Monday, April 26, 2010

Poetry Tag: Janet Wong is IT

Yesterday, Tracie Vaughn Zimmer shared her poem about a man, his lawn, and a sly neighbor girl. Today, she tags her friend Janet Wong, who writes, "The connection: Dandelion seeds, of course! (And it is said that lonely old Mr. O'Brien has the most incredible dreams where he flies over the grass and becomes a human lawn mower.)" Here is the title poem from her poetry collection, Night Garden: Poems from the World of Dreams, illustrated by Julie Paschkis.


by Janet Wong

Deep in the earth
a tangle of roots
sends up
green shoots
and dreams grow
dreams grow wild
like dandelion weeds,
feathery heads
with seeds--

and these fine seeds,
about to sprout,
race the day
to find their place
in a welcome mind,
in an open space
in a lonely bed--

and they send down roots,
and they sprout
and bloom--

in the night garden.

Copyright 2010 by Janet Wong used by permission of the author, who controls all rights.

Five fun facts about Janet Wong
*she is the child of Korean and Chinese immigrants
*she has a law degree from Yale
*her poetry has been featured on a car-talk radio show and the New York subway
*she has appeared on the “Oprah” show
*she has received the International Reading Association's "Celebrate Literacy Award" for exemplary service in the promotion of literacy
[Based on Poetry People; A Practical Guide to Children’s Poets]

Look for these selected poetry books by Wong:
*Good Luck Gold and Other Poems (McElderry, 1994)
*A Suitcase of Seaweed, and Other Poems (Booksurge, 1996/2008)
*Behind the Wheel: Poems about Driving (McElderry, 1999)
*The Rainbow Hand: Poems about Mothers and Children (McElderry, 1999)
*Night Garden: Poems from the World of Dreams (McElderry, 2000)
*Knock on Wood: Poems about Superstitions (McElderry, 2003)
*Minn and Jake (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2003)
*Twist: Yoga Poems (McElderry, 2007)
*Minn and Jakes’ Almost Terrible Summer (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2008)

Next up:
Betsy Franco

Posting (not poem) by Sylvia M. Vardell © 2010. All rights reserved.

Image credits:;;schoollibraryjournal


Linda said...

I love Janet Wong. Severeal years ago, I used her Behind the Wheel poems to write a unit of lessons for teachers who want to get middle and high school boys excited about poetry. I called the unit "Dream Cars." Both boys and girls have enjoyed modeling their poems after Janet's.

Elaine Magliaro said...

I love Janet--and her poetry! Janet is so generous with her help and advice for people like me who have a passion for writing children's poetry. She's so dynamic. I would love to watch her doing poetry presentations for groups of school children.

Mary Lee said...

Hooray for dandelions! (again!!)