friday feast: poetry friday is here (pat, pat, pat)!

Pat the Poet (a little like Pat the Bunny, only cuter).

Merry Greetings to all and welcome to Poetry Friday at alphabet soup!

The dashing alphabet-bearded bard pictured above is the one and only J. Patrick Lewis, recipient of the 2011 NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children. Isn’t the resemblance striking? ☺

We’re thrilled for Pat and heartily congratulate him! He has amazed us, time and again, with the sheer depth and breadth of his work — we love a man who really knows how to play with those 26 letters!

We decided the best way to celebrate Pat’s award is to let him bring the refreshments. After you’ve chewed on his tasty poem, please leave your name with the title of the poem you’re sharing (or book you’ve reviewing) in parentheses with Mr. Linky, below. If the spirit moves you, go ahead and pat Pat on the back for winning this prestigious and uber-cool award!

by J. Patrick Lewis

The Mouse wants a slice of Limburger cheese.

The Bird wants a box of Jujubes.

The Squirrel wants a honey-roasted nut.

The Fish want chocolate sprinkles, but

The Cat wants a dish of the old eggnog.

“Give me the mailman,” growls the dog.

~ from Under the Kissletoe: Christmastime Poems (Boyds Mills Press, 2007).

Leave your links with Mister Linky, then enjoy the poetry buffet!

1. Charles Ghigna  (“Snow Deer” , “Art Lesson”).

Diane Mayr (Announcements)

3. Kurious Kitty (” Merry Christmas”)

4. KK’s Kwotes (quote from Aileen Fisher)

5. Sally Thomas@ Castle In the Sea

msmac (Candy Cane)

Amy LV (#255 – sing)

8. Kelly Fineman (Marilyn Singer interview -WBBT)

Julie Larios (Original Poem: Junco)

Mary Lee (William Stafford)

Mary Lee (sign up to host PF roundup?)

Andromeda Jazmon (Mary’s Song by Luci Shaw)

Ruth (William Stafford and original poem)

Laura Salas (15 Words or Less poems– join in!)

15. Toby Speed – The Writer’s Armchair

Laura Salas (” The Swan” – Jack Prelutsky)

Dori Reads (original poem)

Tabatha (grandmother)

19. Heidi Mordhorst (J. Pat’s “A Tomcat Is”)

Andy for The Write Sisters

Laura Shovan (Chuang Tzu on Stillness)

Wild Rose Reader (An Original Fairy Tale Poem about Jack and the Beanstalk)

Jeannine Atkins (Ted Kooser)

24. Jules at 7-Imp (Rita Gray’s ONE BIG RAIN)

Sara Lewis Holmes (” Hyper-” and math doodles)

Karen Edmisten (Robert Frost)

The Stenhouse Blog (December Substitute)

Debbie Diller (A nursery rhyme)

Blythe Woolston (Juvenilia and young writers)

david e (le mauvais plus)

31. Shelley (poems about our grandparents’ generation)

32. Endless Books (Aileen Fisher’s ” December”)

Blue Rose Girls (FAIRY FOR HIRE: An Original Fairy Tale Poem)

Liz in Ink (Gratitude and Sharon Olds)

35. Twinkling Along (“The Bee Man”)

36. Rasco from RIF (Poverty)

37. Terry Doherty (‘Twas the Night Before Christmas)

38. Tara (The Grammar Lesson)



Thanks for joining us today! Hip hip hooray for Pat, Pat, Pat!!

*Jujubes by Glane23.
*Honey-roasted cashews by
*Chocolate sprinkles cupcakes by
*Eggnog by
*Mailbox pug by
*Boy, girl, gift illos by harryillustration/flickr.

Copyright © 2010 Jama Rattigan of jama rattigan’s alphabet soup. All rights reserved.

friday feast: two funnies from j. patrick lewis

Happy Poetry Friday!

Today, I’m serving up some light fare to tickle your funny bone, compliments of the one and only J. Patrick Lewis. Did you know he’s the featured poet in the Summer 2010 Bumbershoot Annual? Five of his mathematically themed poems are included (three related to food!). Who could resist such titles as, “Edgar Allan Poe’s Apple Pie,” or “Edward Lear’s Elephant with Hot Dog”?

Hope you enjoy this two course meal. Be sure to check out Pat’s other three poems, as well as the rest of the issue (esp. “Sylvia Plath’s Chicken Crosses the Road”). Fun!

Nick Sherman/flickr

by J. Patrick Lewis

The 15″ pan pizza
sliced in 3″ squares
was so inviting

I couldn’t resist
eating 19-1/2 pieces.

Forgive me, Florence.
You were hungry, too.
I put the box back
in the refrigerator

Beside the white chickens,
forgetting how little
pizza was left.


by J. Patrick Lewis

Whose shorts are these? I wish I knew
Who sent them to me, all brand new —
Five dollars, ninety cents a pair.
They’re not my size. I’m forty-two.

But fourteen pairs? Now who could wear
That many without ten to spare?
If nine are cotton (cotton blend)
And five are silk, then let’s compare:

On each set, how much did he spend?
Arithmetic is just the friend
To multiply, divide or add.
And what’s the total in the end?

These underwear are not half bad
With lions, tigers — stripes and plaid . . .
My jockey shorts are looking sad.
My jockey shorts are looking sad.

~ both poems from Bumbershoot: Issue 6, Summer 2010

And yes, there really are Robert Frost Boxer Shorts available for purchase:

The quote says: “We dance round in a ring and suppose / but the secret sits in the middle and knows.”

Dance over to Wild Rose Reader, where the beautiful and charming Elaine Magliaro is hosting the Roundup. I’m pretty sure she’d appreciate your offering her a square or two of pizza.

Have a good weekend, and TTFN!


Copyright © 2010 Jama Rattigan of jama rattigan’s alphabet soup. All rights reserved.

a tail of tubby tabbies with j. patrick lewis

 #5 in the Poetry Potluck Series, celebrating National Poetry Month 2010.   

 photo by *k t*.       

Holy Meow!

The king of nonsensical verse is here! Purrrrrrrrrrr.

Yes, I knew that when it comes to exuberant, outlandish, riotously funny poems, J. Patrick Lewis is totally the cat’s pajamas. The man sells underwear, for crying out loud, and even has a wickedly chewy collection called, The Bookworm’s Feast: A Potluck of Poems. Hi-Ho Silver Away!

Continue reading

friday feast: a special poem from j. patrick lewis

        AP photo file.

In commemoration of the 4th anniversary of Coretta Scott King’s death on January 30, 2006, I am honored today to share a new, as yet unpublished poem by the astoundingly prolific and versatile
J. Patrick Lewis.

Pat tells me “The Activist” is from a forthcoming collection, tentatively titled, Thunder Before Lightning: Poems for the Civil Righteous, to be published by Chronicle Books in either 2012 or 2013. I asked him what inspired the project, and he said:

“A few years ago I published Freedom Like Sunlight: Praisesongs for Black Americans (Creative Editions, 2000). But I felt I had more to say, so I expanded the subjects to include well- and lesser-known people of all races. I don’t see the new book as a sequel, exactly, but I suppose one could make that argument.”

Peace demonstration, Washington, D.C. (1970),
(photo by Catherine Ursillo/Getty Images).

Besides Coretta Scott King, the collection will feature poems about such trailblazers as Harvey Milk, Jackie Robinson, Sylvia Mendez, Nelson Mandela, Emmett Till, Helen Zia, Aung San Suu Kyi, and Mohandas Gandhi. I’m especially excited that astronaut Ellison Onizuka, from my home state of Hawai’i, will also be included.

Thunder Before Lightning looks to be an enlightening, inspiring collection, and I’m thrilled Pat has allowed us this sneak peek. I’m sure you’ll find the poem as powerful and moving as I did; it beautifully captures the quiet strength, courage and determination of this beloved champion of social justice.

by J. Patrick Lewis

Coretta Scott King
Civil Rights Leader

March from Selma to Montgomery, 1965 (photo by Hultin/Getty Images).

We wept when the man was taken,
But we knew it was meant to be.
Daylilies drooped in the garden;
Night birds fell dumb in the tree.
We expected the worst of the future,
For the future is seldom bright,
And they carried away on the killing day
The last of the first daylight.

She moved to the front unbeaten,
Stepped slowly up to the board.
When she lost the man to the Ku Klux Klan
Her silent shadow roared.
Out in the enemy country,
Death marshaled itself for a fight,
But she led a choir in the line of fire
The first of the next daylight.

Stand tall, stand all my children,
Put away the sinister guns.
Embrace the boys that Hate employs,
Like mothers do their sons.
Daylilies might bloom in the garden,
Night birds might sing in the night,
When dignity will set us free
The rest of the best daylight.

Copyright © 2010 J. Patrick Lewis. All rights reserved.

Sunday dinner, Atlanta (photo by Flip Schulke/CORBIS).

I leave you with some of Mrs. King’s own words, from her address to the Academy of Achievement at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., June 1999:

On March 31st, 1968, just four days before Martin was assassinated, he delivered his last sermon, entitled, “Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution,” right here in this cathedral. In the sermon, Martin inspired us with his unshakable faith in the triumph of good over evil, and he said, “With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair the stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discord of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood.” And so today, I want to challenge you to make a courageous commitment, not only to achieve personal success, but to use your success to help create this beautiful symphony of brotherhood and sisterhood, and if you embrace this challenge with prayer and faith and determination, you will surely succeed, and the 21st Century wil become a glorious new age of peace and progress for all humankind. May God bless you and give you the strength to fulfill your dreams.

Thank you for sharing “The Activist” with us, Pat!

Today’s Poetry Friday Roundup is being hosted by Anastasia Suen at Picture Book of the Day. I’m sure you’ll find something to delight, inform, and inspire. Have a good weekend!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

For more about J. Patrick Lewis, visit his official website. Can you believe he published 5 (!) books last year? I could be wrong: there’s probably more ☺!

Cool interviews with Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect, and Elaine at Wild Rose Reader.


Copyright © 2010 Jama Rattigan of jama rattigan’s alphabet soup. All rights reserved.