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Saturday, December 19, 2015

Sharing smiles like roses

“As individuals, we are shaped by story from the time of birth; we are formed by what we are told by our parents, our teachers, our intimates.” – Helen Dunmore

My choice for "Saturday's poet" is British writer Helen Dunmore, who said growing up in a large family (her parents also came from large families) was a great influence on her writing because, "In a large family you hear and observe a great many stories."   The writer of award-winning poetry and a couple dozen books (mostly for children), she said writing books for kids has given her a special grounding in her craft.

“Writing children's books gives a writer a very strong sense of narrative drive.   Children will not pretend to be enjoying books, and they will not read books because they have been told that these books are good. They are looking for delight.”

Among her clever children’s books are Aliens Don’t Eat Bacon Sandwiches and Go Fox, two of her several of her works taught in British elementary schools.  Here’s "Saturday's Poem" by Dunmore.  

Smiles Like Roses

All down my street
smiles opened like roses
sun licked me and tickled me
sun said, Didn’t you believe me
when I said I’d be back?

I blinked my eyes, I said,
Sun, you are too strong for me
where’d you get those muscles?
Sun said, Come and dance.

All over the park
smiles opened like roses
babies kicked off their shoes
and sun kissed their toes.

All those new babies
all that new sun
everybody dancing
walking but dancing.

All over the world
sun kicked off his shoes
and came home dancing
licking and tickling

kissing crossing-ladies and fat babies
saying to everyone
Hey you are the most beautiful
dancing people I’ve ever seen
with those smiles like roses!

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