Poetry Friday: The Roundup is Here!

Welcome to the Poetry Friday Roundup! (Find our more about Poetry Friday in this post by Renée LaTulippe here.)

When our world came screeching to a halt last March, my local indie bookstore, The Hickory Stick Bookshop, soon reopened for phone orders and curbside pickup. I was happy to keep them busy. But I was even happier when they reopened for in-person (with masks, plenty of hand sanitizer, and social distancing, of course) shopping. On my first trip, I found this book on the display table in the children’s section.

I have been a fan of Emily Winfield Martin’s work since I first discovered it several years ago. To have a whole book of her fanciful, dream-like images felt like a gift. The fact that there were “little scraps of larger stories” included with each image was an added bonus.

Since I brought The Imaginaries home, I have delved deep into the images and the ideas and feelings they stir in me. They have inspired quite a few poems, and I can’t wait to share Winfield-Martin’s paintings and words with my students. Here is one of my favorite images from the book and the poem it inspired.

“She never told anyone what she saw at the edge of the world.” Emily Winfield Martin

“The Edge of the World”

At the edge of the world
rocks rise from the fathomless
blue-green sea
spangled with starfish
forming countless constellations
that glimmer in the sun.

Explorers, untethered
from home, follow
limitless wonderings
to this far horizon,
braving perilous shoals
searching for secret songs
and untold stories
seeking unimaginable creatures,
discovering this truth:

Here there be mermaids.

© Catherine Flynn, 2020

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27 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: The Roundup is Here!

  1. I wonder how many books I have in my house that I can credit to your recommendation, Catherine. I suspect another one might be joining the burgeoning collection! I love your poetic response to this image. Your word choice and imagery are beautiful and your poem has a wonderful legendary tone. Well done and thanks so much for hosting!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Those explorers are fortunate indeed. What a reward for their efforts! I love the last line of your poem.I haven’t been in a bookstore since Covid but you tempt me to find one I feel safe in.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Gorgeous poem Catherine, thanks for the seaside-sky journey, and I love mermaids in poems and art! I’m looking forward to traveling through Emily’s book sometime as an “untethered” visiter…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Love this, Catherine, with your “search for secret songs”! Wonderful response to the illustration. I’ve heard a lot about this book, and it reminds me of Chris Van Allsburg’s “Mysteries of Harris Burdick,” which I’ve always loved.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. First, I love the name of your bookstore! Who could possibly resist a peek inside? And, this book is gorgeous. What an incredible writing prompt. I love the idea of Explorers untethered…going so far and so wide as to find a place of mermaids. Sigh. Thanks so much for hosting this week. I had no idea what I was going to write about and then I saw photos of a moonbow. They are real! Come see.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Catherine, thanks for hosting and sharing a new book with us. Your poetic response to the picture renders a fanciful story that is sure to capture your students’ interest. Great word choice and wondering!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Catherine – the book and the illustration are breathtaking. I’d have adored it as a child and accordingly will now … must get a copy. Your poem – the beauty of the language, the ethereal quality – it is as magical and timeless as mermaids themselves. I especially love being “in search of secret songs/and untold stories.” Thank you for this glorious taste of fantasy today!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Catherine, the book you highlight provides a bit of escapism from the harsh reality of our current world. it is a balm for the soul if you like. I find we are on a similar wavelength this week in looking at images and illustrations as a stimulus for poetry. The lines of your image inspired poem, ‘Explorers, untethered from home, follow limitless wonderings to this far horizon,’ appeal strongly to the curious learner within me. Thank you for hosting.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Catherine, thank you for hosting and for your beautiful poem and for sharing about Imaginaries, which I own. Like you, it has sparked my muse, more in the form of stories than poems… absolutely gorgeous! It’s one of those deserted-island books (if you had to pick one book to have with you on a deserted island). So rich! xo
    p.s. there’s one in the book that always makes me thinking of Jama: “She always wanted to be a bear.” 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Appreciations for creating transporting poem, Catherine. I am especially lifted by
    “secret songs
    and untold stories”

    I’m glad to be led to artist-author Emily Winfield Martin ~ I can tell I’ll become a fan.
    And I love knowing of the Hickory Stick . Thanks so much for hosting.

    ~ Jan/Bookseedstudio

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Thanks, Catherine, for sharing this book and your magical poem. I’m not familiar with Emily Windfield’s work, but I’m in love already, from the little glimpse you share. And your poem is certainly a treasure from the edge of the world! I want to be where the water is spangled with starfish and filled with secret songs, untold stories, and unimaginable creatures–and of course, mermaids!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m late to the party, but I just couldn’t not post! Thanks for hosting and for your poem. It is simply delicious to read aloud. All that alliteration, like the sound of waves on rocks. Lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

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