Friday, December 20, 2013

Poetry Friday -- Poets Laureate -- And a GIVEAWAY!

Flickr Creative Commons Photo from the Boston Public Library


The first fear
being drowning, the
ship's first shape
was a raft, which
was hard to unflatten
after that didn't
happen. It's awkward
to have to do one's
planning in extremis
in the early years--
so hard to hide later:
sleekening the hull,
making things
more gracious.

©Kay Ryan, 2010
in The Best of It: New and Selected Poems

(I think this is perhaps the story of my year...)

Kay Ryan is one of the three US Poets Laureate I've met in person (also Ted Kooser and Billy Collins). These are the "live" autographs in my collection of books signed by Poets Laureate. This week, my birthday package from my brother arrived, and three more autographs have been added to my collection: Daniel Hoffman (1973-74, totally new to me), W.S. Merwin (2010-11, a book of his short stories from SW France), and...

Kay Ryan's newest collection, The Best of It: New and Selected Poems, First Edition, hardback.

So here's where we get to the give-away. I already own Kay Ryan's new paperback. Since I have a signed (first edition) hardback, I think YOU should have the paperback edition! Sunday night, I'll randomly choose from the commenters and I'll send it to YOU!

Updated: Sunday, 9:17 PM. The random number generator at picked #8, which is Violet Nesdoly! You are the winner of the Kay Ryan book!

Buffy has the Poetry Friday Roundup this week at Buffy's Blog.

Two dates are One date is left on Check out the roundup calendar for the next 6 months!! Now that the calendar is complete, I'll put the html code in the files on the Kidlitosphere Yahoo group and into the calendar there, and send the dates to the Kidlitosphere web page webmistress. Shoot me an email if you want me to send you the code for your blog's sidebar.


  1. I'd love to own the Kay Ryan paperback! I'm going to try to read/write more poetry! BTW, how exciting that you're met 3 US Poets Laureate!

  2. What a generous and thoughful brother you've got! Thanks for sharing Kay Ryan's poem.

  3. How wonderful to have such a collection and to have met those poets, Mary Lee. Yes, I saw the poem as a reflection of a year, beautiful to read, especially the part about being gracious! Happiest of holidays for you. R & R is much needed by all teachers!

  4. Hello there Mary Lee. That is indeed such a precious collection, and so thoughtful of your brother to add to it. I find that it's really all about making things most gracious. :) Makes for a less chaotic world somehow. :)

  5. Yes, we totally ARE building the ship as we sail it. Glad you got some great new things to read for your birthday! The best gift!

  6. I love Kay Ryan and am so jealous of your collection of Poets Laureate signatures. I have Ted Kooser and Billy Collins. Put me in the drawing.
    I can take June 27th if you haven't already assigned it.

    1. You've got it, Margaret! Thanks!!

  7. Well...that poem may well be the story of my life!:) And I love this collection you have going, Mary Lee - very illustrious!

  8. I sure could handle more from where "We're Building Our Ship As We Sail It" came. I'd be delighted to be in the draw. Love the idea of your collection of autographs.

    Violet N.

    1. Yours is the 8th comment, so you win!

  9. Anonymous9:23 AM

    This poem reflects the lives of many teachers this year! Should we look at it like there is strength in numbers? Or tell ourselves don't look down? Better yet, I say we trust our instincts and keep moving forward. Happy Birthday, Mary Lee!

  10. I couldn't agree more with the poem. How cool to have that poetry collection. What a great brother. Fingers crossed that I randomly come up to win the book. Happy Birthday.

  11. Not only "building the ship as we sail it," but being content and grateful for the progress we make day by day, rather than hindered by fear of drowning. Beautiful words to live by.

  12. How wonderful to have a brother who knows you so well. What a blessing! I hope you enjoy your holiday, and my fingers are crossed. ;-)


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