Friday, February 28, 2014

Poetry Friday: I Scarcely Grieve

I found this one on the Poetry app from the Poetry Foundation.  (You can find out more about it here.)  It seems appropriate because I am heading into a holiday week (for Carnival), and we are planning to stay put here in Port-au-Prince in the turmoil.  And folks, I scarcely grieve.  I am just so glad to get some time off.  And there's plenty that's beautiful right here.  "There is no unimpressive spot on earth!"

Sonnet: I Scarcely Grieve
 by Henry Timrod

I scarcely grieve, O Nature! at the lot
That pent my life within a city’s bounds,
And shut me from thy sweetest sights and sounds.
Perhaps I had not learned, if some lone cot
Had nursed a dreamy childhood, what the mart
Taught me amid its turmoil; so my youth
Had missed full many a stern but wholesome truth.
Here, too, O Nature! in this haunt of Art,
Thy power is on me, and I own thy thrall.
There is no unimpressive spot on earth!
The beauty of the stars is over all,
And Day and Darkness visit every hearth.
Clouds do not scorn us: yonder factory’s smoke
Looked like a golden mist when morning broke.

Today's roundup is here.  I don't use Pinterest and am resisting being sucked into it, but I hope I can figure out Anastasia's method of rounding up, anyway! Head on over there!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Poetry Friday

I didn't get a poem posted today, but plenty of other people did.  You can see the roundup here.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Poetry Friday: Dizzy Valentine's Day

Today I read through Dizzy in Your Eyes: Poems about Love by Pat Mora.  You can see my review here.  I read it because of the mayhem that is middle school on Valentine's Day.  It has been a very stressful couple of weeks, and I'm hoping things calm down a bit before we have a week off for Carnival at the beginning of March.

Meanwhile, here is Pat Mora reading one of the poems from the collection, "With Feeling." We had way too much feeling in middle school today.  This one couldn't be more appropriate. (If you wish, you can keep watching the playlist for more of her work.)

Today's roundup is hosted by the lovely Linda Baie here.

Saturday, February 08, 2014


It's been three weeks since Irene Latham nominated me for a Sunshine Award.  Thanks, Irene!  I've had her post open on my desktop ever since, and in that time, although I have graded a bazillion pieces of student work, attended two in-services, taught umpteen classes, hosted a guest in my home, and spent time with family and friends, I somehow haven't gotten around to passing on the sunshine.  So here goes...

Here are the rules...

  1. Acknowledge the nominating bloggers
  2. Share 11 random facts about yourself
  3. Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger creates for you
  4. List 11 bloggers
  5. Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer and let all the bloggers know they've been nominated.  (You cannot nominate the blogger who nominated you.)
I already did the first one, acknowledging Irene.  I enjoyed reading her post and learning more about her. 

Eleven random facts about me?  Hmm...

1.  I drink at least one cup of tea a day, usually two or three.
2.  I love learning foreign languages.  I've studied French, German, Latin, Haitian Creole, Swahili, and a tiny bit of Greek (a very long time ago).  I speak French and Haitian Creole well enough to use them in my life nearly every day.
3.  I love garlic.
4.  I got a Kindle for Christmas just over three years ago, and while I didn't think I would like it very much, I now do a huge amount of my reading on it.  I am hooked on how easy it is to get books immediately when I want them, without shipping costs and customs charges.
5.  Related to #4: I am addicted to books.  In addition to the many on my Kindle, I have piles of them on my bedside table and two deep on bookcases around my house.
6.  I love music and usually have some playing.  Right now I think my favorite is the Civil Wars.
7.  I have lived in five countries (defining "lived" as at least a month, which allows me to include France, where I studied for nine weeks when I was in college).
8.  I once spent a night on a houseboat in Amsterdam.  (It was a lot less scandalous than it sounds.)
9.  I love snails in garlic butter.  (See #3.)
10.  I don't like heights, but I love to fly.
11.  I like to shop at Goodwill with my daughter.

OK, now to Irene's questions.

1.  Favorite food to bring to a potluck event?  Something my husband made.   We often take inarizushi. 

2.  What do you do to relieve stress?  Drink a cup of tea, read, write, cry, ride my exercise bike.
3.   Favorite quote?  Oh, goodness, I don't know.  I've been reading a lot of Walter Brueggemann lately, and here's something from one of his Christmas sermons that I love: 
"The skies are always filled with bombers, but Christmas is the incredible affirmation that the skies at the important moment are not filled with bombers, which is our symbol for weary business as usual.  Just then the skies are filled with angels, voices of another announcement about something God has decided.  That is what Christmas is about, the perception that the skies are not filled with bombs, but with angels."
4.  What is the story behind your name?  I am named after both my grandmothers.
5.  Chore you abhor?  Cleaning out the fridge.  My husband always does it.
6.  Cinderella or Snow White?  Definitely Cinderella.  
7.  Do you plan blog posts ahead of time, or real-time posts only?  Both.  I really like to plan a bunch ahead, when I have time.
8.  Other social media you enjoy?  I love Facebook.  I wrote here about what a lifeline it was after the earthquake.
9.   Introverted or extroverted?  On the Myers-Briggs I came out right in the middle.  I play an extrovert in my classroom, and I do often find myself energized by people.  But I would definitely classify myself as an introvert.  Teaching takes a lot out of me and I need plenty of down-time to recharge.  
10.  Title of the last book you gave as a gift?  I gave lots of books for Christmas.  One, to my husband, was Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil, by Tom Mueller.  This is the kind of book he enjoys - he likes to learn about subjects in-depth, and especially food-related subjects like this one.  
11.  Happiness is...a big mug of chai, a book to read, and no grading to do.

Eleven bloggers I'd like to give the Sunshine Award:
1.  Jessica at One Wild and Precious Life
2.  Janet at Across the Page
3.  Laura at Author Amok
5.  Jama at Jama's Alphabet Soup   
7.  Carie at Practicing Sanity  
8.  Monique at Crumpets in Camelot
9.  Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe
10.  Linda at TeacherDance   
11.  Ashley at Steps in Haiti

These are all blogs I like to read, and if nothing else, there's a list of great blogs you can check out.  But I don't know that they'll thank me for nominating them, because this post is taking me a LONG time to write...

Anyway, here are eleven questions for these bloggers, should they choose to participate (no pressure):

1.  What's your favorite song right now?
2.  What made you decide to start blogging?
3.  What's your favorite post you've ever written?  (Link, please!)
4.  What's a book you've given (or loaned) to multiple people because you love it so much?
5.  What Hogwarts house would you be in?
6.  What's your comfort food of choice?
7.  What book character would you like to have lunch with?
8.  What's your favorite podcast?
9.  What's a movie you've watched many times?
10.  What are your favorite clothes to wear?
11.  What's a book on your wish list?  

Now I'm going to hit Publish and then go inform all my lucky nominees!     

Friday, February 07, 2014

Poetry Friday: Surprise!

Yesterday as part of our weekly mail delivery, I got an unexpected package.  Since my birthday is coming up, I thought maybe it was a  birthday present, so I had my daughter pre-open it, just in case.  "No," she said as she studied it, "it looks like a present, but not a birthday present.  I think it's from a poetry person."

It was!  Irene Latham sent me this:

It looks kind of like a box of seeds, but this is what it really is:

Irene said she found this puzzle while she was cleaning out her basement, and immediately thought of me because of my One Little Word this year, garden.  She also sent two poems, beautifully printed on a bookmark and a postcard.  Here's the postcard poem, and it will be my offering for today's Poetry Friday:

Irene's surprise gift made my day, and I love her poem.  She is definitely someone with a "deliberate, unmittened heart."

Happy Poetry Friday!  Check out the roundup here!