Poetry Friday: Slipping into Summer Mode


Summer. Thoughts turn to mornings of clearing away the clutter of a busy school year and lazy afternoons with a book, days at the beach, adventures near and far. But most of all, TIME to write! It’s been a slow transition for me this year, though, as I’ve been writing curriculum and taking care of other work obligations that seem to have no end. I’ve been de-cluttering like mad, but my writing has come in fits and starts and feels stale and stilted. The best remedy for this? Read poetry, of course!

So I revisited one of my favorite anthologies from the past few years, Firefly July (Candlewick Press, 2014). This entire collection, selected by Paul B. Janeczko and brilliantly illustrated by Melissa Sweet, radiates joy. On every page, poets surprise and delight with perfect images and metaphors. “A Happy Meeting”, by Joyce Sidman, is just one example.


Joyce’s poetry always gives me a jump start, and I remembered she has a new book coming out, so I went searching for more about that. As you may know, Before Morning, with illustrations by Beth Krommes, will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in the fall. And although I didn’t find too much about that book, I did find this interview, from 2010, with Julie Danielson at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast.

At the very bottom of the page, this treasure is waiting:

“How to Find a Poem”
by Joyce Sidman

Wake with a dream-filled head.
Stumble out into the morning,
barely aware of how the sun
is laying down strips of silver
after three days’ rain,
of how the puddles
are singing with green.

Read the rest of the poem here.

Wishing you all sweet, dream-filled summer days! Please be sure to visit Tabatha Yeatts at The Opposite of Indifference for the Poetry Friday Roundup.

11 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: Slipping into Summer Mode

  1. I think all Joyce has to do to find a poem is get up 🙂 I love “barely aware of how the sun
    is laying down strips of silver
    after three days’ rain,” and the ending. Good luck with your writing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “Wake up with a dream-filled head / Stumble out into the morning” Reading these opening lines is like standing at a 7-way intersection… there are so many different paths they might lead. Makes me want to read more just to know which path it is. Thanks for sharing. And I enjoyed Joyce’s poem.


  3. I enjoy that collection too. Many great poems in there. I hope you find the inspiration you need. I have 3 PB manuscripts to query, but daily events get in my way. It is hard to find the time even in the summer. Good luck.


  4. Thanks for the update about a new book by Joyce Sidman, Catherine, and a peek, this new wonderful poem. I’d like to find a poem each morning, but perhaps I need to look a little harder! Happy holiday to you, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My daughter and I read Firefly July this morning, and we love it. The illustrations are charming, and the poetry divine. Some of it was over her head, though, at age 7. Much as I love the red wheelbarrow, the question of its importance dumbfounded her.


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