Howdy, Campers, and Happy Poetry Friday! Buffy hosts today--her link is at the bottom.
The topic we TeachingAuthors are tossing around now? A favorite children's book we've read this year. Esther's weighed in with a touching picture book; I'm up to bat.
I almost went with the audio book of Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time (read by the author!). This classic celebrated it's 50th anniversary three years ago, but it was in September, as I zoomed up the 405 freeway to pack up family memories, that I was transported by L'Engle's words...and her worlds.
But the book which electrified the poetry particles in my brain is Deborah Ruddell's inventive collection, The Popcorn Astronauts--And Other Biteable Rhymes, whimsically illustrated by Joan Rankin.
Hi, Deborah! I just read The Popcorn Astronauts and I'm blown away by your oh-my-gosh-REALLY?? metaphors that are so out-of-the-box they leave me gasping. And inspired.
Here's just a taste of how Ruddell sees at the world: fresh-popped kernels of corn are astronauts, a strawberry is royalty in a beaded suit, and raisins are wrinkled rocks with "the bold, enchanting taste of well-worn pirate socks."
Okay--open your eyes.. Now, raise your hand if you came close to this: "flannelpajamaty skin."
Here's a snippet of Jama Rattigan's fabulous book review and interview of Deborah Ruddell this spring:
Jama: Which poem was the most fun to write and why? Which poem was the hardest? Do you have a favorite?
Deborah: NO poem is ever easy for me to write. I am a slow and tormented poet! The hardest part is when I think I’ve almost got something, but it’s just out of reach. That happened with “Welcome to Watermelon Lake.” I had the image of the pink lake and the pale green shore, but making that image work as a poem was a struggle. Just when I thought I finally had it made, my editor suggested a third stanza in which I introduce the seeds! Argh!
Deborah's answer makes me feel better--I'm not alone! And yet, look how effortlessly that poem seem to flow (click to enlarge):
In the same interview, Deborah said that the poet who most inspires her is Alice Shertle. Me, too, me, too!
So check out Poetry Friday at Buffy's today...thanks for hosting, Buffy!...then find this book and feast on it!
posted joyously by April Halprin Wayland, with help from her elves, Monkey and Eli