Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Liz Garton Scanlon - Word of Mouth

Word of Mouth
Liz Garton Scanlon

Teach a new dog
some old tricks –
rolling over,
chasing sticks.

Judge a cover
by its book –
how it reads
should be its look.

Compare the apples
to each other
(but not your father
to your mother).

Eat your cake
but not your words.
Trim the bushes,
catch the birds.

So many rules
could drop you dead
without good shoulders
for your head!

© 2011 Liz Garton Scanlon. All rights reserved.

Luckily for us, Liz Garton Scanlon not only has a good head on her shoulders, but she puts good words down on paper, too. Here she's playing around with an idiom poem and creating something that, dare I say it, is greater than the sum of its idiomatic parts. I love the turns of phrase and admit that I could read that second stanza endlessly! Good times, indeed.

I happen to love the poetry in the words Liz chooses, no matter what she's writing. After the wonderful success of All the World (which, when she was last here, was in the process of winning a skadillion awards), she's come out with Noodle & Lou, a very different story, all about friendship, but so clearly with that same ability to find the right words and put 'em in the right order. (Over at her blog, by the way, Liz is posting a haiku (or haibun) every day of April - well worth a read). Without putting on my fanboy hat too much, I'll just close by saying how happy I am to have Liz Garton Scanlon here again as part of 30 Poets/30 Days. 

We started the day with Jorge Argueta's Las Dos Piedritas/Two Little Stones. Tomorrow kicks off with Mystery Flower by Ralph Fletcher! For more information on 30 Poets/30 Days and how to follow along, please click here.


tanita✿davis said...

I love seeing poets I KNOW on here - and I love Liz's poetry so much. This sounds like a simple rhyme, but it definitely says more than the sum of its sayings!

Charles Waters said...

Must meet her in the future ... must meet her in the future. Such a lean poem, she made every word count!!!