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Yes, Poetry Friday is here. Please leave a link to your post here in the comments and I'll add them to the post throughout the day.

I wasn't sure what I was going to post for this week's Poetry Friday. Then a few people sent me their links early and I went and read their posts (and sniffled a little) and was struck with a childhood memory that I had pushed to the back of my mind for over 45 years. I was compelled to try and capture the memory in a poem and then either brave enough or foolish enough to post it here. The poem might upset some people and for that, I apologize. 


MY FRIENDS HAD FATHERS

My friends had fathers
who all were soldiers,
who went off to fight
instead of staying safe, at home.

My mother had a father
who did his part,
and an uncle who enlisted 
the day he turned 18.

My grandmother had two brothers
who carried guns to battle, side by side.
One came home without a leg.
One never came home at all

I had a mother who shoved me in the closet
when the men in suits, came to the door

Shush now, don't tell them
where your father went.

Easy enough.
I didn't know.

I wish my father had been strong enough,
not of body but of heart,
strong enough to do the right thing,
even if he felt afraid

I wish my father had been someone I could be proud of,
someone who fought for us,
someone who believed his family and his country,
were worth protecting.

I wish my father
had been a soldier.

--- Susan Taylor Brown
     May 21, 2009

© Susan Taylor Brown, 2009




Leave a link to your Poetry Friday post here in the comments and I'll add them to the post throughout the day. Please remember I am in California for there may be a slight time delay. 
 
NOTE: Please leave your NAME and a PERMALINK  to your post so that I don't have to go visit every blog just to do the round-up. Thanks!

THE ROUND-UP!

I will continue to add to this throughout the day.

We had a lot of original poems this week. I love that poets are sharing original work on the blogs and I thank them all for letting us see these pieces of their work that may or may not ever appear anywhere else.


ORIGINAL POEMS

I have an original poem about my draft doging father above,

Violet at Book Brew posted her original poem Wisdom of the Scarecrow. 

Over at Gotta Book, Greg talks about two of his favorite topics, baseball and poetry, and about a site that mixes them both, including an original poem of his own.

A Wrung Sponge was inspired by it feeling like summer with the neighborhood kids cavorting and posted an original haiku. and Lorie Ann Grover, rgz diva/author has Highlighted, another original haiku.

Kristy Dempsey is in with her own take on hope (a la Dickinson's feathery version).

There's an amazing bunch of 15 Words or Less poems--all eggshell-inspired--up today at with Laura Salas.

Irene Latham contributes another original poem in her historical women series, this one about Picasso's widow Jacqueline.

Mitali Perkins says, "I'm in with a poem about old world parents raising a new world teen -- Pathos by 17-year-old Miranda, the third-prize winner from last year's Fire Escape poetry contest."
 
MiaZagora was inspired to rework the words of her nephew into a poem here. (Note, you can't comment on this poem unless you are a member of the team.) 

The theme of loss is strong this week. A husband missing his wife shares his original poem Waiting to Sleep . Another original poem is, Shadow Loss, by Tiel Aisha and Lost is an original poem by Priya Ganesan at Book Crumbs.

Holly Cupala posts a poem she wrote from a workshop with poet Ellen Hopkins.

Melissa D. Johnston shares an original poem about her grandmother

Serena Woods shares her original poem Genetics

Mer Blackwood says, "I posted an outtake from my major work in progress, a fantasy poem I've been working on since 1999. A while back, I had to cut out a subplot. I think this scene, The Endless Echo of Defeat can stand alone as a vignette.


POEMS BY OTHERS

Keep a tissue handy when you read Sara Lewis Holmes post about her poetry and tear filled visit to the Liberty Bell.

Stop by The Write Sisters  Was a Man by Philip Booth,  a poem about introspection.

Celebrations abound this Poetry Friday as Julie at The Drift Record celebrates the appointment of Ruth Padel, to the position of Oxford Professor of Poetry (the first woman to hold the post since it was created in 1708) with Padel's poem Tigers Drinking Over at Forest Pool

Jama Marattigan celebrates National Strawberry Month with a poem by Genevieve Taggard and in honor of her niece, Meg, who is graduating from high school today, Carol posted God Says Yes To Me

Kurious Kitty shares Eavan Boland's Dublin, 1959 and Karen Edmisten introduces us to Barbara Crooker,

Everything's coming up Roses and Rue by Oscar Wilde, thanks to Little Willow.

Pull on your cowboy books and mosey over to Liz Scanlon and read all about the great big state of Texas.

Poems about animals? Of course we have them. First there is St. Francis and the Sow by Galway Kinnell over at 7-Imp and then over at readertotz you can read Kookaburra.

Susan shares Morning 85 a poem by a local poet she discovered in a literary tour of her hometown.

Semicolon talks about poetry and hymnic research.

The Stenhouse Blog posts What I Know About Epistemology by John Surowiecki.

Amy Planchak Graves shares Green Grass and Dandelions by Margaret Wise Brown.

Another post  dedicated to our heroes in our lives from Stella.

Mary Lee has a poem for teachers by Tracy Vaughn Zimmer for teachers.

Sarah Rettger says, "This week's poem is a big thank you to all the people who think about race in writing, put themselves out there, and push me to challenge my privilege. Y'all are awesome, and don't get nearly enough credit. Read it here at  Archimedes Forgets

REVIEWS AND INTERVIEWS

Tracie Vaughn Zimmer has an interview and teacher guide for Hope Anita Smith's book Mother Poems and MsMac has an interview with Sage Cohen, local Portland author who donated her poetry books to the Bridget Zinn auction.

Elaine Magliaro says, "At Wild Rose Reader, I have recommendations for poetry collections and anthologies that are wonderful for sharing with young children--as well as a link to a post about using a "poetry suitcase" to get kids excited about hearing and talikng about poems."

Kelly Herold (welcome back to blogging, Kelly) is in with a review of  a biography of William Carlos Williams for the youngsters.

But wait, there are more reviews!

John Mutford reviews a collection by Canadian poet Di Brandt called Speaking of Power ,Anastasia Suen talks about Kristy Dempsey's brand-new picture book debut Me With You and over on Great Kid Books, Mary Ann recommends Tap Dancing on the Roof, by Linda Sue Park. It's full of funny poems that make kids think.

Kelly Fineman has terrific interview with Ryan Mecum, the author of ZOMBIE HAIKU.


AUDIO AND VIDEO

At Blue Rose Girls Elaine shares a Favorite Poem Project video of Stephen Conteaguero talking about his life and reciting the poem Politics by William Butler Yates in honor of Memorial Day.

Diane Myar takes a look at Today I look at YouTube poetry .

 

There are so many stories only you can tell.Tell them, please.



Comments

( 72 comments — Leave comment )
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saralholmes
May 22nd, 2009 03:44 am (UTC)
Hi Susan! Thanks for doing the roundup and having this post up early. Here's the link to my post about my poetry and tear filled visit to the Liberty Bell:

http://saralewisholmes.blogspot.com/2009/05/poetry-thursday-and-friday-attack-of.html
(Anonymous)
May 22nd, 2009 04:24 am (UTC)
Not by me but by my nephew...
It really isn't "poetry" in the normal sense, but when I copied it to put on my blog I just felt that it should be a poem. I worked and worked on it and still couldn't get the spacing the way I wanted, so it's rough and choppy, but it was written kind of that way.

http://miazagorasmusings.blogspot.com/2009/05/not-my-words-but-words-of-someone-i.html
laurasalas
May 22nd, 2009 12:49 pm (UTC)
Re: Not by me but by my nephew...
Loved the post...would be good to let people know they can't Comment on it, though. I tried four times before I finally saw the note about the "can't comment unless you're on the team" thing.
(Anonymous)
May 22nd, 2009 04:33 am (UTC)
Di Brandt
Hi and thanks for doing the round up.

I'm reviewing a collection by Canadian poet Di Brandt called Speaking of Power.

http://bookmineset.blogspot.com/2009/05/readers-diary-493-di-brandt-speaking-of.html
(Anonymous)
May 22nd, 2009 04:34 am (UTC)
Di Brandt
Ooops, I forgot to leave my name.

John Mutford
(Anonymous)
May 22nd, 2009 06:04 am (UTC)
Hi Susan,

Thanks for hosting!

This week I've posted a poem by me. I wrote it a few years ago - "Wisdom of the Scarecrow" and it's here: http://book-brew.blogspot.com/2009/05/wisdom-of-scarecrow.html

Looking forward to reading all the poetry!

Violet (at Book Brew)
(Anonymous)
May 22nd, 2009 06:58 am (UTC)
Poetry Friday
Thanks for hosting!

Stop by the thewritesisters.blogspot.com for a poem about introspection.
gottabook.blogspot.com
May 22nd, 2009 07:21 am (UTC)
Thanks for hosting, Susan. And thanks for posting your poem, too.

I'm talking baseball and poetry over at my blog today... and about a site that mixes them both.

http://gottabook.blogspot.com/2009/05/baseball-poetry-bardball.html

Two of my favorite topics together! Makes a happy Poetry Friday for me....

writerross
May 22nd, 2009 07:32 am (UTC)
Susan: Your poem, MY FRIENDS HAD FATHERS, is hard-hitting, raw truths. Sad images of all that loss--most of all, yours. Loss for what you never had.

Is it wrong for me to admit poetry like this makes me cry? {}

-Pamela
susanwrites
May 23rd, 2009 05:25 am (UTC)
Pamela it's no more wrong for you than it is for me to say I am glad to know that my poem made you cry.

Thank you.
julielarios.blogspot.com
May 22nd, 2009 08:37 am (UTC)
Thanks for hosting, Susan. This week at The Drift Record (http://julielarios.blogspot.com) I'm celebrating the appointment of Ruth Padel, to the position of Oxford Professor of Poetry (the first woman to hold the post since it was created in 1708) and I'm sharing a wonderful poem of hers titled "Tigers Drinking Over at Forest Pool."

Julie
(Anonymous)
May 22nd, 2009 09:40 am (UTC)
I posted a poem in honor of my niece, Meg, who is graduating from high school today.
www.carolwscorner.blogspot.com
cloudscome
May 22nd, 2009 10:15 am (UTC)
Thanks for hosting Susan! You are right, that is a difficult subject and a heart-felt poem of yours. Thanks you for being brave enough to share it with us!

I have an original haiku up today: feeling like summer with the neighborhood kids cavorting.
susanwrites
May 23rd, 2009 05:30 am (UTC)
Thanks for the kind words.

Now if I could just learn how to break lines correctly. Sigh.
(Anonymous)
May 22nd, 2009 10:17 am (UTC)
Your poem
Whosh--what a poem! Thanks.

I see it as the opening of a verse novel. Or part of an anthology of poems about disappointing fathers/mothers/friends. THE BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT or some such. (I love throwing out ideas for other people to work on!)

But mostly I just enjoyed, was moved by, loved the undercurrents in your poem.

Jane Yolen
kristydempsey
May 22nd, 2009 11:42 am (UTC)
Re: Your poem
Jane, can I piggyback on your "Whosh"? Whosh.

Thank you for sharing that with us, Susan. You squeezed my heart with it.

I'm in today with my own take on hope (a la Dickinson's feathery version).

http://kristydempsey.livejournal.com/69256.html
Re: Your poem - susanwrites - May 23rd, 2009 05:42 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Your poem - susanwrites - May 23rd, 2009 05:33 am (UTC) - Expand
laurasalas
May 22nd, 2009 10:55 am (UTC)
There's an amazing bunch of 15 Words or Less poems--all eggshell-inspired--up today at http://laurasalas.livejournal.com/153411.html.

Oh, Susan--beautiful, beautiful poem. And the title...wow. Just adds a whole other gut-wrenching layer. Thank you for sharing this.

susanwrites
May 23rd, 2009 05:50 am (UTC)
Thanks for the kind words Laura. The poem was a surprise to me. I wish I understood line breaks better as I played with it several ways and none of them seemed "right". Oh well.
jamarattigan
May 22nd, 2009 11:11 am (UTC)
Thanks for sharing your poem, Susan. I agree with Jane; it sounds like the opening of a verse novel!

I'm celebrating National Strawberry Month with a poem by Genevieve Taggard: http://jamarattigan.livejournal.com/282080.html.

Thanks for hosting and have a great weekend!
susanwrites
May 23rd, 2009 05:51 am (UTC)
thanks Jama. I'm going to have to play around with some more and see where it takes me.
dmayr
May 22nd, 2009 11:29 am (UTC)
Stunning poem, Susan!

Kurious Kitty shares Eavan Boland's "Dublin, 1959."

http://www.kuriouskitty.blogspot.com/
(Anonymous)
May 22nd, 2009 11:37 am (UTC)
Today I look at YouTube poetry at

http://randomnoodling.blogspot.com/

Have a great weekend!
(Anonymous)
May 22nd, 2009 11:40 am (UTC)
Sorry, you want to know who I am, Diane Mayr.
liz_scanlon
May 22nd, 2009 11:47 am (UTC)
Thanks, Susan. Your Memorial Day poem is very moving...

I posted about Texas today...
http://liz-scanlon.livejournal.com/114965.html
(Anonymous)
May 22nd, 2009 12:14 pm (UTC)
Hi Susan
Thank you for hosting this week.. I have an interview with Sage Cohen, local Portland author who donated her poetry books to the Bridget Zinn auction.
http://maclibrary.edublogs.org/2009/05/22/poetry-friday-meet-sage-cohen-writing-the-life-poetic/
(Anonymous)
May 22nd, 2009 12:31 pm (UTC)
thanks, hostess!
Wow, that's a powerful poem, and yeah, a touchy subject. Thanks for being brave enough to share.

7-Imp is in with "St. Francis and the Sow" by Galway Kinnell. (http://blaine.org/sevenimpossiblethings/?p=1684)

~eisha
irenelatham
May 22nd, 2009 12:47 pm (UTC)
Susan, this is a brave poem, and I personally believe brave poems are the best kind. No apology necessary. Thanks so much for sharing. My contribution is another in my historical women series, this one about Picasso's widow Jacqueline. www.irenelatham.blogspot.com
susanwrites
May 23rd, 2009 05:55 am (UTC)
Thank you, Irene.
mitali_perkins
May 22nd, 2009 12:59 pm (UTC)
I'm in with a poem about old world parents raising a new world teen -- Pathos by 17-year-old Miranda, the third-prize winner from last year's Fire Escape poetry contest. Thanks so much, Susan.
(Anonymous)
May 22nd, 2009 01:09 pm (UTC)
Here's my contribution: http://www.semicolonblog.com/?p=5152

Thanks for hosting.
newport2newport
May 22nd, 2009 01:20 pm (UTC)
Lovely, relateable poem, Susan. You were brave to post it, and I'm so glad you did. It really resonated with me...I think all of us gp through some sort of "wish my father was..." period in our lives. It's interesting to think about the values (of the time, of our own emerging consciensness) those wishes represent.

I never wished my father was a military solider, even though he wasn't. I did, however, wish he weren't a "soldier in the Lord's Army." Oh yes, many times, that.
susanwrites
May 23rd, 2009 05:55 am (UTC)
Thanks Melodye.

I was inspired just before bed last night so I know I need to rework it. I don't know that I wanted him to be a solider as much as I didn't want him to be a draft dodger, ya know?
(Anonymous)
May 22nd, 2009 01:39 pm (UTC)
Poetry Friday on The Stenhouse Blog
Hello!

Here is this week's poetry selection on the Stenhouse Blog: What I Know About Epistemology by John Surowiecki (http://blog.stenhouse.com/archives/2009/05/22/poetry-friday-what-i-know-about-epistemology/)
jeannineatkins
May 22nd, 2009 01:48 pm (UTC)
Susan, thanks for sharing the moving poem. xo
susanwrites
May 23rd, 2009 05:56 am (UTC)
Thanks for reading, Jeannine.

Now to revise it.
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( 72 comments — Leave comment )
WHO AM I?



Who am I?I was born on the Cancer/Leo cusp and share a birthday with Ernest Hemingway and Robin Williams. The similarities don't stop there as I can go from depressed to ecstatic without ever passing go. I feel scared most of the time though my friends call me brave and I find it easier to believe in my friends than to believe in my own abilities to make what I want out of my life.

Who am I? A wife, a mother, a daughter, and even, gulp, a grandmother.

Who am I? A writer who never gets tired of playing with words, even when the words are hard to find. A writer of books for children and articles for grown-ups and many things in-between.

Who am I? A motivational speaker, writing instructor, workshop leader and full-time follower of dreams.

Who am I? Read and find out.






Susan Taylor Brown

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