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Posts Tagged ‘poetry’

Today I am honored to share a beautiful poem that was recently read aloud at the Jane Addams Peace Association Children’s Book Awards ceremony at the United Nations Plaza.

It was written by esteemed Hawaii-based author and illustrator James Rumford, and was inspired in part by a conversation he had with President Obama’s sister Maya Soetero Ng about the importance of using children’s books to promote peace. I was moved by this timeless, powerful message, words we all need to hear now more than ever.

(click to enlarge)

 

EACH TIME

I wonder
how could I,
so small,
just one person,
bring peace
to this fighting world.

I might as well try
to touch the clouds
or journey to the stars
or travel to the far
corners of the globe.

Yet each time I
let raindrops fall
on my upturned face,
it is the clouds
out of reach
that touch me.

Each time I
dance in the twin-
kling night
it is the stars
so far away
that have journeyed
to meet me.

Each time I
take the first step
and go where
I’ve never
gone before,
it is the world
that opens up
to me.

Each time I
smile,
so small,
just one person,
and make a friend,
it is peace
that comes
to me.

~ Copyright © 2014 James Rumford

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Happy Halloween!

No tricks here today, just a rich, spicy, scrumptious treat — parkin!

I was compelled to bake a batch of this Yorkshire gingerbread after reading Diane Wakoski’s evocative, affecting poem.

Her musings about the Brontës brought back my own fond memories of visiting Haworth – absolutely fascinating how creative genius can flourish in such a carefully circumscribed, isolated world.

Sip a cup of hot tea, have a good bite of parkin, and find comfort in the words of this generous poet. The “small things” are not so small after all.

 

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On this brisk and beautiful autumn day, a little feast for the eyes. Ladies, brace yourselves.

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THE LOOK
by Sara Teasdale

Strephon kissed me in the spring,
Robin in the fall,
But Colin only looked at me
And never kissed at all.

Strephon’s kiss was lost in jest,
Robin’s lost in play,
But the kiss in Colin’s eyes
Haunts me night and day.

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I love this little gem by Sara Teasdale. It’s light, lyrical, flirty, and touches on the essence of romance. I am reminded of Charlotte Brontë, whose primary literary theme was unrequited love. The “what might have been’s” and the fantasies surrounding an idealized love often make for a better story with its inherent longing and suspense, setting the stage for a good old-fashioned chase.

The question now is, has anyone ever given you “the look”?

While you’re pondering that, let’s look some more at Mr. Firth looking at us. Put your bibs on to catch all the drool. :)

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“I would like to paint the way a bird sings.” ~ Claude Monet

Bonjour!

Today, a mini feast celebrating Claude Monet. There are very few of us who are not enamored with Impressionist art, and as writers, artists, and poets, we know only too well the great joy and frustration that can define the creative process.

You probably know that Monet developed cataracts late in life that severely impaired his acute perception of colors and light, the very hallmarks of his work. His world took on a yellowish tinge, and his paintings gradually became more reddish and muddied, the familiar scenes he so luminously depicted before appearing almost unrecognizable.

Japanese Footbridge (1897)

In a letter to a friend he said, ” . . . my poor eyesight makes me see everything in a complete fog. It’s all very beautiful just the same and it’s this which I’d loved to have been able to convey.” When he could no longer trust his eyes, he carefully read the labels on paint tubes, kept a regular order of colors on his palette, and painted from memory.

Japanese Footbridge (1920-1922)

Lisel Mueller’s poignant “Monet Refuses the Operation” is a beautiful testament to the mind’s eye, an inspiring philosophy, an artist’s credo, a passionate affirmation for all creatives: there’s more than one way of seeing.

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Bonjour, Mes Amis.  Welcome to Poetry Friday at Alphabet Soup!

Please help yourself to tea and croissants. The pain au chocolat is especially good — is there a better way to greet the day than with buttery, flaky pastry wrapped around a decadent piece of deep dark chocolate? *rapture*

For passionate poet and gastronome Diane DeCillis, croissants are the stuff of dreams. About today’s poem, she says:

Yes, I had a dream about croissants. And maybe I was sneaking one. I have an almost pathological love of sweets.

Usually, I’ll take a dream and use some of the details as a framework. Since croissant is a French word for a Viennese pastry, I began to elaborate, adding that I was stealing in French and took it from there.

I remember being a kid and having a dream that there was a mountain of Paydays (my favorite candy back then) on the school playground. I was running toward it and woke up just before I reached it. Hence the end of the poem.

Croissant Lover’s Dream: the Ispahan (glazed with rose-flavored almond cream, sprinkled with candied rose petals and filled with raspberry-litchi pâte) by Pierre Hermé, Paris.

 

LAST NIGHT I DREAMED I STOLE THE CROISSANTS

I was stealing in French,

stole tender crescents
with a translucent glaze,
crusty and raspberry filled,

stole light
clouds of pastry
layered with butter.

glistening like Antoinette’s baubles.

I stole the moon, I stole la lune,
took le voyage dans la lunette.

I was the cow, la vache qui rit,
laughing and buoyant in flight.

I stole the sea, la mer, and la feesh,
that jump and dance in the moonlight.

I stole the night and the stars,
and wrapped them in silver
shaped like the neck of a swan . . .

Oh, don’t be jaloux, cher,

don’t foofaraw like the blue jays
and chimps. (They can become
jealous too.)

It was only one night
(cinq minutes dans ma coeur),
and, oui, some oozed
with chocolate,

sadly, none ever touched my lips.

~ copyright © Diane DeCillis, from Strings Attached (Wayne State University Press, 2014), posted by permission of the author.

(Click for pain au chocolat recipe via The Baker Chick)

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Oh, sweet words, sweet flirtation, light, lyrical and delectably playful! Do you also have dreams where you wake up just before the really good part? Is there a particular food you dream about most often?

Now, please leave your links below with Mr. Linky. Don’t forget to put the title of the poem you’re sharing or the book you’re reviewing in parentheses after your name. Enjoy all the poetic offerings being served up in the blogosophere today and have a delicious weekend!

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Sweet Dreams!

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Copyright © 2014 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

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