In poetry this week

This seems like a moment to share a collection of
poems by creatives who are deeply connected to places
such as Egypt, Israel, Iraq, Saudia Arabia, Palestine, Syria,
Jordan, Lebanon, Iran, Yemen, Turkey & even as far east
as India.

This volume of adult-written poems for students,
selected by Naomi Shihab Nye, is an original Aladdin Paperback,
offered to classrooms where students ages 8-12 are
expanding their horizons.

With many national flags represented in the collection.
one of the poems I especially return to has this in it –

“ …the ones who raise the flag of childhood high.”


In this season of anguished refugee news & intense military fighting
around the world, I meditate on the idea that despite everyting that is
rotten among countires on the planet, families are united by the flag of childhood.

Here is more of that poem.

from Letters to Childhood
Mohammed Shehadeh
translator: Aziz Shihab

All the children of the world
in all my abodes
you are the roses in my courtyard,
the green and the fresh,
the sun and the stars,
you are the beautiful hands,
the ones who raise the flag of childhood high.

©Mohammed Shehadeh

Other poems in, THE FLAG OF CHILDHOOD, carry titles such as “Beginning Speech,” “History Class,” “Growing (after Pablo Neruda’s ‘Walking Around’), “Class Pictures,” “I Have No Address,” & “Why Are We in Exile, the Refugees Ask.”

Another poem in this 98-page collection that I return to is, “The Bridge” by Kaissar Afif, who writes, in part – Poetry is a river/ And solitude a bridge

I have appreciated that Naomi Nye collected this group of poems.

Also this week, I turned to Worlds, Words & Wings, for a list of books about peace. The link is for middle grade; at the end of the post you can find links for the other school ages.

Also this week–

In some of the English-speaking world, such as Scotland, Ireland & England,
readers & writers celebrated National Poetry Day – October 8, 2015.

Perhaps I tune into it even tho I am on the Florida side of the Big Pond,
because of my good fortune at Hollins University to take one class with an invigorating guest lecturer from Wales via England – Prof. Morag Styles.

For Your Inquiring Mind

What is National Poetry Day, Oct. 8?

Did anything happen in the U.S.?
Student Poet Event Washington D.C

I had absolutely no role in this but I would like to raise up one student from my state, Chasity Hale, who was honored in a ceremony with President Obama and Mrs. Obama, for her poetry this week! Here is a link to a lovely photograph of the ceremony.

Please find Poetry Friday well-schooled by Laura at WRITING THE WORLD FOR KIDS
To be ready for next week, Poetry Friday cultivation on Oct. 16 is in the autumn garden with Amy, at The Poetry Farm

18 thoughts on “In poetry this week

  1. This post brought tears to my eyes, Jan – thank you for casting a wide net to celebrate children from cultures all across the globe. Naomi Shihab Nye is such a treasure. I look forward to exploring all these great links, too.


  2. You are reminding me that if I choose to read aloud Child Soldiers (a very grim and truthful graphic novel memoir) to my students, I must include poetry of hope and healing.


  3. This is a very moving post. How comforting to hear of this poetry collection. I too had heard of the UK Poetry Day. I was commenting to Laura Shovan on twitter, that these days & events (like NaNoWriMo too) need to lose the ‘National’ banner and be the international celebration that so many try to make them. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you so much for sharing these lovely poems. Naomi Shihab Nye consistently selects poems that resonate deeply with me. Will most certainly find this book! And I did see some of the posts for UK’s Poetry Day. Fun!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Irene,
      It can be ab elusive title but as you can see, worth the search. Glad you are on the hunt.
      I like it that we share admiration for the work of NSN.

      And for that “other” poetry palooza!


  5. I have this collection, Jan, have used it in the past with students. Naomi Nye’s work has enhanced the teaching of poetry by sharing so many wonderful poems we might not find otherwise. Thanks for the additional links, too. I am sad each day to hear about the immigrants’ plight, the ones who will remember sadly raising their flag, no more to be. There was a good piece on the PBS news last night of the many who have been welcomed in Sweden, a positive story, but still that country is challenged by the numbers. Thanks for such a full post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for mentioning that PBS report – I missed it & it sounds worth catching online.
      Linda, you are SO wonderful a guide into the wide world for your students. They are fortunate to have you stocking your class shelves with
      wonderful resources.


  6. Was just about to comment that your beautiful post reminded me of Malala who has “raised the flag of childhood high,” and then! I saw your next post. God bless you for calling our attention to our seeds of peace & hope. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

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