Thursday, August 11, 2022



The sky of brightest gray seems dark
To one whose sky was ever white.
To one who never knew a spark,
Thro' all his life, of love or light,
The grayest cloud seems over-bright.
The robin sounds a beggar's note
Where one the nightingale has heard,
But he for whom no silver throat
Its liquid music ever stirred,
Deems robin still the sweetest bird.
Paul Laurence Dunbar

Sunday, July 31, 2022

Perspective in a Gratitude Suitcase

Kim Haynes Johnson is interactively reading Dictionary for a Better World by my friends Irene Latham and Charles Waters, and illustrated by Mehrdokht Amini. (Irene is an IMPERFECT poet.)

Kim Haynes Johnson writes:
As I prepare to begin a word journey through Dictionary for a Better World: Poems, Quotes, and Anecdotes from A to Z by Irene Latham and Charles Waters, illustrated by Mehrdokht Amini tomorrow, I’m packing my suitcase of all the things I’ll need along the way, including a list of the things for which I am grateful. The Gratitude List on p. 117 of the book inspires me to remember to have a thankful heart always, but particularly as I journey through these months ahead. A common saying is “a lot of what you see depends on what you’re looking for,” and I agree.
The first thing that Kim says she will pack in her Gratitude Suitcase is:
“A kaleidoscope, to remind me that every twist of perspective is beautiful. As Rainer Maria Rilke said in Letters to a Young Poet, There is not more beauty here than elsewhere…..but there is much beauty here, because there is much beauty everywhere.

Friday, July 29, 2022

Liz Garton Scanlon

Many IMPERFECT II poets turn to nature when they need to put things back in perspective. Liz Garton Scanlon says:
My biggest perspective shifts happen outside, in nature, lots of air, moss, leaves, birdsong. Surprises over every hill.
Liz Garton Scanlon is the author of many beloved books for kids, including the recent Would You Come Too?, the upcoming Frances in the Country, the Caldecott honored All the World, and many others. She's also co-authored several books with her pal Audrey Vernick, including the hilarious Bob, Not Bob. Her next middle grade novel, Lolo's Light, launches in fall 2022, and her chapter book series Bibsy Cross debuts in 2024. Liz is faculty co-chair of the Writing for Children and Young Adults program at the Vermont Faculty of Fine Arts, but lives in Austin, Texas.

twitter: @LGartonScanlon
instagram: @lizgardensalad

Wednesday, July 27, 2022


A quick poetry classroom activity idea by Lesa Smith:

Create a visual of a poem: After choosing a poem, students draw or create a visual collage by hand or digitally (Canva for Education is a great option for this). The driving question is “What do you see when you read the poem?”. The completed pieces also make for a great classroom display.