Lets hear it for poetry that is easy, and I do not mean simple, to understand and invites pleasure.

April 15, 2011

In anticipation of April being poetry month I signed up to receive a poem a day, delivered to my email.  Anticipating great delight, I quickly, and not so happily, became disenchanted. I have not understood or liked any of the poems until today when I received The Things by Donald Hall. Lets hear it for poetry that is easy, and I do not mean simple, to understand and invites pleasure. I don’t think anyone loves to look for the hidden meaning, that needle in the haystack.

When I walk in my house I see pictures,
bought long ago, framed and hanging
—de Kooning, Arp, Laurencin, Henry Moore
that I’ve cherished and stared at for years,
yet my eyes keep returning to the masters
of the trivial—a white stone perfectly round,
tiny lead models of baseball players, a cowbell,
a broken great-grandmother’s rocker,
a dead dog’s toy—valueless, unforgettable
detritus that my children will throw away
as I did my mother’s souvenirs of trips
with my dead father, Kodaks of kittens,
and bundles of cards from her mother Kate
~ Donald Hall

Children (and adults) benefit from someone handing them a book that speaks to their interests.

April 12, 2011

They say advice is worth what you paid for but here is a lovely story about how a piece of advice played out. Recently I was doing a program and a librarian and mother of two sons lamented how one of her sons is a reluctant reader. I asked her what are his interests and […]


“Poetry is emotion recorded in tranquility.” Wordsworth

April 7, 2011

No surprise that William Wordsworth, (4.7.1770) born in the midst of spring, wrote enduring words about daffodils— one of the happiest flowers I know. I don’t gaze upon them without recalling his words—“Fluttering and dancing in the breeze, Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.” Choose your own favorite line or two, a “souvenir” from his […]


“Others might tell stories to put you to sleep, but I tell stories to wake you up!”

April 4, 2011

Born April 4, Reb Nachman would be 239 years old today. As a brilliant teacher, and considered to be the first Jewish storyteller, he succeeded in creating  stories which will endure forever. Reb Nachman understood the power of stories to transmit a people’s values and way of life and put into practice the adage:  Thou […]


Children & Poetry- a match made in heaven!

April 1, 2011

I am delighted that the Academy of American Poets inaugurated in 1996 National Poetry Month, which is now held every April. Taking poetry “off the mantle”— saving it for meaningful occasions—and putting a little bit into our everyday lives is a good thing.  I think of a poem as a vitamin for the spirit. Having […]


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