105 Ways to Give a Book

Poetry Friday: Tap Dancing On The Roof

I’m more than ready for springtime. Like, now. Warm weather, gentle breezes, and long days recharge my batteries. It’s been a mild winter here, so I have no right to complain, oh but complain I will. Because I Need Spring.

I’ve been encouraged by the progress in my garden, in which all sorts of flowers have been popping up. Other than the pansies that made it through the winter, I didn’t plant any of these flowers. They just sort of show up each year. I have a Darwinian approach to my garden. Survival of the fittest.

It’s always the crocuses that surprise me. I’ll be minding my own business, cursing the stupid cold days, when they start making their appearance. Suddenly there’s hope that spring is around the corner. God Bless the crocuses. My love for these simple plants led to my Poetry Friday selection.

They pierce the thin skin of snow
with narrow swords of green
to clear the way for colors —
purple, yellow, lavender,

petals huddled close, guarding
the treasure: a lode of gold dust
Tap Dancing on the Roof: Sijo (Poems)This little gem is from the charming collection Tap Dancing on the Roof: Sijo (Poems), by Linda Sue Park. Sijo is a traditional Korean form of poetry written using a syllabic structure. Written in English, the sijo in this book have fourteen to sixteen syllables divided evenly into either three or six lines. The last line of the these poems contains some twist, “humor or irony, an unexpected image, a pun, or a play on words.” In the beginning of the book, Park offers an explanation for the poetry style, and in notes at the end offers ways to turn the poetry reader into the poet. Her poems are delightful, focusing on the everyday world of the child. Throughout the book the spare, simple illustrations of Istvan Banyai complement the work perfectly.

If I may be allowed to share one more (okay, Linda?), I’d like everyone to know about this tribute to poetry.

For someone to read a poem
again, and again, and then,

having lifted it from page
to brain — the easy part —

cradle it on the longer trek
from brain all the way to heart.
Can we make that the official poem of Poetry Friday? Maybe the poetic mission statement? I don’t know, but I think it says so much in so few words. Love it.

Poetry Friday roundup is over at Cuentesitos.


Sara said...

I'll second that "mission statement."

I mooch off other people's gardening skills all the time. There's a women who plants exquisite bunches of colorful flowers right near me. I ignore my own yard, and savor hers.

jama said...

Thanks for sharing these, MR. I agree on the mission statement, too!

Kelly said...

I'll fourth it. Beautiful :)

tanita✿davis said...

YES! What a great Wish, and I'm all for that!

Happy crocuses!

MHN said...

I'm all for the mission statement too. What a great little poem.

And love the crocus one too. I'm still waiting for crocuses to pop up through our still several feet of snow :))

Andromeda Jazmon said...

I have this book selfishly held on my desk and I am savoring it. I agree that should be our mission statement!!

Yay for Friday Poetry and

YAY for crocuses springing up all over. My yard is full of spring bulbs I never had to plant. Someone paid me forward - BLESS them!!

Anonymous said...

I love the notion of "Wish" being a manifesto of sorts.

I was just studying sijo again the other day, and wrote my first one the other evening. And now, I believe I'll head off and write another. Thanks for the inspiration, MR!

Jennie said...

I love the mission statement!

Also, my crocuses have come and gone. Last spring and summer was such a joy because it we moved into our house in the late summer and had NO IDEA what as in the ground-- a lot of weeds and a lot of beautiful stuff.

This spring and summer will be a joy because we don't trust our gardening skills, so who knows if what we planted will come back? The tiger lily is doing well, but I fear for the peonies...

Vivian Mahoney said...

That's a great mission statement. I can't wait to find this book.

Anonymous said...

Cradle it...
I adore that....

Saints and Spinners said...

It snowed yesterday. I was gobsmacked. When my daughter asked why it was snowing in spring, I told her that King Winter was playing a joke on Lady Spring (story figures from school).

Hurrah for crocuses and snowdrops.

Anonymous said...

These are two of my favorite poems from this book!

We had a gorgeous weekend, and now we're expecting 4-8" of snow today and tomorrow. Yikes! Bring on the crocuses and the poems!