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Saturday, December 21, 2019

Shaped By Our Stories

“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

Dunmore, born in December 1952, grew up in a large British family, which she said was a great influence on her writing.  "In a large family,” she explained, “you hear and observe a great many stories."  The writer of both award-winning poetry and dozens of books (mostly for children), she said writing for kids has given her a special grounding in her craft. 
                                            “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, just two of her works taught in British elementary schools.  For "Saturday's Poem" here is Dunmore’s,  

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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