It’s Poetry Friday Round-Up: And I Am the Host!


Coming out of NCTE and ALAN, I knew that hosting a Poetry Friday Roundup would be exciting. During my stay in Washington, D. C., I had the joy of being the room with Janet Wong, Sylvia Vardell, Irene Latham, Pat Mora, Amy Ludwig Vanderwater, and Laura Purdie Salas and others (please forgive me, I am still coming down off of the awe if I didn’t list you specifically here).

But, I didn’t think I would be this excited about hosting Poetry Friday Roundup. I mean. . .I would get a little excited, to be sure, but then I took a look at some of the other Poetry Friday Roundup posts via Google.

And I found a HUGE community of poets doing this thing each week. Like. . .I knew. . .but I didn’t know. So, here I am. Hosting this thing YOU already do, and it is epic for me here in southern Indiana.

Of course, I’ll be the lead learner in Room 407 today, so I will try to round all of you up this afternoon or early this evening. Leave your poem’s title, a brief description of the poem, and the link to your blog and I will put it all in this post.

I don’t know that you need a writing invitation, but I can offer one. I’ve been thinking a lot about shapes lately. Or even the idea of something taking shape. Like this holiday season. It’s beginning to take shape. What is the shape of this season? December? Winter? The holidays and how you spend them. They are all taking shape. . .perhaps we could play with concrete poems or poems that naturally take a shape like a diamante.

Oh. . .you poets you. . .you already know what to do.

Here is my poem on the fly. . .

“Square Thirty-1”


these are rectangle days

seem wider in the middle

the sun knows a border

a morning from night.


the windows are still,

snug-square in frames,

reflecting a day’s passing

an end-of-year slideshow.


each panel’s numbered

and they stand in rows

waiting to be checked

for the coming season.


that they would be enough

to hold a memory-maybe two,

until we reach our thirty-one

and look with hope toward new.


…………………….and now the roundup……………………………………………………..

Joy Acey gives us our first poem today: “Lizard.” Joy also promises pictures from her safari trip in Kenya. Visit Joy’s blog site:

Tara Smith offers “How Is It That the Snow?” by Robert Haight at her blog, A Teaching Life:

Amy Ludwig VanDerwater shares a familiar scene with a familial connection. This poem reminds me of a friend who collects Nativity scenes of all types:

Mary Lee Hahn shares from her favorite Haiku-a-Day poems and sends an invitation to be a host for the Poetry Friday Roundup in the New Year!

Tabatha shares a favorite New Years poem by Oksana Lutshyshyna:

Heidi Mordhorst is a poet I met at NCTE (and I have been enjoying her books since returning from that trip).

And now I am off to do some lead learning in Room 407. . .I will be back at about 9:30 to capture some more of these wonderful poems.

At 9:30, I came back to see that so many had posted their comments with their links, so I added as I went along. Of course, with each posting, I was looking forward to a time when I could go and look at what was being offered to the community.

The end of the school day offered another chance to see just how many people participate in the round-up. What a joy this has been.

More than any of this, I was over-joyed to see so many positive responses to the poem I had to offer this morning. It was a quick-write for me, wanting to have something to offer to all of you on the day of the round-up. I’ve already gone back to do some revision. Perhaps looking at the way the piece might take shape upon the page.

Of course, my students in Room 407 are vetting out some cinquain formatted pieces as they work on their literary analysis piece. I have found that asking a student to move from the poetic form to the paragraph formal loses nothing in translation as the ideas remain intact and bring the poetic language with all of its figurative devices into the writing. You can find a post about this approach here at this blog.

It’s been a wonderful day of poetry and I look forward now to visiting all of the posts you have left today in the comments.

And now, I look forward to attending and offering some verse to the next poetry round-up.


The very best of the season to all of you. . .


Paul W. Hankins





34 thoughts on “It’s Poetry Friday Round-Up: And I Am the Host!

  1. Hey, Paul–

    It was great to meet you at NCTE, and you seem to be all over this hosting gig! Coincidentally, we both have calendar poems today–mine from the kindergarten point of view. I like “seem/a little wider in the middle” (the perfect description of school days, for sure–too thin on either end of that bulging busy middle”–and your last stanza is a gem!

    Here’s my link, and thanks for rounding up!

  2. Hi, Paul. Thanks for hosting. I love the slideshow in your winter windows — what a beautiful image.

    As 2014 winds down, I’m thinking about gift-giving. Today, I’m starting a series called “The Gift Shift,” highlighting the literary organizations on my holiday list. I’m featuring two non-profits this week, both committed to social justice in literature. Poems, too!

  3. And thanks for giving “shape” to Poetry Friday today! Love the idea of a rectangle day. No profound offerings from me at the moment, though I’m eyeing our portly old dachshund mix; my son just home on college break has been calling him “the sphere”….

  4. Hi Paul! I love the calendar aspects to your poem. Well done!

    Today I have some ekphrasis at Random Noodling.

    And at Kurious Kitty we’re celebrating ugly Christmas sweater day!

    KK’s Kwotes has a quote by Douglas Florian.

  5. I met you in Indiana at the All-Write Conference, Paul-lovely to see you hosting on Poetry Friday. When I drive to work, I see the sun reflecting in quite a few windows, just that perfect time as the sun rises. Your poem reminded me of that, those squares holding memories–the slide show. Love the ending too. I am newly back in the classroom, & today sharing a poem I wrote with my new class in our workshop:
    Thanks again for hosting!

  6. I love your excitement! And your poem is a geometrical goodie!

    For today, I have Episode 8 of A Great Nephew & A Great Aunt. My 5th grade nephew illustrates my poem Crumbled.

  7. Thanks for hosting, Paul. I love the fact that you challenged yourself to write a poem this week that “fit the shape” of things you’ve been thinking of. Nicely done. I have a little Cottleston Pie for people over at The Drift Record today, to go with some musings of mine about unanswerable questions (the best kind, of course.) Here’s the link:

  8. Paul, thank you for leaving a spot for me and for hosting Poetry Friday. My offering is at

    I captured a scene in Albany that marks the end of the fall season and then penned a poem to accompany it. I am contrasting my poem with Chanson de l’Automne by Paul Verlaine, written in French with an English translation by Arthur Symons in Poems. Accompanying this is a reading by Marlene Dietrich in French.

    I wanted everyone to know that I am not ready to showcase the Finding Fall Gallery yet, my hope is to offer an unveiling of the collection as my Christmas gift.

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