Friday, November 27, 2015

Poetry Friday: One Today

Head over to Carol's Corner
for this week's roundup of poetry love.
Thanks for hosting, Carol!

I haven't posted much to Poetry Friday recently, but I love stopping by and becoming familiar with new poets and poems through your posts.  I just had to stop by today and mention a new favorite book of poetry, One Today by Richard Blanco.  It's the poem he delivered on the National Mall for Barack Obama's inauguration for second term as president of the United States.  The book is illustrated by Dave Pilkey.  I shared it last week when I substituted in 8th grade Social Studies classes.  It was fun to see how many students in each class recognized the illustrator's name, Dav Pilkey (illustrator of the Captain Underpants series).

I'll borrow these words from the front flap to describe this delightful new book, "...a lush and lyrical, patriotic commemoration of America from dawn to dusk and from coast to coast."  It was my second day with these 8th grade students, some of whom I had taught as sixth graders.  In every class, the students were stirred to applaud at the end of the poem.  I love every single page, but two in particular are favorites.

The two page spread of cars, trucks, and people wending their way home through a plum dusk with these words:
"We head home: through the gloss of rain or weight
of snow, or the plum blush of dusk,
but always - home,
always under one sky, our sky."  

And the final two pages offering these words of optimism against a blue night sky filled with stars:
"Hope - a new constellation
waiting for us to map it,
waiting for us to name it-

If you haven't seen this book yet, head to your favorite indie book store tomorrow (it's small business Saturday) and purchase two copies, one for yourself and one to give away!


  1. My copy is on the way, having ordered it on your recommendation. Thanks for sharing its treasures again, Ramona.

  2. So glad you shared this recommendation. I hadn't heard of this book before, but will definitely be ordering it, based on your review!

  3. It looks like the illustrations enhance those beautiful words so wonderfully, Ramona. That 'hope' quote at the end makes me a little sad, nearly over, isn't it? Thanks for highlighting this again, and sharing some of the words.

  4. Maybe I will like this poem more when I see it illustrated. Thanks for highlighting it today!

    1. I wasn't wild about it when I heard it at the inauguration, but the 8th graders I shared it with were definitely moved and I think it was in large part due to the gorgeous illustrations which seem to slow the poem down a bit.

  5. I didn't know about this book either - thanks much for sharing it, Ramona. I taught eighth grade once and appreciate your sharing the students' reaction, too.