Thursday, May 15, 2014

Book twenty-eight: What the Heart Knows: Chants, Charms and Blessings by Joyce Sidman

What an incredible book of poems for children. It is one of the most enjoyable reads of the year by far. Joyce Sidman is a Newbery Honor winner and she combines her lovely, charming, poignant poems with Caldecott Honor winner Pamela Zagarenski's illustrations to bring a truly beautiful book to the world. Following are a few of my favorites and here's a link to where you can buy this locally if you are in the PDX area or where you can get it from a larger online store. You will want to buy it after you read these poems. I encourage you to do so.

Invisibility Spell 
When taunting eyes chill me,
when laughter stings like sleet,

let my blush blaze hot,
melting each frozen bone.

Let heat pour from my fingers,
turning snow to puddles,

puddles to lakes,
lakes to sultry mist.

Who needs this heavy coat of shame?
Beneath it
I burn with beauty.

It is spring
I belong to the air.
I step from my body,

--pg 27 / Joyce Sidman

Chant to Repair a Friendship
(a triolet)

Come, friend, forgive the past;
I was wrong and I am grieving.
Tell me that this break won't last–
take my hand; forgive the past.
Anger's brief, but love is vast.
Take my hand; don't think of leaving.
Come, friend, forgive the past; 
I was wrong and I am grieving.

--pg 3 / Joyce Sidman

I. (To Speed Up)
God of Time, 
bring forth all galloping things 
to thunder through this endless waiting, 
split it open like an exploding balloon. 
… [there's more but you'll have to buy the book to read it yourself]

And, yes, there is a Time Spell to slow things down, too. It starts out…
"O sweet Time:
stretch like a sleep dog,
slow and languid and warm
with flickering light…" [Another teaser - go buy the book!]

28 down plus 24 to go. Woot!


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