Kortney digs into her One Deep Drawer to bring us “Beans with Garlic” by Charles Bukowski.

Don't go yet! Kim Doele is sharing a post with her OLW and a poem she wrote to help explain her word choice, called "Flukeprint."

Susan Taylor Brown is back! She has an original poem called "Coming Soon."

Jan explains the origins of her yen for nonsense verse at Bookseedstudio, where she mixes a bit of the serious and silly.

Karen cruises in with Wallace Steven's "The Snow Man."

I really appreciate Jone's post at Check It Out -- she lets us know about books that were *almost* Cybils poetry finalists.

It's easy to see why Margaret and her students are bonkers over bandicoots.

Ramona at Pleasures from the Page (isn't that a great blog name?) brings us an older Joyce Sidman book.

What a great batch of posts we had today! I will keep adding on as needed.


Be willing to be a beginner every single morning.
~Meister Eckhart

Tired (Morning Mood)
by Christian Krohg

Dawn at Isawa in Kai Province
by Katsushika Hokusai (葛飾北斎) (1760–1849)

by Moritz von Schwind (1804–1871)

Beacon, off Mount Desert Island
by Frederic Edwin Church

Ansicht von Neapel bei Sonnenuntergang
by Oswald Achenbach (1827–1905)

photo by Wolfgang Staudt

Miraluna Vineyard, Cachi, Argentina
photo by Rod Waddington

Sunrise, Long Branch, New Jersey
by Sanford Robinson Gifford

Wednesday, January 7, 2015