In the 1930s, Tolkien began work on an epic alliterative poem about King Arthur’s downfall. It was never finished, but Christopher Tolkien provides notes and explanations about the lines that we do have.
The actual poem only takes up about 45 pages in this book. It is beautiful and haunting and wild. The patterns in the alliteration are woven together in this tapestry of words that powerfully tell the story of Arthur and his knights, of Mordred and Lancelot and Guinevere, and the last days of the Round Table. I read most of it out loud to myself, because the words drip like honey, rich and resonant. It is meant to be read out loud!
This baby board book has over a dozen familiar bedtime rhymes, including “Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star”, “Jack Be Nimble”, “Wee Willie Winkie”, “Hush, Little Baby”, and “Diddle Diddle Dumpling.” There is one especially sweet poem that I had never heard before called “Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear.” The teddy bear touches their nose, touches their toes, turns around, turns out the light, and says good night. It’s adorable!
The best thing about this book is the beautiful illustrations in soft pastel colors and a simple style. The drawings are so cute! I loved the designs of each little character snuggling in bed, sailing through the night sky, or being rocked to sleep by the moon. Continue reading →
This is an epic poem in four Cantos about a young man, disillusioned with life, who goes on a tour of Europe, reflecting on wars fought in various countries and their histories, and ultimately deciding that life sucks, and there is no love or peace to be found anywhere. (Yay. So it’s a happy poem.) There are many references to a hidden emotional pain of Harold’s that forced him to leave England and haunts him wherever he goes, marring his enjoyment of life. What that painful secret is, we never find out.
The poetry itself is beautiful, of course, but I was hoping for more of a plot instead of all these ramblings and reflections on history and society. The entire poem is rabbit trails with no real resolution! There’s little to no structure in the story. Continue reading →
Here are 3 poems I wrote using the “black-out” writing technique! They are all about how we feel pressured in life… by society, by work, by education. I hope you enjoy these as much as I enjoyed writing them!
Have you tried writing black-out poetry? Show me your poems in the comments!