After watching his grandfather compose a haiku with brush and ink, Kiyoshi asks, “Where do poems come from?”
Wise and gentle poet Eto answers by taking Kiyoshi on a meditative walk around their city to demonstrate how sensory perception, mindfulness, imagination, and emotional reflection all play a role in inspiring new poems.
As they stroll along familiar streets, they take note of seemingly ordinary occurrences — a cat perched atop a pile of oranges at the grocers, a flock of pigeons swooping down from a rooftop, a lone teddy bear left behind next to an abandoned building.
For each observation, Eto writes a new poem, to which Kiyoshi responds with new insight. About the oranges, Eto writes:
Hill of orange suns. Cat leaps. Oranges tumble. The cat licks his paw.
Kiyoshi puzzles awhile, and then asks, “Does this mean poems come from seeing things?”
1. Mr Cornelius selected this wonderful bear painting for our first Cool Things Roundup of 2021. It was created by UK artist Penny Gaj, who lives and works in one of my favorite places in England, the Cotswolds.
Penny loves to paint imaginary country scenes and trees with a story to tell, blending colors and textures for a dreamy, ethereal effect.
Her pictures are replete with the outlines of branches, twigs, stalks and leaves silhouetted against the sky, rising from rolling hills or lining peaceful woodland paths.
Hares, foxes, squirrels, deer and birds wander freely, with the occasional humans, cats and dogs. 🙂
A brand new book from New York Times bestselling author and watercolor artist Susan Branch. Home for Christmas is a heart-warming tale of a childhood Christmas in the years after World War II, with Susan, her parents and her siblings. A book for all ages, told from a child’s perspective, filled with anticipation and hope, it’s a charming story about the enduring love of family that reads like a long illustrated letter. A beautiful Christmas gift, because we need a little EXTRA Christmas now.
We certainly need an extra large dose of nostalgia this holiday season, especially since many of us will not be attending the usual in-person family gatherings. There’s nothing more comforting than fond memories, reminding us to cherish the times we’ve had and to give us hope that good times will come again.
You probably know I’m a longtime Susan Branch fan; can’t get enough of her charming hand-lettered books and watercolor art. I love her eternal optimism (“happy gene”) and as far as I know, no one does heartwarming better. Her gift books and cookbooks are all treasures. Add this one to your collection.
Yep, this one’s got my name written all over it, and I simply had to share it with you today.
Safe to say, most, if not all of us — young, old, somewhere in-between — have a crazy-making case of the pandemic blues. It may come and go, but some dark shade of it always seems to linger in the back of our minds. Or maybe we just have the blahs, feel bored or uninspired (confinement can do that to you). No better time to banish the ho-hums and embrace the unique power, beauty, and wonder of blue. 🙂
InI’m Feeling Blue, Too!,a poetry picture book written by Marjorie Maddox and illustrated by Philip Huber (Resource Publications, 2020), a young boy celebrates the essence of blue, discovering its presence in the world around and within him.
A sequence of 13 poems drives the narrative, which takes place on a summer’s day from morning to night. The opening poem is a wake-up call for all:
got those summertime slumps, down-in-the-dumps, life-full-of-bumps, bad-news blues?
Time to get up and shake up the woulda-coulda-shoulda’s. Time to get the “can’t-do-nothin’” out of blue.
Time to zap the sad with some kaleidoscope clues. Come on, whistle for Blue and get moving!
First, I must mention that I’d been drooling over this book ever since I first heard about it in the latter part of 2019, because I’m a longtime fan of both Marilyn’s and Marjorie’s work. Marilyn’s talent and versatility are boundless; not only is she muy prolific, she’s an author and poet who continues to delight us with her inimitable ingenuity.