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: tagyoureitonline.com;captainstlucifer.wordpress.com/2007/08;facebook.com;hicklebees.com

1 comment:

Mary Lee said...

This poem breaks my heart. It's so hard for kids to find their own way between two arguing parents...