Students - I have been the new kid, each of our children has been the new kid, my friend Rosie is the new kid this year, and well...here at the start of school, I am just thinking about that feeling of being new.
When I was the new kid (a few times as I went to three elementary schools and then studied as an exchange student after high school), I especially remember not knowing where to look. Other people were laughing and talking, but not me. Where should I look? Each time, that new-kid-feeling went away in time, but during that new-kid-time, I was uncomfortable.
This poem is to honor all of the new kids in new classrooms this year. And it is also to remind all of us not-new-kids to reach out, say hello, be a welcoming force in this world.
When you sit down to write today, you might try to remember a feeling you once had. It may be a feeling you have not had in a while, but you remember it clearly. You might even think of someone you know who has been having a big feeling lately, try to imagine how that person feels. Close your eyes and feel a feeling. Then, maybe, try writing in that feeling-voice. See if you can call it back with your words.
Did you notice how I repeated the line:
Will someone say hi?
at the beginning and the ending of the poem. Sometimes using such a circular structure, or ending where you began, can be a great way to help a poem hold together.
And now...a new book on the scene!
your Independent Bookseller
I am so happy to announce a book birthday, this September 1, of MANGER, the latest stunner of a poetry anthology by Lee Bennett Hopkins, illustrated by Helen Cann and starred by Kirkus. The poems in the book are described as follows:
There is a legend that describes how, at midnight on Christmas Eve, all creatures are granted the power of speech for one hour. In this rich collection, Lee Bennett Hopkins and a dozen other poets imagine what responses they might offer. The poems represent a diverse group of animals, but all come together with one singular purpose: celebrating the joy of the miraculous event.
This collection of graceful poems provides readers with a Nativity story unlike any other -- at times gently humorous, at times profound, but always inviting readers to appreciate the wonder of Christmas. This book is a perfect gift for the holiday season.
I am honored to have written the sheep poem for this book. When Lee asked me to do so, it felt completely right as we then had a flock of sheep living in our yard. Here is the poem I wrote from a sheep's point of view.
from MANGER by Lee Bennett Hopkins
Art by Helen Cann, Sheep Poem by Amy LV
Image from Helen Cann's Website - Click to Enlarge
Much later, when Lee shared the gorgeous and tender illustrations by Helen Cann, I was astounded by how the sheep Helen imagined for Lee's book looked exactly like our oldest and most loving ram, ReRa, the first ram of our flock, now gone after a long life. Of course Helen and I never communicated about this sheep, yet perhaps - magically - we did.
Mark Trims ReRa's Hooves, 2011
Photo by Amy LV
MANGER is on my Christmas list as a book to give this year, and I highly recommend it for all who love books about Christmas, animals, poetry, and love.
Laura Shovan is hosting this week's Poetry Friday party over at Author Amok. There you will find a delicious buffet of blogs to visit...all celebrating poetry!
Please share a comment below if you wish.