Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Slice of Life: It's a Small World!

Today I join my fellow bloggers in "serving up a slice" 
to the Tuesday Slice of Life (SOL) community.
Thanks to Stacey, Tara, Betsy, Dana, BethAnna, Kathleen, and Deb
                   for hosting this meeting place each Tuesday and nurturing our writing lives.

I struggled about which poems to share at last Thursday night's poetry reading in our indie bookstore, Island Books.  My focus was children's poetry.  My daughter advised, "Choose three books and just share from them."  I ended up with four anthologies - Reflections on a Gift of Watermelon Pickle, Whisper and Shout, The 20th-Century Children's Poetry Treasury, and A Family of Poems.  I filled all four books with sticky notes indicating my favorite poems.  And then I walked by my dining room table, covered with poems that I also wanted to share.  I decided to use those since I would be able to move the poems around easily and could decide on an order that I liked for my presentation.  Done!  And then I practiced.  Doggone it!  I was only halfway through the poems I wanted to share when my ten minutes of time elapsed.  I started tossing, making tough decisions, and reordering.  I'm sure that if I did it today, I would make different  choices.  
Here are the poems in the order I chose to share them for Thursday's presentation:

"Ode to Pablo's Tennis Shoes" by Gary Soto
"Knoxville, Tennessee" by Nikki Giovanni
"Lemonade" by Rebecca Kai Doltish
"Three Words" by Douglas Florian
"It Must be September" by Tracie Vaughn Zimmer
"The Ones They Loved the Most" by Janet S. Wong
"Sun" by Valerie Worth
"Wake Up" by Zaro Weil
"S'Mores" by Gregory K. Pincus
"Toasting Marshmallows" by Kristine O'Connell George
"Reading Is Dangerous" by Tony Johnston
"One Moment in Time" by Ramona Behnke
"Sifter" by Naomi Shihab Nye

And now it's time to explain my "small world" title for this post.  Two of the poems I shared "S'Mores" and "Toasting Marshmallows" were part of a poetry tag that we did in my classroom several years ago.  "S'Mores" was posted by Mitchell Woolston who had been tagged by someone whose poem mentioned fire.  Mitchell wrote that fire made him think of s'mores.  Mitchell tagged Emil Talerman who followed up with the poem "Toasting Marshmallows."  (Sylvia Vardell explains poetry tag in this March 2011 article in Book Links.)  When our poet organizer for the evening, David Horowitz, took the podium, he commented that he works in a law firm with Mitchell's dad, and that Mitchell is currently a sophomore in high school.  How amazing is that?   Linking poems and linking people - the best possible way to stay connected in today's world!


  1. Very Nice - I like the linking of poems! Thanks for sharing!

  2. I love your list of titles! I think odes are so much fun. Two of my boys are writing poetry like crazy now after reading Kwame Alexander's Crossover and Booked. (Jennifer Sniadecki)

  3. Love this, Ramona, and thanks for the list, too. I know about half. I have played poetry tag with my class too, so much fun. I hope others read this to learn about it. I have so many piles of poems I can't imagine the challenge of choosing. But it is an 'entry' for the audience, isn't it? I love hearing more about your evening.

  4. I'll need to look up the poems in that list. Picking and choosing it must have been really hard. The tagging activity is so clever!

  5. You are the best purveyor of poetry! What a fun evening for you! I am always amazed by the connections that we find with people. It truly is a small world!

  6. I like the idea of poetry tag, Ramona. You gave me a new activity for teachers. Thank you.