Poetry Friday: “Willow Warbler”

As many of you may know, my wife and I celebrated our 9th anniversary last weekend. Since this is the “willow” year, we both observed tradition and had dinner at the only place we could possibly go:

We also gave each other a proper gift. She presented me with a beautiful handmade pen fashioned from willow (followed by a weekend getaway to our Honeymoon spot!) and I gave her a framed picture of a willow warbler…

  

(And yes, I had to include a handful of dried willow behind the picture, as well!)

Now, a picture of a bird might not seem like that big of a deal for an anniversary gift, but I had a feeling my wife would really like it because of what it actually was:  a reclaimed page from an old book that could not be salvaged. I bought it from an Etsy shop in the U.K. that specializes in this sort of thing, so the fact that it was a bird (which my wife loves) on a willow branch, on a page from a book from England, made it rather special – and fortunately, my wife loved it. (Whew!)

So in-between all the things I’m working on this week, I sat down and spent a few minutes penning a little light verse to go along with the picture. It’s no award-winning piece of poetry, but I thought I’d share it nonetheless because I rather like it:

Willow Warbler

Willow warbler whistles a tune
to lure the ladies and make them swoon.
When willows pale, it’s warbler’s time
to take wing for a warmer clime.

– © 2017 Matt Forrest Esenwine, all rights reserved

Summer is winding down for all of us, including the warbler, who winters in sub-Saharan Africa (well, at least the European warblers do.) I hope you have a great weekend, and please be sure to visit Kay McGriff at A Journey Through the Pages for today’s complete Poetry Friday roundup!

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“Delicious language…ingenious metamorphoses” – Kirkus Reviews

“Imaginative…fantastical” – ALA Booklist

“Balladic verse” – Publisher’s Weekly

“Beautiful words and amazing illustrations” – Michelle Knott, Mrs. Knott’s Book Nook/Goodreads

Flashlight Night (Boyd’s Mills Press) hits bookshelves Sept. 19, 2017! Pre-orders are available now through Barnes & NobleAmazon, or Books-a-Million, or by clicking the image of the cover to the right. Of course, if you prefer, you can always wait til Sept. 19 and purchase it at your favorite local independent bookstore.

Thank you for your support – and stay tuned for details about the big September Blog Tour and book signings that are coming up!

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Did you like this post? Find something interesting elsewhere in this blog? I really won’t mind at all if you feel compelled to share it with your friends and followers!
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“Constancy”

This post was originally published August 3, 2012. It was my first poetry post on this blog, and only my second post ever, following my introduction. But I repost it every year around this time, as my wedding anniversary is August 10 and the poem was part of my wedding vows. I wouldn’t be where I am without my wife, after all – she’s the one who allows me to be a stay-at-home dad who writes for a (modest) living! 

And by the way, Margaret is hosting Poetry Friday today at Reflections on the Teche, so I hope you’ll stop by and say hi!

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poetryfridaybutton-fulllThis is only my second posting on this blog, and although I knew I wanted to do something for Poetry Friday, it took quite a bit of deliberation to decide which poem of mine I should spotlight.  Children’s poetry or adult poetry?  Published or unpublished?  Happy or sad?  Funny or serious???

Well, after careful consideration, I decided I would post an unpublished poem I wrote a few years ago for the one person in the world who has done the most for me in my quest to become a published children’s author:   my wife, Jenny. Through her unwavering support (emotional, physical, AND financial), I’m able to pursue this dream along with all the other people who have been so helpful to me, like my kids, friends, and fellow writers.

This is a traditional Elizabethan sonnet (three quatrains with an a/b/a/b, c/d/c/d, e/f/e/f rhyme scheme followed by a rhyming g/g couplet) which I wrote as part of my wedding vows.  No, it doesn’t read as a contemporary poem; it was deliberately written in a sort of old-fashioned, classic sort of style. I wanted to express the thought that even though poets throughout history have written words of undying love and immutable steadfastness, my love for her surpassed all their metaphors, all their similes, all that they could ever have imagined.

Yes, I’m a romantic; I make no apologies.

I conclude my poem with a suggestion for them as to what they should compare their love to…but it’s not a rose or a star.

Looking back on it (indeed, even shortly after I’d written it), there are several things I would have changed, edited, or revised – it is a bit over-wrought, I admit – but I was under a deadline, of course, and this was what I came up with.  Unlike my other poems, “Constancy” will never be put through revisions, however; these were the words I spoke to my wife on August 10, 2008 (in a voice loud enough that the entire state of Massachusetts could hear) and so they shall remain.  These words were part of my vows and are as unalterable as my love and gratitude for her.

I wouldn’t be able to do what I do if not for Jenny.

Thanks again for saying “Yes,” Honey.

Constancy
For Jennifer

How many have, before me, tried in vain
To capture beauty, constancy, and love
Through fluent phrase, in happiness and pain,
And simile of summer, star, or dove?
Their words so eloquent, imagery lush –
In perfect imperfection testify,
For seasons change, the steadfast heavens rush
To swirl about themselves, and doves will die.
How best to show the one whom I adore
The fullness of my amorosity?
I fail to find a finer metaphor
Than that true love which you have shown to me.
The poets fail! Their thoughts do not dismiss;
‘Tis better they compare their love to this.

© 2008, Matt Forrest Esenwine, all rights reserved

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“Delicious language…ingenious metamorphoses” – Kirkus Reviews

“Balladic verse” – Publisher’s Weekly

“Imaginative…fantastical” – ALA Booklist

“Beautiful words and amazing illustrations” – Michelle Knott, Mrs. Knott’s Book Nook/Goodreads

Flashlight Night (Boyd’s Mills Press) hits bookshelves Sept. 19, 2017! Pre-orders are available now through Barnes & NobleAmazon, or Books-a-Million, or by clicking the image of the cover to the right. Of course, if you prefer, you can always wait til Sept. 19 and purchase it at your favorite local independent bookstore.

Thank you for your support – and stay tuned for details about the big September Blog Tour and book signings that are coming up!

========================================================

Did you like this post? Find something interesting elsewhere in this blog? I really won’t mind at all if you feel compelled to share it with your friends and followers!
SCVBWI_Member-badge (5 years)
To keep abreast of all my posts, please consider subscribing via the links up there on the right!  (I usually only post twice a week – on Tues. and Fri. – so you won’t be inundated with emails every day)
 .
Also feel free to visit my voiceover website HERE, and you can also follow me via Twitter FacebookPinterest, and SoundCloud!

 

Poetry Friday: Birthday poem “Her Green World”

(click to enlarge)

This photo was taken a couple of weeks ago when my wife and I took our two kids to Quechee Gorge, Vermont – our local “Little Grand Canyon,” as they call it.

It’s a nice place to hike, explore, get wet, have a picnic, or just relax. At one end of the gorge rock ledges jut out of the earth as the Ottauquechee River smooths; folks can meander around carefully and take a dip in the water. At the other end is the dam that keeps all the river water under control, where you can see the waterfall (some days more exuberant than others) and take a stroll along the upper river – which is where this photo was taken.

I should mention that I wrote this poem with my youngest daughter in mind, not only because she’s in the photo, but because her birthday is coming up in just a couple weeks, so I thought it might be a nice early birthday gift for her.

I also need to wish the great Percy Bysshe Shelley a posthumous Happy Birthday, as he was born on this very date, Aug. 4, 1792; his poem, “Ozymandias,” is one of my favorites, and is one of the reasons why I started learning to write poetry – and specifically sonnets – in high school.

Donna Smith at Mainely Write is hosting Poetry Friday today, so head on over to check out all of the day’s links and fun!

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“Delicious language…ingenious metamorphoses” – Kirkus Reviews

“Balladic verse” – Publisher’s Weekly

“Imaginative…fantastical” – ALA Booklist

“Beautiful words and amazing illustrations” – Michelle Knott, Mrs. Knott’s Book Nook/Goodreads

Flashlight Night (Boyd’s Mills Press) hits bookshelves Sept. 19, 2017! Pre-orders are available now through Barnes & NobleAmazon, or Books-a-Million, or by clicking the image of the cover to the right. Of course, if you prefer, you can always wait til Sept. 19 and purchase it at your favorite local independent bookstore.

Thank you for your support – and stay tuned for details about the big September Blog Tour and book signings that are coming up!

========================================================

Did you like this post? Find something interesting elsewhere in this blog? I really won’t mind at all if you feel compelled to share it with your friends and followers!
SCVBWI_Member-badge (5 years)
To keep abreast of all my posts, please consider subscribing via the links up there on the right!  (I usually only post twice a week – on Tues. and Fri. – so you won’t be inundated with emails every day)
 .

Poetry Friday: Phoebe babies and another great review for “Flashlight Night!”

(Click to enlarge)

This photo was taken about a month ago, but I’m just now getting around to sharing a poem with it because I’ve been so busy with kids and work and everything else that fills up a summer. But I wanted to post this, because the phoebe family keeps coming back year after year, building and rebuilding their little home above the front door to our home…and they have become as much a part of our family as the creatures living inside.

ALA Booklist loves “Flashlight Night!”

I’ve mentioned before how happy I was to receive a positive review for my debut picture book from Publisher’s Weekly…and a starred review from Kirkus was just outstanding! Now, I’ve learned that the American Library Association’s Booklist will be publishing their review of Flashlight Night next Wed., August 2 – and it appears they, too, seemed to enjoy it:

“A flashlight becomes a gateway to a whole new world in this imaginative picture book…Despite the excitement, the gentle rhyming text will wind young listeners down and help prepare them for dreamland adventures of their own.”

Those are just the first and last sentences of the review…wait’ll you see what the reviewer has to say, in-between! (I’ll be sure to share the link here and on Facebook and Twitter once it comes out – but I’m sure you could’ve guessed that, right??)

By the way, Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise is hosting Poetry Friday today with a fun, unusual poetry prompt and lots of links to more poetry…so be sure to head over and say hi!

===================================================

“Delicious language…ingenious metamorphoses” – Kirkus Reviews

“Balladic verse” – Publisher’s Weekly

“Beautiful words and amazing illustrations” – Michelle Knott, Mrs. Knott’s Book Nook/Goodreads

Flashlight Night (Boyd’s Mills Press) hits bookshelves Sept. 19, 2017! Pre-orders are available now through Barnes & NobleAmazon, or Books-a-Million, or by clicking the image of the cover to the right. Of course, if you prefer, you can always wait til Sept. 19 and purchase it at your favorite local independent bookstore.

Thank you for your support – and stay tuned for details about the big September Blog Tour and book signings that are coming up!

========================================================

Did you like this post? Find something interesting elsewhere in this blog? I really won’t mind at all if you feel compelled to share it with your friends and followers!
SCVBWI_Member-badge (5 years)
To keep abreast of all my posts, please consider subscribing via the links up there on the right!  (I usually only post twice a week – on Tues. and Fri. – so you won’t be inundated with emails every day)
 .
Also feel free to visit my voiceover website HERE, and you can also follow me via Twitter FacebookPinterest, and SoundCloud!

Poetry Friday: Love is in the air…

The FRIGIDaire, actually…

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Ecstasy, July 2017

In summer’s deep heat,
no joy is greater
than the sweet icy kiss
of my refrigerator.

– © 2017 Matt Forrest Esenwine, all rights reserved

Katie at The Logonauts is hosting Poetry Friday today, so please stop by & say hi, and check out all the poetry links and fun!

===================================================

“Delicious language…ingenious metamorphoses” – Kirkus Reviews

“Balladic verse” – Publisher’s Weekly

“Beautiful words and amazing illustrations” – Michelle Knott, Mrs. Knott’s Book Nook/Goodreads

Flashlight Night (Boyd’s Mills Press) hits bookshelves Sept. 19, 2017! Pre-orders are available now through Barnes & NobleAmazon, or Books-a-Million, or by clicking the image of the cover to the right. Of course, if you prefer, you can always wait til Sept. 19 and purchase it at your favorite local independent bookstore.

Thank you for your support – and stay tuned for details about the big September Blog Tour and book signings that are coming up!

========================================================

Did you like this post? Find something interesting elsewhere in this blog? I really won’t mind at all if you feel compelled to share it with your friends and followers!
SCVBWI_Member-badge (5 years)
To keep abreast of all my posts, please consider subscribing via the links up there on the right!  (I usually only post twice a week – on Tues. and Fri. – so you won’t be inundated with emails every day)
 .
Also feel free to visit my voiceover website HERE, and you can also follow me via Twitter FacebookPinterest, and SoundCloud!

Poetry Friday: “Mac ‘n Cheese, Please”

(click to enlarge)

If you have not heard the gastronomically fantastic news, today is National Mac ‘n Cheese Day! I have no idea who decided this, but I appreciate the sentiment.

Around here, my 3-year-old daughter prefers the boxed, store-bought variety; my 7-year-old son, on the other hand, doesn’t care if it’s store-bought, restaurant-prepared, or my own homemade…if it’s pasta and cheese, he’s on it.

Someone else who is celebrating the holy union of pasta and dairy is Tabatha Yeatts, who is hosting Poetry Friday today at The Opposite of Indifference – where you’ll find plenty of cheesy (and not-so-cheesy) poetry!

===================================================

“Delicious language…ingenious metamorphoses” – Kirkus Reviews

“Balladic verse” – Publisher’s Weekly

“Beautiful words and amazing illustrations” – Michelle Knott, Mrs. Knott’s Book Nook/Goodreads

Flashlight Night (Boyd’s Mills Press) hits bookshelves Sept. 19, 2017! Pre-orders are available now through Barnes & Noble and Amazon, or by clicking the image of the cover to the right. Of course, if you prefer, you can always wait til Sept. 19 and purchase it at your favorite local independent bookstore.

And thank you for your support!

Poetry Friday: “Flashlight Night” winner – and another amazing review!

Before I get to today’s post, I’d like to thank you for taking the time to read my blog.

Whether or not you subscribe, I realize there’s a lot going on in your day – heck, my days are insanely crazy, with 2 kids at home here during the summer and me trying to write in-between household chores and random errands – so the fact that you are willing to spend a few minutes of your life reading what I have posted really, truly means a lot.

Thank you.

I also want to thank everyone who participated in last week’s contest! In celebration of the upcoming release of Flashlight Night (Boyds Mills Press, Sept. 2017), I said I would give away a signed copy to one person out of all the folks who left a comment on last Friday’s post, “liked” the post, or shared it via Twitter and/or Facebook. And that person is…

Linda Baie!!

Congratulations, Linda! Just send me an email or Facebook message with your mailing address and I’ll get this in the mail to you asap. And thank you for entering the contest and sharing the news about Flashlight Night!

Now, I still have ANOTHER copy to give away…I’d love to announce my 500th follower (my little ol’ blog is up to 490 followers on the eve of its 5th year!), so if you are not officially ‘following’ this blog, I hope you’ll consider doing so. My 500th follower will also win a signed copy!

Flashlight Night (Boyds Mills Press) hits bookshelves Sept. 19, 2017, and pre-orders are available now through Barnes & Noble and Amazon. If you prefer, you can always wait til Sept. 19 and purchase it at your favorite local independent bookstore.

Oh, and speaking of Flashlight, I am simultaneously thrilled and humbled by its latest review…this time, from Publisher’s Weekly! To quote them, both the text and illustrations together “don’t just lobby for children to read—they show how readers play.” About a month ago, I was fortunate to receive a starred review from Kirkus…so imagine my amazement yesterday, when I learned how much the folks at PW enjoyed it.

I was also fortunate to see Flashlight included in a list of notable picture books on Mrs. Knott’s Book Nook and Alyson Beecher’s Kid Lit Frenzy blog. The word “grateful” doesn’t begin to express my feelings; I hope the book-buying public likes it as much as all these reviewers!

By the way, for today’s complete Poetry Friday roundup, please visit Carol Varsalona at Beyond Literacy Link, where she is celebrating the joy of creating!

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Did you like this post? Find something interesting elsewhere in this blog? I really won’t mind at all if you feel compelled to share it with your friends and followers!
SCVBWI_Member-badge (5 years)
To keep abreast of all my posts, please consider subscribing via the links up there on the right!  (I usually only post twice a week – on Tues. and Fri. – so you won’t be inundated with emails every day)
 .
Also feel free to visit my voiceover website HERE, and you can also follow me via Twitter FacebookPinterest, and SoundCloud!