Wednesday, November 30, 2011


I found this wonderful poetry book at my library last week.  I can't tell you how hard it is to find poetry books I like (really, really hard).

It's called she walks in beauty: A Woman's Journey Through Poems by Caroline Kennedy.  I have realized that I enjoy anthologies more than a single poet.  And I tend to prefer older poems to newer ones.  (The ones I've read are rather depressing!)

I can't say I've read every poem in Kennedy's book, but I've found a bunch I like to share for Poetry Wednesday - and that in and of itself is an accomplishment.

I had found a few I liked, when I came across this poem - which I loved.  You who know me know why.  And it has a lot to do with the picture up there.

So, enjoy the poem.  I'm going to dig around and find something in my stash to satisfy my craving.

And if you're craving more poems, check out Poetry Wednesday.

Rita Dove

Velvet fruit, exquisite square
I hold up to sniff
between finger and thumb - 
how you numb me
With your rich attentions!
If I don't eat you quickly,
you'll melt in my palm.
Pleasure seeker, if I let you
you'd liquefy everywhere.
Knotted smoke, dark punch
of earth and night and leaf,
for a taste of you
 any woman would gladly
crumble to ruin.
Enough chatter: I am ready
to fall in love!

By the way - if you know of a really excellent Christmas poetry book, let me know!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


 Grandpa & Grandma Sabourin

 Grandma (Nyberg) Nelson (and Anna)

 Grandma Marce

Grandpa & Grandma Cotterman
(with all their great-grandkids)

We will be celebrating Thanksgiving tomorrow with Grandma Nelson and Grandpa Roy.  The family who can come will converge on Rockford - Fairhaven Retirement Community - where Grandma & Roy live.  Not everyone will be able to be there, but I think we'll be almost 30 for dinner tomorrow - including one of my mom's cousins and family.

I'm so incredibly thankful for my family.  I know I am blessed - not only to be a part of my family, but also to marry into my husband's family.  Even though we cannot see them all tomorrow, all are in our thoughts.

I admire all of our grandparents so much.  So many times I've thought of Grandma Marce reading to Uncle Junior as she washed the dishes - remembering to be thankful I have the opportunity to cuddle on the couch with my children because the dishwasher is running in the kitchen.

This Poetry Wednesday, I dedicate this poem to my grandmothers especially - all four of them.  Even if they didn't all work the ground as this poem suggests, they all worked very hard and raised wonderful children.

Margaret Walker

My grandmothers were strong.
They followed the plows and bent to toil.
The moved through fields sowing seed.
They touched earth and grain grew.
They were full of sturdiness and singing.
My grandmothers were strong.

My grandmothers are full of memories
Smelling of soap and onions and wet clay
With veins rolling roughly over quick hands
They have many cleans words to say.
My grandmothers were strong.
Why am I not as they?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Dressmaker of Khair Khana

As I was browsing the shelf of new books at my library, several books caught my eye - and this was one of them.  The Dressmaker of Khair Khana by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon tells the story of Kamila Sidiqi, an Afgani woman who came of age just as the Taliban took over Afganistan.

Kamila had just graduated from a two-year teacher training course, despite of her country's civil war.  She was looking forward to teaching at one of the many schools in Kabul, but soon after her graduation, the Taliban moved into the city, closing schools and forcing women indoors.

Kamila's story is one of courage, strength, and taking reasonable risks - all while trying to live within the rules imposed upon her as a woman.  Because of past political affiliations, Kamila's parents had to leave Kabul for the northern part of the country.  The journey was too dangerous to take all their children with them, so they left Kamila in charge of her younger siblings.

The responsibility became heavy as the streets were too dangerous for the young women to venture out.  Kamila and her sisters became bored and restless, and Kamila became anxious as she watched their reserves and savings dwindle.

Kamila searched for a solution, trying several ideas before deciding to start making dresses.  She risked the marketplace, found a buyer, and started a business which kept her and her sisters busy at home.  Over time, she hired more help, and then started an apprenticeship school for younger girls.

Kamila's story is remarkable.  Her drive, energy and determination are admirable.  But I especially admire her desire, and ability, to start a business within the severe restrictions imposed upon her.  Instead of fighting, and losing, a battle with the Taliban, Kamila worked hard to quietly pursue her dream - and she succeeded.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Habits of the Hippopotamus

I was going to share a somber poem, and write a book review of the latest book I've finished.

Then I looked outside.  Oh, such somber, yucky weather.  Amazingly, the sun peaked through the clouds at just the right time to illumine the books I was reading to the older two.  We paused and drank in its delicious beauty.  Then it was gone.

So, instead of a book review, with it's accompanying serious poem, I present to you this delightful poem which I read to the younger two this morning.  They enjoyed it, but could not fully appreciate its fun plays on the word 'hippopotamus.'  I hope you will!

Habits of the Hippopotamus
Arthur Gutterman

The hippopotamus is strong
And huge of head and broad of bustle;
The limbs on which he rolls along
Are big with hippopotomuscle.

He does not greatly care for sweets
Like ice cream, apple pie, or custard,
But takes to flavor what he eats
A little hippopotomustard.

The hippopotamus is true
To all his principles, and just;
He always tries his best to do
The things one hippopotomust.

He never rides in trucks or trams,
In taxicabs or omnibuses,
And so keeps out of traffic jams
And other hippopotomusses.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011


I had my poem all picked out for Poetry Wednesday last Wednesday.  Honestly, I did!

Then our day got CRAZY.  We read our schoolbooks, I dropped the younger two a friend's house, took the older two to a corn maze, went to the library to write my lecture for Bible study, picked up the older two, picked up the younger two, home in time for Anna to be picked up for AWANA, dinner, clean up, kids to bed, run out to pick up Anna, get home and COLLAPSE.

So, no Poetry Wednesday last week.

This week, I'm in my sweats.  At home for most of the day.  School books read.  Dinner planned.  A couple of errands to run later.  Time to breathe, and time for a poem.

We read this poem last week in school.  It's a lot of fun, and rather difficult to read aloud if you go too quickly.  Enjoy!

Laura E. Richards

Once there was an elephant
Who tried to use the telephant -
No! No!  I mean an elephone
Who tried to use the telephone -
(Dear me! I'm not certain quite
That even now I've got it right.)

Howe'er it was, he got his trunk
Entangled in the telephunk;
The more he tried to get it free,
The louder buzzed to telephee -
(I fear I'd better drop the song
Of elephop and telephong!)