Friday, February 9, 2018

Valentine Hearts

In honor of Valentine's Day, I'm reposting a few of my favorite collections of love poems along with some links to poetry collections.

Valentine Hearts selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins  is perfect for young readers because they will relate to poems about everything from heart-shaped sandwiches to  hoping for a special valentine and a love note for a special pet. I am honored to have a poem included in this very gorgeous little book.

                                                       Singing Valentine

                                                          Outside my window
on the icy ground below
a little bird sings:






A valentine melody
          just for me!

Linda Kulp, all rights reserved

Click here to read two poems from the collection by two very talented poets,  Rebecca Kai Dotlich and Marilyn Singer.

Hopscotch Love:  A Family Treasury in Love Poems by Nikki Grimes is a true “valentine delight” with poems about many different types of love.  The rhymed and unrhymed poems are written in variety of  forms including: letter poem, list, and free verse.  I love the vivid imagery and deep emotions in this collection.  Here is the beginning of one of my favorite poems from the collection.

Sweethearts Dance

He pulls her close
           She strokes his face
Their thoughts fly to
           Their starting place

Read the rest of the poem here, and you'll see why I'm such a big Nikki Grimes fan.

Check out these links for a few Young Adult collections I love:

I Am Wings and Buried Alive both by Ralph Fletcher

 I found the next two collections several years ago while browsing the poetry section in my local Borders. It's unfortunate that so many wonderful book stores have closed.  I used to have a lot of fun discovering treasures such as these.

Also check out: Love Poems by Charles Ghigna. After you read these beautiful poems, you might want to pen your own poem for someone you love.  Charles provides us with inspiration and advice here.

Love Poems by Nikki Giovanni.  I come back to these poems again and again! 

If you have other favorite collections of love poetry, please share the titles with me so I can add them to my bookshelf.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Be sure to stop by to see Sally for more Poetry Friday to love today!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Grandma's Gift

Grandma's Gift

I don’t remember Grandma,
(She died when I was three.)
but I always think of her,
every time I see
my little figure skater     
dancing on our tree.

My skater’s dressed in purple.  
How did Grandma know  
that’s my favorite color?
(She made it long ago.)

I don’t remember Grandma
but I feel her close to me
when I see my skater dancing
on our Christmas tree.

©Linda Kulp Trout

This poem is a work-in-progress, but I wanted to post it today in memory of my grandmother.  It's been more than thirty-five years since my grandmother made each of us a little beaded figure skating tree ornament.  Mine danced on our tree every year as a beautiful reminder of my grandmother. Sadly, a few years ago, my skater mysteriously disappeared.  I searched and searched, but she was no where to be found. Our Christmas tree hasn't been the same without her.

Last week, I was telling my sister how much I miss my little skater.  Within a few minutes, my sweet sister sent me a picture.  I was happy to see that her skater is exactly like mine. Although it is not the same as having my skater on the tree,  at least I can look at the picture and remember.

I'm glad my sons were old enough to get to know my grandmother. But even if they had been too young to remember her, the little skater would tell them something about who she was.

A big thank you to my friend, Buffy for hosting today's Poetry Friday.

Wishing you and yours love, health, and happiness!
Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Christmas Cards

I love receiving greeting cards. I love sending them too, especially Christmas cards. I know many people have gone to the digital variety, and those are very nice, but I still like sending the old-fashioned version.  Although it can be time-consuming, I try to write a little personalized note on each card.

I'm late sending my cards out this year. Things have been busy around here, so I'm hoping to get them out by the end of next week.

Greeting cards are healing for the sender and for the receiver so I thought I'd join Mary Lee's #haikuforhealing today with this little poem. 

A blanket of cards
hug my dining room table
   one chosen for you

A big thank you to Lisa at Steps and Staircases for hosting today's roundup.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Publishing News!

I am tickled to have a poem in the fall issue of BUMPLES BUDS, a brand-new online magazine for children.  BUMPLES BUDS is a high-quality interactive magazine filled with stories, poems, games, and activities. It's bright, colorful, and very inviting.  I just love the illustrations for my poem.  Did you notice the book the boy is reading?  It is my very own TREASURE IN THE ATTIC!

I wrote "First Book" many years ago after watching the excitement my sons and my students experienced when they independently read their first book.   This past summer, I got to relive that experience when my granddaughter and I read together. She is quickly becoming an independent reader!

"First Book" originally appeared in  Lee Bennett Hopkins' WORLD OF POETRY series in 1998.  A year later, it appeared in Scholastic's MONTH-BY-MONTH POETRY professional book.  For the past 18 yrs., it was tucked away in my files. When I saw that BUMPLES BUDS was accepting poems, I took a chance and sent it off! It makes me happy to think a new generation of children will read and (hopefully) enjoy it.

Writers, BUMPLES (for children 6-10) and BUMPLES BUDS (for children 3-5) is accepting submissions!  You can check out a sample issue here.

A big thank you to Brenda for hosting this week. I hope wherever you are, you are enjoying a gorgeous autumn season.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

National Day on Writing

Today is National Day on Writing, a day to celebrate the joy and importance of writing.  Click on the link to find resources for teachers, tips for writers, and information about how to join the conversation on WhyIWrite. You can also listen to podcasts of authors talking about their process and reasons for becoming a writer.

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about my own writing process. I  have always loved to write, but it doesn't always come easy. Here is a #poemsketch I wrote about my sometimes struggle with words.  It is still a work-in-progress, but it's late and this what I have so far.


Sometimes writing feels like
a Chinese Finger Trap—

The harder I try 
to pull  words   
onto the page,
the more they stick
inside my brain—

But finally  
when I stop,

to take a breath—

Words somehow 
seem to know

and suddenly
they begin         to let go.

©Linda Kulp Trout

A big thank you to Leigh Anne over at A Day in the Life for hosting this week's Poetry Friday.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Talking With Animals and PET CRAZY

The doe’s eyes meet mine—
a silent conversation

When we lock eyes with an animal, for even just a second, we can sense what they are feeling.  I believe they can sense what we are feeling too. Without a single word, we can communicate and begin to understand each other.

My cat is very good at communicating what she wants.  When I'm in her favorite chair, she sits on the floor glaring up at me until I move. As soon as I do, she claims it as her own.

When I was teaching, I always enjoyed reading the poems my students wrote about their pets. Children love to write about animals.  I just wish I would have had the fabulous PET CRAZY by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong to share with them.  The poems are so relatable.  What child hasn't wished for a special pet or worried about a sick pet?  There is even a poem about communicating with a pet!  The activities in  PET CRAZY are fantastic because they invite young writers to create their own poems. What a timesaver to have the text and activities in one place!

If you are a parent and grandparent, winter break is not that far away.  PET CRAZY would be a wonderful way to encourage creativity and support your child's reading and writing skills over the break.  It's on my list of holiday gifts for seven year old granddaughter.  I know she'll love it.

A big thank you to Irene at Live Your Poem for gathering a bounty of poetry goodness this week.  

Thursday, September 14, 2017

A Poem for International Dot Day!

First Picture

When Mama showed
your picture to me—
a little dot
was all I could see.

So then I wondered,
Who would you be?

A brother, a sister—
it didn’t matter to me.

Because that little dot, 
I could see— 
was already part
of our family.

©2017 Linda Kulp Trout

Have you read THE DOT by Peter H. Reynolds?  If not, I hope you will, especially if you have young children.  The story will inspire you to make your mark and follow your own creativity.

I wanted to write a poem to celebrate International Dot Day,  but I couldn't decide on what I wanted my "dot" poem to be about. Then, last night I read a new book by the very talented Cynthia Rylant titled LIFE.  The very first line in the book is "Life begins small." I stopped and read it again. "Life begins small." Such a beautiful truth.

It occurred to me that no matter if we are rich or poor, our race, religion, or where we live, we ALL begin the same way-- small.   

Then I started thinking about the excitement of seeing that very first sonogram.  That little human dot that sends the whole family dreaming about this new life.  It's amazing that even before we are born, we begin to "make our mark" on the world.  I wanted to celebrate that! 

 A big thank you to Michelle for hosting this week at Today's Little Ditty where you'll find more "dot" poems and other poetry wonders.

Thanks for stopping by!