tracie vaughn zimmer’s poetic pachyderms

#14 in the Poetry Potluck Series, celebrating National Poetry Month 2011.

Take off your berets and put on your party hats!

It’s Tracie Vaughn Zimmer’s birthday! 

Len brought me these elephants from Kenya.

What is it about April? So many cool poets have birthdays this month. Yesterday was April Halprin Wayland’s birthday, and Kelly Fineman’s was on the First. They all just happen to be in very good company: Shakespeare, Wordsworth, Gary Soto, Seamus Heaney, Lee Bennett Hopkins. And while we’re celebrating notable events, let’s tip our hats to Tracie for the recent release of Cousins of Clouds: Elephant Poems (Clarion, 2011), which is absolutely gorgeous!

Like Tracie, I love elephants. Her poems examine their enormous size, affectionate parenting, loyalty to one another, complex relationship with humans, anatomy, voracious appetite, place in art and history, and are paired with fascinating sidebars. The poems vary in form (free verse, cinquain, sonnet, haiku, letter poems) as well as sentiment, and will definitely make you appreciate elephants in a whole new way.

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