Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A Poetry Infusion

And, coming up next: My interview with Maya Soetoro-Ng, sister of President Obama, on her new picture book

National Poetry Month, (NPM) reminds me how neglectful I am. As an introspective adolescent and teen, I wrote lots of poetry. Now, I only write the occasional poem, but I want to infuse poetry into my prose -- whether short story, picture book or novel -- just the right pithy metaphor, or unobtrusive spicy morsel, to give the reader a gut sense of character or scene.

The month-long celebration of poetry also prods me to read more of it -- fulfilling one of the goals of NPM, which was started by The American Academy of Poets in 1996. The Academy suggests 30 ways to celebrate. For example, you can sign up to receive a poem a day by email throughout the month of April, like I just did. April 14 is Poem in your Pocket Day and there's a special book of poems for the occasion - as well as one just for kids.

On the topic of poetry, here's a silly poem I wrote in high school.

Chatterbox
Words tumbled
from her jaw,
What she said
she never saw.
Trillions of idioms
she could utter,
Whose only purpose 
served to clutter.
One day she discovered
a tape recorder, 
From then on 
she was euphoric.

Do you write poetry? What are your thoughts on using poetic imagery in your writing?

Now for the exciting news --  I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to interview Maya Soetoro-Ng, sister of President Obama, about her new picture book, Ladder to the Moon (illustrated by Yuyi Morales, Candelwick Press, April 12). In this dreamlike story woven with poetic nuance, Maya sends her daughter Suhaila on a magical journey with the grandmother she never met.  


Please come back next Tuesday to learn more about Maya,  and the inspiration behind her story.

6 comments:

The Pen and Ink Blog said...

"my interview with Maya Soetoro-Ng, sister of President Obama, on her new picture book"

Say what! Do you think Maya Soetoro-Ng can pass a love note to the First Lady?

In other news: I wrote a poem about Mrs. Fields' chocolate chip cookies.

Sincerely,
Iambic Idol

Jacqui said...

I read a lot of poetry on Scribd by new poets. There's nothing like a good poem to stretch your brain. I get through 2-3 and I'm done exercising.

Lee Rae said...

Wow! The Presidents sister! I was terribly impressed with the Quacky Baseball tour, but now I’m almost speechless……………..

I had no idea it was poetry month. I’ve been too busy trying to get my taxes done. Not that there will be anyone to process them for me. Megan, do you think you can get the Government back to work? You seem to know almost everyone who’s someone. Heck, take Pen and Ink for instance.

Megan Frances said...

Thanks so much for your comments!

Dear Iambic

Maya Soetoro-Ng is exceedingly gracious but I'm not sure if I should ask her to be a go-between. I bet the First Lady would enjoy your chocolate chip cookie poem though.

Jacqui, I love that kind of workout! I'll have to check out Scribd.

Lee Rae, you're right. without a government, what will our taxes be paying for anyway? And, yes, Pen & Ink is one of the lynchpins of my network.

I hope all of you will come back on April 12th for the fabulous interview with Maya Soetoro-Ng!

Lee Rae said...

I'd really like to see that chocolate chip cookie poem.

Julie Musil said...

Your poem was great! When I was little, I wrote poems for anyone with a pulse. I still have many of them in an old photo album. It's fun to go back and look.

That's so cool that you've got that interview scheduled.