Habia una vez; Cuentos tradicionales latinoamericanos by Rueben Martinex, Illustrated by Raul Colon. HarperColins, 2010. (Review copy) This charming bilingual collection of folktales will entertain adults and children alike. Stories from Spain and Latin America are retold side by side in Spanish and English. Characters such as a vain rooster, foolish coyote, sweet and lovable cockroach and a couple michevious fellows will delight readers. The illustrations by Raul Colon, who also illustrated Frank McCourt's Angela and the Baby Jesus, are vibrant and rich with color and detail. This volume would be idea for bilingual families and schools. I am recommending it to our school Spanish teacher to use in her classes with elementary students. Marinez is the founder of the bookstore Librería Martinez in Santa Ana, California. He is also the co-founder of the Latino Book Festival.
Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.
Now, of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.
And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room,
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.
-A. E. Housman
My cherries are about to burst into bloom. National Poetry Month is about to start. The Kidlitosphere is getting geared up to celebrate with all kinds of poetry type posts; more to come on that in a few days! I have been busy with my school library work, grad school work and family fun as my youngest turns five. Time to slow down and plan to leave some empty time just for gazing at cherry blossoms, wandering the garden among the daffodils and roasting marshmallows over the backyard firepit on those long lingering spring evenings...
Buddy, my 7 year old, has begun to play "Ode to Joy" on the piano. He started taking lessons last summer. All week long, as he practices, the lyrics have been running through my head. I'm thinking of the poem "Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee", written by Henry Van Dyke in 1907. He meant it to be sung to the melody from Beethoven's 9th Symphony, commonly called "Ode to Joy". Here's the first verse:
"Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee, God of glory, Lord of love;
Hearts unfold like flowers before Thee,
Opening to their sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness,
Drive the dark of doubt away;
Giver of immortal gladness, Fill us with the light of day."
Read the rest here. It seems to go perfectly well with the burst of lovely Spring weather we've had this week. Hearts are unfolding like flowers all over the place!
In the movie Sister Act II the choir sings it this way:
Doesn't that make you want to jump up and dance with joy? We are out celebrating Spring for all we are worth over here! The rest of the Friday Poetry celebration is over at Some Novel Ideas. Enjoy your weekend!
I've been inspired again by my Poetry Sisters - six amazing poet women who keep challenging each other to try new forms and test new poetic waters. Roundeau Redouble is a form I've never attempted before. It tremendously difficult! It sounds simple enough; six stanzas with a simple rhyme where stanzas two through six repeat a line from the first stanza. (Kelly explains it better.) The key is to write a really kicking first stanza. That's where I spent most of my time struggling. I've been revising it right up to the last minute. But it's time to t publish! Click over to Tanita Davis, Kelly Fineman, Sara Lewis Holmes,Laura Purdie Salas and Liz GartonScanlon's blogs to read their poems for the full effect. (Trisha is taking some time out on this round.) And stop by Danika at the TeachingBooks.net for the Friday Poetry Round up. Enjoy your weekend - spring is coming!
A note about the flower pictured: snowdrops (galanthus) are a late winter/early spring bulb that flower in February or March in my neighborhood. This year they were covered with snow until just recently, but i have some in my yard in bloom today. They are known to actually produce a heat in the growing tips of green, which melts the frozen ground and snow and ice in order for them to push out and grow. Amazing, don't you think?
A bud's a precious hopeful thing.
A sword of tender heat cuts bones of snow;
drawn as the tide of mud screams "spring"!
Come weary children; shelter in its glow.
Ancient seed, defeat the cold and grow;
far spheres new circles start as petals fling
rough ice from raging fire drawn deep & low.
A bud's a precious hopeful thing
as bold as red that flashes on the wing.
Relentless though the winds still blow,
light's longer days each leaf will bring.
A sword of tender heat cuts bones of snow.
Do not despair, trust what the feathers know.
Slow shifting in the heavens; bright bells ring
announcing melting ice. Cracked crystals flow,
drawn as the tide of mud screams "spring"!
Come round this fire and jingle in its bling!
God's surging glory all their jangles show.
The blossoms' brazen throats in chorus sing.
Come weary children; shelter in it's glow.
Let's linger on the path, our footsteps slow -
reset our cadence to the snowdrop's swing
receive the blessing of this fragile row
to this wild hope our hungry hearts still cling.
Come weary children!