poetry friday roundup is here!

“You are as welcome as the flowers in May.” ~ Charles Macklin

Did you know May is National Strawberry Month? Please help yourself to some berries and a ginger shortbread cookie.


Hello and Happy May! Welcome to Poetry Friday at Alphabet Soup.

It’s a new month — the month of flowers, buzzing bees, birds building nests, and nature-loving free spirits dancing around a maypole with gay abandon (are you one of them)? 😀


Phoebe Wahl (2014)


I loved May Day as a child. We wore muumuu and lei to school, and in fifth grade, we learned the maypole dance for the school program. So fun to see all those colored streamers weave together.

Here are two short poems in celebration of this lovely month. Hope your days ahead are full of joy with lots of time to savor the blossoming beauty.



“Vilma Picking Lilacs” by Tavik František Šimon (1910)


by Sara Teasdale

The spring is fresh and fearless
and every leaf is new,
The world is brimmed with moonlight,
The lilac brimmed with dew.

Here in the moving shadows
I catch my breath and sing,
My heart is fresh and fearless
And over-brimmed with spring.



“Field of Flowers” by Jo Grundy


by Mary Oliver

I rose this morning early as usual, and went to my desk.
But it’s spring,

and the thrush is in the woods,
somewhere in the twirled branches, and he is singing.

And so, now, I am standing by the open door.
And now I am stepping down onto the grass.

I am touching a few leaves.
I am noticing the way the yellow butterflies
move together, in a twinkling cloud, over the field.

And I am thinking: maybe just looking and listening
is the real work.

Maybe the world, without us,
is the real poem.

~ from The Leaf and the Cloud (De Capo Press, 2001)



Ben Giles (2013)


Now, please leave your links with the dashing Mr Linky below.  Enjoy all the poetic goodness being shared around the blogosphere this week, and as Kahlil Gibran once said, “Be like a flower and turn your face to the sun.”







Thanks to all for your heartfelt comments and condolences about my dad’s passing. I enjoyed hearing about how your parents met, as well as your thoughts about race relations in our country.

Just so happens there were four Michelles among all the beautiful and brilliant commenters. Though M. Random Integer Generator was starry-eyed over all of them, he managed (with great difficulty) to select just one Michelle to win Janet’s book. And she is:



Please send along your snail mail address so we can get the book out to you lickety split!



Copyright © 2019 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

35 thoughts on “poetry friday roundup is here!

  1. Here’s to May. I love the Mary Oliver poem. And after last week in northern NM? Poetry is definitely in the natural world. Can’t believe I’m the early bird this week.


  2. I love this spring-centered post. The art is so buoyant and bright, and the poems a delight. I especially like how Sara Teasdale repeated “brimmed” and variations thereof so effectively. Everything seems like it’s brimming at this time of year. I am definitely in the mood to celebrate spring–if only it would arrive!


  3. Oh, beautiful, beautiful May! At long last. The winter seemed so long this year and now I just marvel at the flowers and the sunshine. I even enjoyed today’s thunderstorm here. The feeling of being alive in spring is the best. I saw some photos from Hawaii from this morning and learned of the May Day tradition. What a glorious and fun day. Thank you so much for hosting the round up and book giveaway. I hope someday, you publish your best posts in a traditional book. I think that would be grand.


    1. I second that! Jama has a true talent for noticing and celebrating beauty, in all forms. Hers is a May Dance of a blog, year-round. Thank you for hosting today, Jama.


  4. Like others, I am ready for the lilacs and to be “over-brimmed with spring”. We’ve had cold, even a little snow, but today was beautifully warm & more is on its way! One of my students studied celebrations and taught the class about maypoles, then we all danced and wove the ribbons. It was special. I think I did it once in a church gathering when I was young. Thanks for the colorful welcome hosting, Jama! Happy May to you, too.


  5. Jama — I love both those poems and that second one makes me think of my final April haiku — I am such a believer in the world doing its beauty without us…
    Continued love and sympathy to you, my friend…


  6. I remember dancing around a maypole as a child — fun times!
    I can just see Mary Oliver’s yellow butterflies.
    Lovely post, Jama! Thanks for hosting 🙂


  7. A buoyant and beautiful post, Jama, especially as you must be over-brimmed with so many feelings this season. We are many of us carrying flowers around this week, I see! Thank you for hosting, and wishing you sweetness and color and lots of plump strawberries! XO


  8. What a perfect pairing of poems and, oh, that lovely artwork, too! Thanks for hosting, dear Jama, and know that I’m still sending hugs to you as you are missing your dear dad.


  9. The image of “the lilacs brimmed with dew” brings back childhood memories and how much I loved the green of spring and its aroma. We don’t get much dew in the high desert. Your poem is a lovely companion to the Mary Oliver poem. Both invite me to the poem outside my window. Thank you for the poems and for hosting Poetry Friday.


  10. Ooh, such gorgeous poems and art! Thank you for the lovely spring welcome, Jama, and for hosting PF this week. “Maybe the world, without us,/is the real poem” is true now, more than ever. (If we could only get out of its way!) Looks like I accidentally double posted, if you wouldn’t mind deleting entry #15 for me. Thank you. 🙂


  11. So much beauty. Such wonderful poems and art! Thank you for sharing and for hosting this week. I didn’t know May was National Strawberry Month. But it is a family tradition to get together for strawberry shortcake. We make them are so big that we skip having a real meal. I bake a special sweet biscuit that has a bit of crunch to it. We slice them in half and fill with whipped cream, old-fashioned vanilla ice cream and of course endless sliced strawberries. And we top it with more whipped cream and strawberries.


  12. Despite my slightly different seasonal perspective Jama, I still find May a delightful month here in the southern hemisphere, It hasn’t stopped me enjoying your brace of May poems. I particularly enjoyed the lines -‘And I am thinking: maybe just looking and listening is the real work.’ as the message transcends all locations, times and seasons.
    For me, May is a month of many birthdays- friends and family, as well as my own. I am surrounded by multiple celebrations in May. A month of great joy! Thank you for hosting and reminding me of May’s mighty moments.


  13. Jama- Somehow I missed hearing about your dad. Sending lots of hugs and wishes for comfort and joy in the remembering. I love your Spring poems. “Fresh and fearless!” We are struggling to get there this year in Denver, but this weekend is supposed to be nice! Thank you for hosting!


  14. May Day has always been extra sweet to me, accompanied as it is by birthday cake and spring. Now I can add Poetry Friday hosted by Jama with her artistic deliciousness to the good things about May Day. I am also sorry to hear about your Dad. Sending hugs, tea and a friend to listen, should you ever need one.


  15. Everything about this post swings my heart door wide, Jama. Thank you. Our children attended a Waldorf school, complete with May pole dances and real flower crowns. Such beauty is imprinted on all of us, and you brought it back with these artworks and this Mary Oliver poem too. Thank you. Thank you, too, for your generosity during National Poetry Month. It is a crazy time, and the kindness of commenters reminds us that people read the posts. Hugs. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  16. The art an d poems you share are like a breath of fresh air and sunshine! I’m hoping to enjoy some May sunshine after all the April showers–at least the flowers will be abundant! Thanks for hosting today.


  17. As always, Mary Oliver has it right. The world, without us, is the poem. Swirling and dancing its own Maypole dance. What a gorgeous, and calming thought.


  18. Jama, I always love how inviting your blog post is. This is a wonderful quote: ““You are as welcome as the flowers in May.” ~ Charles Macklin” Both poems you shared are noteworthy but this line by Mary Oliver is endearing:
    Maybe the world, without us,
    is the real poem.


  19. What lovely poems–and a lovely memory of May Day, too. I used to fantasize about dancing around a maypole, but we never did when I was a kid. When I found the Waldorf school, I got to live out my fantasy–or at least my daughters did. And I get to attend a spring fair, complete with Maypole this weekend–can’t wait.
    Thanks for hosting!


  20. So much springtime goodness, Jama! I went to a women’s college — Wheaton College in Massachusetts — and we did a maypole celebration as well as hoop rolling, if you can believe it! 🙂 Thanks for this week’s fab round up! — Christie @https://wonderingandwondering.wordpress.com/


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