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Archive for the ‘poetry friday’ Category

“I think what poetry finally does is to help us experience our world as intensely as possible.” (Mark Strand)

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Have I mentioned just how much I love this year’s National Poetry Month poster?

Featuring the first stanza of Mark Strand’s “Eating Poetry” cleverly drawn by New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast, it’s the poster to top all posters. Period.

As we gear up for the official start of Poetry Month next week, we simply must don our finest bibs, polish our knives and forks, and wholeheartedly nosh on Strand’s delectable words. As he once said, “The reader has to sort of give himself over to the poem and allow the poem to inhabit him.” Ladies and Gentlemen, lick your chops!

EATING POETRY
by Mark Strand

Ink runs from the corners of my mouth.
There is no happiness like mine.
I have been eating poetry.

The librarian does not believe what she sees.
Her eyes are sad
and she walks with her hands in her dress.

The poems are gone.
The light is dim.
The dogs are on the basement stairs and coming up.

Their eyeballs roll,
their blond legs burn like brush.
The poor librarian begins to stamp her feet and weep.

She does not understand.
When I get on my knees and lick her hand,
she screams.

I am a new man.
I snarl at her and bark.
I romp with joy in the bookish dark.

~ from Selected Poems (Alfred A. Knopf/Random House, 1980)

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Clean, precise, surreal. Vintage Strand. A good poem produces a visceral reaction in the reader. As we internalize it, it may momentarily dally with our intellect, but ultimately it taps into our emotional core and arouses our instinctual essence, raw and animalistic. A good poem is a transformative experience.

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It’s here, it’s finally here!

Happy Spring!

We must celebrate with what so many of us are craving after such a long hard winter: COLOR!

But why settle for plain blue when you can have indigo or blue moonshade? As for green, make mine Elysian. Let’s bask in the evocative names of colors and the flights of fancy they inspire. And yes, you may call me Sheba. :)

POEM FROM A COLOUR CHART OF HOUSEPAINTS
by Wendy Cope

Limeglow of leaves –
elf, sapling
in Elysian green,
she’s jitterbugging
in the forest.
She is froth, the tang
of julep, capering
among the ferns.
Passion, the firedance
of her fantasy,
fireglow of poppy
and corona, ember.
Casanova, peerless
demon, jester!
She burns, a firefly,
Apollo’s geisha.
Her sandgold hair,
spun silk kimono,
melon and lemon sorbet
on the balcony,
white wine, gardenias.
That honeysuckle year –
if he could ransom
one sunlit day!
Indigo seascape –
Melissa in cool,
blue moonshade.
Harebell, naiad,
exotic ballerina,
she commands the bay,
the midnight swell,
the surf, pale gossamer.
Autumnal in brogues,
beige twinset, russet
tweeds, she takes
coffee at eleven,
sherry at noon –
dreams of Tarragona,
castanets, a man
who called her Sheba.
Her mood
is violet, nocturnal.
Aubrietia, phlox,
wisteria delight her
more than roses.
Solitude, a purple
robe, a last
long hazy evening.

~ from If I Don’t Know (Faber & Faber, 2001).

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Which shade of green should I use to paint my dining room — Barefoot in the Grass, Peaceful Garden, or Spring Has Sprung? Inspired by nature’s palette, we paint our rooms to bring the outdoors in. While I contemplate my choices, enjoy this floral bouquet plucked from Cope’s dreamscape. If you need me, I’ll be lounging in my purple robe sipping sherry. Come to think of it, I’ve always wanted a pair of castanets.

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One, two, three, and as pleased as can be to see this delectable new counting picture book  by award-winning poet, author and teacher Kathi Appelt!

For one, I’ve long been fascinated by crows and their supreme intelligence. Did you know they can distinguish individual humans by recognizing facial features? Or that they can not only use, but in some cases, manufacture tools? They engage in sports and play, and yes, they can actually count!

(Uncanny, but just as I finished typing the previous sentence, I heard three jubilant caws of approval in the back yard. I’m sure our resident crows know when they’re being written about. Told you they were smart!) :)

The two things I love most about Counting Crows (Atheneum BFYR, 2015) are the varied, innovative rhyme schemes and the fact that the crows are counting, of all things, SNACKS *licks lips*! Not to mention Rob Dunlavey’s fetching feast of whimsical illustrations capturing the peckish personalities and comical antics of these red-and-white sweater-clad flappers in a striking three-color palette of black, white and red.

(click to enlarge)

One, two, three
crows in a tree.

Three roly-poly bugs,
three ripe mangoes.

Three for the counting crows.
Three, by jango!

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via Chris Cavill

Have you ever loved a food so much you wanted to inhabit it?

I guess there’s truth in the saying, “Home is where the cacao is.” :)

L.A. Burdick’s Pavé Glacé : bricks of hazelnut, saffron, dark chocolate, cocoa butter and butter: (via NY City Woman)

HOME SWEET HOME

by Kate Bingham

I need a chocolate bar I can live with,
nothing too big, a red-brick biscuit base, perhaps,
south-facing, on a quiet, tree-lined residential street
where parking late at night won’t be a problem.

Nothing too crumbly either. I don’t want
to be sweeping up bits of cornice all weekend
and pestering the surveyor with each new crack
in the milky bar matt emulsion shell.

It’s got to be the sort of place I can forget about,
with cocoa solids minimum 65 per cent
and nougat foundation limed with soya lecithin
cement and bourneville guttering

no matter what the cost because you can’t price
peace of mind and that means no original features,
nothing too fancy, nothing architect-designed.
There’s only me, I know exactly what I’m looking for,

not space so much as surface area, a honey-comb interior,
with wafer walls and butterscotch parquet
leading from room to room, each mouthful lighter,
sweeter than the one before and breathed, not tasted,

like a puff of icing sugar. Coming home
will be a hit, a score. I’ll drop my hand-bag in the hall,
tie back my hair, lie down and lick the floor.

~ from Cohabitation (Seren Books, 1998)

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It’s always a treat to “discover” a new-to-me poet, and Kate Bingham’s winsome and witty verse was just what I needed to chase away my cabin fever and winter blues. (When in doubt, think brown, and don’t be afraid to cross over to the dark side.)

After nibbling on this poem, I began to fantasize about the choco-cabin of my dreams.

Hmmm, something warm and cozy,

via SDJW

all furnishings made of the finest Belgian chocolate:

Chocolate room by sculptor Elena Kliment via Daily Mail

Some people like to wear their lampshades, I like to eat mine.

What’s a home without tasty flowers?

I must have a bottomless chocolate teapot that pours and pours all day,

via Oddetorium

and good quality flatware. Why just lick your spoons, when you can lick your knives and forks too?

Herdmar Oslo-Chocolate Mirror via Pickard

What else? A nice old-fashioned rotary phone in case I need to order take-out or call Mr. Firth. For any robo-calls or annoying telemarketers, I’d eat the receiver.

Chocolate and Raspberry Telephone via Afternoon Crumbs

Yes, a good tool kit to tinker and fix,

via WorthaShare

and a piano (I can play Schumann’s “The Happy Chocolate Farmer” by heart)!

via Fresh Ideen

Oh yes, this is where I’d sleep (and dream about mountains of dark sea salt caramels).

via Jean Chow/flickr

Mr. Cornelius would sleep here:

via bed toppings for sleepy heads

Each morning I’d hop out of bed, slip into something comfortable,

via WorthaShare

click my heels together,

via NewsTimes

turn on my laptop, then write the tastiest blog post ever, bar none.

via Unique Rishta

Now, you may eat this post, if you like, along with a Mississippi Mud bar:

procured by Mr. Cornelius

 

Tell me, where do you live?

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poetryfriday180Poet and Author Robyn Campbell is hosting today’s Roundup. Check out the full menu of poetic goodness being served up in the blogosphere this week. Hope you find the chocolate bar of your dreams!

 

 

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wkendcookingiconThis post is also being linked to Beth Fish Read’s Weekend Cooking, where all are invited to share their food-related posts. Slip on your chocolate dress and come join the fun!

 

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Copyright © 2015 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

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Put on your aprons and dancing shoes, it’s time to SALSA!

So pleased to see another yummy book in Jorge Argueta’s popular bilingual Cooking Poem Series. Previously, Jorge treated us to Sopa de frijoles/Bean Soup (2009), Arroz con leche/Rice Pudding (2010), Guacamole (2012), and Tamalitos (2013). Mmmmm!

Now, with Salsa (Groundwood Books, 2015), illustrated by Pura Belpré winner Duncan Tonatiuh, Argueta infuses his lyrical, lip-smacking recipe with savory musical instruments, lively rhythms, a wealth of sensory details, and just the right amount of spice to make readers crave more.

(click to enlarge)

A young boy first describes the molcajete, a type of stone bowl dating back to the time of the ancient Aztec, Mayan, and Nahua peoples used to grind tomatoes, corn, chilies, vegetables and spices. He mentions how every weekend his family uses their molcajete to make salsa while they sing and dance.

Before proceeding, he and his sister “play” the ingredients from their very own “salsa orchestra”:

I am ready with four tomatoes.
They are bongos and kettledrums.
My onion is a maraca.
Cloves of garlic are trumpets,
and the cilantro is the orchestra conductor
with his shaggy, green hair.

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Ya tengo listos cuatro tomates.
Son bongos y timbales.
La cebolla es una maraca.
Los ajos son trompetas,
y el cilantro un director de orquesta
con su pelo verde todo despeinado.

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