Guest Post: Annette Simon’s Book Spine Poetry

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It’s been National Poetry Month for a full week now, and I hope that you’ve found time to read or write (or both!) poems a-plenty. In case you’re looking for a new form of poetry to explore, may I suggest book spine poems?

For the uninitiated, book spine poetry is a form of found poetry that first appeared in 1993, courtesy of Nina Katchadourian, and then became popular when Maria Popova began posting her own book spine poems to Brain Pickings in 2012.

Today, I’m happy and proud to present a few book spine poems by my dear friend, Annette Simon, an author/illustrator/poet extraordinaire. She’s also lucky enough to work in a bookstore, with access to shelves and shelves of titles to inspire her. Below, she’s grouped a few poems together to create a commentary on parenting that many of us will undoubtedly find compelling.

 

What motherhood has taught me:

Annette Simon spine poem

Because…

book spine poem, spine poetry, ©2014Annette Simon

Another thing…

lazyday, spine poem by Annette Simon

Mental health days are key.

spine poetm by Annette Simon

Why not try composing a few book spine poems of your own? They’re especially fun to make with kids, and the library is a wonderful place to explore this new form of expression. If you do create some you’d like to share, please post your pics on The Well-Versed Mom Facebook page. I’d love to see what you come up with!

MORE ABOUT ANNETTE SIMON:

Annette is an advertising creative director turned picture book maker. In her new ROBOT BURP HEAD SMARTYPANTS!, the mechanical pals of ROBOT ZOMBIE FRANKENSTEIN! return with a new game – and the thirst to win it.

Burp to ten? Easy! Burp by tens while blindfolded, juggling and skateboarding? Simple! Now, add the alphabet? Reboot! (It’s one loud read-aloud.)

Please see more (and download free robot activity kits!) here.
p.s. If you’d like a personalized copy, contact Annette’s local indie, The BookMark. When possible, please support your own local store. Consider a kind word here, here or here. Affirmative?

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GIVING CREDIT

It’s almost Tax Day.

And as usual, in spite of my oh-so honest intentions to get my butt in gear and get my forms in on time, I will confess that I’m filing an extension.
Again.

I do have a perfectly good excuse, however — actually, make that two perfectly good excuses: my daughters.

See, I’ve been busy cooking and cleaning and shuttling them to school and shopping and sleepovers and afterschool stuff… Oh yeah, and then there’s that job I’ve been working to pay for many of the aforementioned activities.

I’m not complaining, though. It’s what parents do. And my girls are the light of my life, and so very, very worth everything I do for them.

But on Tax Day, I get a bit more appreciative of how much they mean to me.

This year, it’s around $2,000.

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GIVING CREDIT

They truly are annoying when they whine or when they fight,
when complaining about homework or a shoe that won’t tie right;
plus, they’re noisy and they’re stinky and they cost a lot to feed,
and it seems there’s always some new toy they really, REALLY need.

They keep us from our sleep and leave us stretched from all the stress;
they muddy up the floors and leave their rooms a massive mess;
they dismiss and disobey us and then question all our knowledge;
they rebel and they revolt and then they leave or flee to college.

Yet though they test and tax us, we’re still glad for our kids’ births,
And today I have to say that I do realize their worth;
So even if they misbehave, for once I just won’t sweat it,
‘Cause I’m thankful for and so adore my beautiful tax credits.

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©2012 Carlotta Eike Stankiewicz

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It’s Instrumental

My younger daughter enters middle school next year. She’s a small girl with a big personality. She’s been feeling a little sensitive about her size compared to her classmates’, who are all undergoing major growth spurts – especially the girls. But I feel confident she’ll fit right in. She’s a pistol.

When she went for an orientation at her new school last week, she spent part of the evening choosing an instrument to learn in band class.  Her older sister plays the flute, and there was an assumption that she’d do the same. It was the first instrument the middle school music teacher handed her. She positioned her lips over the mouthpiece and blew a pretty good first note. The teacher looked pleased.

Next came the clarinet. She did okay, but her arms looked awkward grasping the long body. She wasn’t a fan, and neither was I.

The teacher bypassed the trombone (far too big for her to handle) and picked up a trumpet. I’d almost told the teacher not to bother, we’ll go for flute, thanks, see you in the fall.

But when she picked it up and put her lips to the mouthpiece, something remarkable happened. She blew a big, strong, long and brassy note that sounded to the heavens. Her dad, the teacher and I were still for a moment. Then the teacher asked her to try again. She blew another clear note, even longer and stronger.

And so, come fall, my little girl will be making some big noise as she heralds the arrival of the school year with her new instrument.

Heaven help us.

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It’s Instrumental

I thought that a flute
With its trills and toots
Might fill her room
With its silvery tunes.

Or a clarinet
Half a jazz duet
With its licorice voice
Might be her choice.

Or she’d try a sax
Mellow to the max
The bend in its bell
Letting sweet notes swell.

Maybe she’d come home
With a xylophone
Sounding soft and clear
And so nice to hear.

But with typical sass
She chose the brass:
A trumpet to blare
bravely through the air.

Now she’s eager to play
Practicing night and day
I give praise and cheers
And then — plug my ears.

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©2011 Carlotta Eike Stankiewicz