Thursday, May 30, 2019

Poetry Friday Roundup is HERE! -- Celebrating Naomi Shihab Nye

If you haven't seen Colby Sharp's "Awesometastic" Creativity Project, I'll give you a minute to explore it a bit.

Besides the fun of reading how some of your favorite children's authors responded to prompts, there is the fun of the prompts some of your favorite children's authors offered up, plus a bonus prompt from each of the authors from which you can choose to make whatever you want.

On this Naomi Shihab Nye themed Poetry Friday (don't thank me, I'm just the roundup collector...this week's theme is the brainchild of Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference!) , I thought it would be fun to play a bit with her prompts from The Creativity Project.

This prompt, "Write a dialogue poem--a back-and-forth between human and something or things not human," is one from which I didn't manage a shareable draft. In the book, Kat Yeh writes from this prompt.

This bonus prompt really got me thinking: "Write a list of ten things you are NOT (not an astronaut, a perfectionist, a wool spinner, a butterfly, a name-caller). Then pick your favorite lines and develop, or embellish, them, adding metaphors, more description, whatever you like." Here's my draft:


I am not a meticulous housekeeper.
I aim for clean enough.
The clutter and dust
rest on the surface of a love that runs deeper.

Similarly, I am not a master gardener.
I keep ahead of the weeds, mostly,
planting to encourage butterflies and bees.
They, I believe, are the most important harvesters.

Perhaps, then, you will be surprised
that I iron sheets
and follow recipes.
I choose when and when not to improvise.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2019

You'll have to get a copy of the book to see how Naomi Shihab Nye responded to Tracey Babtiste's prompt, but her poem "Missing It" was featured on The Writer's Almanac this past Tuesday. (I'm so glad The Writer's Almanac is back!!)

Now, off you go to see what everyone else around the Poetry Friday corner of the Kidlitosphere has created for this week, whether inspired by Naomi Shihab Nye, or otherwise! Drop your link in the comments and I'll roundup old-school. (I've had news from two bloggers who weren't able to leave comments...not sure why, but if that happens to you, send your link to marylee dot hahn at gmail.)

Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference has a request:

"Send me links to your posts if they are poems about/to/inspired by Naomi Shihab Nye!"

Here's the post that I will be adding them to:

* * * * * * *

Ruth (at There is no such thing as a God-forsaken town) is first in with a rich Naomi Shihab Nye post! She's got links to the announcement of NSN's appointment as the new Young People's Poet Laureate, links to other NSN posts on her blog, and a gorgeous photo + ode.

Linda (at TeacherDance) shares how Naomi Shihab Nye's poetry made a difference in the lives of the gifted students she taught. The poem she shares is one that can be used as a mentor text when writing personal oral histories and about "discoveries of new lives different from theirs." 

Irene (at Live Your Poem) sparked my interest in THE CREATIVITY PROJECT with this post, in which she also responded to this "I Am Not" prompt from NSN.  

For today's post, Irene shares three favorites from NSN's book THIS SAME SKY, and because she has an extra copy, there's also a give-away!

Linda (at A Word Edgewise) created a brilliant poem out of found words and phrases in NSN interviews. 

Michelle Kogan has so many favorites in her post today! Her beautiful art features monarchs and milkweed. She shares NSN's poem "Kindness," which I LOVE, and her response poem is a deep breath of gratitude and commitment to Mother Nature.

Robyn (at Life on the Deckle Edge) has some news from the recent Haiku Society of America Spring meeting, and some beach-themed haiku.

Christie (at Wondering and Wondering) borrowed a line from a NSN interview and unpacked some big truths. 

Molly (At Nix the Comfort Zone) wrote a beautiful love poem for her husband on the occasion of their 30th anniversary. Congratulations!

Donna (at Mainely Write) 's ocean poem pairs nicely with Robyn's beach-themed haiku! Almost makes this land lubber want to spend some time on a beach! (almost...)

Carol (at Beyond Literacy Link) connected the NSN theme to poems written for her (darling) not-such-a-baby granddaughter's two year birthday. 

Jama (at Jama's Alphabet Soup) has...but of course...and we love her for it...three Naomi Shihab Nye FOOD POEMS! 

Jan (at bookseedstudio) has lots of connections to the much-loved NSN poem, "Famous."

Matt (at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme) shares his poem for the Ditty Challenge, "Instructions for Instructions." All kinds of clever!

Laura Shovan is still serving as Poet in Residence and as such, she shares the PERFECT resident poet poem by NSN, as well as (mostly) delicious food poems written by third graders.

Michelle (at Today's Little Ditty) has the Ditty of the Month Challenge Wrap-Up Celebration, along with links to her interview of Naomi Shihab Nye, the poem she wrote inspired by "To Manage," and the DMC wrap-up for NSN's ditty challenge.

Kimberly (at Kimberly Hutmatcher Writes) has a somber poem about devastating losses of young lives in her hometown.

Cheriee (at Library Matters) shares her next poetic installment "about a pivotal time in 1958, when my family joined other relatives on an adventure into the Pine Valley region in Northern British Columbia." It's diaper week, and it's grim.

Fats (at Gathering Books) joins in this week with a selection from the anthology Of Poetry and Protest: From Emmett Till to Trayvon Martin. I put this book on reserve at the library before I even finished reading her post. It looks amazing and important.

Renee (at No Water River) shares a selection of poems "from NIGHT GUARD, a collection of middle grade free verse poems by Norwegian poet, literacy educator, and environmental activist
Synne Lea," along with images from the illustrator of the collection, Stian Hole. You MUST listen to her magical voice and hear what she has to say about reading poetry!

Carol (at Carol's Corner) has a new puppy, finished school this week, AND managed to share a favorite NSN poem!

Tabatha (at The Opposite of Indifference) wrote a poem inspired by "Shoulders." I think Carol W. will like this poem!

Kay (at A Journey Through the Pages) used "Valentine for Ernest Mann" as her inspiration. Where are poems hiding in YOUR life?

Karen Edmisten (at Karen Edmisten...The Blog With the Shockingly Clever Title) has NSN reading her poem, "How Do I Know When a Poem is Finished?", my next new favorite!

Little Willow (at Bildungsroman) has song lyrics that remind us that humanity, like beauty, (like the love under the clutter and dust in my poem?) is not to be found on the surface.

Margaret (at Reflections on the Teche) finds magic in a single (amazing) line from Naomi Shihab Nye.

Catherine (at Reading to the Core) also wrote an I AM NOT poem that will sing to your heart.

Jone (at Deowriter) shares news of and a response to Naomi Shihab Nye's newest book, Tiny Journalist. At Check it Out, Jone is discovering buried treasure as she organizes her writing room!

Rebecca (at Sloth Reads) has a dialogue haiku for us that's sure to make you smile!

Amy (at The Poem Farm) has a post that is chock-full of goodness.

Tara (at Going to Walden) shares calming news from the farm in the form of a poem by Patricia Fargnoli.

Susan (at Soul Blossom Living) shares a pelican-filled post!


  1. I tucked "The Creativity Project" into my suitcase this weekend when I went away, but never did get to dive into it. Thanks for another nudge to do so! I love your I Am Not poem, especially this: "The clutter and dust
    rest on the surface of a love that runs deeper." Your ending is masterful. Thanks so much for hosting this week. I'll share something later. (I'd forgotten the Naomi Shihab Nye focus and may tinker with my original plans.)

  2. I am getting ahead of myself today, probably because there are so many other things I should be doing, like packing and cleaning my classroom! I love your old-school roundups, and here's my link: Thanks for hosting!

  3. I am for "clean enough" as well, Mary Lee! :) I responded to this prompt some time ago on my blog... I will be back with the link. Meanwhile, my offering is my favorite Nye poem and also excerpts from THIS SAME SKY... and a giveaway!

  4. ...and here is my response to your selected prompt:
    Thank you for hosting!

  5. I haven't slept on an iron sheet since being at my mother-in-law's, & oh, they are wonderful, as is your poem from Nye's prompt, Mary Lee. I haven't read through all The Creativity Project, embarrassed to say, but now you've reminded me to pull it off the shelf! Thanks for hosting. I'm sharing some of what I've valued about Naomi Nye through the years of teaching:

  6. I adore The Creativity Project! What a wonderful way to celebrate our new YPPL. "on the surface of a love that runs deeper" is wonderful and it just sounds so like what I imagine you to be. I will take that prompt and work from it this week. Thank you!
    This week, I struggled to find something worthy to share. I found a poem in some of NSN interviews. It taught me something....maybe you too? We'll see.

  7. We sound a bit like kindred spirits in the area of housekeeping and gardening Mary Lee, although I must confess I've never ironed a sheet. Love your poem! I'm looking forward to trying some of the prompts in the "Creativity Project." I focused on a poem of Naomi Shihab Nye's this week, "Kindness," along with a poem reflecting on her. Thanks for hosting–Here's my link:

  8. Thanks for hosting, Mary Lee! I'll be back in just a bit to read. I've got some beach-themed haiku by members of the Coquina Haiku Circle of St. Augustine, which hosted our recent HSA Spring National Meeting. Enjoy!

  9. Thanks for hosting, Mary Lee. Seeing NSN theme on the schedule, I've been pondering this for a bit. I decided to borrow a line from an interview with her. Here's my link! -- Christie

    Back to share my link---I wasn't able to find time to rework my post to join in the Naomi Shihab Nye theme. I'm sticking with Plan A--a love poem to my husband on the occasion of our 30th Anniversary.

  11. Thanks for sharing and hosting today! I have finished and unfinished business today...

  12. Mary Lee, thanks for hosting Poetry Friday with such a celebratory flair. I do love the book, The Creativity Project, and will find my copy to read Naomi's response. As for your poem, it is full of interesting tidbits about you. Iron sheets? My mother used to do that. Sometimes, I iron pillow cases when inspired. Today, I am offering poems I created for my granddaughter's 2nd birthday in June. They are a twist-off of one of Naomi's poems that had me thinking and editing for weeks. I'm even sharing some recent photos of my little one tha tI can no longer term as my grandbaby since she is a "big girl" now.

  13. I'm sharing three NSN food poems this week:

    Enjoyed your poem, what a fun prompt! Will have to look for Dylan's book.

    Thanks for hosting this week!

  14. Hello Mary Lee & appreciations for your "I am Not" original poem, which is a peek into your interesting life.

    It reminds me of so much - such as someone else's ironed sheets sprinkled with lavender water.

    And that bees & butterflies are not the only life forms that harvest from you. Your students collect creativity, wisdom & joy each day.

    Appreciations also for THE CREATIVITY PROJECT recommendation - a must-have from the examples shared.

    I love that you are collecting our Naomi Shihab Nye ideas. Mine is at Bookseedstudio, a small slice of good karma.

    And now to go complete the first prompt - more tnx.

  15. I hope I'll be back tomorrow with a post. It's been busy since school ended on Tuesday. (How do I ever have time to work?) . I love your poem about what you are not. I want to play with this idea. I also love learning more about you. I've never quite understood why anyone would iron a sheet.

  16. I was unfamiliar with the book, but it sounds wonderful for students (or anyone) looking for some inspiration - and I like what you did with your prompt! Speaking of prompts, I'm sharing "Instructions for Instructions" - a little light verse I wrote in response to Michelle Barnes' DMC challenge earlier this month: (link goes live shortly after midnight)

    Thanks for hosting, Mary Lee!

  17. Hi, Mary Lee. This is a rich host-post, with so much to read and enjoy. "Not" poems are fun (I'm NOT a master gardener either).

    I'm still in residence at Northfield ES. The third grade poets have food poems to share today (including a salty cake). But first, I have a link to a favorite Naomi Shihab Nye poem. "The Lost Parrot" takes place during a school poetry residency.

    Thanks for hosting!

  18. What an inspiring post, Mary Lee, and my favorite part of your own take on it all is the " from which I didn't manage a shareable draft" part. Kids and grown-up kids can always use a reminder that creating can be hard work, and not everything we make ends up in the publishable pile! The poem you DID share is great, and I like the selective ways in which you direct your energies. (Though maybe not the ironing sheets part - or maybe I'm just envious that your home boasts crisp sheets while my linen closet keeps the fitted sheets, anyway, in a sort of rolled/folded limbo.) Thanks again for hosting, and I look forward to all the NSN posts!

  19. Hi Mary Lee,

    Thanks for the reminder to get my hands on a copy of The Creativity Project! I'm also looking forward to exploring this fantastic collection of Poetry Friday NSN offerings (what a treat!) starting with your own "I Am Not." This is so me: "The clutter and dust/rest on the surface of a love that runs deeper."

    At Today's Little Ditty I have the wrap-up of instruction poems in response to Liz Steinglass' challenge, plus her SOCCERVERSE giveaway. And not to feel left out, I've also included a few NSN links at the end of the post. :)

  20. The clutter and dust
    rest on the surface of a love that runs deeper.
    What a lovely line! Thank you for sharing this poem and about this book, and thank you oh so much for hosting this week.
    My post this week was inspired by Laura Purdie Salas's 15 Words or Less Poetry Challenge and by a recent loss of a young person to suicide in my small town.

  21. Like Kimberly Hutmacher, I too love these lines
    The clutter and dust
    rest on the surface of a love that runs deeper.
    I can't fathom ironing sheets, but I do love to sleep in sheets that are fresh dried on a clothesline outside.
    I'm still slogging away at my history project. I am already inspired by your poem and expect nothing less from all the others that I know will dazzle me.
    Here's my post for today.

  22. Anonymous4:44 AM

    Hello! Fats is up for Poetry Friday at GatheringBooks:
    Thanks for sharing Naomi Shihab Nye. I Love Her!

  23. Hi, Mary Lee! Not surprisingly, I totally missed the NSN memo, but at least I'm here! :D

    I LOVE your NOT poem -- so relatable, so many levels. If you also iron underwear, you get to be an Honorary Italian Woman of a Certain Age. hahahahahaha Seriously, though, I am getting the Creativity Project TODAY. It looks marvelous.

    Over at No Water River I am sharing some middle grade free verse by Norwegian Poet Synne Lea, from her exquisite book NIGHT GUARD.

  24. Between the last week of school and the new puppy this week has been a little crazy. I wasn't planning on participating until I peeked at your blog and remembered this week is a tribute to Naomi Shihab Nye, who I love. I'm sharing, "Different Ways to Pray." I love your "I Am Not." I wish I could get my house to "clean enough!" And like several others, I can't imagine ironing sheets. I'm lucky if I get them washed and back on the bed!

  25. You ARE a terrific poet and you are NOT a poor sport or unwelcoming host. I would like to try a NOT poem myself -- thanks for the suggestion. I have a poem inspired by "Shoulders":

  26. I've got my prompt for next week's poem. I'm going to reveal a bit more about this "ironing the sheets" mythology I seem to have created for myself (lol). For a hint, think hard about the first two lines and that last stanza. And DO NOT get too impressed!! :-)

  27. Thank you for hosting and for sharing The Creativity Project. How have I missed this one? It looks fabulous. I share one of my favorite Nye poems, "A Valentine for Ernest Mann" and my response to it:

  28. Mary Lee, I love your response to the prompt! And I used your post as a springboard for mine this week. The link is here. Thanks for hosting!

  29. Happy almost-June, everyone! I posted lyrics from Gabrielle Aplin's song Human at my blog, Bildungsroman.

  30. Here's my link. I wrote about my favorite Naomi Shihab Nye line.

  31. Thank you for hosting today, Mary Lee! From one not-meticulous housekeeper to another, here is my response to what I am not:

  32. Am a little late...The Tiny Journalist, a new collection of poems:

  33. Found some student work from years ago:

  34. I really enjoyed your poem, Mary Lee! I grew up hearing "If you're going to do something, do it right the first time." In my adult life I am trying to unlearn that a bit--sometimes doing something well enough is better than not doing it at all, like cleaning :)

    I shared a funny/clever haiku I found on a facebook group the other day. I had forgotten about the optional prompt today, but it is a dialogue poem of sorts, although between two humans.

  35. Thank you for hosting. I will need to try this prompt.

    1. And I am NOT a meticulous housekeeper.

  36. I am HUGGING your poem to my heart. Here's to choosing.

  37. Thanks for hosting! I loved reading this week's posts!

  38. I love your poem, "I am not"--maybe because I am also not a meticulous housekeeper or master gardener. I wrote about the white pelicans I've been seeing on my daily walks for the past couple of weeks:
    Thanks for hosting!

  39. I love Nye - I was introduced to her many years ago by Laura Robb in a writing workshop.

    I forgot I had this book too so thanks for the reminder.

    Well done!


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