This is a biographical novel about a girl, Francie Nolan, growing up in Brooklyn during the earlier part of the 20th century. She and her younger brother live in a shabby apartment with their alcoholic father and their mother, who supplies most of the family’s income by cleaning houses and doing other odd jobs. When the children are older, they take on paper routes and other work. Her mother’s family is supportive, but their resources are also limited.
When Francie is fourteen, her father dies, and her mother gives birth to a third child. With the added financial burden of an extra mouth to feed, Francie is forced to put her dreams of higher education on hold. The ending is satisfactory, yet unrealistic.
This book is hard to put down. There’s a lot of narrative, but it’s necessary in order to move the story along, since it spans over a decade. Everyone should read it to gain a better understanding of what it’s like to be poor and thus be thankful for what they have and compassionate towards those less fortunate.
The following poem was inspired by Colleen Chesebro’s weekly poetry challenge. If you missed it, click here. You’ll note that instead of the words “slow” and “work,” I used “job” and “plodding.” You can click the Play button below the poem to hear me read it. Enjoy!
I could not,
keep a plodding pace.
I had to move quickly
from one task to another,
stopping only for breaks and lunch.
Now, I’m my own boss, keep my own pace,
decide how and when to use all my time.
Here’s Colleen Chesebro’s poetry challenge for this week. Her words are “slow” and “work,” and the idea is to write a traditional-form poem using only synonyms of these words. If you participate, please be sure to complete the form on her post so she can link to your post next week in her update. Good luck, and stay tuned for my response.
Hi! I’m glad to see you here. Are you ready to write some syllabic poetry?
HERE’S THE CATCH:You can’t use the prompt words!SYNONYMS ONLY!Except for the first challenge of the month ~ then, the poets get to choose their own words. ❤
PLEASE support the other poets by visiting their blogs and leaving comments. Sharing each other’s work on social media is always nice too.
This challenge is for Tanka, Haiku, Senryu, Haibun, Etheree, Nonet, Shadorma, and Cinquain poetry forms. Freestyle rhyming poetry is not part of this challenge. Thank you. ❤
Please note:We are all students of poetry. I have given you the instructions on how to write the different forms. Try your best to be as exact as you can. There are no tests, and I don’t grade your work. LOL!
I sponsor this challenge to help poets learn how to write…
This week’s theme, according to newepicauthor, who hosts this challenge, is “no.” The song I’m featuring is from the musical, Oklahoma. I can understand how the girl in the song feels about not being able to say no, but at least I can say no to what she can’t. How about you?
It ain’t so much a question of not knowin’ what to do
I knowed what’s right an’ wrong since I been ten.
I heared a lot of stories an’ I reckon they are true
About how girls are put upon by men.
I know I mustn’t fall into the pit
But when I’m with a feller, I fergit!
I’m just a girl who cain’t say ‘No’
I’m in a terrible fix!
I always say ‘Come on, let’s go’
just when I oughta say ‘Nix.’
When a person tries to kiss a girl
I know she oughta give his face a smack!
But as soon as someone kisses me
I somehow sorta wanna kiss him back!
I’m just a fool when lights are low
I cain’t be prissy an’ quaint
I ain’t the type that can faint
How can I be what I ain’t?
I cain’t say ‘No!’
Whatcha gonna do when a feller gets flirty
An’ starts to talk purty
Whatcha gonna do?
Sposin’ that he says
That your lips are like cherries,
Or roses, or berries?
Whatcha gonna do?
Sposin’ that he says
That yer sweeter ‘n cream
and he’s gotta have cream or die?
Whatcha gonna do when he talks that way?
Spit in his eye?
I’m jist a girl who cain’t say ‘No’,
Cain’t seem to say it at all
I hate to disserpoint a beau
When he is payin’ a call!
Fer a while I ack refined and cool,
A settin on the velveteen setee
Nen I think of thet ol’ Golden Rule,
And do fer him what he would do fer me!
I cain’t resist a Romeo
In a sombrero and chaps
Soon as I sit on their laps
Somethin’ inside of me snaps
I cain’t say ‘No’!
Although this book was designed for children ages four to nine, I think animal lovers of all ages would find it inspiring. It’s the true story of how a blind lamb became the top sheep in her flock on a farm in Wisconsin. The author describes how he and his wife discovered Peanut was blind and how they helped her adapt to her blindness and surroundings. He also explains how other sheep interacted with Peanut and how he and his wife solved a bullying problem.
I had the pleasure of meeting Jim Thompson and his wife Laura when they attended a recent meeting of Behind Our Eyes, a group of writers with disabilities, of which I’m President. Through his experiences with Peanut, he seems to have developed a deep understanding of what it’s like to be blind. As a result, he has ensured that Peanut of Blind Faith Farm is available through the Wisconsin State Library’s Audio and Braille Literacy Enhancement program. Laura narrates their recorded version of this book and does an excellent job.
Jim has conducted presentations at schools and other locations and even given a copy of his book in braille to a blind boy who visited his farm. He has a knack for writing about his love of farming and animals, and I hope he will write more about this in the future. Meanwhile, I recommend Peanut of Blind Faith Farm to children of all ages, blind or not.
A couple of weeks ago, I fell into conversation with a librarian. During the course of our conversation she mentioned that the library does not stock books which their readers might “find offensive”. This exchange got me thinking about how one defines what constitutes “offensive”, and whether something being so classified is a sufficient reason for not allowing it on to the library’s shelves.
The great English author and poet, Rudyard Kipling is loved by people of every race and creed. Yet a number of his writings would, in today’s society be considered “offensive” by many. Take, for instance his poem “The Stranger” which begins thus:
“The Stranger within my gate,
He may be true or kind,
But he does not talk my talk –
I can not feel his mind.
I see the face and the eyes and the mouth,
But not the soul behind.
If you missed my re-blog of Colleen Chesebro’s weekly poetry challenge, click here. In Sheridan, Wyoming, we received a significant amount of snow. That, along with worse conditions in the Midwest and Colleen’s prompt, inspired me to write the following. You’ll note that instead of “storm” and “cold,” I’m using “tempest” and “low temperatures.” Click the Play button below the poem to hear me read it. If you’re in an area affected by a severe winter storm, please stay safe.
a winter tempest
snow cascades in whisps of white
brings low temperatures