Finally, finally, dogs have their day and their say. For far too long, silly humans have discounted their random bow wows, arfs, woofs, yips, and yaps. Here’s proof that some of these mutts were actually sniffing out sonnets and licking limericks with the best of them.
Make no bones about it, this snappy little volume features sixteen of the most celebrated poetic pooches of all time, including four-time Poolitzer Prize winner Rover Frost, iambic puptameter whizzard William Shakespaw, haiku master Issa Shih Tzu, and the somewhat repentant Dogden Dash, who knows just what to do with a rhymed puplet:
Judging by their ankles, here’s my educated guess:
The FedEx man tastes better than the guy from UPS.
Hayden: “I love the way objects, images and stories connect and find their way into a poem. An old friend had sent me an outrageous pound cake one Christmas and when I described it as ‘sugar-dusted, lemon-glazed,’ the story of the boy in this poem, told to me years earlier, came straight to mind. Everything came together through that sunny yellow circle with its center missing — dense, empty, bitter, sweet, gestures we make too late, a child’s ability to take in everything at the same moment, at once, and complete. It was all in the cake.”
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I still hold my breath every time I read this powerful, heartbreaking poem, as though I can’t believe what is happening, wishing I could somehow call the boy back to keep him from seeing what he will see.
The escalating urgency and suspense, and the intense crackle of opposites colliding are so masterfully executed detail by detail, phrase by phrase, in just one cascading sentence.
How fine is the line between terror and exhiliration — or are they one and the same?
We are left to ponder which is the greatest tragedy — that a woman committed suicide, that a child was traumatized, or that perhaps a life could have been saved if that cake had been delivered just five minutes earlier.
“The One and the Other” won the 2011 Rattle Poetry Prize, and is included in Hayden’s brand new book, Say Luck (Big Pencil Press, 2013), winner of the 2013 Kenneth & Geraldine Gell Poetry Prize.
I first stumbled upon “The One and the Other” online a couple of months ago while innocently searching for a cake poem, and have been haunted by it ever since. Totally unsuspecting, I could never have imagined, reading those first few words — “child hums . . . grandmother’s sugar-dusted lemon glazed cake” — that this poem would be laced with such a searing kaleidoscope of fragmented anguish.
I’d like to thank Hayden for granting me permission to share her poem and for providing a little backstory. Do pick up a copy of Say Luck; I’ve been slowly savoring and enjoying each and every poem.
♥ Visit the Rattle website to hear Hayden read “The One and the Other.”
SAY LUCK written by Hayden Saunier selected by Laure-Anne Bosselaar published by Big Pencil Press, 2013 Poetry, 94 pp. *Foreword by Ms. Bosselaar
Hayden Saunier is a writer, actress, and teaching artist living in the Philadelphia area. She is the winner of the 2013 Gell Poetry Prize, 2011 Pablo Neruda Poetry Prize, and the 2011 Rattle Poetry Prize. She has been nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize, is a Bucks County, PA, Poet Laureate, and the 2005 Robert Fraser Poetry Award Winner. Click here to visit her Official Website.
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The lovely, talented and snickerdoodle-loving Keri Collins Lewis is hosting today’s Roundup at Keri Recommends. Check out the full menu of poetic goodies being served up in the blogosphere and enjoy the holiday weekend!
This wonderful celebration of the rich diversity and mixed cultural origins of the more than 50 million Latinos in the U.S. informs, enlightens, and helps to dispel many commonly-held misconceptions about who Latinos are and the nature of their vital, historic role in the fabric of our society.
Seriously, who could resist a poetry book called Laughing Tomatoes?
Well, I certainly couldn’t, but I shamefully admit I didn’t actually know about this fabuloso feast of pure delight until just a few months ago.
This Pura Belpré Honor Award-winning bilingual 20-poem collection by Chicano poet Francisco X. Alarcón and Maya Christina Gonzalez was first published by Children’s Book Press back in 1997. Where was I?!
Likely staring at grumpy, aloof tomatoes and not appreciating strawberries for the “sweet tender hearts” they are, living a bland life full of ho-hum edibles, certainly not hearing the warm morning sun calling to me through my window, and — *shakes head* — totally oblivious to dew, “the fresh taste of the night.”
But now, having read this glorious, jubilant celebration of Spring and its earthly delights, family, culture and community, my life is complete!