Friday, April 30, 2010

Poetry Tag: Jack Prelutsky is IT

April has come to an end and so does our game of Poetry Tag in celebration of National Poetry Month. What fun it’s been to watch the game unfold, with each poet sharing a poem, connected one to another and tagging the next poet. Yesterday, Douglas Florian shared a brand new poem, “My Monster.” Next up, Jack Prelutsky picked up the gauntlet and offered his own brand new original “monster” creation. He writes, “At first I was just going to submit a previously published poem, but then I decided to accept the challenge and not only respond directly to Doug's poem, but continue it. I don't think that my ‘response’ needs any explanation.” Here is Jack’s new creation.

By Jack Prelutsky

Dear monster, if you do not sweep,
I probably can’t fall asleep,
For when my room is thick with dust,
I’m filled with anguish and disgust.

Sweet monster, sweep as I request,
And then we both can get some rest.
Don’t hesitate, pick up the broom,
And clear the cobwebs from my room.

"Dear Monster" copyright ©2010 by Jack Prelutsky

Five fun facts about Jack Prelutsky
*he was born in Brooklyn, New York
*he has worked as an opera singer, folk singer, truck driver, photographer, plumber’s assistant, piano mover, cab driver, and standup comedian
*he collects frog miniatures
*he was the first Children’s Poet Laureate of the U.S.
*he has authored a guide book for young readers, Pizza, Pigs, and Poetry; How to Write a Poem (Greenwillow, 2008)
[Based on Poetry People; A Practical Guide to Children’s Poets]

Look for these selected poetry books written or compiled by Prelutsky:
*The Random House Book of Poetry for Children (Random House, 1983)
*Read-aloud Rhymes for the Very Young (Knopf, 1986)
*The Beauty of the Beast (Knopf, 1997)
*The 20th Century Children's Poetry Treasury (Knopf, 1999)
*Nightmares: Poems to Trouble Your Sleep (Mulberry Books, 1976/1993)
*The New Kid on the Block (Greenwillow, 1984)
*Something Big Has Been Here (Scholastic, 1990)
*The Dragons are Singing Tonight (Scholastic, 1993)
*A Pizza the Size of the Sun (Greenwillow, 1996)
*The Gargoyle on the Roof (Greenwillow, 1999)
*It’s Raining Pigs & Noodles (Greenwillow, 2000)
*Awful Ogre’s Awful Day (Greenwillow, 2001)
*If Not for the Cat: Haiku (Greenwillow, 2004)
*Read a Rhyme, Write a Rhyme (Random House, 2005)
*Behold the Bold Umbrellaphant: And Other Poems (Greenwillow, 2006)
*Good Sports; Rhymes About Running, Jumping, Throwing, and More (Knopf, 2007)
*Awful Ogre Running Wild (Greenwillow, 2008)
*Be Glad Your Nose is on Your Face and Other Poems (Greenwillow, 2008)
*My Dog May Be a Genius (Greenwillow, 2008)
*The Swamps of Sleethe; Poems From Beyond the Solar System (Knopf, 2009)


Thank you, poets!

Thank you, poets, for joining in this month-long game of Poetry Tag and generously offering your poems for my readers to enjoy, then "tagging" a fellow poet who then shared her/his own poem CONNECTED to the previous poem in some way—by a theme, word, idea, tone. What fun it has been to celebrate each new poem and poet and enjoy the interesting connections between them all.

Thank you to
J. Patrick Lewis, X. J. Kennedy, Avis Harley, Rebecca Dotlich, Lee Bennett Hopkins, Joan Bransfield Graham, April Halprin Wayland, Joyce Sidman, Marilyn Singer, Kristine O'Connell George, Alice Schertle, Jane Yolen, Heidi Stemple, Lesléa Newman, Marilyn Nelson, Pat Mora, Naomi Shihab Nye, Carrie Fountain, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Matthea Harvey, Helen Frost, Georgia Ella Lyon, Marie Bradby, Nikki Grimes, Tracie Vaughn Zimmer, Janet Wong
, Betsy Franco, Bobbi Katz, Douglas Florian, and Jack Prelutsky.

What a lovely community of poets, what a wonderful way to enjoy each day of National Poetry Month.

Thank you, readers, too, for joining in, for commenting, and for your year-long support of a blog focused exclusively on poetry for young people. I hope you’ll take this idea of playing “Poetry Tag” into your schools, classrooms, libraries, work and play places, and challenge your kids and colleagues to find, share, and link poems all year long! Now, YOU’RE IT!

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

Image credits:;;schoollibraryjournal;gasolinealleyantiques

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Poetry Tag: Douglas Florian is IT

Did you see Bobbi Katz’s poem, “Medusa” yesterday? Now she has tagged Douglas Florian who offers this brand new original poem “that's connected to the previous monstrous one.” Here’s one to relish!

My Monster
By Douglas Florian

My monster lurks beneath the bed
It's got green teeth, a purple head
A long spiked tail,
And claws to gore:
I told my monster
Sweep the floor!

Copyright 2010 by Douglas Florian used by permission of the author, who controls all rights.

Five fun facts about Douglas Florian
*he was born in New York
*he worked as a political illustrator and cartoonist
*he has his own blog, FlorianCafe
*he is a well-known painter and artist
*he uses many different media in his illustrations including rubber stamps and brown paper bags
[Based on Poetry People; A Practical Guide to Children’s Poets]

Look for these selected poetry books by Florian:
Bing Bang Boing (Harcourt 1994) and Laugheteria (Harcourt 1999)

These animal-themed collections:
Beast Feast (Harcourt 1994)
On the Wing (Harcourt 1996)
In the Swim (Harcourt 1997)
Insectlopedia (Harcourt 1998)
Mammalabilia (Harcourt 2000)
Lizards, Frogs, and Polliwogs (Harcourt 2001)
Bow Wow Meow Meow (Harcourt 2003)
Omnibeasts (Harcourt 2004)
Zoo’s Who (Harcourt 2005)
Dinothesaurus (Simon & Schuster, 2009)

These “seasonal” poetry collections:
Winter Eyes (Greenwillow, 1999)
Summersaults (Greenwillow, 2002)
Autumnblings (Greenwillow, 2003)
Handsprings (Greenwillow, 2006)

Plus, these new picture book poetry collections:
Comets, Stars, the Moon, and Mars (Harcourt, 2007)
Poetrees (Simon & Schuster, 2010)

Next up: Jack Prelutsky

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

Image credits:;;wildrosereader;

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Poetry Tag: Bobbi Katz is IT

Yesterday, Betsy Franco shared a myth-based poem for teens. Today, she tags Bobbi Katz who asks, “Is it okay for me to use a poem from the THE MONSTEROLOGIST: A MEMOIR IN RHYME such as 'Medusa?' That relates to Betsy's Greek mythology theme.” Here’s an extra treat for all of you Percy Jackson, Lightning Thief, and “Clash of the Titans” fans-- Bobbi Katz’s clever poem, “Medusa.”


By Bobbi Katz

Just one look at Medusa

Could turn you to stone.
When she says, "Let's talk."
Play it safe. Use the phone.
She's a very vain monster,
But she'll never say,
"I'm having a terrible bad hair day.
What's the complaint that Medusa makes?
"I can't do a thing
with this head full of snakes!"

Copyright 2010 by Bobbi Katz, The Monsterologist: a Memoir in Rhyme, used by permission of the author, who controls all rights.

Five fun facts about Bobbi Katz
*she was born in New York
*her first job was as a freelance writer and editor of Middle Eastern affairs
*she has also worked as a social worker, an art historian, a fashion editor, and a radio talk host
*she is also a peace and environmental activist
*she has also authored professional books such as Partner Poems for Building Fluency (Scholastic, 2006)
[Based on Poetry People; A Practical Guide to Children’s Poets]

Look for these selected poetry books by Katz:
*Puddle-wonderful: Poems to Welcome Spring (Random House, 1992)
*We the People: Poems (Greenwillow, 2000)
*A Rumpus of Rhymes: A Book of Noisy Poems (Dutton, 2001)
*Pocket Poems (Dutton, 2004)
*Once Around the Sun (Harcourt, 2006)
*Trailblazers; Poems of Exploration (Greenwillow, 2007)
*More Pocket Poems (Dutton, 2009)

Next up:
Douglas Florian

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

Image credits:;;wildrosereader;lunchat1130

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Poetry Tag: Betsy Franco is IT

Janet Wong started off this last week of Poetry Tag with her poem, “Night Garden.” Now, she has tagged Betsy Franco who writes, “To take this game of tag in a different direction, I've included a poem from my YA novel, METAMORPHOSIS, JUNIOR YEAR, illustrated by my son Tom. In the poem, my protagonist, Ovid, compares his friend's shuttle between divorced parents to Proserpina's shuttle between Ceres and Hades in the myths. The connection to Janet's enticing night garden poem is nature, and darkness… of Hades, this time.” Here is an excerpt from Franco's compelling myth-based novel-in-verse, along with the art by her son, Tom.

Duwayne and the Divorce Shuttle
By Betsy Franco

Like Proserpina shuttling
between earth goddess, Ceres,
and underworld king, Pluto,
Duwayne flitted back and forth
between his parents.

His mother dear said,
"Summer, summer, summer."
His father dear said,
"Winter, winter, winter."

He tried to take refuge in spring
to keep himself from splitting in half.


like a magician's assistant,
like the shells of a cracked crab,
like a two-headed creature,
like Proserpina living in the light and the dark,

Duwayne was split in half,

until he found his own season—fall.

While he watched his parents
freezing over,
heating up,
following their own internal thermostats,

Duwayne changed his colors
according to his own clock.

copyright Betsy Franco, Metamorphosis, Junior Year, Candlewick Press, 2009.

Five fun
facts about Betsy Franco
*she lives in California
*she has written over eighty books for children and young adults, including picture books, poetry collections, and nonfiction
*she has three sons, James, Thomas, and Dave--two actor/​writers and a sculptor/​illustrator
*her son, James Franco, has talked about his mom’s poetry on “The David Letterman Show”
*she acts in a comedy troupe called Suburban Squirrel

Look for these selected poetry books written or compiled by Franco:
*Things I Have to Tell You: Poems And Writing by Teenage Girls (Candlewick, 2001)
*You Hear Me? Poems and Writing by Teenage Boys (Candlewick, 2001)
*Mathematickles! (McElderry, 2003)
*Counting our way to the 100th day (McElderry, 2004)
*Falling Hard: 100 Love Poems by Teenagers (Candlewick, 2008)
*A Curious Collection of Cats (Tricycle Press, 2009)
*Messing Around the Monkey Bars and other School Poems for Two Voices (Candlewick, 2009)
*Metamorphosis (Candlewick, 2009)

Next up:
Bobbi Katz

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

Image credits:;;;

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

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Poetry Tag: Tracie Vaughn Zimmer is IT

Yesterday featured Nikki Grimes’s lovely desert poem. Now she tags Tracie Vaughn Zimmer who writes, “I'm thrilled to play with poetry of course and despite the ‘busyness,’ I must toss the ball! I'm so honored to come after Nikki who has been a friend of mine now for several years.

Here's a poem from SKETCHES FROM A SPY TREE which features a narrator, a plant, and a relationship, too. But, uhm, a bit naughtier girl than Nikki's sweet Teresa is my Anne Marie in spring.” Here is Tracie’s mischievous poem.

Across the Back Fence
By Tracie Vaughn Zimmer

Mr. O'Brien
(red brick house
across the back fence)
tries to train his grass--
not his dog to fetch
or his son Paul to pitch
but one million blades of bluegrass--
to behave!

Twice a week
he cuts it down
whips back the edges
blows the cuttings and
sweeps the strays.
He even
claps his shoes
like dirty chalkboard erasers
out in the street
so the whiskers of grass
can't follow him home.

I know I shouldn't,
but when the puffs of dandelions
appear in our yard,
I twist their rubbery stalks and
blow the seeds
light as snowflakes
across the back fence.

Copyright 2010 by Tracie Vaughn Zimmer used by permission of the author, who controls all rights.

Five fun facts about Tracie Vaughn Zimmer
*she has a twin sister
*her first journal entry was dated December 24, 1978
*she teaches school in Ohio
*she has a dog named Louie and a cat named Mickey
*she won the Schneider Family Book Award

Look for these selected books by Zimmer:
*Sketches from a Spy Tree (Clarion, 2005)
*Reaching for Sun (Bloomsbury, 2007)
*The Floating Circus (Bloomsbury, 2008)
*42 Miles (Clarion, 2008)
*Steady Hands: Poems About Work (Clarion, 2009)
*Cousins of Clouds; Elephant Poems (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011)

Next up: Janet Wong

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

Image credits:;;;

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Poetry Tag: Nikki Grimes is IT

We’re heading down the homestretch as poets tag each other to share a connected poem in our month-long game of Poetry Tag. Yesterday, Marie Bradby shared her poem, “If You Were a Bird,” and she tagged Nikki Grimes who notes, “Poems about birds always make me think of spring, and spring in Southern California always makes me marvel at the profusion of color that erupts in the desert after a good rainy season. This poem, although it is about New Mexico, takes me there.” Here is her springtime poem.

Gone Ca
(Opuntia imbricata, commonly called Cane Cholla)
New Mexico
by Nikki Grimes

Teresa learned a secret
from her tia, Guadalupe
when the two of them went camping
in the Southwest late last spring.

There's a garden in the desert,
bursts of blinding, blazing color:
fire-red to brilliant yellow
cactus blossoms flowering.

One morning, while out hiking,
tall Cane Cholla they discovered,
hot pink petals from a distance
nearly begging to be touched.

"Well, go on," her aunt encouraged,
so Teresa stretched her hand out
with one finger gently tickling
the flower's honey spot.

"Dios mio!" gasped Teresa,
snatching back her little finger,
for the silky Cholla petals
snapped shut upon her touch.

Guadalupe started laughing.
pretty soon, Teresa joined her.
Ever since, she's loved this cactus
blossom—as ticklish as she!

Copyright 2010 by Nikki Grimes used by permission of the author, who controls all rights.

Five fun facts about Nikki Grimes
*she was born in New York
*she began composing verse at the age of six and was published in high school
*she coproduced and hosted The Kid's Show on WBAI FM in New York
*she lived in Sweden and hosted a radio program for Swedish Educational Radio
*she is also a fiber artist, jeweler, and photographer
[Based on Poetry People; A Practical Guide to Children’s Poets]

Look for these selected poetry books by Grimes:
*Meet Danitra Brown (Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, 1994)
*It’s Raining Laughter: Poems (Dial, 1997)
*A Dime a Dozen (Dial, 1998)
*Jazmin’s Notebook (Dial, 1998)
*Hopscotch Love: A Family Treasury of Love Poems (Lee & Shepard, 1999)
*My Man Blue: Poems (Dial, 1999)
*Bronx Masquerade (Dial, 2002)
*What is Goodbye? (Jump at the Sun/Hyperion, 2004)
*Thanks a Million (Amistad, 2006)

Next up: Tracie Vaughn Zimmer

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

Image credits:;;

Friday, April 23, 2010

Poetry Tag: Marie Bradby is IT

Yesterday featured a beautiful pet poem by George Ella Lyon. Today, she tags her friend, Marie Bradby, who writes: I am delighted and honored to participate in your poetry tag. My poem below is "If You Were a Bird". The link to George Ella's poem is the connection and closeness we feel to animals. My house and yard are so full of nesting birds every year that I feel I live in an aviary. We have so much to learn from others who share this glorious earth with us. The birds give me as much comfort and love as Rosie! Here is her “bird” poem.

If You Were a Bird
by Marie Bradby
April 14, 2010

If you were a bird
in this world that goes
round and round,
you would gather
bits of straw and sticks
and even hair and tinsel
all day long
to build a nest,
a home for your babies to come.

If you were a bird,
you would sit
for weeks and weeks
day and night,
rain and shine,
cold and hot
on your eggs
until your baby birds hatched
and breathed their first breath
in this round, round world,
where things come and go
and come back again.

You would travel back and forth
hundreds of times
from sunup to sundown,
carrying worms and insects;
berries and seeds
to feed these hungry babies
with their wide-open mouths,
and their eyes still shut.

You would fight off
cats, foxes, and even other birds--
hawks, eagles, and owls--
clawing, pecking, and chasing these sly hunters
back to where they came from.
“Stay away!” you would yell. “Stay away!”

Then at sundown,
you would sit on this nest,
this cradle of fledglings,
to keep your babies safe and warm
while they rocked gently in the night breeze
on a leafy bough and slept--
a light feathery sleep
full of bird dreams
under a roof of stars.

If you were this baby bird,
still in this round, round nest,
you would get bigger and stronger each day--
much stronger and not fuss so much.
Your fuzzy, baby down would turn into feathers,
and your mama and papa would begin to teach you every bird thing.

Like flying.
First you’d try walking and hopping
to strengthen your legs,
then flapping your wings
to make them stronger.
Then short flights above the nest--
just a test--
flying higher and higher
until you slipped from earth’s grasp
and soared high in the sky
free as a bird
in this round, round world.

Then papa bird would lead a song
and you would begin to sing
first one note,
then two--
a grace note, a trill, a slur,
rolling up and down the scale.
You would warble,
peep, whistle, chirp
and coo
until you learned it just right.

If you were a bird, you would sing
and sing:
thank you kind earth
for berries and seeds,
for puddles of rain,
for grass and trees,
for pink-clouded dawns,
and another day kept from harm.
Every morning,
the world would wake to your cherry song.
If you were a bird.

Five fun facts about Marie Bradby
*she grew up the sixth of seven children
*she was a Girl Scout as a child
*she played the clarinet and oboe through college
*she worked as a journalist for newspapers and magazines for years
*it took about eight years before her first book was published

Look for these selected books by Bradby:
*MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE (Richard Jackson/Orchard Books, 1995)
*THE LONGEST WAIT (Orchard Books, 1998)
*MOMMA, WHERE ARE YOU FROM? (Orchard Books, 2002)
*ONCE UPON A FARM (Orchard Books/Scholastic, 2002)
*SOME FRIEND (Richard Jackson/Atheneum, 2004)

Next up: Nikki Grimes

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

Image credits:;;;;;;;

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Poetry Tag: George Ella Lyon is IT

Yesterday, Helen Frost shared her tender poem, “Pepperoni Was My Dog” and tagged her friend, George Ella Lyon, who writes, “Here's my poem. The link, first of all, is having a beloved four-foot as a companion. A fur(!)ther link is that Rosie has passed on since I wrote this, so she is now missing like Suki, only permanently. I still look for her.” Here’s George Ella’s poem of loss and longing along with her own photo of her beloved cat, Rosie.


By George Ella Lyon

Rosie dozes
on my shoulder,
in my lap
bony old girl,
tortoiseshell fur
coming off in tufts.
December and she
still meows
to go out
can’t get warm
when she comes in.

If I try to write
without her
she hooks her
into my clothes
and climbs
my back.
Once settled
head and forepaws
draped over
my shoulder—
the only fur
I’ll ever wear—
she breathes
a ripple
of a purr.

At night
she takes up
her station
in the hall
for me
to prepare
her favorite

bath water
with me
in it.

Five fun facts about George Ella Lyon
*she grew up in the mountains of Kentucky
*she loves caramel icing
*she started writing poems on her own in third grade
*she loved Black Beauty so much as a child that she ate raw oats to taste what it was like to be a horse
*she teaches every summer at the Appalachian Writers Workshop

Look for these selected poetry books by Lyon:
*Where I’m From, Where Poems Come From (Absey & Co, 1999)
*Counting on the Woods (DK Ink, 2000)
*Catalpa (Wind Publications, 2007)
*A Kentucky Christmas (University of Kentucky Press, 2003)

Next up: Marie Bradby

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

Image credits:;;AnnWOlson;GeorgeEllaLyon

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Poetry Tag: Helen Frost is IT

Matthea Harvey shared her “paired parrot” poem yesterday and next up is Helen Frost who writes, “This may be a tenuous connection, but there are boys coming home from school in Matthea's poem, and in this one of mine.” Here is Frost’s poem from her novel in verse, Spinning Through the Universe.

Pepperoni Was My Dog
By Helen Frost

I know how Ryan feels. Suki, his white cat—she’s

Missing. He wants me to help him look, but
I don’t know his cat. I don’t know where
Suki sleeps or what she eats. In other words,
Suki isn’t Pepperoni.

Pepperoni was my dog. He died. Now
Every day when I come home from school,
Pepperoni doesn’t thump his tail.
Pepperoni doesn’t curl beside me on the couch,
Even if I whistle and pat the place he likes.
Rawhide bones and chewed up toys aren’t left all
Over the back yard. My ears are empty from the
Noises Pepperoni doesn’t make.
I know how much space one cat or dog can fill.

Poem from SPINNING THROUGH THE UNIVERSE by Helen Frost. Copyright © 2004 by Helen Frost. Used by permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC.

Five fun facts about Helen Frost
*she was born in South Dakota
*she is one of ten children
*she has worked as a teacher in Scotland, Alaska, and Indiana
*she enjoys raising and releasing monarch butterflies
*she has written nonfiction series books in science and biology
[Based on Poetry People; A Practical Guide to Children’s Poets]

Look for these poetry books by Helen Frost:
*Keesha's House (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2003)
*Spinning through the Universe (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2004)
*The Braid (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2006)
*Diamond Willow (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2008)
*Crossing Stones (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2009)

up: George Ella Lyon

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

Image credits:;;;psychicjoystar

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Poetry Tag: Matthea Harvey is IT

Poetry tag continues with Aimee Nezhukumatathil tagging her friend, poet Matthea Harvey who shares this connection, “I am being a very literal tagger--from Aimee's parrot to mine. Here the human and the parrot are feeling a little less hopeful, but they are certainly the best of friends!” Here is Matthea's "parrot" poem:

Our Square of Lawn
by Matthea Harvey

From the parrot's perch
the view is always Hello.

We try not to greet one
another. When the boys come

after school I shout
you are not cameras

at them & they run away.
Fact will muzzle anything.

I look at myself in
a spoon & I am just

a head. Never learned
how to make ringlets.

The trees are covered
with tiny dead bouquets.

The ducks have been eating
grass with chemicals on it,

ignoring the signs. At night
from our glass-fronted box

we watch them glow.
It is the closest we come

to dreaming.

Copyright Matthea Harvey 2010

Five fun facts about Matthea Harvey
*her book Modern Life was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and a New York Times Notable Book
*her first children’s book is The Little General and the Giant Snowflake, illustrated by Elizabeth Zechel
*she is a contributing editor to jubilat, Meatpaper and BOMB.
*she teaches poetry at Sarah Lawrence College
*she lives in Brooklyn, New York

Look for these selected poetry books by Harvey:
*Sad Little Breathing Machine (Graywolf, 2004)
*Pity the Bathtub Its Forced Embrace of the Human Form (Alice James Books, 2000).
*Modern Life (Graywolf, 2007)
*The Little General and the Giant Snowflake (Tin House Books, forthcoming)

Next up: Helen Frost

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

Image credits:;;;;