2017 March Madness Poetry is back!

poetry friday

For all of you who love reading and writing poetry for kids, it’s time to celebrate. Ed DeCaria is reviving the March Madness Poetry contest. Not only that, but he has also put in  an amazing effort to give Madness Poetry it’s own website with new and improved user experience. He is currently taking 1) Poet Authlete Applications 2) Classroom Teachers who want their students to participate in voting and 3) Fans who want to participate in voting. As we’ve all discovered, if you don’t vote, you suffer the results so go to http://madnesspoetry.com/ today and signup! Thank you, Ed!

Poetry Friday: The Smith-Corona

I recently became the caregiver to a 1953(?) Smith-Corona typewriter which inspired the following poem. Enjoy! (Now if I could only find a new ribbon.)

There aren’t a lot of typewriters out there
not a lot of typers either.
Hard to get ribbons and parts.
A’s require pinkie force that I do not possess.
Computers have made me soft.
Still there is a satisfaction of
FORCE
and noise
each clack of hammer on roller
the absence of wires
no plug in sight
just me and the keys and the return bar.
My thoughts too quick
hammers catch on each other
stuck like a logjam of paperwork
sitting on some secretary’s desk.
She with pencils in her hair
and a pencil slim skirt
doing a hard days work.
I imagine her
young
spunky
driven
wanting more.
To be a journalist
a novelist
the boss.
Just like her
my time will come.


Poetry Friday: Astrologically Speaking

Astrologically Speaking
By Anna E. Jordan

He charts lives.
Interprets transits.
Clarifies uncertainties.

She is astrologically
dumb.

He—
Leo,
Scorpio rising,
Aries moon.

She—
Aquarius,
Virgo rising,
Sun in 5th house.

He sees a future
in opposition.
Nodes out of place
He needs space.

She struggles to understand.
Searches for translation.
Grasps at what is already
gone.

He finds truth
in
the language of
Stars.

She in her own
starstuff.

-November 14, 2014

400px-Paranatellonta

poetry friday

Wee Bits of Happiness

I was going to write a list poem about all the things that make me sad, but I got about four topics deep and it was too much to take. There has been a lot of sad recently– both personal, and global. I’m finding out that grieving my divorce is a longer process than I expected. It makes me silent. It makes me cry. It makes me angry. It makes me doubt myself. And then something small will snap me out of my grief, and I think that maybe it’s gone.

Wee Bits of Happiness

The light through autumn leaves.
The smell of baking banana/nut bread.
A newly mopped floor.
Cut flowers on the dining room table.
A call from an old friend.
A rockin’ sweat-filled Zumba class.
The disgust in my sons’ eyes when I show them moves from said Zumba class.
Looking forward to a camping trip with my youngest.
Knowing all the names of my students without looking at the roll.
Reclaiming my name.

Creative Chaos can now be found at http://www.annaejordan.com. Join me while I find and write about wee bits of happiness.

Dahlia

March Madness Poetry 2014 Gets Real. No Foolin’!

Perhaps you were one of the kind people who voted for me in the first round of the #MMPoetry 2014 competition. If so, you were one of a minority. The majority voted for Queen of Children’s Literature, Jane Yolen. Her humorous poem had to include the word svelte (Which I thought was Yiddish in derivation and so the bacon reference especially funny… actually the word has an Italian derivation.)

My word was bemoan. I always try to write two or more poems in the time we’re given (under 36 hours). Some of the drafted poems end up being very bad. For bemoan, I wrote three, two of them decent. Because it would be published on the first day of spring, I went with the more serious. Perhaps that was a mistake.

You can read both poems from the competition here.

A huge thank you to Ed Decaria for organizing and mediating the logistical beast that is the March Madness Poetry competition. He puts in a ton of time and energy all to fulfill the honorable mission of getting kids excited about poetry.

Here for your viewing pleasure are all three of the poems I wrote in advance of the competition.  These are the first drafts. Feel free to make comments below and while you’re feeling critical, head over to the Think Kid Think website to judge the #MMPoetry 2014′s “Elite Eight”!

The Sub

John plays music while we work
he lets me change my seat.
His stories make us gasp and cringe
we email, chat, and tweet.

We sang Bohemian Rhapsody
he’s epitome of cool,
We all bemoan tomorrow
when Miss Phlegm returns to school.

Poet’s Note: The concern here was, would people know that the named John was the sub in question.

First Day of Spring (this poem appeared in the competition.)

I never though the day would come
when I’d bemoan the snow.
Instead, my nose against the glass
I’d watch the white stuff grow.

But now I crave some color
some warmth, and sun, and rain.
The calendar says springtime
but the snow has come again.

Poet’s Note: Here I was concerned that the poem was too quiet and serious for my audience but I liked the rhythm and the wording. In the comments of the competition, many people connected to the imagery in the line “nose against the glass” which made me happy.

Brotherly Love (a limerick)

There once was a boy who played flute
His brother preferred drums and lute
He’d often bemoan
The flute’s squeaky tone
So he rendered the instrument mute.

Poet’s Note: Because there were two boys, the second he is difficult to understand. Plus, I didn’t have enough lines or syllables to be explicit about what happened to the poor flute.

Get Excited for March Madness Children’s Poetry Competition #MMPoetry

Yes, folks. While some of you were on the couch watching the Oscars (and others were just asleep and drooling on your remote control) Ed DeCaria over at Think Kid Think posted the Sunday Selection video (below) for the 2014 MARCH MADNESS POETRY competition (#MMPoetry). 

Did you watch?

Did you see who my competition is?

The Queen of Kidlit, Jane Yolen.

I’m going to need your support.

I mean it.

If you subscribe to this blog, or follow me on twitter, or if you are my friend in real life or only on Facebook, or if you went to VCFA, or University of Rochester, or Woodrow Willson Senior High School in Washington, DC, or Eagle’s Nest Camp in North Carolina, or even if you hate me that’s okay because I all I need you to do is get excited about children’s poetry and vote for the poem you love (Anna’s). Read with an open heart and mind and choose the poem that resonates with you (Anna’s). Use all your academic training and writing experience to pick the well-written example (Anna’s)… and then send chocolate!

A huge thank you to Ed DeCaria for the time and energy he gives to children’s poetry and to 64 authletes who bug him about the competition at this time of year. If you’ve never followed the March Madness Poetry Competition before, take a look at Madness! Writing 126 New Children’s Poems in 21 Days. If you are a teacher and you want your kids to join the other 1000 students who will be official poetry judges check out Win 50 Kids’ Poetry Books In 50 Milliseconds! It’s Madness! and register in the next two weeks before the competition begins.

Get your poetry groove on because starting March 17th, things heat up. The week begins with the unveiling of the first words (both to spectators and authletes) and later that week, the first poems will be published.

I’ll see you there! (Vote for Anna)

Yoga, poetry, a writing retreat and school/library bookings. Phew!

The last two weeks have been jam packed. This blog is my attempt to explain.

Ahhh… Princess Bride as a metaphor for life.

Okay so summing up:

  • Last week I went to Kripalu Yoga & Health Center. It was a safe and supported space for my newly-returned-from-deployment husband and I to reconnect. 
  • At the same time, I was deep into Rounds 1 & 2 of the ThinkKidThink.com March Madness Poetry Contest. I’m only disappointed that more people didn’t like my Miss Trumpet poem because I loved it so much. (reprinted below)
  • From Kripalu, I went to visit with my dear friend and author Meg Wiviott. I was able to revise a few picture books and get some perspective on life.
  • From Meg’s I went to VCFA for the Novel Writing Retreat. (Deb Michiko Florence is doing a great summary of that on her blog. Check it out.) At the retreat, I met wonderful people, got helpful (and positive) feedback on two novels. Right now, I’m trying to get amped up for another round of revisions on my crew novel.
  • All this time, I have been building a new business as a school and library booking agent!!! More about this soon but if you are a teacher, librarian, or conference planner I hope you’ll bookmark my site.

For those of you who might have missed my poetry, I’ve posted Miss Trumpet below. Happy Poetry Friday and keep voting over at ThinkKidThink. We are closing in on the final four (without preempting your favorite TV shows.)

Miss Trumpet
By Anna J. Boll

When the jazzy band, plays its jazzy jam
Miss Trumpet steals the show.
She slinks in, buttons down her back,
slender,
shiny.
With a wink she says, “Let my brass gown
glint,
in your eyes.
Let me skip you, trip you, Biddley-bop you, through meadows
Let me Wa-wa you, rock you low, slow, like a hammock in springtime.”
And when you’re even and easy she plunges you, Zweedley- BAM,
into ice cold waters.