Linda Kulp Trout

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Poetry Friday

Yesterday, Elaine over at Wild Rose Reader, shared an article called, "Astronomers catch a shooting star for the 1st time."

Anything abour astronomy always "catches" my eye. As a little girl, I dreamed of being the first woman astronaut (way,way before Sally Ride). When I was old enough, I joined the Air Force just so I could be around airplanes and hang out with the pilots.

So, when my sons were very young, they were a captive audience. I read them tons of books about the universe and space travel. My older son became especially interested and got his first telescope when he was still in elementary school. Almost every evening, no matter how hot or how cold, he'd take his telescope out, and he and his little brother looked at the constellations, and when they found something extra special, they'd call me to come take a look too.

Years ago, I wrote a poem about them, and Lee Bennett Hopkins liked it enough to include it in one of his anthologies. Later, it was made into a poster by a publisher of educational materials. Although the poem's written from the perspecitive of a younger brother admiring his older brother, I can hear both of my sons saying the last line about his brother.


Clear winter evenings
my brother sets up
his telescope in
the middle of the yard
and shows me the stars—

He says someday
he’ll discover a new one
and be famous—

But, I wonder
if he knows
he’s already a star—
to me.

It's no secret, they're both stars to me. My older son is now a physics professor who has also taught astronomy. He often writes about the universe on his blog:
My younger son is a writer and an IT specialist who is totally immersed in the world of technology. If you want to keep up on the latest, you can find his blog at:

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Poetry Friday

I had been reading Sylvia Vardell’s blog, Poetry for Children, for several months when I found out that she also writes a column for Book Links. I loved her blog, so I immediately subscribed to the journal, and I’m so glad I did. What I discovered is that her column (along with the rest of the journal) is a fantastic resource for teachers and a great way for writers to keep up with what’s being published.

For example, in the March issue, Sylvia’s column is titled “Audiovisual Poetry.” She lists a variety of multimedia resources and ideas for classroom application. (For more ideas on using multimedia methods to share poetry, check out Poetry For Children.)

Each issue also includes a poem and tips for sharing it with children. This month the poem is “Onion Snow” by one of my favorite poets, Bobbi Katz. Sylvia explains how teachers can turn the poem into a multimedia and multisensory experience for children.
For some reason, I couldn't get the poem to line up quite the way it's supposed. I tried and tried.
The two shorter lines should be indented. My apology.

Onion Snow
I wake to heavy quiet this April morning:
a special weighted sound.
Outside my window snowflakes fall
softly, softly feathering the ground—
softly, softly bearding the daffodils.
Grandma always called it onion snow.
Arriving when wild onions have
started to grow,
those foolish fat flakes don’t
seem to know,
they are too late for winter
and misfits in spring.
“Come listen to that onion snow!”
she would have said.
“Have you ever heard
such a silence??”

"Onion Snow" Copyright c 2009 by Bobbi Katz

The rest of the journal is a gem too. Each issue has a theme, this month it’s science. There is an interview with Joyce Sidman (another fav) talking about “the challenges of portraying science and the natural world.” Teacher, Dean Schneider’s column is on “Finding the Best Novels in Verse.” Also included in this issue: the “Best New Books for Classrooms”, an interview with Sally Ride, “Science as Biography,” and so much more. Book Links covers all genres and has something for anyone interested in children’s literature.

Money is tight for most of us right now, so I’ve given up all subscriptions except for the three I enjoy most: Book Links, SCBWI Bulletin, and Children’s Writer. Each of these are worth every penny.

“Onion Snow”, Bobbi Katz, Book Links, March 2009.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Poetry Friday

A while back I read a study that said up to 93 percent of communication is nonverbal. It got me thinking about the ways men and women communicate and from that came the following tanka.

when the TV is on
you listen intently
to what it has to say
I ask if we can talk—

you turn the volume up

she stands by the pool
showing off long slender legs
in string bikini…

when your stare drops to my thighs
I pretend not to notice

in this king-sized bed
you sleep facing north, I face south
the void between us
proof opposites don’t attract
you need your space, I need mine

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Poetry Friday

One of my favorite love poems is by Nikki Giovanni.

The World Is Not A Pleasant Place to Be

the world is not a pleasant place
to be without
someone to hold and be held by

a river would stop
its flow if only
a stream were there
to recieve it

an ocean would never laugh

if clouds weren't there
to kiss her tears

Read the rest of the poem here.
Read more about Nikki Giovanni here.