Thursday, July 28, 2011

Poetry Friday: A Watery Preview

I just heard from my editor at Chronicle; apparently she is working on selecting the cover art for my very first poetry collection, Water Sings Blue (illustrated by Meilo So). Woo-hoo! It's coming out next February or March, just in time for National Poetry Month 2012. I thought I'd give you a sneak preview by sharing two poems that didn't quite make it into the collection. After all, July and oceans go together nicely!


The sky is my ceiling,
the sea is my floor,
as much as I can
I avoid the shore.

The clouds are my walls,
the wind is my chair,
I stride over water
and sleep upon air.

Advice to a Young Plankton

Slosh, slish,
swosh, swish.
Try to steer clear
of the ravenous fish.

Beware their mouths
like soup tureens—
those jaggedy teeth
above and beneath,
just waiting
to sweep you between—

and whatever,
whatever, whatever you do,
stay away from the glowering
mountains of blue,
with their caves of tall baleen.

—Kate Coombs, 2011, all rights reserved

Now, on to our many special guests this blue-sky-and-watermelon Poetry Friday! As always, please post your links in the comments, and I'll list them below as the day goes by. (I should start posting by 6:30 a.m. Mountain Time, so hang in there, East Coasters...)

—What better way to start off than with a bit of summery "Solitude" from William Wordsworth and our Poetry Friday leader, Mary Lee, at A Year of Reading?

—Unless it's with exuberant congratulations to the very talented Heidi Mordhorst, who is getting married tomorrow after 20 years with Fiona thanks to the new marriage laws. She celebrates with a love poem by e.e. cummings, "I carry your heart with me," at Juicy Little Universe!

—Thanks to April Halprin Wayland of Teaching Authors for giving us, not only sailboats and soursops in Fiji, but also a very cool poetry writing exercise involving keys.

—Charles Ghigna, AKA Father Goose, offers us a lovely original poem about a young dancer, "Stella Saw a Star."

—Over at Gottabook, Greg is celebrating summer with his strongly sensory original poem, "At the Beach."

—On the other side of the world from me, in Singapore, Myra Garces-Bacsal of GatheringBooks has an interview with poet Tita Lacambra Ayala about the 30-year anniversary of her Road Map Series featuring promising poets. In addition, Myra posts Ayala's poem, "Love Poem Macabre."

—At Paper Tigers, Corinne invites us to an event featuring Francisco X. Alarcón, author of four season-themed bilingual books of poetry, starting with Laughing Tomatoes and Other Spring Poems/Jitomates risueños y otros poemas de primavera. (Just want you to know I own all four books!)

—Our favorite Author Amok got to tour Louisa May Alcott's former home, Orchard House, in Concord, Massachusetts, last week. She shares highlights of her tour and a poem by Alcott, "A Song from the Suds." Thank heavens for washing machines!

—Now take a look at Changming Yuan's surprising white "Crow" over at Tabatha's blog, The Opposite of Indifference.

—Diane Mayr has given birth to Poetry Friday quadruplets! You can read Amy Lowell's poem, "A Petition," over at Random Noodling; enjoy Diane's own poem "Pledge of Allegiance" from her World War II collection, Kids of the Homefront Army; savor "Cricket Jackets" by Aileen Fisher at Kurious Kitty's Kurio Kabinet; or copy down the wonderful Mary Oliver quote at Kurious K's Kwotes. (This last is from one of my favorite Oliver poems, "When Death Comes.")

—Carol of Rasco from RIF reminds us that summer can be scorching with a poem by Denny Lyon, "Sweltering Summer Heat."

—Over in Haiti at There Is No Such Thing as a God-forsaken Town, Ruth shares the ultimate classic when it comes to summer: Shakespeare's sonnet, "Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day?"

—Mandy of Enjoy and Embrace Learning reminds us to savor the moment with Regie Routman's poem, "Now."

—On a sadder note, Doraine Bennett speaks of a friend losing her husband to cancer at Dori Reads; she gives us an Emily Dickinson poem, "As Imperceptibly as Grief," to honor him.

—Pentimento remembers her old parish church with an excerpt from John Logan's "Cycle for Mother Cabrini."

—Steven Withrow points out that sometimes summer days can feel too long with his original poem, "Boooooring." He has a poem for teens at Crackles of Speech, too: "School Play."

—As Shakespeare proved (see above!), you can do worse than spending your summer writing love poems. Irene Latham of Live. Love. Explore! shares her concise original poem, "Sixteen Words for Love."

—Thanks to Madigan at Madigan Reads for reviewing a new rebus take on nursery rhymes, Will Hillenbrand's Mother Goose Picture Puzzles.

—Anastasia Suen previews Marcus Pfister's clever couplet collection, Questions, Questions at Picture Book of the Day.

—Remember running through the sprinklers on a hot summer day? Elaine Magliaro of Wild Rose Reader does in her refreshing original poem, "Backyard Mermaid." Then at Blue Rose Girls, Elaine shares Margaret Atwood's "You Begin" and the original poem it inspired in honor of her daughter's wedding.

—Next Katie gives us a review of Read a Rhyme, Write a Rhyme by Jack Prelutsky over at Secrets & Sharing Soda.

—And finally, Libby joins us at A Year of Literacy Coaching with an appropriate end-of-the-day poem by Shel Silverstein, "Tired."

Thanks to everyone for participating in our beach picnic of poems!


Charles Ghigna (Father Goose) said...

Kate, thank you for sharing these two exquisite poems from your forthcoming book, Water Sings Blue. Wonderful title! The imagery and cadences of Albatross lifted me up and sent me soaring! Thank you!

A new poem today, Stella Saw a Star, at The FATHER GOOSE Blog

Gregory K. said...

Love the poems, Kate! I'm up with an original, too: At the Beach.

Thanks for hosting....

Myra Garces-Bacsal from GatheringBooks said...

Such lovely poems Kate! I hope your publishers distribute here in Singapore as well, since I would definitely look out for this one. Congratulations!!

For our Poetry Friday contribution this week at GatheringBooks, we have a Q and A with Tita Lacambra Ayala and we are featuring her poem "Love Poem Macabre" over at our Behind the Books Feature. Here is the link:

Thanks so much for hosting!

Marjorie said...

Thank you for hosting and congratulations on your new book. I love Meilo So's illustrations, too.

Corinne has PaperTigers' Poetry Friday contribution this week with a post about Francisoc X. Alarcon's latest book and an event he is doing tomorrow...

Author Amok said...

Hi, Kate. I love those "mouths like soup tureens." Great topic for a poem.

Last week, I visited Louisa May Alcott's home, Orchard House. I'm sharing some tidbits from the tour, and her funny poem, "A Song from the Suds."

Tabatha said...

Good morning! Thanks for hosting. I like "The clouds are my walls,
the wind is my chair,
I stride over water
and sleep upon air" and "Beware their mouths
like soup tureens—"

I've got a poem about a white crow today:

Diane Mayr said...

Congratulations on your new book! How exciting!

Today at Random Noodling I have "A Petition" by Amy Lowell.

Kids of the Homefront Army continues with "Pledge of Allegiance."

Kurious Kitty shares "Cricket Jackets" by Aileen Fisher, and, Kurious K's Kwotes' P.F. quote is by Mary Oliver.

Rasco from RIF said...

Thank you for hosting us today! My nieces and nephews call me the Book Aunt and they always love it and show their children your website that there is a second "Book Aunt"!

My contribution today is a poem I found "SUMMER SWELTERING HEAT"... In the meantime, we can all try to stay cool where that is the kind of heat we are experiencing.

Ruth said...

Could I really be the first one to post? Here's my contribution, a Shakespeare sonnet: here. Congratulations on your collection that's coming out, and I love the examples here! And thanks for hosting!

Mandy said...

Thanks for hosting Poetry Friday and for sharing some of your own work. I learned some interesting things about each ocean creature. I'm sharing a poem over here.

Doraine Bennett said...

Congratulations, Kate! Wonderful news. I love the albatross poem, especially that last line. I wonder what it would feel like to sleep upon air. Sounds like a good tool for trying to fall asleep at night. Here's my link,Emily Dickinson, and honoring the loss of friend Paula Morrow's husband.

Pentimento said...

Thank you for hosting. I have a poem up by John Logan:

Steven Withrow said...

Thanks for hosting, Kate. Great poems!

Today I have one new poem for kids:

And another for teens:

Irene Latham said...

Kate, congratulations on your forthcoming poetry collection! I have just written a slew of ocean poems, so these subjects are still swimming vigorously in my heart. I look forward to your finished product. Meanwhile I'm in with an original poem called "Sixteen Words for Love."
Thanks for hosting!

Steven Withrow said...

Thanks for hosting, Kate. Great poems!

Today I have one new poem for kids:

And another for teens:

Madigan McGillicuddy said...

Wow, check out the wingspan on that albatross.

I have a review of Mother Goose Picture Puzzles by Will Hillenbrand at my blog:

KateCoombs said...

Thanks, all! And thank you for your wonderful poetry posts! More to come... :)

picturebookday said...

Congrats on your new poetry collection! I can't wait to see it in print! I'm in today with Questions, Questions by Marcus Pfister

Elaine Magliaro said...


Thanks for doing the roundup this week--and CONGRATULATIONS! I'll be looking to order a copy of your poetry collection as soon as it's published.

I'm thinking "water" this Friday too. At Wild Rose Reader, I have an original memoir poem titled "Backyard Mermaids."

Elaine Magliaro said...

I'm back! Over at Blue Rose Girls, I have a poem by Margaret Atwood titled "You Begin." I also have the wedding poem that I wrote for my daughter and son-in-law. It was inspired by Atwood's poem.

Katie said...

It took me all day to get over here, but here is my late addition:

It's a review of Read a Rhyme, Write a Rhyme by Jack Prelutsky.

Thanks for hosting!

Jeannine Atkins said...

Kate, what wonderful poems! I look forward to Water Sings Blue!

KateCoombs said...

Got it, Katie!

And thank you, Jeannine!

Libby Frankel said...

Here is my "evening" addition to the round up this week! I have had such a wonderfully busy week at school - but I am tired. My selection is from Shel Silverstein.


Charlotte said...

Congratulations Kate! And I enjoyed the two you shared.

KateCoombs said...

Thanks, Charlotte!