Okay, just one more poem from Georgia Heard about the sea.
Someone brought a copy of this collection to the Highlights retreat last fall (for which I’m eternally grateful). As soon as I got home, I tracked down a copy and read it because I LOVE the ocean AND poetry. This was right up my alley! “Traveling the Blue Road” is a collection of poems (from Lee Bennett Hopkins) about life on the ocean. It covers themes of migration, culture, loss, and much more. It has poems by some of my favorite poets (Rebecca Kai Dotlich, Paul B. Janeczko, J. Patrick Lewis, Margarita Engle, Jane Yolen, etc.) and a few that were new to me, as well as gorgeous illustrations from a father/son pair that were also new to me (yeah for new discoveries!). This is another book I need to own in my forever collection.
While there were many poems that stayed with me after reading this collection, I must admit that Georgia Heard’s poem stuck with me the most because of listening to her talk about it. She mentioned that when she wrote about the Hunger Ship and the Irish Potato Famine that she had this image in her mind’s eye of a woman waving goodbye (perhaps for the last time) to her loved ones on the ship. She had no communication with the illustrator (and it wasn’t even mentioned in the text of her poem) and yet, this same image appeared in the illustrations. It still gives me goosebumps thinking of that magical symbiosis. This is the one I had to share.