Thursday, April 29, 2010

Liz Garton Scanlon - Reflecting

Liz Garton Scanlon

I’m your moody friend with a changing face
looking out from deep in space.

I’m peppermint candy, cold but sweet,
and lantern light on a sleepy street.

I’m not afraid of howling dogs,
I cut through morning’s thickest fogs.

I brighten baby’s lullaby
with a twinkle in my eye.

I conduct the ocean tides
and set the stage for midnight rides.

A calendar for keeping time –
sharp as a sword, round as a dime.

I tempt the astronauts each night
while I rob Sun of extra light.

Golden as an apple pie,
but twice as big and twice as high.

Waxing now but soon I’ll wane,
then always come around again.

Friend to possums, hungry bats,
spotlight for the prowling cats,

I share my shine, for what it’s worth,
with everyone upon the earth.

I’m your companion in the sky
but do you know me? Who am I?

© 2010 Liz Garton Scanlon. All rights reserved.

Liz Garton Scanlon teaches, writes poetry and picture books, and blogs (including a haiku a day this April to celebrate National Poetry Month) among other things. Her book All the World - for which illustrator Marla Frazee received a Caldecott Honor - came out last year and has ended up on, by my count, a skadillion end of the year/best book/award lists... and counting. And, if you've read it or heard it read aloud, you know why - it's a wonderful poem on its own yet it also serves as an incredible picture book text (a different beast entirely!). And it's wonderfully illustrated to boot. Yes, you should buy it. Of course! Give it to someone you love.

I noticed, as All the World was getting acclaim, that everywhere I looked - Twitter, the blogosphere, Facebook, email lists, etc. - people were really, genuinely happy for Liz. I mean, like really happy in a way that is more than just "good for you!" And I realized that felt it too... even though I was just a blog reader and one time co-Cybils judge who barely knew Liz. My theory is that it's because if you read her blog or All the World or her poetry, you're confronted with a love of life, family, nature, and constant dollops of hope. It's infectious in the best way, says my theory, and you root for more of it. Whatever it may be, I also love her writing - her observations (look at how many ways she could describe the moon!), her use of language, her sense of humor. All that is why I can state as a fact, not a theory, that I'm thrilled to have Liz Garton Scanlon here as part of 30 Poets/30 Days.

Yesterday, we saw Listen/Escucha by Francisco X. Alarcón. Tomorrow... Walking by Walter Dean Myers! For more on 30 Poets/30 Days and ways to follow along, please click here.


Mary Lee said...

I love that I DIDN'T know at first and then at the point when I did, I got to re-read with new eyes! Very fun!!

jama said...

What a fine, fine poem! She's such an amazing poet. :)

Sara said...

Oh, lovely. I was admiring the "round as a dime" "calendar for keeping time" this morning at 6:00 am!

Lisa Gail Green said...

Such a beautiful book! And such a lovely poem! Ooh! I know what it is! I know what it is! :)

Sarah Stevenson said...

Really a wonderful poem! It makes the moon feel sort of...mischievous. Thanks, Liz and Greg.

Jane Heitman Healy said...

What a fun riddle for adults & kids to share! Thanks!

Amy L V said...

There's a magic in this one. I love how it's a riddle, but a mystical riddle.

Liz in Ink said...

Greg... You are too, too kind to me. Thank you for inviting me, for posting the poem, and for the niceness with which you did. Sheesh, some gals have all the luck.

Your April has been quite something...
Thanks, Liz

tanita✿davis said...

This is such a fun poem -- the comparison with the peppermint got me -- cold, but sweet. Exactly.

"Exactly," is also my response to how you characterize the poet. Having never met her, how do I like her so much? And yet, I do, for all the reasons that you shared.

She's just awesome like that.

Anonymous said...

This one has to go in a collection for sure so I can start handing it to the kids here at the library.

laurasalas said...

Catching up now on some April reading--love this clever poem by Liz! My favorite lines:

A calendar for keeping time –
sharp as a sword, round as a dime.

So crisp, and with unexpected comparisons. Fabulous!