Version 2


Reader’s Song

I met a girl in a book—
a sister to me, my heart
sang to be so understood.

I met a girl in a book—
a stranger to me, my heart
sang to hear her melody.

Sister, stranger, girl, or boy—
in my heart their printed souls
find a voice and turn to song.


Last week I shared a septercet I wrote in response to Jane Yolen’s September challenge at Michelle Barnes’ Today’s Little Ditty. Like potato chips, septercets can be addictive, and I found I couldn’t stop at just one.

I’m sure the theme will be a familiar one to many of you. Readers need to be able to see themselves in what they read; they also need opportunities to read about other people’s experiences. For both reasons we all need more diverse books. The We Need Diverse Books movement and organization has brought new attention to this chronic deficiency.

If you haven’t already seen Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s TED talk The Danger of a Single Story and Grace Lin’s TEDx talk The Windows and Mirrors of Your Child’s Bookshelf, you must. Both writers speak powerfully of their experiences with limited access to mirrors and with people who have had limited access to windows.

I’m at Poetry Camp at WWU this weekend! I couldn’t be more excited to see old friends, meet people I’ve only known on line or on paper, and take a good long time to celebrate poetry and children. I hope to share about that next Friday.

In the meantime, Happy Poetry Friday! Karen Edmisten has the round-up.


© Elizabeth Steinglass 2016



Reader’s Apology

What? Were you talking to me?
I’m sorry I didn’t hear.
I hope you will understand.

Even though you can see me,
I’m not actually here.
I’ve been sucked into my book.


This month Michelle Barnes shines her spotlight on Jane Yolan. To celebrate her book The Alligator’s Smile and Other Poems, Jane has challenged readers to write septercets, a form she invented. Septercets are composed of stanzas of three lines; each line has seven syllables. The poems can have any number of stanzas and may be rhymed or unrhymed. I found them interesting to write. Every form has its own characteristics and part of using a new one is discovering its secrets. Apparently I was not alone in finding the septercet appealing because Michelle’s September padlet is booming.

Next week I’ll be at Poetry Camp at Western Washington University with many other Poetry Friday poets. I can’t wait to meet everyone in person. I’m pretty sure we’ll be breaking the world record for most children’s poets in one place.

Happy Poetry Friday!