Friday, October 19, 2012

Halloween Poetry

The website of The Academy of American Poets has a special section devoted to Halloween. It features poems about ghosts, haunted houses, vampires, and the underworld. It even includes suggestions for poet costumes.

Here are two poems to share on Halloween--one from William Shakespeare and one from my friend, children's poet David McCord.

Macbeth, Act IV, Scene I [Round about the cauldron go]
by William Shakespeare
The three witches, casting a spell
Round about the cauldron go;  
In the poison’d entrails throw.  
Toad, that under cold stone   
Days and nights hast thirty one  
Swelter’d venom sleeping got,  
Boil thou first i’ the charmed pot.  
     Double, double toil and trouble;
     Fire burn and cauldron bubble.  
Fillet of a fenny snake,  
In the cauldron boil and bake;  
Eye of newt, and toe of frog,  
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,  
Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting,  
Lizard’s leg, and howlet’s wing,  
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.  
     Double, double toil and trouble;  
     Fire burn and cauldron bubble. 
Scale of dragon, tooth of wolf,            
Witches’ mummy, maw and gulf        
Of the ravin’d salt-sea shark,              
Root of hemlock digg’d i’ the dark,   
Liver of blaspheming Jew,     
Gall of goat, and slips of yew             
Sliver’d in the moon’s eclipse,            
Nose of Turk, and Tartar’s lips,          
Finger of birth-strangled babe              
Ditch-deliver’d by a drab,   
Make the gruel thick and slab:            
Add thereto a tiger’s chaudron,          
For the ingredients of our cauldron.
     Double, double toil and trouble;  
     Fire burn and cauldron bubble. 


Mr. Macklin's Jack O'Lantern
by David McCord
Mr. Macklin takes his knife
And carves the yellow pumpkin face:
Three holes bring eyes and nose to life,
The mouth has thirteen teeth in place.
Then Mr. Macklin just for fun
Transfers the corn-cob pipe from his
Wry mouth to Jack's, and everyone
Dies laughing! O what fun it is
Till Mr. Macklin draws the shade
And lights the candle in Jack's skull.
You can read the rest of the poem here.
Irene Latham has the Poetry Friday Roundup at Live Your Poem...



Friday, October 12, 2012

Autumn Fire: A Memoir Poem & Book Winners Announcement


One of the things I remember most about the autumns of my childhood is the scent of burning leaves. I miss that today. The following poem is based on my memory of a time I spent with two of my cousins at my grandparents’ house. We raked up a pile of autumn leaves and sat on wooden crates watching—and smelling—the leaves burn at dusk on a cool October day.

By Elaine Magliaro

Two tall maple trees grow
in front of my grandparents’ house.
In late October
they shed their golden crowns.
When the fallen leaves
curl up like little brown bear cubs,
we rake them into a pile
at the side of the street.
As dusk arrives
Dzidzi sets our harvest afire
with a single match.
We sit on wooden crates
at the sidewalk’s edge,
watch the brittle leaves
blossom into golden flames,
smell autumn’s pungent breath.
From the pyre summer rises,
a small gray ghost,
and drifts away
into the darkening sky.


The Poetry Friday Roundup is at Teaching Young Writers.


The three winners of Janet Wong’s book Declaration of Interdependence: Poems for an Election year are Gretchen, Bridget Wilson, and vezenimost. Congratulations to all of you!

Note to the winners: Please email me your names and addresses and I will send the books off to you.


Saturday, October 6, 2012

BOOK GIVEAWAY--Declaration of Interdependence: Poems for an Election Year by Janet Wong

Declaration of Interdependence would be an excellent book to use in a middle grade classroom to spark a discussion about this year’s presidential election, voting and voting rights, electoral votes, and choosing a candidate—and a great way to integrate poetry and social studies!

Here’s one of the poems from the book:
Make Your Ballot Count
By Janet Wong

Darken the circles completely
(neatly, not outside the lines).

If you don’t know what to do
ask the helpers (follow the signs).

When you punch the holes, be firm
(no worm-like hanging chad).

When your vote is done,
your vote is gone.

A wrong vote? That’s too bad.
A wasted vote: so sad.

BOOK GIVEAWAY: I have three copies of Declaration of Interdependence (kindness of Janet Wong) to give away. If you’d like to have a chance to win a copy of the book, all you have to do is to leave a comment on this post. I’ll enter the names of all those who comment into a drawing and announce the names of the winners next Friday.

Be sure to visit Janet’s The Declaration of Interdependence Blog.

About the blog: This community is dedicated to exploring topics raised in DECLARATION OF INTERDEPENDENCE: Poems for an Election Year by me (Janet Wong). In this book, you'll find topics such as liberty, the election, voting rights of kids, how to choose a president, the electoral vote, and more. Thanks for stopping by, and please jump in with your comments. Whether you're 9 years old or 90, we want to know what you're thinking!



Friday, October 5, 2012

THE SOUND OF FALL: An Original Animal Mask Poem

I wrote the first draft of the following animal mask poem last month. I kept fiddling with it over the weeks. I felt it needed a couple more lines—but hit a wall. Then, when I was in bed the other night, two lines just popped into my head.

Here is my most recent draft of that poem--which is told in the voice of migrating geese:

By Elaine Magliaro

So long…farewell. We’re on our way.
We must depart. We can’t delay
Our journey to a warmer clime.
Mother Nature warned: “It’s time!”
We’re heading south before the snow…
And winter winds begin to blow.
We leave you with our parting call—
Honk! Honk! Honk!
THAT’S the sound of fall.


Laura Purdie Salas has the Poetry Friday Roundup at Writing the World for Kids.

P.S. Check out Laura’s terrific collection of poems about books and reading, BookSpeak! It would be an excellent book to share with elementary students.