Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Helen Frost - Riddle me, Riddle me

Riddle me, Riddle me
Helen Frost

Riddle me, riddle me, what am I?
If you twist my arm
I’ll start to cry.
If you twist too hard
I’ll spit in your eye!
Riddle me, riddle me, what am I?

© Helen Frost. All rights reserved.

What??? You want the answer? OK, fine - it's a water fountain! I love this riddle from Helen Frost (part of an unpublished (why???!!!) collection called The Sun is a Golden Peacock). I love the imagery here, the personification, the humor and, yes, the riddlishness of it all, too. Personally, I've always found riddles hard to do, but she makes it look so easy and fun that I'm inspired. And for the record, my answer of "my second cousin when we were 8!" was accurate but, apparently, not the proper response.

It's no surprise to me that I think Helen Frost's riddle is fabulous. Truth is, I've pretty much had that reaction every time I've run into one of her books or poems, whether stand alone or part of a novel or collection. Her 2012 Lee Bennett Hopkins Award honor book, Hidden, for instance, works on so many levels... including hidden ones... and simply blew me away. And if you haven't seen and read her newest book, Step Gently Out (with photos by Rick Lieder), you really need to go find it today. Seriously. We'll be here when you get back. I could go on with more books, too, but instead, I'm just gonna say how overwhelmingly happy I am to have Helen Frost here today as part of 30 Poets/30 Days.

Yesterday, Michael J. Rosen gave us Unsung Dog Song. Tomorrow... Chocho Seeds by Margarita Engle! For more on 30 Poets/30 Days and ways to follow along, please click here.


Linda B said...

Wow, I wish I could write riddles like that, & that Helen would publish her book of them. I just ordered Hidden because of so much good talk about it. Thanks for sharing!

Robyn Hood Black said...

Thank you, Greg and Helen, for perking up Poetry Month with a riddle. I can't wait to read HIDDEN - huge fan of this amazing writer.

Liz Brownlee said...

Oooh, what fun, and very elegant! I am hopeless at riddles.

tanita✿davis said...

Hah! I would have thought some eight-year-old relative of mine, too. I am horrible at riddles, and loved them so as a kid.

Charles Waters said...

Glad you told me what the answer was because I wouldn't have guessed. Most excellent. Thanks for sharing!

Amy LV said...

What a great riddle poem! I will be sharing this one for SURE! And STEP GENTLY OUT is at the top of my list of books to get. Fabulous. Helen is inspiring. a.