Thursday, April 01, 2010

Alice Schertle - Triolets That Trouble My Sleep

That Trouble My Sleep
    Alice Schertle

Does a tree make a sound
if there’s nobody there
when it falls to the ground?
Does a tree make a sound?
The question’s profound—
but why do I care
if a tree makes a sound
when there’s nobody there?

Was it the chicken
or egg that came first?
I feel my pulse quicken—
was it the chicken?
Now I am stricken
with doubt. I am cursed!
Was it the chicken
or egg that came first?

I ponder each riddle
that troubles my sleep.
Thumbs all a-twiddle
I ponder each riddle
ensnared in the middle
of “timber!” and “peep!”
I ponder each riddle
that troubles my sleep.

© 2010 Alice Schertle. All rights reserved.

Alice Schertle "pens poetry anointed with magic," says Rebecca Kai Dotlich. To which I reply, "Yes! What she said!" For me, a lot of that magic comes from her ability to make me look at things from a different (often quirky) angle. Take the above poem - I laugh at the ideas, relish the phrasing, connect with the emotion of the "I" in the poem, wonder why we ever ask those question... and totally forget that I'm reading a triolet (a form that stymies me time and again). All that in 24 short lines!

If you haven't already had the pleasure, you should find one of Alice's books and read it aloud. If you can gather up some kids to listen to you, that's great, but even if you can't, you should give it a go. I'm particularly fond of Very Hairy Bear (illustrated by Matt Phelan), but you can grab anything she's done and you'll have a blast. Is it magic or simply incredible talent? You be the judge, because either way, I'm thrilled to have Alice Schertle leading off the 2010 edition of 30 Poets/30 Days.

Coming up tomorrow, Bear Path by Joseph Bruchac as we continue on into April. For more on 30 Poets/30 Days and ways to follow along, please click here.


jon said...

A fine start -- thanks Alice for the triolets. Hopefully they won't trouble my sleep tonight :-)

Looking forward to the next 29!


mbpbooks said...

Lovely. A bouquet of violets for Alice's triolets.

Anonymous said...

Happy National Poetry Month! Thanks for this puzzling poem to kick things off.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this. Read it out loud and it was delightful! It would be fun to have kids come up with other un-ponderable ponderables!

Happy NPM:)

Elaine Magliaro said...

I LOVE Alice's poetry! What a great triple triolet. It should be published in a book.

One thing that's sad: A number of Alice's wonderful poetry books are now out of print.

Happy Poetry Month, Gregory! I'm looking forward to reading all the poems that will be posted here during April.

Lisa Gail Green said...

Now THAT is an awesome poem!!! Thank you! Can't wait for tomorrow!

Anonymous said...

What a fun read! Thank you for kicking off the month with Alice Schertle's triolets!

In the spirit of Poetry Month--working those poetry muscles--I tried my hand at a triolet this morning. With apologies to Alice Schertle, but with thanks for the inspiration!

Thank you, Greg, at GottaBook
A month for us to savor!
What a feast, your reading nook!
Thank you, Greg, at GottaBook
Each poet guest, a master cook!
Each day, a different flavor!
Thank you, Greg, at GottaBook
A month for us to savor!

Megan Frances Abrahams said...

I felt my pulse quicken too - just delightful.
Happy Poetry Month!

Brimful Curiosities said...

Thanks for a wonderful and creative introduction to triolets. I greatly enjoyed this first 30 Days post.

Marilyn Singer said...

Love these--and love Alice's work!

Irene Latham said...

What fun! Makes me want to grab a pen. Thanks so much!

Anonymous said...

I, also, forgot I was reading a triolet (they scare me just a wee bit.) What a fun poem to read out loud and I'm putting it in my school packet to share.

Looks like you're off to a great start!

(and seeing your post reminded me to go make myself an icon for the month)

Mary Lee said...

Great start for the month! Can't wait for the next 29 days/poets/poems to come!

Cathy C. Hall said...

April already? Must be time to read a month full of lovely poems at Gottabook. (Thanks!)

Jules at 7-Imp said...

Oh how fortuitous that I came here. I interviewed Joyce Sidman today, and she praises the work of Alice Schertle. (To that I say: Word. She's very talented.)

Looking forward to your posts this month!

tanita✿davis said...

I love this. I ponder the triolets -- what a fun way to make a riddle!

David LaRochelle said...

Thank you Alice, and Greg, for introducing me to triolets. I'm looking forward to seeing all the exciting poems (and poets) that will appear here over the next month!

Unknown said...

Wonderful sound. Thanks for the strong recommendation. I will look for some of her books.

And a poetry lesson as well. I am not familiar with the term "triolet" so I felt a bit like I was back in English Lit class.

Unknown said...

Thank you, Greg, what fun to be on GottaBook and what an honor to have started the ball rolling and the words flowing on the first. I love reading a splendid new poem each morning--can't wait until tomorrow.

Thanks everyone for the lovely comments and to Martha for the terrific triolet!
Happy April--