Thursday, July 5, 2018

Poetry Friday: Bayou Song Blog Tour and a Giveaway

Welcome to Poetry Friday! The Miss Rumphius Effect is hosting this week's round up. When you're finished here, be sure to click over to read all of the wonderful posts.

Bayou Song: Creative Explorations of the South Louisiana Landscape
Illustrated by Anna Cantrell
Photography by Henry Cancienne
University of Louisiana at Lafayette (June 18, 2018)
ISBN: 978-1946160232

Poem by poem, Margaret Simon introduces readers to the plants and animals that inhabit Louisiana's Bayou Teche. Each subject is treated to a brief explanation and then honored with a beautiful poem. Margaret pairs each poem with a short description/lesson on the poetry form or tool used and art and writing prompts for further creative exploration.

Since many of my poetry Friday posts focus on specific poetry forms/tools, I asked Margaret to share two forms from this collection that she especially enjoyed and to give us a little background lesson for each.

The first poem Margaret chose to talk about was also the first poem featured in the book, I am a Beckoning Brown Bayou. It's the perfect invitation and left me wanting to take this bayou journey with her. Take it way, Margaret!


I am a beckoning brown bayou.
I wonder where my water runs.
I echo egret, heron, and ibis.
I watch waving leaves of cypress trees.
I call your name.

I am a beckoning brown bayou.
I twist and turn like a water snake.
I touch fur and scales and fins.
I nurture nutria, raccoons, and gators.
I want you to come in.

I am a beckoning brown bayou.
I remember tales of Acadians and explorers.
I say courage lives here.
I reveal my secrets at twilight.
I hope you'll stay awhile.

MS: This poem came from a prompt from Allan Wolf's website. The writer decides the topic for his/her poem and uses alliteration for the first line. Each line following begins with an I and an action word. 

A more challenging form is the clogyrnach. When I am teaching during National Poetry Month, I like to challenge my students to write a poem each day. I researched forms for each letter of the alphabet. This one was unique and new to me. Working with such a strict form makes you focus carefully on word choice.

welsh poetry form, clogyrnach

Line 1: 8 syllables with an a rhyme
Line 2: 8 syllables with an a rhyme
Line 3: 5 syllables with a b rhyme
Line 4: 5 syllables with a b rhyme
Line 5: 3 syllables with a b rhyme
Line 6: 3 syllables with an a rhyme

Weeping Wisteria is a model for this form. I had a wisteria vine in my backyard, and it would bloom like crazy every spring. One of the photos of wisteria in the book is mine. Wisteria tends to take over, and it grew over our decking, rotting the wood, so my husband has trimmed it down. I miss the beautiful blooms. It was always covered in bees.


Lavender locks spill from the sky.
In bloom, wisteria curls cry.
Sweet nectar tears fall.
Purple peapods sprawl.
Bright bees crawl,
lick them dry.

Thank you, Margaret. I look forward to trying my hand at both of these forms of poetry. Weeping Wisteria just happens to be one of my personal favorites. Whether you're a poet, a teacher, and/or someone who can just appreciate a beautiful book of poetry, this collection would make a quality addition to your bookshelf. My thanks to Margaret for sharing her book with me and for allowing me to share in its celebration.

Margaret is graciously allowing me to give away a copy of this book to one lucky blog reader. Because of postage costs, the winner has to live within the continental U.S. Just leave a comment to be entered. On Tuesday, July 10, 2018 I will randomly choose and notify the lucky winner.

Other Stops On Margaret's Bayou Song Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, June 26:
Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core
Friday, June 29:
Ruth Hersey at There is no such thing as a God-forsaken town
Friday, July 13:
Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise
Tuesday, July 17:
Laura Shovan 
Tuesday, July 24
Amanda Potts at Persistence and Pedagogy
Friday, July 27:
Carol Varsalona at Beyond Literacy Link
Monday, July 30
Linda Baie at Teacher Dance
Friday, Aug. 3
Dani Burtsfield at Doing the Work that Matters
As always, Happy Poem-Making!


  1. I don't need to be put into the drawing, Kimberly, but wanted to stop to see what wonderful things you're sharing from Margaret's book. Both are wonderful, aren't they, and having wisteria in my own life makes the second one especially lovely to me. Those blooms are awesome as Margaret shows. Thanks for a great post!

    1. Thank you, Linda! Weeping Wisteria was one of my personal favorites, too.

  2. Kimberly, what a great post! I love the two forms Margaret has introduced us to. It makes me want to pick up my pen and write! Happy Poetry Friday. I have a copy of Bayou Song and I love it. I hope lots and lots of copies get out into our world....we need more beauty!

  3. I'm so glad you opted to focus on form this week and that Margaret provided both great explanations and wonderful mentor poems. Both forms are new to me and have me itching to pick up my notebook and pen. I'll be thinking of Weeping Wisteria as instead I go outside and train my wisteria to climb over our newly constructed arbor.

    1. Thank you , Molly, and best of luck training your wisteria :)

  4. It's been fascinating to me to follow this blog tour-- each of you has taken such a different direction. And each of you has made me think, I have GOT to add this book to my collection. These two poetic forms interesting. I want to try them myself.

    1. Thank you, Carol. So glad that you enjoyed this post and the others on the tour. This collection is truly a treasure.

  5. This was really fun and so informative learning about these two poetry forms–what a good idea Kimberly to ask Margaret to share two forms she especially likes–loved reading both of them! Thanks Kimberly and Margaret!

    1. These were new forms for me as well, Michelle. I'm so happy that Margaret shared them here on the blog and in her collection. Thank you for stopping by and for sharing your thoughts.

  6. Thanks for sharing Margaret's work and process today. Love that wisteria with "lavender locks"!

    1. Love the beautiful language of Weeping Wisteria, too. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts, Donna.

  7. I am so excited to follow the blog tour. I learn something more at each stop.

  8. Kimberly, I am just catching up with PF and the Blog Tour posts. I enjoyed reading your stop on the tour. I also like the Wisteria poem in Margaret's book. It is one of my favorite flowers but I have never tried to grow it. I love the way this poem evolves:
    Lavender locks spill from the sky.
    In bloom, wisteria curls cry...
    My stop on the tour is tomorrow night.


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