THIS BLOG IS NO LONGER OPERATIONAL. PLEASE ENJOY WHAT IS HERE, AND DO LEAVE A COMMENT IF YOU WISH. NORTH CAROLINA'S NEW POET LAUREATE IS CATHY SMITH BOWERS. SHE WILL SOON HAVE HER OWN WEBSITE THROUGH THE NORTH CAROLINA ARTS COUNCIL SITE. I WILL BE SHIFTING MY ATTENTION TO HERE, WHERE I AM, (SEE SIDEBAR)USING IT TO DRAW ATTENTION TO WRITERS WHOSE WORK DESERVES ATTENTION. I INVITE YOU TO VISIT ME THERE. For a video of the installation ceremony, please go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xAk6fOzaNE.
Go to http://www.yourdailypoem.com/, managed with finesse by Jayne Jaudon Ferrer, who says, "Our intent is to make visitors to Your Daily Poem aware of the joy and diversity of poetry."
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Sweet Words from Sugar Loaf Elementary School
Last week I received a cornucopia of poems from fifth graders at Sugar Loaf School. This is the time of year to use the word "cornucopia." Thanksgiving is nearly here, and just look at all those pumpkins, squash, and end of season vegetables and fruit brimming the grocery stalls and fruit stands! Now, poetry is brimming over my comment box! And I'm thankful for it. I promised the Sugar Loaf students a letter, and it will follow, but let me also say that each day from now till January 1, I will be using one of the 48 poems sent in my Nov. 12 comment box as the header to my post. I'll begin tomorrow, so even if you don't read anything else on the post, read the poem!
Dear 5th graders, Thank you again for your fabulous poems. I feel like I've already had Thanksgiving Dinner! The photo above is of me and one of our 5 dogs, Byron. We call him Lord Byron because he acts like he's the lord of the family. I'm holdiing his head so he won't jump up and kiss me. I wasn't in the mood right then for a doggy kiss.
Your poems do what I always ask my writing students to do --to "bring it." And by that I mean to bring what matters to them to their poems. You have gone one step further by asking your readers to bring their joy, their sadness, their laughter, their hope, just to name a few, to you and you will make a poem of it and keep it safe. Or, in the case of Moonkeeper, you will keep the cold memories away so that you can be free of nightmares. Wow! I like that. And you know, right now we have a full moon, so this poem seems really appropriate. But then, each of these poems is approriate and on target because each has its own special voice, and I have taken a great deal of pleasure in reading them. As I mention above, each day I will post one at the top of my blogpost, and I will probably say a few words about the poem. By the time I've finished posting all of these--New Year's Day--maybe you will have another batch to send me! I'll be sending you the surprise I promised. It may not arrive till after Thanksgiving, but it will definitely be there before Christmas vacation. I hope the rest of your semester at Sugar Loaf goes well. You are my "Sugar Poets," and I congratulate you and your teacher(s) for the good work you've done. Your friend, Kathryn Byer
I've lived in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina since 1968, though I'm a native of SW Georgia. My paternal grandmother was born in the Blue Ridge, and I grew up wanting to live here. Where I am.
I've published five collections of poetry, the most recent 4 being with LSU Press, and have published poetry in magazines ranging from The Atlantic Monthly to Appalachian Heritage. But I also hike, bang pots and pans around in my kitchen, and love several dogs who leave fur all over my carpets. I write poetry because it's my way of singing back to the world both within and without.