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


Mary Lee said...

This reminds me of my sweet Jenny who lived to be twenty and who was boney and crabby and always cold, too!

Josie Whitehead said...

Children in their classrooms are learning about punctuation and where to put it in the English language. A poem such as this, minus any punctuation, is not satisfactory writing for children's poetry. Why is the writer doing this? It doesn't make any sense.