Sunday, April 17, 2011

Joyce Sidman - Mudbath, Interrupted

Mudbath, Interrupted
Joyce Sidman

In the middle
          of the puddle
in your black-and-orange jacket!
Look at you,
sunk in chocolate water,
a tiny lettuce on your head.
You squirm when I lift you,
a hard wet sandwich
with tense, tickling claws.
          don’t you know it’s raining out?
          Are you smiling?

© 2011 Joyce Sidman. All rights reserved.

Since last she was in these parts, not much has happened with Joyce Sidman's books... well, other than her Dark Emperor & Other Poems of the Night (illustrated by Rick Allen) receiving a 2011 NEWBERY HONOR (and being a Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award Honor Book and being a Cybils finalist and and and). Oh, yeah, her book Ubiquitous, also out last year, was also a Cybils finalist. And her Red Sings from Treetops received a Caldecott honor for illustrator Pamela Zagarenski. But other than that, not much has happened with her books.

I find her poetry makes me see what she wants me to see, gets reactions I was never expecting to give, and makes me want to join Red and sing from treetops telling others to grab her books and celebrate... so I guess the attention her poetry receives is no surprise. Still, it's fantastic to see... just as it's fantastic to have Joyce Sidman here as part of 30 Poets/30 Days.

Yesterday ended with James Carter's go, poem. Up next, Ann Whitford Paul with Caterpillar! For more information on 30 Poets/30 Days and how to follow along, please click here.


Mary Lee said...

I'll add this turtle poem to my favorites, and it will sit on my memory shelf with Kay Ryan's "Turtle."

jama said...

Such a sweet, and in many ways, delicious poem. The tiny lettuce on the head is just so endearing :).

Anonymous said...

Love this, so cute. What a successful lady! And I can't wait to read Ann Whitford Paul's poem. I love her book Writing Picture Books.

Julie said...

Rome has its own litte turtles at the Fontana delle Tartarughe (Fountain of the Turtles)and they used to give me the same little shiver of delight each time I saw them as this poem did. Joyce's success is well-deserved, she's a real artist, never lazy, always attentive to craft. What I most appreciate is her ability to show people what good friends poetry and non-fiction are. I'm beginning to have a Joyce Sidman Shelf in my picture-book bookcase! Thanks to both Joyce and Greg for this posting.

Charles Waters said...

Another poet who is as nice as she is talented. Sidman forever!!!!!

laurasalas said...

I'm a huge Joyce Sidman fan, and this turtle poem shows why. Beautiful language, fact effortlessly interwoven with mood and perfect word choice, and details that put me right in that moment. And, as Jama pointed out, endearing! Who else could make a turtle endearing?!

Rita said...

Oh. Everyone else has said what I wanted to say, including Greg: "gets reactions I was never expecting to give." This poem is a delightful. I am a huge fan of Red Sings From the Treetops and my husband was blown away by Ubiquitous. Can't wait to look up Dark Emperor!!

Thanks for sharing!!

Elaine Magliaro said...


I love Joyce's poem of address to a turtle. Joyce is one of my poet idols. Everything she writes is golden.