A Poem a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

Keep your eyes tuned to Gregory K‘s blog every day this month to read previously unpublished poems by a plethora of wonderful poets, including my two special friends Ann Whitford Paul and Julie Larios. Julie has been my Tom (as in How Tom Beat Captain Najork and His Hired Sportsmen, written by Russell Hoban, illustrated by Quentin Blake and required reading for any sensible human being), encouraging me to “muck about,” and drift. I can’t wait to read her contribution.

Ann is one of my Write Sisters, and the most dedicated writer I know (watch for her book on revising the picture book, due out this summer from Writer’s Digest Books.) Several years ago, Ann took my trembling hand in hers, assuring me she could help me overcome my fear of writing poetry. We started with haiku but Ann soon realized that was too much for this rank beginner so she eased me into cinquains, a marvelously American form of poetry, five lines long. The first line has 2 syllables, the second 4, the third 6, the fourth 8 and the fifth back to 2. I have written elsewhere that writing cinquains helped me tap in to the emotional essence of Hattie’s story in Hattie Big Sky. Here is one of my favorites:

hold dreams of home
like bone china tea cups,
lightly, gently. One small bump and they’re

Okay, so not the kind of thing that will get me invited to contribute to GottaBook’s poetry fest but I share it to lead others past their fear of the lyric and into the light.

Speaking of lyric and light: do I have a treat for you tomorrow! Don’t miss it. Hint: you can look high and low, but be sure to look underneath.

No Responses to “A Poem a Day Keeps the Doctor Away”

  1. Tricia

    I have been a lurker for a long time, but have decided to come out of hiding. Tomorrow on my blog I’m posting an interview with Ann. She’s one of a number of poets I have interviewed for National Poetry Month. Julie’s interview will be posted later in the month.

    And I’m ashamed to say I never thought to ask you. I hope you’ll forgive the oversight and will consider participating next year!

  2. Kirby Larson

    Welcome to the light, Tricia! How lucky you are to have an interview with Ann, who is one of the finest picture book writers I know, and Julie whose joie d’vivre has kept me going on many a dark day.

    No shame in not asking me — I am no poet! But I am now adding your blog to my shouldn’t-be-reading list. 😉