Friday, February 2, 2018


Howdy, Campers, and Happy Poetry Friday!  (Can you tell I had no idea what to title this post?)

Guess what? February 1st was #WorldReadAloudDay, and we TeachingAuthors are celebrating all week long!

Carmela's post started us out, Esther reads poetry aloud to her grandson via Skype with glee, and now it's my turn!

This is going to be a quick post, as my To Do list is sky high (raise your hand if you can relate), so here's me with the book I'm currently
reading aloud to my dog Eli, in my favorite flannels:

photo by Gary Wayland

If you can't read the title, it's our very own Carmela Martino's marvelous historical novel, Playing By Heart. Her sumptuous descriptions of life in 18th century Milan have me right there, in teen composer Emilia Salvini's music room. 

Eli and I agree: her book's delicious!

I searched and searched my poem files for poems about reading aloud. I tried to write one, too, about a mama mountain lion reading aloud to her cubs. But it was too syrupy sweet and I don't think I want it wandering around as internet corn...I know you understand.  So here's one I wrote for an anthology in 2009 that hasn't come out yet (if it ever does):

by April Halprin Wayland

I stand on our couch
closing windows,
pulling down shades,
shutting out shouting streets.

Wheels, squeals and dust driven past
Those constant distant drums outside
are gone.

Inside I sit close to Mom.
I lay my head against her.
Listen to her heart
Listen to the words.

Listen to the whisper
of each

poem (c) 2018 April Halprin Wayland all rights reserved.

(If you'd like another poem on listening, here's one I wrote for World Read Aloud Day in 2016--this one is about not listening to your inner critic as you write--click here).

Lots of love to Friday Poets, all!

Thank you, Donna, at MainelyWrite for hosting Poetry Friday!

posted by April Halprin Wayland, Eli, the eight or nine 10-cent goldfish (all grown-up), and the five red-eared slider turtles in her pond, all very fine listeners.


Anonymous said...

This teary-beautiful thread was posted by a palliative care paediatrician on Twitter. It highlights the value kids place on time spent reading together - aloud. I'm hoping the link works, if I post it here. It is well worth the read. And not very long. (There is also ice-cream!)

Linda B said...

I do love seeing your pond, April! And I value every minute of my time spent with the grand-girls, reading new and old favorites! Your poem shows the gentle calm that happens when two share a book. Love the pj pic, too!

Jane @ said...

Hurray for world read aloud day!!

I have to chuckle, years ago my in-laws very proudly installed a fish pond in their backyard, much to the gastronomic delight of the local raccoons! ;-)

Carmela Martino said...

Oh, April, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE seeing this pic of you in your pjs reading my novel. <3 <3 <3 And your poem is a real winner, too, especially listening to "the whisper of each turned page." I hope that anthology gets published soon!

Kay said...

What a lovely tribute to reading aloud. I enjoyed reading aloud with my girl up into she left for college (and sometimes even now when she comes home). They are such treasured memories.

jama said...

Fabuloso post, April -- poem very touching, and of course loved the pics (my kind of jim jams!). Nice to see Eli and your adult goldfish and turtles, too. Happy Read Aloud week!!

Tabatha said...

Thank goodness we can shut out the shouting streets! And have quiet time in our adorable pjs with our noble-snouted dogs. :-)

Michelle Kogan said...

Reading aloud–I do a lot of that for anything I write, might be fun to try this with books. Although with poetry I very often read that aloud. I like your last stanza "Listen to the whisper
of each

Your DON'T LISTEN poem is wonderful, thanks April!

jan godown annino said...

Purring with smiles about Jaguar & Anteater (after following the links.)
And your friend's titles are some I've enjoyed!

I love your created term "internet corn..."
And both the listening poems are a gift to us.

Appreciations today for the gift of listening to the good
tuning out the not-good.

Robyn Hood Black said...

Oh, I'm sure Eli and the rest of the menagerie enjoyed! LOVE that pic of CUTE YOU in your PJs. Carmela's book needs to find its way to my nightstand.... Thanks for sharing all, especially the last perfect lines of your poem. XO (PS- yes, raising my hand re. to-do list...!)

Susan B James said...

Love that poem. Thank you. Pulled out all my being read aloud to memories.

Carol Varsalona said...

That's a wonderful poem to share for World Read Aloud Day.

GatheringBooks said...

These lines are absolutely beautiful:
"Inside I sit close to Mom.
I lay my head against her.
Listen to her heart
Listen to the words.

Listen to the whisper
of each

Nothing more beautiful in the world, really. LOVE that photo as well! Such expansive gestures with the read-aloud, must be an awesome book!

Brenda at FriendlyFairyTales said...

I love the photo of you and the one of your dog's nose. LOL What a joyous feeling I have from this post.

Donna Smith said...

Mmmm. Nice quiet time. I loved this post
from dog nose
to poem's close.