It's time again to pause and celebrate women-- particularly the contributions of mothers-- on Mother's Day (on Sunday in the U.S.). When I lived in Zimbabwe many moons ago, they had a saying, "Educate a woman and you educate a nation." I always loved that and the power it suggests girls and women have in promoting a love of learning. This year, I'll be away on Mother's Day, talking about poetry (and science) at the IRA convention on Sunday (a fun way to celebrate, IMO!). But if you're looking for poetry about moms, here's a bib from my Poetry Teacher's Book of Lists. Read, write, or share a poem with a woman you admire this weekend!
I also highly recommend a new novel in verse out this year, Caminar, by new poet Skila Brown. It's set in Guatemala in 1981 when conflicts between Communist soldiers and guerilla fighters were at a crossroads.
The love of a mother for her son is a beautiful thread throughout this powerful story of war, courage, and survival.
(Brown, Skila. 2014. Caminar. Somerville, MA: Candlewick.)
Poetry Books about Mothers
What better tribute for a mother, aunt or grandmother than a well-chosen poem? Poets have given us words with which to honor the women in our lives with the following selected books for young readers.
Atkins, Jeannine. 2010. Borrowed Names; Poems About Laura Ingalls Wilder, Madam C. J. Walker, Marie Curie, and Their Daughters. Henry Holt.
Castillo, Ana. 2000. My Daughter, My Son, the Eagle, the Dove: An Aztec Chant. New York: Dutton.
Clinton, Catherine. Ed. 2003. A Poem of Her Own; Voices of American Women Yesterday and Today. New York: Abrams.
Coyne, Rachel. 1998. Daughter Have I Told You? New York: Henry Holt.
Dotlich, Rebecca Kai. 2004. Mama Loves. New York: HarperCollins.
Fletcher, Ralph. 1999. Relatively Speaking: Poems about Family. New York: Orchard.
Grimes, Nikki. 1999. Hopscotch Love: A Family Treasury of Love Poems. New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard.
Grimes, Nikki. 2000. Stepping out with Grandma Mac. New York: Simon & Schuster.
Hoberman, Mary Ann. 1993. Fathers, Mothers, Sisters, Brothers: A Collection of Family Poems. New York: Puffin Books.
Hoberman, Mary Ann. 2009. All Kinds of Families. New York: Little, Brown.
Hopkins, Lee Bennett. Ed. 2005. Days to Celebrate: A Full Year of Poetry, People, Holidays, History, Fascinating Facts, and More. New York: Greenwillow.
Hopkins, Lee Bennett. 1995. Been to Yesterdays: Poems of a Life. Honesdale, PA: Wordsong/Boyds Mills.
Hollyer, Belinda. 2003. Ed. The Kingfisher Book of Family Poems. New York: Kingfisher.
Lewis, J. Patrick. 2005. Vherses: A Celebration of Outstanding Women. Mankato, MN: Creative Editions.
Livingston, Myra Cohn. Ed. 1988. Poems for Mothers. New York: Holiday House.
McCall, Guadalupe Garcia. 2011. Under the Mesquite. New York: Lee & Low.
Micklos, John Jr. 2001. Mommy Poems. Honesdale, PA : Wordsong/Boyds Mills.
Mora, Pat. 1994. The Desert is My Mother/El Desierto es Mi Madre. Houston, TX: Pinata Books.
Mora, Pat. 2001. Ed. Love to Mamá: a Tribute to Mothers. New York: Lee & Low Books.
Myers, Walter Dean. 1998. Angel to Angel: a Mother’s Gift of Love. New York: HarperCollins.
Nye, Naomi Shihab. Ed. 1992. This Same Sky: A Collection of Poems from Around the World. New York: Four Winds Press.
Rosenberg, Liz. 2001. Ed. Roots & Flowers: Poets and Poems on Family. New York: Henry Holt.
Smith, Hope Anita. 2009. Mother; Poems. New York: Henry Holt.
Strickland, Dorothy S. and Michael R. Strickland. Ed. 1994. Families: Poems Celebrating the African-American Experience. Honesdale, PA: Wordsong/Boyds Mills.
Thomas, Joyce Carol. 2001. A Mother’s Love: Poems for us to Share. New York: Joanna Cotler.
Walker, Rob D. 2009. Mama Says: A Book of Love For Mothers and Sons. Ill. by Leo and Diane Dillon. New York: Scholastic.
Wong. Janet S. 1999. The Rainbow Hand: Poems about Mothers and Children. New York: McElderry.
Yolen, Jane and Heidi E.Y. Stemple. 2001. Dear Mother, Dear Daughter: Poems for Young People. Honesdale, PA: Wordsong/Boyds.
Now head on over Jama's place (Jama's Alphabet Soup) for the Poetry Friday celebration. And if you're in New Orleans, come to our poetry session on Sunday (Mother's Day) at 11 in the Convention Center room 274!