Thursday, October 11, 2012

Poetry Friday is Here!

  As you may have noticed Amy from The Poem Farm and I traded hosting days. If you normally keep the Poetry Friday schedule on your page please post the change. Amy will be hosting on November 30th.
I am so excited and honored to be joined by amazing and inspiring writers, readers and thinkers today. Thank you for celebrating poetry with me at Teaching Young Writers. My poetry offering is meant to inspire you to see beyond your troubles, pain, suffering or struggle. Our stories are written chapter by chapter. 

I live in a community that has a reputation for violence. However, I am so proud of the young people in this same community who refuse to be defined by negativity, who refuse to live in a world that doesn't hear them and who refuse to sit by and watch their community crumble. These same young adults organized a march of more than 2,000 students, parents, and community members from theirs and surrounding communities to show that "We Are One" following an act of violence wrongly generalized as an act of the community's public school's students. I heard them and I hope others will heed their message of hope.  
I have once again found myself on the near other side of a painful chapter in life. I am so close I can practically see how much better life will be once I am through it. Different types of pain, different struggles, it is what makes us who we are. The struggle is worth it once we have found ourselves on the other side of the pain we have felt and lived through. Everyone feels pain differently, literally, figuratively, excruciatingly, negatively...multiple ways. But we all feel it. We all live it and hopefully we all move to the chapter beyond it. I first posted the poem below in March (my first time posting to Poetry Friday) after living a long chapter of very literal pain that after years of searching for a means to health was slayed. I could only write this once I was well beyond it, but I still feel my victory.

The Chapter Beyond Pain

I have known pain 
I will know it again.

A crime against pain I would commit
With no shame.
It distracts me, attacks me.
In its scope it will track me.

Pain is blinding and binding
Debilitating without discriminating.
Pain can prickle or trickle
Throw me down without thought.

When faced in its arena
It counts me as weak
It stands confident before me
Intimidating, me bleak.

But I choose what I see
In those moments of pain. 
Though distant, I see it,
My weapon to slay.

I reach out for it
Grabbing that place beyond pain
My defense from the wounds
From worries and shame.

I have known pain 
I will know it again.

I will be swinging my lasso throughout the day as time allows to summarize the poetic offerings of this enlightening community. Hope you can stop back often to share in the greatness.
Early Risers:
  • Renée LaTulippe, from No Water River brings us some GOOD NEWS, a celebratory GIVEAWAY, and an interview with poet CARRIE FINISON, who is sharing her fun poetry video for "Idunno." 
  • Charles Ghigna, is harvesting the Fruit of the Moon Tree at Father Goose. Go read his poem and check out the accompanying artwork by Chip Ghigna.
  • Sylvia Vardell shares A Clam by Jack Prelutzsky at THE POETRY FRIDAY ANTHOLOGY along with some great teaching tips for this week's theme, In the Water.
  • Myra invites us to read and eat some poetry at GATHERING BOOKS
  • Robyn Hood Black at Read, Write, Howl tells us where seconds graders find poetry. 
  • Dian Mayr At Randlom Noodling has an original poem, "With a Bang and a Flash." She also invites us to visit Kurious Kitty with a very old poem from China and KK's Kwotes quote for today is by Czeslaw Milosz.
  • April Halprin Wayland from Teaching Authors shares a patient poem and a writing workout as she wrestles with realizing that maybe her writing life ISN'T going to go the way she thinks it's supposed to...
  • Linda at Teacherdance is celebrating her birthday today (I am singing the Happy Birthday song right now so join in everybody). She brings us a poem about Columbus Day with mixed feelings.
  • Tabatha Yeatts from The Opposite of Indifference brings a collection of J.R. Solonche.
  • Amy Ludwig VanDerwater from The Poem Farm has a little poem about a little brother who is no longer just observing his world, but crawling into it!
  • Heidi Mordhorst shares a wonderful Ode on Dictionaries at My Juicy Little Universe.
  • Mary Lee comes to us from A Year of Reading with a poem of change. 
  •  Jama is celebrating Fall at Jama's Alphabet Soup today with a 4-book Janet Wong giveaway!
  •  Jeff Barger At NC Teacher Stuff, is featuring a football poem penned by the late Steve Sabol.
  •  Laura at Author Amok is featuring poet Tony Medina's children's books from now until the presidential election. You'll also want to check out the wonderfully rich verse biography of Bob Marley, I AND I BOB MARLEY and the book trailer!
  • Laura Purdie Salas from  Writing the World for Kids  is in with another poem from the beautiful new National Geographic Book of Animal Poetry, with a link to the classroom guide!
  • Liz Steinglass at Growing Wild has an original poem about Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl who was targeted by the Taliban because she is a vocal advocate for girls' education.  
  • Katya Czaja from Write. Sketch. Repeat. shares a poem from Kipling's The Vampire. She has an interesting unraveling of information including a related play and a movie.
  • Anastasia Suen from Booktalking shares Self-Portrait With Seven Fingers, a biography of Marc Chagall in free verse.
  • Jone is featuring one of  Irene Latham's original poems titled "Window," at Check It Out.
  • Steven Withrow from Crackles of Speech shares an original tanka poem, a poetry form from classical Japan.
  • Tara from A Teaching Life brings a poem called Courage and an inspiring heartfelt story about the struggles of a young girl living in Pakistan.
  • Karen Edmisten shares a delightful "October," by Robert Frost.
  • Andromeda Jazmon from A Wrung Sponge has an original poem titled "Missing Cat" that follows a trimeric form. 
  • Matt Forrest from Radio, Rhythm and Rhyme is featuring "The Canterbury Tales: General Prologue," and for the first time his recorded reading of the piece. 
  • Little Willow at Bildungsroman shares a quote from The Mathematician's Apology by Hardy.
  • Sylvia Vardell was back for more from her own blog Poetry for Children to share a great list of text sets for young writers (it's like she wrote it for me, I love it)!
  • Ruth from There is no such thing as a God-Forsaken town brings us a poem that reminds us most things in life are invisible. 
  • Elaine Magliaro from Wild Rose Reader takes us into her childhood with a poem of burning leaves and memories. 
  • The Write Sisters have a poem by Cheyenne poet, Lance Henson.
  • Marjorie at Paper Tigers brings an animated poem to the party.
  • MotherReader is reviewing and sharing a poem from Forgive Me, I Meant to Do It.
  • Lorie Ann Grover gives us a two-fer with a one sentence poem at On Point and Readertotz will have you saying "be-doodly dum be doodly day!"
  • Mrs. Merrill's Book Break features a poem by Charles Ghigna called "The Scary Dictionary."
  • Doraine Bennett shares a poem by James Dickey at Dori Reads.
  • Kort brings us some prose from Dorianne Laux. Go read some powerful words over at One Deep Drawer.
  • Joy has ideas for a Halloween costume. If you haven't made your decision yet check out her poem at Poetry for Kids Joy.


Wow, what a delight today has been. I have been showered in a vast variety of words and phrases and loved it from start to finish. If you post late or even tomorrow I will be back to add you so don't be shy, join in!


Charles Ghigna said...

Thanks, Betsy! We're picking fruit from the moon tree at The FATHER GOOSE Blog

Sylvia Vardell said...

Hi, Betsy, thanks for hosting and for sharing your powerful poem. It really resonates with me at the moment while I spend a few months fighting breast cancer. Meanwhile, I would like to promote this week's poem from THE POETRY FRIDAY ANTHOLOGY-- it's a gem by Jack Prelutsky. Check it out:

GatheringBooks said...

Hi Betsy, thanks for hosting Poetry Friday this week.

There seems to be a mix-up with what is found in the Kidlitosphere Central Poetry Friday Round Up Information ( and what is found in our listserv. I initially thought that Amy from The Poem Farm was hosting Poetry Friday this week, but I have already amended my post. Thank you for having this up early.

Here is my link for my Poetry Friday offering: Munch on a Poem and Read to Me - a Jane Yolen and Mark Strand special:

Robyn Hood Black said...

Thank you for hosting, Betsy, and for sharing your heartfelt poem. Encouraging and inspiring words for others going through painful passages.

I'm in today with an answer to the question: Where do Second Graders think poems come from?

Diane Mayr said...

Thanks for sharing your poem; I'm so glad you've gotten beyond the pain.

At Random Noodling I have an original poem, "With a Bang and a Flash."

Kurious Kitty shares a very old poem from China.

KK's Kwotes quote for today is by Czeslaw Milosz.

April Halprin Wayland said...

Dear Betsy,

Truth is so amazing.

Thank you for sharing your pain (and triumph beyond it) and for hosting today. I love "our stories are written chapter by chapter."

At TeachingAuthors today I share a poem about realizing that maybe life (specifically my writing life) ISN'T going to go the way I think it's supposed to...

Linda B said...

I'm sending this from our staff retreat, Betsy. Here's my post & thanks for your hosting! Your poem shows such spirit!

Linda B said... sorry-forgot link...

Tabatha said...

Thanks for being our host today, Betsy, and for sharing your thoughts and your poem. Rooting for you as you round the corner.

I've got poems by J.R. Solonche today:

Amy LV said...

Betsy - Such brave words, and I, too, am glad that you are beginning to feel better. Your community is fortunate to have you in it, and so is our Poetry Friday community. I love,

"But I choose what I see
in those moments of pain."

Today at The Poem Farm I have a little posm about a little brother -

Thank you for hosting!


Heidi Mordhorst said...

Good morning, Betsy! Thanks for hosting. You are doing good work, I know, by being your pain-slaying self before the young people of your community.

I have a wonderful Ode on Dictionaries to share today.

Mary Lee said...

Thanks for sharing your courage, and the courage of the young people in your community.

Pain is on my mind right now because my mom is suffering so much as her bones and joints deteriorate. There just doesn't seem to be a way beyond the pain for her. (And I have to admit to more than a little fear that this pain will also be my fate...but I'm banking on dad's genes and scientific breakthroughs to save the day for me when I'm in my 80s!)

I've got a poem about change for today:

Jeff Barger said...

Thank you, Betsy for your courageous poem and for hosting today. At NC Teacher Stuff, I am featuring a football poem penned by the late Steve Sabol:

jama said...

Glad to hear you've rounded the corner. Thanks for sharing your poem with us!

I'm celebrating Fall today with a 4-book Janet Wong giveaway:

I've posted samples from each of the books :).

Thanks so much for hosting.

Author Amok said...

Thanks for hosting, Betsy! I am featuring poet Tony Medina's children's books from now until the presidential election.

I've got reggae on the radio today -- Tony's wonderfully rich verse biography of Bob Marley, I AND I BOB MARLEY.

laurasalas said...

Thank you for hosting, Betsy--I'm running out the door early for a librarian conference today, but I'll be back to read your post this weekend.

I'm in with another poem from the beautiful new National Geographic Book of Animal Poetry, with a link to the classroom guide!
Happy Friday!

Liz Steinglass said...

Thanks for hosting and for sharing. Today I have an original poem about Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl who was targeted by the Taliban because she is a vocal advocate for girls' education.
You can read my poem at:
All the best,

Katya said...

Thanks for hosting.
I have Kipling's The Vampire and the movie, play, and catch-phrase it inspired at Write. Sketch. Repeat.

Anastasia Suen said...

Thanks for hosting today! I'm in today with Self-Portrait With Seven Fingers, a biography of Marc Chagall in free verse at Booktalking.

Irene Latham said...

Wow, Betsy, that is one brave poem. Thank you for sharing it. Have you ever seen the anthology entitled STAYING ALIVE ? This poem would fit right in.
I don't have my own post today for PF, but the gracious, enthusiastic Jone is featuring a poem of mine, "Window," which is about a poem. :)

Thank you so much for hosting!

Steven Withrow said...

Thanks for hosting, Betsy! Today I have an original poem at Crackles of Speech called "Toad-in-the-Road Tanka." Enjoy!

Tara @ A Teaching Life said...

Thanks for hosting today, Betsy. Today I have a poem to honor a young lady who exemplifies courage:

Karen Edmisten said...

Thanks for hosting! I've got Robert Frost's "October" today. It's here.

Andromeda Jazmon said...

I am sorry for your pain but cheer your victory! I have known pain as well, and know it again. Keep on.

My original poem today is another trimeric about a missing cat. Thanks for hosting!

Anonymous said...

Such an arresting and tense poem! Very well done, Betsy...I wish you the best in this new struggle. I have a couple of 'firsts' over at my place today:

Thanks for hosting!

Little Willow said...

Good morning, and thanks for hosting! I have a quote from The Mathematician's Apology by Hardy over at Bildungsroman. Have a good day!

Sylvia Vardell said...

It's me again, Betsy-- this time sharing a post from my own blog

It's about text sets of poetry for young people with a particular focus this week on poetry text sets for kids 0-5. Thanks!

Ruth said...

Thanks for hosting! I have a Howard Nemerov poem today.

Elaine Magliaro said...

Thanks so much for doing the roundup this week!

At Wild Rose Reader, I have a memoir poem titled "Autumn Fire." I have also announced the names of the three winners of Janet Wong's book "Declaration of Interdepence: Poems for an Election Year."

I'm Jet . . . said...

Pain is such a powerful thing, Betsy. Glad you're making your way through it.

The Write Sisters have a poem by Cheyenne poet, Lance Henson. You can find it here:

Charles Ghigna said...

Thanks again, Betsy!
Your poem has touched so many hearts!
I think the link I sent (above) to the Father Goose blog did not work!
Here's the correct link:

Marjorie said...

Thanks for hosting, Betsy - and I'm glad you have emerged triumphant the other side of pain - and, yes, great to hear about your community coming together too, and holding its head high.

We have just launched our 10th anniversary celebrations and I have an animated poem today - "Now and Then" by Billy Collins, animated by our web designer Eun-Ha Paek:

MotherReader said...

I have a poem from and review of "Forgive Me, I Meant to Do It" over at MotherReader:

Thanks for hosting!

Betsy Hubbard said...

Got it! Thank you.

jone said...

Thanks for hosting. I have an Irene Latham poem:

Lorie Ann Grover said...

Thank you for hosting. We all appreciate your effort. At On Point I have Click, Click, Click. And at readertotz we have Be Doodle with Elmo.

Charles Ghigna said...

Thank YOU! And thanks for your comment about the poem on the blog!

Mrs. Merrill said...

Hi Betsy, Thanks for hosting the round-up. Today I am sharing one of Charles Ghigna's poems about a scary dictionary. I share how I plan to incorporate this poem into my school's "word of the day" initiative.

Amy Merrill

Ruth said...

Oops, forgot to leave a link to my post earlier. Here it is:

Doraine said...

I'm late to the party, but at least I finally made it.

kort said...

better late than never!

sharing mostly Dorianne Laux's words about poetry:

thanks so much for hosting this week! peace keep you.

Joy said...

Thank you for hosting POETRY FRIDAY. I have a poem a day with a writing challenge for children at Have you decided what you'll be for Halloween yet? My poem for Friday has lots of suggestions.