Friday, January 12, 2018

Szymborska: Some People Like Poetry

Here is one of my favorite poems written by my favorite author of adult poetry:

By Wislawa Szymborska
—Translated by Stanislaw Baranczak and Clare Cavanagh.

Some people—
that means not everyone.
Not even most of them, only a few.
Not counting school, where you have to,
and poets themselves,
you might end up with something like two per thousand.
but then, you can like chicken noodle soup,
or compliments, or the color blue,
your old scarf,
your own way,
petting the dog.

Click here to read the rest of the poem.

Wislawa Szymborska won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1996. I found an interesting New York Times article about her poem Some People Like Poetry when two different translations of it were published in The New Yorker and The New Republic back in 1996. The Times posted both translations of the poem's final stanza. I prefer the version that was translated by Stanislaw Baranczak and Clare Cavanagh. It's the version I've read many times in her book Poems New and Collected 1957-1977.

Click here to read the New York Times article.

Jan has the Poetry Friday Roundup at Book Seed Studio.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Remembering My Mother with Poetry and Pictures

Mary Stella Kozicka Drabik

One year ago today, my beloved mother passed away. It seems like only yesterday that I said goodbye to her. She was loved by everyone who knew her. My mother was a selfless individual who was devoted to her family. I miss her more than words can say.

by Lola Ridge

Your love was like moonlight
turning harsh things to beauty,
so that little wry souls
reflecting each other obliquely
as in cracked mirrors . . .
beheld in your luminous spirit
their own reflection,
transfigured as in a shining stream,
and loved you for what they are not.

Click here to read the rest of the poem.

by David Young

      —for my children

I see her doing something simple, paying bills,
or leafing through a magazine or book,
and wish that I could say, and she could hear,

that now I start to understand her love
for all of us, the fullness of it...

Click here to read the end of the poem.

Remembering my mother with some family photos:
My mother's last Mother's Day (2016)
Here she is with my older granddaughter Julia.
A Beautiful Bride!
 My mother with my older sister

 My mother with her parents and her two younger brothers
My mother's family
 My mother, father, sister, and I
 My mother with my sister and me

My mother being silly with her cousin Julia and sister Helen
Today's Poetry Friday Roundup is at Reading to the Core.

Friday, December 29, 2017

POETRY FRIDAY: Ring Out, Wild Bells

My granddaughters want to wish everyone a HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I find the following poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson most fitting to post at the end of 2017.

In Memoriam, [Ring out, wild bells]

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
   The flying cloud, the frosty light:
   The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
   Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
   The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind
   For those that here we see no more;
   Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
   And ancient forms of party strife;
   Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
   The faithless coldness of the times;
   Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
   The civic slander and the spite;
   Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
   Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
   Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
   The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
   Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.
Heidi has the Poetry Friday Roundup at My Juicy Little Universe.
May 2018 bring better days ahead for all of us!

Friday, December 22, 2017


My granddaughters on the day they went to take pictures with Sana
By Elaine Magliaro
Ride on a reindeer's harness.
Tinkle in the icy air.
Jingle across a Christmas sky.
Sing with a silver tongue.
Buffy has the Poetry Friday Roundup at her blog.

Friday, December 1, 2017


I got some great news recently. My book THINGS TO DO was named a Best Book of 2017 for Kids by the New York Public Library! Here are two links where you'll find the list of the NYPL's Best Books of 2017 for Kids:

In addition, Sammy Juliano of Wonders in the Dark wrote a wonderful review of THINGS TO DO. He thinks the book should be taken into consideration for a Caldecott Medal. I couldn't agree more. I love the artwork that Catia Chien did for the book!
Excerpt: Birds know well the consequence of missed opportunities and the likelihood of a second chance not availing itself anytime soon.  Magliaro implores our feathered friends to take full advantage of the unfaltering mantra, “Fist come, first served” by descending down to a lawn where feed has been offered up.  A delay will undoubtably result in other birds “seizing the day.”  When breakfast has been negotiated the poet advocates airborne tenacity:  Stretch out your wings on the brightening sky.  Morning’s upon us.  Get ready to fly!  Chien’s overhead capture is an impressionist gem, featuring the metaphorical image of a bird sporting the wing span and tail of an airplane in a now busy sky of many other airborne creatures evoking Richard Bach’s line from his famed 1970 novella:  and the word for breakfast flock flashed through the air, till a thousand seagulls came to dodge and fight for bits of food.”  The artist makes lush use of saturated acrylic red and green projecting out from the flicked brown and tan cross strokes in a scene witness by the intrepid young girl and her inveterate canine.

For this Poetry Friday, I thought I'd post one of the poems that I had to cut from my THINGS TO DO manuscript:


Don’t YELL at me!
with a harsh metal voice
that makes my ears ring!
Don’t jolt me from my sleep
and start my day off wrong.
Sing me awake
with a soft morning song.


 Here are two reasons why I don't have much time to blog these days. My girls keep me busy!

Mary Lee has the POETRY FRIDAY ROUNDUP  over at A Year of Reading.