Poetry Friday February 14th, 2020

Today's Valentine's edition of Poetry Friday is hosted  by Linda Bai at Teacher Dance. She is sharing some images of delightful vintage valentines. Don't forget to check out all the other bloggers posting today. 

I haven't been posting much lately. I wish I could claim that it was because I have been writing, but other than the odd fits and starts of poems, I have been otherwise occupied. I managed to read some poetry off and on - but even that has been sketchy.

Here is what I've been up to in the last little while.

I finally got around to reading SoccerVerse by Elizbeth Steinglass. This book received many accolades. Every review I read praised it to the moon. After that kind of a set up I figured it just couldn't live up to that kind of adulation.

I was wrong.

There are so many reasons to love this book.
It's about soccer, but it's also about living and playing together in harmony with different kinds of people.
It acknowledges that soccer is a universal sport played by boys and girls.
It brilliantly showcases a variety of different poetic forms.
It provides ideal mentor texts for teaching poetry.
Edson Ike's illustrations are the perfect companion to these words.
Ultimately it's just a wonderful collection of poems that happen to be soccer related!

Here are a few of my favourite bits:

From Uniform Day,

Anything would have been better than green--
green like a wobbly, soggy old bean.
I don't want to look cooked. I want to look mean.

And those reverse poems - Instructions to Field Players & The Goalkeeper. Just Wow!

Another poem that wowed me was that last bit from The Handshake

I don't want to shake her hand,
but I do
because I don't want to be her.

I've finished reading and rereading 16 Words: William Carlos Williams & "The Red Wheelbarrow" by Lisa Rogers and Chuck Groenink.
It's the author's interpretation of what might have motivated Williams to write his famous poem. Along the way we readers learn a lot about the poet's life as a doctor and author. It's beautifully written and illustrated. I especially appreciate that they highlight Williams' ability to notice and write about ordinary things and ordinary people. His gift, through choosing words so carefully, is to make them seem extraordinary. I love the way the art brings it all together. 

I'm also reading - bit by bit, When You Ask Me Where I'm Going by Jasmin Kaur, a local poet. This is intense adult verse. I read a bit, then leave it to sit for a while before returning to read another. I will do a full review when I am done.

Mrs Clause put a copy of The Best of Today's Little Ditty: 2017-2018 by Michelle Heidenrich Barnes in my stocking, and other than just browsing it, I haven't seriously gotten into it. I will soon!

My partner and I have been married 40+ years. Since It's Valentines Day, I'm sharing my all time favourite love poem by Amy Lowell. It is just right for us.


When you came, you were like red wine and honey,
And the taste of you burnt my mouth with its sweetness.
Now you are like morning bread,
Smooth and pleasant.
I hardly taste you at all for I know your savour,
But I am completely nourished.


  1. Cheriee, it is so good to read one of your posts again. Thanks for all the quick reviews and especially the one on SoccerVerse. Happy Valentine's Day to you. I read the Amy Lowell poem to my husband as a pre-Valentine treat. We have been married 43 years.

  2. Fun hearing about what you've been reading. I agree that both SoccerVerse and 16 Words are wonderful. And thanks for sharing the Amy Lowell poem (new to me). Perfect for my husband and me, too (married 42 years). :)

  3. I love both of these books. Liz has shown so many sides of soccer that I wish we'd had it when my son played. Now the granddaughters are into softball & gymnastics, no soccer in my life anymore. 16 words is a nice story of Williams' life & the entrance of that 'red wheelbarrel', isn't it? It's always fun to see some of the life of our beloved poets. And, Happy Anniversary on this special day, Cheriee. The love poem is just right for those who know and love each other all the years. Happy Valentine's Day!

  4. Thanks for sharing your reading. I am always hungry for reviews. Love the poem also... it is perfect. We will be 49 years this fall. I can't fathom it.

  5. I love Liz's book and you highlighted some of my favorite parts--those reversos (I echo your WOW!) and the lines from "The Handshake." I'm going to add 16 Words to my list. It sounds wonderful. Finally, I love the Amy Lowell poem you shared. Oh, that wonderful ending line.

  6. Happy Anniversary! I love your newsy catch-up post. Those busy, bother-y seasons just get in the WAY of writing, don't they. I've tried to convince myself that they are all for material gathering for future writing. I have not gotten to Soccerverse yet. I do have it on an order list. And, as soon as it comes in, it's MINE first. Love your reading, your writing and poem.

  7. Thanks for the recommendations! I'll add them to my list. "Otherwise occupied" applies here often, too--good thing I've got gaps between obligations!

  8. Welcome back! Happy Valentine's Day to you and your love! SoccerVerse and 16 Words are two of my recent favorites! There is no adult poetry in my stack at the moment...I need to change that!

  9. Hi Cheriee, great to read your post this morning. "Otherwise occupied" happens! I'm happy to hear Soccerverse met your high expectations. Knew it would. :) I hope you enjoy Best of TLD too. Thanks also for introducing me to 16 words and the Lowell poem. Best wishes to you and your 43-year Valentine!

  10. Thank you for this lovely Valentine to Soccerverse! I'm so happy you enjoyed it and wanted to share it.

  11. Thank you for this lovely post! And thank you for your comment on my blog. Things have calmed down some in Haiti. We are not in lockdown mode any more. But the underlying issues have not been resolved, and everyone is waiting for the other shoe to drop. The Miami Herald had two articles about Haiti this week, and of course neither was about anything good. Thanks so much for asking and caring!

  12. Cheriee, you may not be writing much, but it sounds like you've been very busy reading poetry. That counts, too:) Thanks for sharing your take on some books I'm familiar with, and som that I'm now looking forward to getting familiar with.

  13. Cheriee, I love your "Decade" poem, how beautifully we age, like a bottle of vintage wine…
    Thanks for sharing both of the two poetry books here, Liz's and the William Carlos Williams– and Jasmin Kaur's, it sounds like you have been busy reading Poetry!