Thursday, 13 December 2018

Look no further. Poetry Friday is here this week. Mr. Linky will gladly take your coat … I mean link.

Welcome, winter wordsmiths!

Early birds, thanks for letting me know that Mr. Linky was misbehaving. He’s all fixed and ready for your links.

I was at the National Press Club Author Night and Book Fair in Washington, DC last month and had the great good luck to bump into an old friend, Jona Colson.

Jona and I met several years ago at the (now defunct) Gettysburg Review Conference for Writers. We were in a week-long workshop, studying with Sydney Wade. Magical.

Jona’s first collection of poetry is out. Said Through Glass won the 2018 Jean Feldman Poetry Prize and is available through Washington Writers Publishing House.

I selected one of the poems, “The Orange Speaks,” for Little Patuxent Review back in my editor days. But I’m sharing a seasonal poem today, filled with winter imagery to savor.

By Jona Colson

There is a promise in its lattice light,

its sway and spiral in white fury, falling

granular glint and glimmer, the way I’m brought

to the window following flakes in mid-flight.

There is a need to draw my name in its wet slate,

the terrible urge to disappear

into its folds, the slide and sunder of ice

and sphere, the hasty crush under heavy foot

as I raise it to my mouth—savor of sky,

of wood-fire, edged with anise and brume.


Published with permission of the author.

Jona says of this poem, “It’s not surprising that this poem started during a snowstorm. I remember walking to my window in DC and following the huge flakes down to the street.  Writing the poem took me back to my childhood days in Maryland when snow was mystical and anticipated. The poem sat for years in my computer before I started to send it out; it took a long time for it to find its form.”

What are your favorite winter poems, or poems about snow? Let us know in the comments. Please use Mr. Linky and let us know where to find your Poetry Friday post.

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50 responses to “Poetry Friday is here!”

  1. Happy Poetry Friday! I do love posting early. Thank you for the chance and for hosting. ‘Snow’ is lovely. The words that take me in are terrible urge to disappear. There is something a bit dangerous there in the pretty.
    This week, I am sharing cookies, halibuts and winter poem swap treats at A Word Edgewise. It really worked out well that you are hosting and your gifts are center stage in the post. Cheers, Laura!

    • Laura Shovan says:

      Yes — I remember that urge from childhood, the idea that you could build a fort in the snow and disappear, right in front of your own home. Glad you’re enjoying the Berger cookies, Linda!

  2. What a magical winter poem you’ve shared with us Laura–I’m particularly drawn to Jona’s ending
    “of wood-fire, edged with anise and brume”–there’s so much imagery in this last line. Thanks for sharing his poem and new book. And thanks too for hosting the Roundup this week! A winter poem hasn’t come to mind but with winter I always and will always love William Steig’s “Brave Irene.”

    • Laura Shovan says:

      I agree! That word “brume” is such an evocative ending. I haven’t read “Brave Irene” in years. I’ll go back to check it out!

  3. […] find the full round-up of poetry-packed posts at Laura Shovan’s blog. Or you can stay and play with SavvyCat … who really does have the twitchiest […]

  4. Kathryn Apel says:

    A taste of snow! It brings back distant memories of my one white Christmas, about 20 years ago, in Holland, Michigan. (I too am tantalised by that unexpected ending.)

    I don’t think I’ve got the linky working (I can’t see any links – and if I posted any, it’s probably with the wrong link, because it kept defaulting to my previous post/link-up) but I’m sneaking in with some cat-in-boxes pics and a poem. (

    • Laura Shovan says:

      Thanks for letting me know, Kat. I’m trying to fix it. Glad you left your link in the comments!

      • Kathryn Apel says:

        Just letting you know that you fixed it now, Laura. My link just posted. 🙂 (And thank-you for hosting! Hope the rest of the round-up is stress-less. xx)

        • Laura Shovan says:

          Wonderful! Thanks so much for being patient, Kat. I really appreciate all of you early birds for testing the system.

  5. Hi, Laura – Thanks for hosting! Is it just me or is Mr. Linky not working? Probably me, and if I entered several links, please forgive me and get rid of the duplicates! :0! My silly, lighthearted post this week is here:

    Thank you for sharing this beautifully crafted poem. Exquisite language, and dense – like snow.

  6. jama says:

    Such a lovely poem. Will have to get a copy of Jona’s book!

    For my final post of 2018, I’m sharing an ABC poem and a recipe for Christmas Coffee Cake.

    Thanks so much for hosting this week, Laura!

  7. Hi Laura, Nice to see you again after meeting you for breakfast with Margaret @ NCTE in Houston. This poem is beautiful. It requires a few re-reads (at least for me!) to fully take it all in. Having lived in the DC area for one winter, and comparing it to my upbringing in snowy northwest Montana, I can understand his desire to write a poem upon witnessing the falling snow in a place not known for a wintry climate. His line “There is a need to draw my name in its wet slate,” takes me back to long bus rides to middle school on cold winter days.

    • Laura Shovan says:

      Hi, Dani! Lovely to see you too. That line strikes me too. When snow erases all, don’t we want to say “I am here”?

  8. Linda Baie says:

    We’ve had one brief snow, still waiting for more. I am drawn to Jona’s idea of that “terrible urge to disappear/into its folds”. I love being out, walking, cleaning off my car, shoveling. It is a lush poem, Laura. I like Wallace Stevens “The Snow Man” & the childhood favorite is A.A. Milne’s “The More It Snows (Tiddely pom)” Thanks for hosting!

    • Jona Colson says:

      So glad you enjoyed my poem. Wallace Stevens is one of my favorite poems of all time, and his “The Snow Man” is always on the top of my list for winter.

    • Laura Shovan says:

      Thanks for sharing these favorites, Linda. I need to reread both those poems. Yes — I can hear the rhythm of those Tiddely poms!

  9. Thank you for hosting! That poem is lovely. Thank you for sharing.

  10. I’m always interested in the inspiration for a poem, so I’m glad to read about this one. I especially enjoyed the alliteration. Karla Kuskin has a series of wonderful snow and winter poems in Moon, Have You Met My Mother? One of my all-time favorites is “Under my hood I have a hat.”

  11. Alan Wright says:

    Thank you for sharing Jona’s Snow poem Laura. The seasons are a constant inspiration to poets and Jona’s words add truth to this belief. As we Aussies enter our summer, it serves as a reminder of where we were a few months back. Thank you for hosting.

    • Laura Shovan says:

      Snow is ubiquitous this time of year. Even in warmer climates, it’s become part of the pop culture around Christmas. I’m glad you chimed in with a southern-hemisphere POV, Alan.

  12. Alan Wright says:

    My first comment just suddenly evaporated…
    Thank you Laura for sharing Jona’s poem, Snow. Seasonal themes never lose their appeal for poets and Jona captured the spirit of wintertime with his words. Thank you for hosting this week’s roundup.

  13. Good morning, Laura! I know Jona through other lines of connection and I preordered his book to enjoy right away–and now I can say what I’ve been meaning to write to him: what a book. This poem is a perfect example of what I’ve been finding elsewhere in it, a gorgeous layer of craft overneath a “promise in its lattice light” of something equally gorgeous but less beautiful pooling under like groundwater. There is nothing hasty in this writing:

    “the slide and sunder of ice

    and sphere, the hasty crush under heavy foot”. Wow.
    Hey, let’s us Marylanders get together!

  14. Oh the sounds in this poem! I will copy Jona’s lines into my notebook today, knowing they will help me love our long winter here in Western New York. Just beautiful. Thank you for hosting today, Laura, and for your voice in the world. xx

  15. Tabatha says:

    Jona’s poem makes me dream of a bit of snow, some of that “lattice light” and “savor of sky.” Thanks for hosting, Laura!

  16. Alan Wright says:

    Thank you for bringing Jona’s poem to our attention Laura. The shivering season is upon you all in the northern hemisphere as we in Australia braced for a hot dry summer. It is a little incongruous. Seasons are always a favourite focus for poets and Jona has delivered us his best seasonal words. Thank you also for hosting.

  17. Diane Mayr says:

    Thanks to you and Jona for sharing one of my personal favorite experiences–discovering it’s snowing! Unfortunately, after the first hour or so, I’m done with it. Shoveling is one of my least favorite experiences.

    As for other snow poems, nothing beats Robert Frost’s “Dust of Snow.”

  18. […] (If it rhymes, even better!) And for all of today’s poetry links and fun, be sure to stop by Laura Shovan’s blog, where she is hosting Poetry […]

  19. Love his poem, Laura – the imagery, the sound, the texture…beautiful. Thanks for hosting today!

  20. Irene Latham says:

    Thanks Laura for rounding us up and for sharing Jona’s poem. I love that lattice in the very first line! I guess I would have to go with Frost’s “Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening.” We get snow so seldom here… we like to romanticize it. 🙂 xo

  21. This poem draws me to my window, wishing for snow, but captivated by the brume. Thanks for the words to savor this morning!

  22. […] Poetry Friday–time to share some poems! This week’s host is Laura Shovan–Thanks, Laura! If you want to see what other poetry people are sharing, check out her blog. I love […]

  23. What a lovely poem about snow! I do love to watch the snow fall–and to feel them fall, too. It’s lovely to contemplate on this cold, rainy, foggy day!
    And thanks for hosting.

  24. Susan Bruck says:

    What a lovely poem about snow! I do love to watch the snow fall–and to feel them fall, too. It’s lovely to contemplate on this cold, rainy, foggy day!
    And thanks for hosting.

  25. Mary Lee Hahn says:

    Thanks for hosting the roundup this week, Laura! I love this poem, beginning with the “lattice light,” all the way through the “brume.” (Yes, I looked it up, too!)

  26. Ruth says:

    Laura, thank you for the article you posted in my comments! SO good. Here are some for you in return:

    Thanks for hosting. I’ll be back to read your actual post at some point. 🙂

  27. Julie Larios says:

    Thanks for hosting, Laura. I love the “slide and sunder of ice” – lovely!

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Laura Shovan

Laura Shovan is the author of the award-winning middle grade novel, The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary. Her second book, Takedown, is a Junior Library Guild and PJ Our Way selection. Look for A Place at the Table, co-written with Saadia Faruqi, in 2020. Laura is a poet-in-the-schools Maryland.

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