Sunday, April 23, 2017

Poem in my Post: Kindness by Naomi Shihab Nye

Poem in my Post: Kindness by Naomi Shihab Nye

Today was a beautiful Sunday and I spent the morning with my friend, Linda, sharing our poetry.  Then I went for a long walk along Harriet Island and went to a planning meeting for my Grenada trip in July.  It was such a great day and I tried to soak up as much sun as possible since we won't see the sun in St. Paul for another 10 days (says the long term forecast).

Today I am sharing one of my favorite poems by one of the poets I admire most in the world.  I just love this poem and keep coming to it for words of wisdom and for the reminder of how important kindness truly is.  Kindness was written after Naomi and her husband were robbed on their honeymoon.  Watch the video at the end where Naomi talks in depth about what inspired the poem.  Enjoy!!




Kindness

Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.
Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to gaze at bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
It is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.

From Words Under the Words: Selected Poems. Copyright © 1995 by Naomi Shihab Nye








Wednesday, April 19, 2017

A Love Song, A Death Rattle, A Battle Cry Giveaway

A Love Song, A Death Rattle, A Battle Cry by Kyle “Guante” Tran Myhre Giveaway

Kyle "Guante" Tran Myhre is the Minnesota Author in the Spotlight for the month of April and he is giving away one book to a Booksnob follower that lives in the United States.  This collection of spoken word poetry, essays, and song lyrics is sure to blow your socks off.  I'm so excited for you to read this amazing book.  Enter below and share and tell your friends all about it.

Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:

Kyle “Guante” Tran Myhre is an MC, two-time National Poetry Slam champion, activist, and educator based in Minneapolis, MN. His work has appeared everywhere from the United Nations to Welcome to Night Vale, to Upworthy and beyond, and he currently makes a living traveling to colleges, conferences, and high schools, using spoken word as a jumping-off point for dialogue around identity, power, agency, and activism.  One part mixtape, one part disorientation guide, and one part career retrospective, this collection brings together spoken word poems, song lyrics, and essays from the past decade of Guante’s work.

Giveaway Rules:
Please fill out the form
Must be a resident of the U.S.
Contest ends May 18th at midnight
Good Luck!


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Monday, April 17, 2017

Poem in my Post: Never offer your heart to someone who eats hearts by Alice Walker

Poem in my Post:  Never offer your heart to someone who eats hearts by Alice Walker

Hope everyone one had a great Easter.  My daughter went to the prom on Saturday and we had our Easter celebration on Sunday and so I feel like I didn't get any rest all weekend.

I have been busy writing #30poemsin30days and it is hard.  Writing is hard and doubt sets in which causes you to think you're not good enough so I'm trying to quell the negative demons on my shoulder.

The poem in my post today is by Alice Walker.  I love her and this poem is awesome.  I can really relate because I've had my heart eaten before. I love how visual this poem is and I wish I could write a poem as amazing as this.  If you've never read it before, enjoy!


Never offer your heart to someone who eats hearts by Alice Walker

Never offer your heart
to someone who eats hearts
who finds heartmeat
delicious
but not rare
who sucks the juices
drop by drop
and bloody-chinned
grins
like a God.

Never offer your heart
to a heart gravy lover.
Your stewed, overseasoned
heart consumed
he will sop up your grief
with bread
and send it shuttling
from side to side
in his mouth
like bubblegum.

If you find yourself
in love
with a person
who eats hearts
these things
you must do:

Freeze your heart
immediately.
Let him—next time
he examines your chest—
find your heart cold
flinty and unappetizing.

Refrain from kissing
lest he in revenge
dampen the spark
in your soul.

Now,
sail away to Africa
where holy women
await you
on the shore—
long having practiced the art
of replacing hearts
with God
and Song.


Thursday, April 13, 2017

Announcing the April Author in the Spotlight!

Announcing the April Author in the Spotlight.

Happy National Poetry Month!  I think this is my favorite month of the whole year.  This year I am featuring a poem and a poet every Sunday.  I am also writing a poem every day of this month, so the hope is that I will write 30 poems in 30 days.

I'm also excited to announce that the author I am featuring on BookSnob this month is an awesome poet and he's well known in Minneapolis spoken word circles.  His name is Guante. I have heard his poetry for a long time and have admired him from afar and now he has compiled his poetry and essays in his first book called,  A Love Song, A Death Rattle, A Battle Cry by Kyle “Guante” Tran Myhre.  So I am thrilled to be featuring him on Booksnob this month.

Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:

Kyle “Guante” Tran Myhre is an MC, two-time National Poetry Slam champion, activist and educator based in Minneapolis, MN. His work has appeared everywhere from the United Nations, to Welcome to Night Vale, to Upworthy and beyond, and he currently makes a living traveling to colleges, conferences, and high schools, using spoken word as a jumping-off point for dialogue around identity, power, agency, and activism.  One part mixtape, one part disorientation guide, and one part career retrospective, this collection brings together spoken word poems, song lyrics, and essays from the past decade of Guante’s work.

This month and into May, you can expect a book review, a giveaway of Guante's book, and an author interview.

Check out Guante's website to learn more about him and his book at  www.guante.info
You can also find him on Twitter: @elguante.

Here is one of my favorite poems, written and performed by Guante.
"Ten Responses to the Phrase 'Man Up'"
Watch.







Monday, April 10, 2017

Poem in my Post - Tarantulas on the Lifebuoy by Thomas Lux

Poem in my Post - Tarantulas on the Lifebuoy by Thomas Lux.

Every Sunday (oops, today is Monday) in April for National Poetry Month, I am sharing a poem in my post with readers.  I have been busy grading papers as the 3rd quarter ended and have also been busy writing a poem every day of the month and so now I have 10 new poems to work with.  I have been trying to study new poets and continue to immerse myself in poetry and poetry prompts.

I chose Tarantulas on the Lifebuoy because when I was in Peru in the Amazon rainforest, two years ago, I saw several pink-toed tarantulas and I loved them. Plus, Lux is a new poet for me and this poem is awesome and it makes me happy.  I hope it makes you happy as well.


Tarantulas on the Lifebuoy by Thomas Lux

For some semitropical reason
when the rains fall
relentlessly they fall

into swimming pools, these otherwise
bright and scary
arachnids. They can swim
a little, but not for long

and they can’t climb the ladder out.
They usually drown—but
if you want their favor,
if you believe there is justice,
a reward for not loving

the death of ugly
and even dangerous (the eel, hog snake,
rats) creatures, if

you believe these things, then
you would leave a lifebuoy
or two in your swimming pool at night.

And in the morning
you would haul ashore
the huddled, hairy survivors

and escort them
back to the bush, and know,
be assured that at least these saved,
as individuals, would not turn up

again someday
in your hat, drawer,
or the tangled underworld

of your socks, and that even—
when your belief in justice
merges with your belief in dreams—
they may tell the others

in a sign language
four times as subtle
and complicated as man’s

that you are good,
that you love them,
that you would save them again.


Thomas Lux, “Tarantulas on the Lifebuoy” from New and Selected Poems: 1975-1995. Copyright © 1997 by Thomas Lux. U

Visit this link for a biography of Lux and at the very bottom are several links to 5 of his poems.
https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poets/detail/thomas-lux

To ensure happiness, read a poem every day!



Monday, April 3, 2017

Gap Life by John Coy Giveaway

Gap Life by John Coy Giveaway

Hello fellow booksnobs.  Today is your lucky day.  You have a chance to win the newest Young Adult novel by John Coy called Gap Life.  I just finished reading it and loved it and I know you will too.  John, along with his publisher, MacMillian is giving away 2 copies to readers in the United States and Canada.

Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:
Cray got into the same college his father attended and is expected to go. And to go pre-med. And to get started right away. His parents are paying the tuition. It should be an easy decision.
But it's not.
All Cray knows is that what's expected of him doesn't feel right. The pressure to make a decision—from his family, his friends—is huge. Until he meets Rayne, a girl who is taking a gap year, and who helps him find his first real job, at a home of four adults with developmental disabilities. What he learns about himself and others will turn out to be more than any university could teach him—and twice as difficult.

Giveaway Rules:
Fill out the form
U.S. and Canada residents only
Enter by May 1st at midnight

Good Luck!

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Sunday, April 2, 2017

Poem in my Post: Utopia by Wislawa Szymborska

Poem in my Post: Utopia by Wislawa Szymborska

Happy National Poetry Month.  Every year in April on Sundays, I put a poem in my post.  This year I also plan to write 30 poems in 30 days. Did you know I am a poet?  I read a poem every morning to start my day and one at night before I fall asleep.  The poems invade my dreams, brighten my day and the result is wonderful.  I challenge you to try it.  Read 2 poems a day and write one everyday during the month of April.

Today, I am highlighting a Polish poet. I'm also Polish and when I read some of Szymborska's poetry, I was wow'ed and couldn't stop thinking about some of them.  Wislawa Szymborska won the Nobel Prize in 1996.  She died in 2012 at age 88 and Map is a collection of her last poems.   So today, I bring you Utopia.


Utopia

Island where all becomes clear.

Solid ground beneath your feet.

The only roads are those that offer access.

Bushes bend beneath the weight of proofs.

The Tree of Valid Supposition grows here
with branches disentangled since time immemorial.

The Tree of Understanding, dazzlingly straight and simple,
sprouts by the spring called Now I Get It.

The thicker the woods, the vaster the vista:
the Valley of Obviously.

If any doubts arise, the wind dispels them instantly.

Echoes stir unsummoned
and eagerly explain all the secrets of the worlds.

On the right a cave where Meaning lies.

On the left the Lake of Deep Conviction.
Truth breaks from the bottom and bobs to the surface.

Unshakable Confidence towers over the valley.
Its peak offers an excellent view of the Essence of Things.

For all its charms, the island is uninhabited,
and the faint footprints scattered on its beaches
turn without exception to the sea.

As if all you can do here is leave
and plunge, never to return, into the depths.

Into unfathomable life.

 By Wislawa Szymborska
From "A large number", 1976
Translated by S. Baranczak & C. Cavanagh
Copyright © Wislawa Szymborska, S. Baranczak & C. Cavanagh

In case you want to read more amazing poetry, below is a link to 5 of Syzborska's poems from the Nobel library.  These poems will really give you cause to pause and think.

http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/1996/szymborska-poetry.html