Thursday, April 12, 2018

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LEE!

Dear friends,

Come on in. Grab some cake.  It's time to celebrate! 

I'm keeping this post short today, because A LOT of folks want to express their good wishes for Lee, and I want you to have time to read all of them.  I want to add my appreciation for all that the ways Lee has promoted poets and poetry. He has made poetry accessible and  touched the lives of children, teachers, poets, and poetry lovers.  Lee has made the world better. Isn't that what we all hope to do?

A few years ago, I wrote a blog post about Lee and how much his encouragement has meant to me.  When you have time, you might like to take a look. For now, I'll share a few things I didn't include in the post.

In the early 90's, I interviewed Lee for an article I wrote for a teacher resource.  This is the picture he sent me to accompany the article. I treasure this picture and keep it in my "Lee" folder along with every handwritten/typewritten note he ever sent me. 

Lee and Royal Dude

One of my favorite poems by Lee was inspired when Dude had to spend two nights away from home at the office.   All of us who love our pets can relate.  It begins:

Overnight at the Vet's
I found
a strand 
of snow-white hair

strewn upon his
favorite chair

I wonder how 
he's feeling there

alone—


©Lee Bennett Hopkins. All rights reserved.

Want to read the rest of the poem?  Would you like to know more Lee's journey as a writer and anthologist?  Well, you've come to the right place!
In honor of Lee's birthday, I'm giving away a copy of his book THE WRITING BUG (Meet the Author).  Just leave a comment with a special birthday wish for Lee by Monday, April 16.  I'll draw a name and announce the winner on my blog next Friday. Good luck.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LEE!  
May all of your wishes come true!

A special THANK YOU to my beautiful friend Robyn for hosting the party! 



42 comments:

  1. Happy Birthday, Lee. Thank you for giving... and giving... and giving.,.. to fill our classrooms with the wonder of poetry.

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  2. A perfect post, Linda - and what a gut-grabbing poem of Lee's. Thank you so much for suggesting this Poetry Friday Surprise Birthday Party! Lee deserves every warm wish, accolade, and blessing. XO

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    1. Thank YOU, Robyn for hosting and organizing the party! xo

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  3. Your idea has grown into quite a celebration! Thanks for sharing "Overnight at the Vet's" here. What a great poem! PS I tried to follow the link to your early post, but it didn't work for me.

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    1. Thanks, Molly. I think the link is working now.

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  4. Appreciations for sharing this poem of Lee. That heart moment when the pet is at the vet & you are not touches me. Sweet photo from Lee to you for that long-ago article. Many balloons to Lee & to you, Linda for being catalyst to the cake, cookies & creativity. Love.

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  5. Thank you for being one of the celebration creators, Linda, and for sharing some of your connections and memories of Lee. I love the poem. Sending big wishes to Lee on his special day!

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  6. Very moving poem, and thanks for having this idea to throw a party. Happy Birthday, Lee Bennett Hopkins!

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  7. Love that photo and poem! Thanks for sharing it, Linda. It's going to be a happy day for all of us, I think, basking in all the shared love for this beautiful man.

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    1. I love this picture too. It's one of my treasures! Thanks for stopping by, Michelle.

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  8. Oh, those words, they just break your heart!

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    1. I agree, Jane. Thanks for stopping by!

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  9. Thanks for this wonderful post, Linda. Love the pic of Lee with Royal Dude and the sweet poem. And thanks for coming up with the idea of celebrating Lee's birthday today! So much joy all over the kidlitosphere. :)

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  10. What a wonderful post--and thank you for getting the ball rolling with today's celebration! Happy Birthday, Lee!

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  11. What a good idea you shared! Thanks for starting the celebration!

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  12. Thanks for dreaming up the party idea, Linda. And oh, this poem is heart-wrenching for any dog owner. Love the photo!

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    1. I agree. Any pet owner can relate to Lee's poem. Thanks for stopping by, Buffy!

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  13. Oh, Linda, thank you for sharing this! I've read so much of Lee's beautiful poetry, but not this one. Thanks for being the brains behind the birthday brouhaha!

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  14. A very happy birthday and many poetic returns, Mr. Hopkins! As a teacher and lover of all things poetry, I'm not sure where I'd be without all your contributions. Thanks for inviting me to the party, Linda!

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  15. A very happy birthday and many poetic returns, Mr. Hopkins. I hope you are enjoying our celebration. As an elementary teacher and lover of all things poetry, I'm not sure where I'd be without all of your contributions! Thanks for inviting all of us, Linda!

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  16. I AM so touched. You bring back so many wondrous memories. Thank you.

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  17. Thanks for your wonderful idea to have Birthday Celebrations for Lee throughout the Poetry Friday community! Love the poem here, it pulls at your heartstrings.

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  18. What a fun celebration this turned into! Perfect for honoring a really, really special poet. Anyone who writes about his dog this way is a friend of mine! I love this! Thank you!

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  19. Linda, this week four of my 2nd graders are working their joyful way through a little anthology called *Families, Families*--edited by Lee and including a poem of yours too! Thanks for making sure that LBH's great contributions (and yours!) are duly and delightfully noted this Poetry Friday!

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    1. Heidi, FAMILIES, FAMILIES is a wonderful little collection. I'm glad your students are enjoying it! Thanks!

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  20. Linda, thank you for your incredible thoughtful planning and excitement of not just this birthday of Lee's but of the poetry that has been part of our world because of him. I'm just in awe and so fortunate to be a part of it. Many happy returns to you as well.
    I do love dog poems....because I love my best puppy the best. She's one of my kids and now that she's getting on in years I have a touch of anticipated grief. The puppy poems always tug on my tears a bit. It's really hard for me to choose any favorite of Lee's because they are all favorites at one time or another for different reasons. Right now, I am enjoying the complete visual beauty of The Blue Road. What's your favorite?

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    1. The Blue Road is a beautiful collection. I love so many of Lee's books, it's hard to choose one favorite. I have two shelves full of his books! :)

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  21. Thank you, Linda, for hatching this marvelous celebration for Lee! Your choice of poem is especially poignant for me today as my 13 year old beagle isn't feeling too well. Lee truly has written a poem or edited an anthology for every occasion!

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    1. Catherine, I hope your beagle is feeling better soon. It's so hard to watch our pets age. My cat is 14 and slowing down. Our pets give us so much unconditional love.

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  22. Thank you to everyone who stopped by to comment on Lee's heartfelt poem. It was a joy to honor him on his special day!

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