Thursday, August 17, 2017

A prayer and a call for submissions

Smart people learn from their mistakes. But the real sharp ones learn from the mistakes of others.
~Brandon Mull

Something from 100 Poems to Lift your Spirits today, followed by an announcement.

An excerpt from Max Ehrmann's A Prayer:

May I not forget that
poverty and riches are of the spirit.
Though the world knows me not,
may my thoughts and actions be
such as shall keep me friendly with myself.

Lift up my eyes from the earth,
and let me not forget the uses of the stars.
Forbid that I should judge others
lest I condemn myself.
Let me not follow the clamor of the world,
but walk calmly in my path.

Give me a few friends
who will love me for what I am;
and keep ever burning before my vagrant steps
the kindly light of hope.

And though age and infirmity overtake me,
and I come not within sight of the castle of my dreams,
teach me still to be thankful for life,
and for time's olden memories that are good and sweet;
and may the evening's twilight find me gentle still.


Perhaps a mistake was made?
photo by Diablo Rosa

I'm putting together a poetry anthology for middle schoolers and would like to invite you all to submit. The theme is mistakes.

Why make an anthology about mistakes? Because "mistakes flower/every hour"! We make them all the time. Some are the size of erasing a hole in your paper, mispronouncing a word, or tripping over your shoelace. Some are the size of telling a friend's secret. Some can be useful, like a science experiment that goes wrong but gives you a new idea. How can we make the most of the good mistakes and do our best to fix the ones that need fixing? Poetry can help us figure it out.

The details:

The anthology will look at mistakes from as many angles as possible, including (but not limited to) mistakes that result in discoveries/inventions, grammar and etiquette mishaps, historical and fictional blunders, funny/silly/embarrassing missteps, ways to make things right, and forgiveness.

Humor is good. Seriousness is also good. The primary interests are carefully-chosen words and generous, honest insight (although not everything needs to be deep, you know?).

Please submit blind entries (include your name, address, phone number, email address, and poem title on a separate page). A panel of readers, including teachers, will be evaluating the poems. Poems can be form or free verse. Multiple submissions by individuals are fine.

Simultaneous submissions are acceptable as long as they are identified and as long as you remember to withdraw it if it is accepted elsewhere. Reprints are fine as long as the author has the rights. Payment is one print copy and one electronic copy. Authors retain rights. Send poems (and questions) to mistakesanthology(at)

The deadline is November 1, 2017.


A Journey Through the Pages has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Kay!


Heidi Mordhorst said...

What a cool project! However is this coming about? I'm enjoying thinking about mistakes in the context of Twitter apologies and recantations of ill-offered support for possibly our nation's greatest mistake. May we weather it and learn from it, since we don't seem to have learned from those of others....

Buffy Silverman said...

What an interesting project! I don't usually write for middle schoolers, but will give some thought to this. Thanks for the spirit lift.

jan godown annino said...

Appreciations for A PRAYER.

What a big endeavor you've created, with the mistakes anthology call.
Hmmm. I wonder if dropping the turkey on the kitchen floor at Thanksgiving, enroute to the table, with company present, counts... Fun to ponder this project. Best of luck with it.

Linda said...

I taught middle school for fifteen years so I love this project. I'll definitely try to come up with something. thanks for the sharing this project.

Linda Mitchell said...

TAbatha, you never cease to inspire me. I'm in! I'll have to get thinking on the theme. I love a good poetry challenge.Oh, this me not forget the uses of the beautiful. Thank you.

Violet N. said...

Fascinating! I will look back over my life. It shouldn't be too hard to find material.

Kay said...

What a cool project. I will be ruminating on it and hope to submit something. I would love to incorporate some of the best advice I ever received on mistakes (from my flute instructor in college): people don't remember your mistakes as much as they do how you recover.

Mary Lee said...

Poor kitty! Sorry I laughed a bit at your predicament!

Thanks for including us in your project! I'll see if I've got anything ready to go or if, like others, I need to look back on my very own track record of goofs to find inspiration!

Carol Varsalona said...

Tabatha, I love that you are introducing this topic. Mistakes is such a big idea in the connected educator world right now. From them we need to grow as learners. I am ready to begin the thought process.

Jane @ said...

Oh, this sounds like a fantastic subject! I sometimes worry that young people aren't being allowed to fail as much anymore - in an attempt to protect them, well-meaning helicopter parents are swooping in at all times to keep their children from falling on their faces. But, failure is what helps forge us as resilient, adaptable individuals! It can certainly hurt to goof up on something, or to lose at something, but life is full of mistakes and failures, and being able to learn from our mistakes and bounce back from them is the key to a successful, happy life!

Robyn Hood Black said...

What a GREAT idea, Tabatha! Wheels will be turning....
Thank you for that gift of a poem today too. Hadn't read in forever & so appreciate about now. XO

michelle kogan said...

Uplifting thoughts, as in this poem are healing and good for the soul–they move us out of the din of the day momentarily, to return refreshed and ready to take our part. Thanks for sharing Max Ehrmann's prayer!

A poetry anthology on mistakes how apropos for our times and helpful for all readers. Thanks for your invitation to all of us!

Joyce Ray said...

Thank you foe "A Prayer," Tabatha. It is beautiful and I had not encountered it before. What a great project you're taking on! I wonder if I can engage my brain and write an appropriate poem to submit. Thanks for inviting submissions from all of us!

Unknown said...

How fun! How many poems do you want submitted on the awesome topic? 3-5 like usual?

Tabatha said...

Thanks for the comments, all! Brenda, glad you are interested in submitting :-) The number you submit is flexible. If you only have one that fits, send that. If you have a bunch, have at it!

BJ Lee said...

Interesting project, Tabatha! I just went to a talk on this very topic. I'll try to come up with something, although I'm not that fast of a writer, but we'll see... Thanks for posting!