Reader’s Song

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

Happy First Day of April



April Fools’ Day Quiz

Is it wise to spend the day gazing into space?
Is it wise to while the hours sitting in one place?

Is it wise to wonder how a cookie’s like the moon?
Is it wise to contemplate the secrets of a spoon?

Is it wise to strain your brain searching for a rhyme?
Is it wise to treat a misplaced accent like a crime?

Is it wise to form your words around a given rule?
If you believe the answer’s yes, then you, like me, are a . . . poet.


Happy April Fool’s Day and Happy First Day of National Poetry Month! How have I never noticed they fall on the same day?!

I’ve been agonizing for weeks about how to celebrate this year. Should I write everyday? Should I post everyday? Should I have a theme? What should it be?

Nothing I considered felt quite right, so I’m going to go with my gut and not choose. I commit to celebrating National Poetry Month in some way every day this month, but how I’ll celebrate will mostly be the whim of the day. Maybe I’ll read. Maybe I’ll write. Maybe I’ll post. Maybe I’ll visit other poets’ blogs and see what they’re up to. I do know I’m going to contribute to Irene Latham’s Progressive Poem on April 7th, and I know I’m going to participate in the Spark postcard exchange. But on the other days, who knows? My plan is to wander. I hope you’ll join me from time to time.

To see how other people are celebrating the month, take a peek at Jama’s roundup.

For more Poetry Friday, visit Amy at The Poetry Farm. I know she plans to wonder. I wonder what she’s wondering today.

See you soon!


Winter Poetry Swap

In this, my first year participating in Tabatha’s lovely winter poetry swap, I was the lucky recipient of two sets of gifts! From Tabatha herself I received a feast–bookmarks with poetry quotes, a poem by Tabatha, an invisible ink puzzle book, and an adorable sloth sack.



Here is a close-up of Tabatha’s poem. I can’t pick out a favorite phrase or line to highlight because I have too many.



Then, from Suzanne Estes I received a beautiful pop-up poem book, Trail,  about a snail making its way in the world, and an incredible poem I had never read before, “Walter Jenks’ Bath” by William Meredith.





See the teeth on the right of the page? You use them to turn a wheel which reveals the verse.

Thank you to both Tabatha and Suzanne for their lovely gifts and a special thank you to Tabatha for organizing the exchange.

Happy New Year!


Hanukkah Lights



Hanukkah Lights

When the candles are lit,
and the blessings sung,
I sit and watch the wavering flames,
imagining the light of our menorah
reaching through the dark
from our house
to our neighbor’s,
to homes too far to see—
all of them connecting
in an earthborn constellation of stars.


Happy Hanukkah. Merry Christmas. Joyous Winter. Good wishes to all–no matter what you celebrate.

For more Poetry Friday, visit Tara at A Teaching Life. I love the beautiful photo in her header.


Dog Love

Photo of Sophie by Susan Pittman

Photo of Sophie by Susan Pittman



Dog Love

When the hurts pile up
and I can’t hold them all,
I retreat to my room
where the tears start to fall.

There she finds me alone,
jumbled up in my bed,
and sorts out my mess
with a nudge of her head.


I wrote this poem in response to Rebecca Davis’ challenge to write poems about kindness at Michelle Barnes’ blog Today’s Little Ditty. I missed the end-of-November deadline. Oh well. I can still share it here with you. I hope you enjoy it.

For more Poetry Friday, visit Buffy Silverman at Buffy’s Blog.

Happy Reading,