Monday, April 02, 2012

Kalli Dakos - The Northern Lights

The Northern Lights
Kalli Dakos

The northern lights
put on a show
in the polar sky.
They pranced,
they danced,
kept us entranced,
a whirlwind up high.

The colors streamed
in blues and greens
with rosy red rays.
They lit the night
with wild light
across the Milky Way.

We couldn’t run.
We couldn’t play.
We couldn’t even speak.
In a daze,
we just gazed
till our legs went weak.

we heard the bell,
to call us back inside.
We didn’t move.
We were glued,
to the wonders in the sky!

© Kalli Dakos. All rights reserved.

I believe that Kalli Dakos is the first Canadian poet to be part of 30 Poets/30 Days, though she won't be the last. Of course, I read her poetry for a long time not knowing where she was from - all I knew was that I was very glad to have her books around.

What I've always loved about Kalli Dakos' poems is that they can make me laugh but also go to deeper, unexpected places. Take The Northern Lights, part of a collection called Recess In The Dark about, well, you can guess. And this is what's so fun for me - it had never crossed my mind that way up north, at certain times of the school year, it's dark all day long. So, of course kids have their recess in the dark... although sometimes with a light show.

To me, that sounds like an amazing experience, and I love that this poem makes me see it both as part of a regular day AND something utterly amazing, too. That's the type of surprise I'm used to when reading a Kalli Dakos' book, and it's one reason I'm so happy to have her here as part of 30 Poets/30 Days.

Yesterday, Allan Wolf gave us The Greatest Nation on Earth. Tomorrow... The Secretive Subtractor by Steven Withrow! For more on 30 Poets/30 Days and ways to follow along, please click here.


Catherine Johnson said...

Beautiful poem and those books look very funny, thanks for sharing!

tanita✿davis said...

Ooh. I like this one. I went to Iceland in December to see the Northern Lights, and there were none out - but the silence of a group of people staring into the sky, searching... was amazing either way.

violet said...

I'm from Canada... and grew up in Saskatchewan where the northern lights played across the snow often in winter. This poem reminds me of one night in February when I was little--a night the sky was alive with green dancers. It felt like a visitation.

Love this poem. Thanks for introducing me to Kalli Dakos.

Linda B said...

We have a new head of school this year, from Alaska. I'll share this with him, Greg. How great is that, to have the northern lights at recess! Thanks for telling us about this, plus books too!

Renee LaTulippe said...

Ooh, how lovely! I'd never thought about recess in the dark either - what a neat experience. These titles sound delightful. Thanks so much for the intro to Kalli -- looking forward to reading more.

Cathy said...

Makes me want to go sit on my back patio and gaze at the sky.

Liz Brownlee said...

Wow - I would love to see the northern lights. An ambition, it's good to have those! Enjoyed your poem, Kalli.

Leslie Bulion said...

I love this--the form, the images, and the idea of having recess in the dark! So fun!

Charles Waters said...

I adore Kalli's children's poems, I use to perform one of hers called ODE TO A TOE when I toured with Poetry Alive but this one is really something else, loved the words "polar sky".

Amy LV said...

Kalli has such a lighthearted joyfulness in her poetry, and the next time we see the Northern Lights here (and we do sometimes near Buffalo, NY) I will think of this poem. The concept of "recess in dark" is fantastic! a.