Friday, March 9, 2018

Beauty in the Grocery Store

Little Hyacinth
by Amy LV

Students - Yesterday was my mom's birthday.  And the one thing she said she wanted as a gift was a white hyacinth.  I brought her two little ones and of course thought about this beautiful old favorite poem.

If of thy mortal goods thou art bereft
And from thy slender store
Two loaves alone to thee are left,
Sell one, and with the dole,
Buy hyacinths to feed thy soul.

~ Saadi (1184-?1283), Persian Poet

We need bread, yes.  And we need beauty too.

As I paid for my mom's small flowers, still in bud, the cashier and I talked about the delightful fragrance of hyacinths, how one plant can fill a whole living room with its springy scent. She told me that she could not figure out why there does not exist a hyacinth perfume, "I have a rose perfume, and a lavender perfume...."  I agreed, but just now looked online and see that hyacinth perfumes do exist!  If I could find her again, I would tell her this. If you have never smelled a hyacinth, do make this your spring goal! They are magical.

So today is a celebration of a plant and it is a celebration of something humble.  What plant do you care for?  What small item makes your heart sing right now?

Too, you will notice that today's poem is titled after a place name...and the poem is about something that happened at this place.  If you do not know where to begin, perhaps try with "At the..." or "In the..." and see what journey your words take...

Some of you may know that my lullaby picture book with illustrator Aaron DeWitt - DREAMING OF YOU came out this week!  I posted about it and am hosting a giveaway on Twitter through March 13, and you can learn more (and see the trailer if you wish) at my release day post HERE.

Sweet Dreams!

And in last fall's book news, I am excited to share a new podcast that just went up at Heinemann!  It's between Valerie Bang-Jensen and Mark Lubkowitz, authors of one of my favorite new books, TALKING BOOKS, SHARING SCIENCE...and me!  We had a blast discussing the connections between poetry and science, and I learned so much from their book and from our conversation.

Michelle is hosting today's Poetry Friday roundup at Today's Little Ditty with a fog poem and a whole collection of poetry teaching tips from a whole lot of folks. Each week, we gather our posts together at one blog, so if you visit RenĂ©e this will be introduced to many new poets and blogs and books.  

Please share a comment below if you wish.


  1. I always smile when I see the first hyacinths in the store and in gardens-- I can never resist stopping to sniff them! I also have a fondness for paperwhites, which have a similar but more delicate smell... ooh, and forsythias as early bloomers... Okay. Maybe I just love spring flowers. Thanks for sharing your beautiful poem, which made me think of other beautiful things!

  2. Love your poem and drawing, Amy. This touch of spring beauty is just what I needed today. :)

  3. Just wanted to tell you how much I love DREAMING OF YOU. I wrote a brief review on my blog today. Congratulations on another lovely book! xo

  4. I love Dreaming of You's trailer and hearing your sweet, measured voice. I'm doing micro book reviews at my site if you'd like me to feature your book.

  5. "It looked/a little lonely/I bought it/for myself." Is there any better reason? I think not. Between the fragrance of hyacinth and your poem, Amy, I'm not sure which is sweeter. xo

  6. I like your poem, Amy, just right to go with a hyacinth, and yes, they do perfume a room with springtime. Happy Birthday to your mother! Your second poem shared by Saadi is new to me but it reminds me of ""Poetry is the synthesis of hyacinths and biscuits." - Carl Sandburg. And it makes me wonder if Sandburg knew the Saadi poem? Nevertheless, like you, these too must have loved hyacinths.

  7. I love both of these poems and the idea of hyacinths feeding our souls. Your poem got me thinking about other springtime goals...watching bees tumble through lilac blossoms, seeing the finch transition from drab olive to gold...what a lovely way to reverie away a chilly winter morning!

  8. A Happy Book Birthday poem for you:

    I knew a little poet
    starting on her path.
    Her poems poured out daily
    full of watch and sing and laugh.
    Just as it was meant to be
    she filled the world with tomes,
    but humble as a hyacinth
    she walks beside *our* poems.

    Congratulations on this flood of publications, Amy. I appreciate the wise and grounded way you take up your role as literary star!

  9. My hyacinths are pushing their fat curly leaves up in the cold spring dirt. I can't wait to get my knees muddy to push my nose right into their blooms!

  10. I'm delighted that the hyacinth is not lonely anymore but with you, blooming in your house...the house of a friend. Such a lovely poem. Such lovely found beauty in the grocery store.

  11. Your poem was a sweet as a hyacinth! I'm surprised that they have that scent of cologne!

  12. Oh, and no hyacinths for us for a while - 18" of snow last week, 18" tomorrow. It will be a while...

  13. Lovely hyacinth poem Amy, and I liked the one by Saadi too! I'm awaiting my hyacinths to emerge… Congrats on your new book and the podcast!