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
and dreams grow
dreams grow wild
like dandelion weeds,
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
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: tagyoureitonline.com;captainstlucifer.wordpress.com/2007/08juliepaschkis.com;schoollibraryjournal
I love Janet Wong. Severeal years ago, I used her Behind the Wheel poems to write a unit of lessons for teachers who want to get middle and high school boys excited about poetry. I called the unit "Dream Cars." Both boys and girls have enjoyed modeling their poems after Janet's.
I love Janet--and her poetry! Janet is so generous with her help and advice for people like me who have a passion for writing children's poetry. She's so dynamic. I would love to watch her doing poetry presentations for groups of school children.
Hooray for dandelions! (again!!)
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