Today, I'd like to share Mother Poems, by Hope Anita Smith. This is a moving collection of poems from the heart. Hope wrote these poems as a tribute to her mother, and the pain and shock she felt when she lost her mother when she was twelve.
words and pictures by Hope Anita Smith
NY: Henry Holt, 2009
ages 10 and up
available on Amazon and at your local library
Smith's poems form a loose narrative, starting with the invincible love she felt for her mother, her "superhero" as a young girl. Details of daily life convey the daughter's love with tenderness and sincerity that is palpable. Images of snuggling close, or braiding hair stay with me in my mind. But soon the story takes a sharp turn and suddenly, out of nowhere, the young girl's mother dies. The narrator struggles with the full range of emotions in the aftermath of her mother's death: numbness, anger, betrayal, jealousy. As Betsy Bird wrote in her review at Fuse #8, "The sheer hunger of wanting your mother roars through this book." To me, the poem "Q and A" was particularly moving. Here is an excerpt (read the full poem here):
from "Q and A"The pictures throughout are torn picture collages that convey the emotions of the young girl perfectly. I love the way that the facial details are vague - it allows readers to imagine themselves in the young girl's shoes. They complement the poems wonderfully.
by Hope Anita Smith
Mothers give us our stories,
at least the beginning.
My mother left before she got a chance to
give me mine,
and I forgot to ask.
God should have made me smarter.
I am remembering less and less about my mother
and wanting to know more and more about me.
(c) Hope Anita Smith, 2009
Would you like to read a few of the poems? Head over to NPR, to listen to Hope read a few aloud. Her voice is resonate and full of emotion. You can also read an interview with Hope on The Miss Rumphius Effect.
Please share your links below. I will update as the day progresses. If you make a purchase on Amazon using one of the links here, a small portion of the proceeds will go to Great Kid Books (at no cost to you!). Thank you for your support.
TeachingBooks is in with an audio clip of Karen Hesse performing a poem from her Newbery-winning book, Out of the Dust.
Laura, at Teach Poetry K-12, shares a Beatrix Potter poem.
At Wild Rose Reader, Elaine has an extensive post about apostrophe/poems of address. It includes some of my original poems--as well as links to other poems of address and a book recommendation.
Over at Gotta Book, Greg continues with his fab feature "30 Poets / 30 Days". Today he has a new poem from Walter Dean Myers: Walking. Since last Poetry Friday, he's had new poems by Georgia Heard, George Ella Lyon, Jacqueline Woodson, Graham Denton, Francisco X. Alarcón, and Liz Garton Scanlon, too. Greg hopes folks come by and check 'em out!
Susan shares two poems with us today. As the final in her series of poems about the father she never knew: Family Stories. And a surprise that came about as a result of writing these poems this month: How Poetry, Google, and Craigslist Helped me Find the Family I Never Knew I Had
Today Tabatha Yeatts is sharing "When I Was" by Mario Milosevic.
At A Year of Reading, Mary Lee posted the 30th poem in her National Poetry Month poem-a-day personal writing challenge. It's a poem about what it's been like to write a poem-a-day. It's a fantastic collection - please take the time to look through them all.
At a wrung sponge, Andromeda has the last in her National Poetry Month series of haiku/haiga up. Today she's thinking about dandelions & empty seed heads. What a great month it's been!
This week Allison shares an original poem at Wistful Wanderings, looking at motherhood from a different perspective. It brought a smile to my face. "I want to run away"
Today, Sylvia Vardell is wrapping up her celebration of Poetry Month at Poetry for Children with a new, original poem by Jack Prelutsky, concluding her game of Poetry Tag. It's been so much fun!
At the Poem Farm, Amy has her last poem of NaPoWriMo, "Worm's Wish" and also a spotlight on a first grade class's Poet-Tree. She's sad to see this month end!
Sally is up for PaperTigers' contribution to Poetry Friday with a different kind of from-the-heart poetry - JonArno Lawson's Think Again. She also shares the Poetry Postcard she received as part of Ms Mac's project at the Check It Out blog - Duke Ellington by 4th Grader Kolbee.
Over at The Drift Record Julie has a poem from a strange and obscure little book first published in 1907 called How To Tell the Birds from the Flowers. The poet (and illustrator) is Robert Williams Wood - wonder who he was?
This week on the Stenhouse Blog they have an "accidental" poem about what kids wonder. The poem comes from Georgia Heard's recent book, A Place for Wonder.
Today at My World/Mi Mundo, Stella reviews the new poetry book: Poetry Speaks Who I Am. A fantastic new poetry book!
Speaking of that wonderful book, take a look at this: Irene Latham shares news of her final giveaway for National Poetry Month: Poetry Speaks Who I Am.
At Read, Write, Believe, Sara is in today with the poem she carried in her pocket yesterday: Marie Ponsot's One is One.
Over at Author Amok, Laura Shovan wraps up her 50-state-tour, and Florida is up today. Poet Laureate Edmund Skellings creates amazing 3-D poetry projects. "Incantation".
Ruth shares a poem "Morning".
Kurious Kitty looks at Hey You! Poems to Skyscrapers, Mosquitoes, and Other Fun Things. And at Kurious K's Kwotes there's a quote by Paul Janeczko.
Over at Random Noodling, Diane has egg poems.
Laura Salas in today with her final Poem of the Day, this one by her.
Jama Rattigan is wrapping up her Poetry Potluck with a poem by Joyce Sidman, and a giveaway for Red Sings from Treetops. She has also posted a complete list of Potluck Poets with links to their poems and recipes: a mouth-wateringly delicious month!
At Homeschooling on the Run, Meagan shares three poems by Denise Levertov:
Jeannine Atkins wrote about Laura Shovan's (Author Amok!) new chapbook, Mountain, Log, Salt, and Stone.
At The HappyNappyBookseller, the delightful Doret shares her thoughts on Shakespeare Makes the Playoff by Ron Koertge.
Charles Ghigna. shares a post from the PETA website celebrating this last day of National Poetry Month. PETA: Celebrating National Poetry Month
Dori has posted a poem called "Self Portrait" written by a student a few years ago.
Andy is sharing a twist on a few old Stevenson standards by Franklin Pierce Adams over at The Write Sisters.
At Brimful Curiosities, you'll find a a post on read aloud poetry, as part of the Savvy Verse & Wit National Poetry Month Blog Tour and Poetry Friday. Please stop on by and share your favorite poetry related books to share with young children. And in celebration of Arbor Day, they have crafted a "POET-TREE".
Head over to The Miss Rumphius Effect, where Tricia is sharing Longfellow's poem A Psalm of Life for the last day of National Poetry Month. This week's Poetry Stretch is all about Eggs.
Please take the time to linger with the Poetry Makers series at The Miss Rumphius Effect. Today, Tricia writes about and interviews the remarkable X.J. Kennedy. For a final roundup in praise of poets and with links to all her Poetry Maker posts, see here.
At Blue Rose Girls, Elaine has a Favorite Poem Project video of a fifth grader named Katherine Mechling reciting Theodore Roethke's poem "The Sloth."
Little Willow posted Spring Song at Bildungsroman today.
Today at TeachingAuthors, Joann Early Macken shares an original shape poem in honor of Arbor Day and a lesson plan for writing shape poems. Thanks, Carmella!
Karen Edmisten shares "People Who Eat in Coffee Shops", by Edward Field.
At Biblio File, Jennie shares a review of Diamond Willow, by Helen Frost. "When Willow makes a mistake with her dogsled team, the family's favorite dog is seriously injured. In her guilt, Willow is determined to make things right, which leads to adventure and long-held family secrets, but without being as melodramatic as it sounds. "
Janet Squires at All About the Books is offering up Stanza, a picture book in rhyme --written by Jill Esbaum and illustrated by Jack E. Davis.
Thanks to everyone for sharing this poetry filled Friday. Enjoy your weekend!