Monday, January 25, 2016

As we near the deadline for our Call for Submissions, Jane and I are so pleased with the submissions so far, and we're hoping for a deluge by the middle of February. Please continue to share this link with other poets whose work you enjoy.

Today I wanted to share Karen Call's "Do Not Take My Truck," another poem of a narrative nature that appeared on Jayne Jaudon Ferrer's "Your Daily Poem" that appears in my mailbox each morning. It fits the "day in the life of..." mode in the same fashion as Viorst's Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" to which the poet alludes.

The poem written in direct address to young Conner gives a picture of a small boy's day in which the concept of sharing is pushed beyond its limit.

Is this poem written for children or for adults? 
How do the details of the poem send readers right back into a kindergarten or nursery school setting?
What are the clearest memories you have of your early childhood, particularly in a similar setting? 
Do you have similar childhood memories when others pushed your good nature to its limits?
Who were the bullies you remember? the pushovers? Which were you?
How does this short poem develop the characters?
What clues give insight to Conner's teachers or caregivers? 
Why do adults sometimes fail to recognize the different perspectives of children?

I'll confess that this poem brought me back to Mrs. Powell's kindergarten, which I attended in her basement (before most elementary schools had added kindergarten). I recall my difficulty, when finger-painting, in learning to let my green trees dry before I added my red apples. I remember being cast as Mary in the Christmas play on the day we started rehearsal, but then Mrs. Powell forgot whom she cast and another girl stole my part. (I know I didn't imagine this because I met the girl again when I transferred schools in tenth grade, and she confessed and apologized.) Most clearly, I remember Donnie M., a "bad boy" who was asked to leave our class for some reason. He lived in the neighborhood, and one day we heard a knock on the door. When the teacher opened the door, there stood Donnie. He quickly sang out, "You ain't nothin' but a hound dog!" and then ran away.

I love a poem or story that makes me recall one of my own. I'll bet you do too.

*Thanks to Jayne Jaudon Ferrer for permission to share the poem on her site.

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