In a world where the Valentine's Day movie is marketed with the gay storyline hidden, I'm really proud to have the Community of Children's Literature Bloggers celebrate Valentine's Week's Poetry Friday right here.
So, instead of a singular GLBTQ Valentine moment inside a universe of straight Valentines, this Poetry Friday has something unique: Many moments of Straight and Queer poetry, all hosted here, at "I'm Here. I'm Queer. What the Hell do I Read?"
And truly, that feels like progress.
So add your url and a description of your contribution in comments, and I'll add your Poetry Friday links throughout the day.
I'll start things off with the very first Gay Love poem I ever posted on this blog: find out how long ago this poem was written by clicking here.
I saw you last night in the gathering,
but could not take you openly in my arms,
so I put my lips next to your cheek,
pretending to talk privately.
And now on to the poetry from across the kidlitosphere!
Danika of Teaching Books shares, for Black History Month, Marilyn Nelson's poem "1905." It's from her biography - in poems - of George Washington Carver. There's an audio excerpt where you can hear Marilyn introducing her book and reading this poem. Fascinating stuff!
Stacy Nockowitz of the Blog Some Novel Ideas is in for her very first Poetry Friday with the irresistable somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond by e.e.cummings She's even included a bonus youtube clip from the movie Hannah and Her Sisters. Welcome to the party, Stacy!
Susan Taylor Brown shares Poems by Incarcerated Teens. Their words are moving and powerful, and the result of a poetry class Susan taught over 10 weeks.
Greg Pincus is up with a re-issue of the only poem that ever led to an angry email at his gottabook blog: Book Report on the Dictionary, which totally made me LOL (hmm... would that be in the dictionary, I wonder?)
Shelf Elf contributes John Keats' "Bright Star" - very worthy of Valentines!
Mary Lee is in with a video "that made me smile. It's kind of a stretch to call it poetry, but I'm saying it's a list poem illustrated with video images and accompanied by music." I really like the notion that we can find poetry in unexpected places!
Carol is in with a review of OOPS, a silly poem book by Alan Katz.
Stella from My World/Mi Mundo wrote about Jane Yolen's book "An Egret's Day" - her review calls it: "An excellent book filled with great poetry and amazing photographs."
Mur at the Write Sister's blog asks for help in solving a poetic mystery. Oooh, how cool!
Laura Salas chimes in with "Happy Valentine's Day! I love the gentle passion of those Rumi lines." She's in with a poem by Sallie Wolf called Downy Woodpecker, and shares this week's 15 Words or Less Poems (you can go and add your own, too!)
Sara loves the candy hearts (me too!) and is in with an ode to February, inspired by Maira Kalman's brilliant The Impossibility of February.
Diane Mayr of Random Noodling looks at Ted Kooser's Valentines, and lets us know that Kurious Kitty looks at the Swallow Anthology of New American Poets. She also shares that there is a Wendell Berry quote over at Kurious K's Kwotes. Kweck it out.
Laura Shovan at Author Amok is in with Valentine's Day wishes and loving for Edgar Lee Masters' "Spoon River Anthology." She's sharing a persona poem ("David Robinson") from Masters 1915 book, with a related original related poem from my kids yearbook-in-verse project.
Barbara Etlin, Boreal Owl at Words Take Flight shares her beautiful ghazal, Heartbreak Kid.
Kelly Polark is in with a shout out "to love and acceptance!" Yay! And, keeping to that theme, she shares John Lennon's lyrics to his song, "Love."
Susan at Chicken Spaghetti is in with her spoof of an Emily Dickinson poem. It accompanies a photo she took of her chickens in the snow. Enough said? Go read it already!
Jeannine Atkins likes the candy hearts, too! Hurray! She wrote about fairy tales as inspiration for poetry. And really, is there any better time to really think about the messages in "Cinderella" than Valentine's Day? Good stuff!
Jama Rattigan is definitely on the same wave length as me, because over at her blog, Jama Rattigan's Alphabet Soup, she posted some Rumi verses as well! Spread the love, Jama, spread the love.
Becky from Beck's Book Reviews is in with a review of a very silly Children's poetry book, Bear Hugs, by Karma Wilson.
Elaine Magliaro at Wild Rose Reader shares reviews of several Children's poetry books about winter. Over at Political Verses, she has an anti-Valentine poem titled "Look at the Man: A Poem Explaining Why Women with Mates Gain Weight." I remember reading that study result and not knowing what to think... Maybe it's all the chocolate presents for Valentine's Day? Go see what Elaine thinks is the reason!
Carmela Martino shares that over at Teaching Authors, April Halprin Wayland has two original poems and a Writing Workout on how to create a "Valentine Poem with Heart"
Kelly Fineman loves her some Rumi, too - and is in with "a post that is for the birds, it being the Great Backyard Bird Count this weekend." (I didn't know that. Thanks, Kelly!) She's highlighting Bright Wings, edited by Billy Collins, illustrated by David Allen Sibley.
Liz Scanlon from Liz in Ink likes the "righteous conversation hearts" I shared above - me, too! Her Valentine is for her nine-year-old birthday girl... with help from poet Donald Revell.
Denise over at Confessions of a Quarter Life Crisis contributes a haiku, "Oops... I fell in love" saying that "Love is something that you can't plan for, because if you do, it’ll be wrong every single time. Love happens, and it's a miracle, and you have to let it happen; even if it's frightening. Because it will be frightening, and more amazing than anything else you've ever experienced." Right on, Denise. She even made her own custom candy heart poem!
Martha Calderaro has two poems to share, one by Andrew Green of Potato Hill Poetry, who visited her daughter's school this week; the other, "Things" by Eloise Greenfield from her wonderful collection Honey, I Love.
Elaine Magliaro at Blue Rose Girls is in with a humorous poem by Ogden Nash, "Common Cold."
The Stone Bow bloggers are in with a link to "a somewhat love-related Gregory Corso poem" - The Whole Mess. Corso was a beat poet, and he's throwing the most important things in life - things like Love - out the window.
Tricia at the Miss Rumphius Effect is in with a SEXY poem by Emily Dickinson!?! It's pretty awesome. Go read it now! (Don't worry - it's not graphic.)
MotherReader shares a poem from Pat Mora's collection, Dizzy in Your Eyes: Poems about Love, along with a review of the book! The poem's called "Mirrors" and I agree with MotherReader - it really capture a teen's insecurity and a relative's unconditional love. Tan Linda.
Amanda at A Patchwork Of Books also reviews Pat Mora's new poetry collection, Dizzy in Your Eyes! Find out if she and MotherReader see it Eye-To-Eye!
BreanneP talks about teaching poetry in the classroom at her blog Language, Literacy, Love. She's teaching a poem a day to her students (saying it takes only about 15 minutes) and having great results. She shares her favorite poem so far, Autobiography in Five Short Chapters by Portia Nelson. It made me laugh out loud. And think. And then think some more. Go check it out!
Tabatha Yeatts is a candy heart and Rumi fan as well, and though she hadn't been thinking of Valentine's Day when she chose her Poetry Friday contribution, it turns out what she did choose is "at its heart, very much about love." It's a beautiful poem, called "The Ones They Loved Most" by Janet S. Wong - it will stick with you, in a good way.
Jennie Rothschild dropped by to say that I should "take heart that even though Valentine's Day left the gay plot out of the trailer, at least it has one. Love, Actually (which Valentine's Day is blatantly based on) left the gay plot on the cutting room floor completely so you can only see it when watching the deleted scenes." So I guess we're making progress (slooooow progress, but progress nonetheless.) Jennie's in, over at her Biblio File blog, with a Chinese love poem - because Sunday is also Chinese New Years! The poem, "Song of Farewell in the Tartar Mode" is evocative and somehow feels expansive and intimate at the same time...
Miss Erin McIntosh contributes an original poem, "Unwelcome Packages," to our poetry-pa-looza!
Anamaria of Books Together celebrates Valentine's Day in Xanadu... with the opening lines of Samuel Taylor Coleridge's "Kubla Khan!" There's a pleasure dome!
And as a final addition, Nicole Marie Schreiber is in with a post sharing from Lord Byron's DON JUAN, something that inspires her to keep on writing - even when life seems to get in the way!
Happy Valentine's Day to All!
p.s. You can make your own candy hearts here!