Friday, January 22, 2010

Poetry Friday: Liz Garton Scanlon

She's going to hate this.

 Liz Garton Scanlon is hosting Poetry Friday today---her first time---and I can't help doing what I'm about to do. I'm afraid every soul in the universe isn't reading her blog, Liz in Ink. Isn't collecting the exquisitely bundled gift of words she so casually leaves for her readers there---calling it a "post" but truly, they are unmarked poems.

For a taste, see her thoughts about the month she wrote daily haiku or her rumination "Is it Enough?" about motherhood or her frontline reports of authorial adventures during school visits.

And then there is her poetry. I hate describing a poet's work---it's like those goofy wine descriptions where everything is plummy or with hints of peppercorn or notes of sweet wheatgrass. Let's just drink a Liz poem, shall we?

by Liz Garton Scanlon
It is nearly impossible  -- impossible --
to recognize the difference
between dog and bear
in the transmuting dark
and the long croony whistle of a train
sounds so much like moo
as to be four-legged and lonesome

A sock looks like a hat
but doesn’t fit and isn’t
a pear looks like an apple
apple sounds like happy
and is

the rest is here, along with more loveliness than you can handle in one day.

Poke about her archives. Subscribe to her posts. If you wish, read my interview with her. Make a friend of Liz in Ink.

The gathering-in of Poetry Friday posts is here.


  1. You rebel you! Thanks for sharing this lovely poem.

  2. A most worthy subject for a post. :)

  3. Oh, thanks! I know very well the joys of visiting her blog, but I somehow missed that poem. Wonderful.

  4. Just what I needed today. Thanks.

  5. Lordamercy, girl! What possessed you???? I don't know that I deserve one whit of this -- I'm blushing! But thank you thank you thank you and please hurry down here so I can thank you in person!

  6. I do love Liz in Ink, always something lovely, inspiring, and emotional to take away. I'm in awe of how she accomplishes this in such a small space. Her posts are prose poems.

  7. She hasn't sent any flaming arrows my way. Yet.

    I love this poem. Especially the line

    "a pear looks like an apple/
    apple sounds like happy/
    and is"

    How can you read that without smiling?

  8. Yup I love those apple/pear lines, and also:

    "A sock looks like a hat
    but doesn’t fit and isn’t"

    Mmm hmmm...
    I can think about that a long time.

    Thanks for sharing Liz in Ink with us!

  9. You can't read that without smiling. I liked the interview, too -- the idea of poetry coming from both the body and the mind. Thanks, Sara, as always.

  10. That is just one of my favorite Liz poems in life. I am always fed and refreshed from her thoughts during the day. Some friendships just ... pay you. You know?

  11. One of the coolest school librarians in the town where I work was in the library the other day, and she started telling me about how she's been sharing the big award-winning books with her students. She'd been reading All the World to all of her classes in particular this week, and she said she had been worried that the children might miss the power of the poetry in the book because of Frazee's stunning illustrations. So what she did was start out by asking the children to close their eyes while she read the text, asking them to visualize what they were hearing. They then talked about what they saw, and then she'd read the book the traditional way--page by page with the pictures. I thought, "Well, that is exactly right." Then I said, "You know, Liz is a blog friend of mine, and she is awesome. Here is the address of her blog. You should read it."

    This librarian--who must have twenty years on me--also told me that I need to get with the program and get on Twitter. I really do like her.


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