Friday, December 14, 2007

Moving poetry

My apologies for disappearing! I’ve been going through a major life change: MOVING. In the space of a few weeks, we sold our home (in Grand Prairie, TX where we had lived for 18 years raising two kids) and moved into the big city (of Dallas, where we’re 10 minutes from my favorite theaters, movies, museums, and restaurants!). Each Friday has brought a new crisis: first no electricity for two days, then no Internet for four days! EEK! Things are headed toward normalcy now and it’s time to get back on track with poetry. I’ve actually been reading a lot of poetry during this time as part of the Cybils award (I’m on the poetry subcommittee; stay tuned for news); it’s the perfect antidote.

As I looked for a poem to fit my current circumstance, I remembered a lovely picture book collection that came out a few years ago: My House is Singing by Betsy Rosenthal, illustrated by Margaret Chodos-Irvine. Each poem captures an aspect of the “places and spaces that make a house a home” against a backdrop of Chodos-Irvine’s colorful, sculptural collages. Using a variety of poetic forms, including rhyming and free verse forms, Rosenthal touches on details that children notice in the laundry room, the smoke detector, the refrigerator, the vacuum cleaner, the kitchen, special cubby-holes, the doorbell, the back door, and more. The following poem example gives the book it’s title and captures some of my own thoughts my first night in my new home:

My House’s Night Song
By Betsy Rosenthal

Listen closely.
Can you hear?

Heater whooshing out
warm air.

Blinds flapping
Floors creaking.

Clocks ticking.
Faucet leaking.

Dishwasher clicking.
Pipes pinging.

Listen closely.
My house is singing.

From: Rosenthal, Betsy. R. 2004. My House is Singing. Illustrated by Margaret Chodos-Irvine. San Diego: Harcourt.

It’s time for me to re-join the Poetry Friday Round Up-- which is hosted this week by Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect.

Picture: My new house


tanita✿davis said...

Happy new home! And what a lovely reflective poem.

Becky said...

Congratulations on the move, Sylvia! And enjoy your new digs! May your new house sing happy songs for years to come.

Sylvia Vardell said...

Thanks so much! It's particularly fun to "break in" a new home at Christmastime. We still have boxes to unpack, but the tree is up and the lights are twinkling...

Elaine Magliaro said...


I hope you are happy in your new home. I've been living in the same house since 1976.

I like MY HOUSE IS SINGING and the poem you selected from it to post today.

Happy Holidays!!! I look forward to our discussions about the Cybils poetry nominations.

Sylvia Vardell said...

Thanks, Elaine. Yes, I am enjoying the Cybils reading and hope to jump into the dialogue shortly. Just scrambling to catch up... Happy holidays to you, too!

Susan T. said...

Happy new home, Sylvia. Half my relatives live in Dallas, so tell them hey.

Susan T.
Chicken Spaghetti

Sylvia Vardell said...

Thanks, Susan. And come on by the next time you're in town visiting family-- or not visiting family, as the case may be. :-)