Friday, March 09, 2012

Poetry Friday: MADNESS!

The game is ON!

Ed DeCaria, at Think, Kid, Think, is hosting a March Madness Tournament of Children's Poetry.

There are 64 poets signed up to play...including ME!

There are brackets and seeds and all kinds of other things about tournaments that I don't really understand.

But there is also fun, creativity, spontaneity, voting, and...did I mention already? FUN!

I need some fun.

I woke up this morning thinking about the Poetry Friday post I hadn't yet written, and this is the poem that immediately came to mind. "I am overtired / Of the great harvest I myself desired." ...And I'm not talking about apple picking here, either.


My long two-pointed ladder's sticking through a tree
Toward heaven still,
And there's a barrel that I didn't fill
Beside it, and there may be two or three
Apples I didn't pick upon some bough.
But I am done with apple-picking now.
Essence of winter sleep is on the night,
The scent of apples: I am drowsing off.
I cannot rub the strangeness from my sight
I got from looking through a pane of glass
I skimmed this morning from the drinking trough
And held against the world of hoary grass.
It melted, and I let it fall and break.
But I was well
Upon my way to sleep before it fell,
And I could tell
What form my dreaming was about to take.
Magnified apples appear and disappear,
Stem end and blossom end,
And every fleck of russet showing clear.
My instep arch not only keeps the ache,
It keeps the pressure of a ladder-round.
I feel the ladder sway as the boughs bend.
And I keep hearing from the cellar bin
The rumbling sound
Of load on load of apples coming in.
For I have had too much
Of apple-picking: I am overtired
Of the great harvest I myself desired.
There were ten thousand thousand fruit to touch,
Cherish in hand, lift down, and not let fall.
For all
That struck the earth,
No matter if not bruised or spiked with stubble,
Went surely to the cider-apple heap
As of no worth.
One can see what will trouble
This sleep of mine, whatever sleep it is.
Were he not gone,
The woodchuck could say whether it's like his
Long sleep, as I describe its coming on,
Or just some human sleep.

Myra has the Poetry Friday roundup this week at Gathering Books.


  1. It's always amazing to me how poets write into their words such thoughts. This is certainly a poem worthy of a Friday after a long week, isn't it? I like "And I keep hearing from the cellar bin/The rumbling sound/Of load on load of apples coming in." The rhyming is just off enough that it fits the subject too. Thank you Mary Lee.

  2. Oh boy can I relate. Especially as my work in progress is set at a Florida citrus grove! All that hand-picking... tiresome work. Thanks for sharing. And if you have energy left, I do hope you'll join in the KidLit Progressive Poem fun for April. Sign up today at After Ed's March Madness it will feel like a tickle!

  3. I love "overtired of the great harvest I myself desired." Haven't we all felt that from time to time?
    Thanks for sharing your poem.

  4. Very excited for the March Madness tournament. Told all the teachers in my building about it today. We're ready to vote come Monday! Glad you are writing in it!

  5. I am so excited to read your poetry and the poetry of others in this tournament. Happy writing Mary Lee, what an inspiration you are!

  6. I love the cadence of this, it fits in with the never ending toil of apple picking...tree after tree, bin after bin. "Every speck of russet showing clear"... I shall remember that marvelous line the next time I approach an apple in the fruit bowl.


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