Laura Purdie Salas (laurasalas ) wrote,
  • Mood: enthralled

Poem of the Day: The Mollusk That Made You (Joyce Sidman)



So many people are doing so many cool things across the kidlitosphere in honor of National Poetry Month! I need to find a centralized list to share. (Addendum: Laura Evans at Teach Poetry K-12 has a comprehensive list in the righthand sidebar--check it out!) Meanwhile, I'm traveling a lot in April, so I'm keeping it fairly simple. Every day, M-F, I'm sharing one poem I love from a kids' or YA poetry book. I'm happy to kick off the month with one of my very favorite poets!

Joyce Sidman has done it again. Joyce is one of my poetry idols, and her new collection, Ubiquitous: Celebrating Nature's Survivors (Houghton Mifflin, 2010), is a captivating combination of poetry and nonfiction, deliciously illustrated by Beckie Prange. It's hard to choose a favorite from this very varied collection, but here's one where I love the poem and art equally:

The Mollusk That Made You

Shell of the sunrise,
sunrise shell,
yours is the pink lip
of a pearled world.

Who swirled your whorls and ridges?
Was it the shy gray wizard
shuttered inside you?
I hear he walks on one foot
and wears a magic mantle,
trailing stars.

O Shell,
if only I could shrink!
I'd climb your bristled back,
     slide down the spiral
          of your heart.
I'd knock on your tiny door
     and ask to meet
     the mollusk
     that made you.

--Joyce Sidman, all rights reserved

Tags: joyce sidman, national poetry month, poem of the day
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