Another Collection of Whimsical Poems #FridayFunReads #Poetry #Inspiration

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Whale Day: and Other Poems

by Billy Collins

Copyright 2020.

 

What Amazon Says

 

A wondrous collection from Billy Collins, former U.S. Poet Laureate and New York Times bestselling author of The Rain in Portugal

“The poems are marked by his characteristic humor and arise out of small, banal moments, unearthing the extraordinary or uncanny in the everyday.”—The Wall Street Journal

Whale Day brings together more than fifty poems and showcases the deft mixing of the playful and the serious that has made Billy Collins one of our country’s most celebrated and widely read poets. Here are poems that leap with whimsy and imagination, yet stay grounded in the familiar, common things of everyday experience. Collins takes us for a walk with an impossibly ancient dog, discovers the original way to eat a banana, meets an Irish spider, and even invites us to his own funeral. Sensitive to the wonders of being alive as well as the thrill of mortality, Whale Day builds on and amplifies Collins’s reputation as one of America’s most interesting and durable poets.

 

Buy from Amazon.

 

My Thoughts

 

I’ve enjoyed poetry by Billy Collins over the years, and Whale Day didn’t disappoint me. The book is divided into several sections with no rhyme or reason as to which poems go in which sections. But that’s okay. It’s part of this poet’s whimsical style.

I love the way he opens the book with “The Function of Poetry.” His idea of poetry’s function is similar to mine. I got a good laugh from ‘Down on the Farm,” in which the author muses on Tennessee fainting goats.

Billy Collins is one of those poets who makes you forget you’re reading a poem. So, even if you’re not into poetry, I highly recommend Whale Day and his other collections.

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For those of you who use the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. No matter how you read it, please be sure to review it wherever you can. That goes for all my books. Thank you for stopping by. Stay safe, happy, and healthy.

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New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

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Laughter, The Best Medicine #Wednesday Words, #Poetry

I like interjecting humor in my writing once in a while. I sometimes laugh at my own writing if I’ve made a typographical error that could be interpreted the wrong way. At other times, my writing has made people laugh when it hadn’t seemed funny.

Years ago, I was attending a poetry workshop with my friend Rose, with whom I’ve attended many such writing activities. In the morning, we were doing a writing exercise. Rose was seated next to me, and we were writing along, minding our own business, when suddenly, she let loose with a loud belch, followed by a cry of embarrassment.

Poor Rose, she’s a grandmother and a Methodist, not usually given to loud expulsions of wind. It was all I could do to keep from laughing. I somehow managed to get myself under control and finish the exercise. Later, during a break, Rose said that during that time, I’d looked like I was in pain, and she asked if I was all right. I told her I was.

That afternoon, the workshop presenter prompted us to write about something unusual or extraordinary. I jumped at the chance to write the following poem. I then shared it with the group, much to the delight of everyone, including Rose.

Now, in meetings of my local poetry group, some of whom attended that workshop, when anyone auditorily exhibits a bodily function, someone usually says, “Oh, Abbie, I’ll bet you’ll write a poem about that, won’t you?” Well, I tried writing a poem about an unusual-sounding hiccup but didn’t get very far.

Anyway, this poem appears in my collection, How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver. You can click the Play button below to hear me read it.

Belch!

 

The room is silent
but for the scratch of pencil against paper,
murmur of voices,
flip, rip of pages.
Unexpected, it cuts through the silence,
raucous, obnoxious,
breaks my concentration.
I fight to diffuse a bomb of mirth
that threatens to explode.
The effort brings tears to my eyes.
After a moment, I continue writing,
but my heart’s not in it anymore.

Thanks to fellow blogger Stevie Turner for inspiring the above post. If you’d like to participate in her blog hop on the subject of humor in writing, click here.

By the way, for those of you who use the National Library Services for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. No matter how you read it, please be sure to review it wherever you can. That goes for all my books. Thank you for stopping by. Stay safe, happy, and healthy.

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

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The Words Fit the Music, or Not #Musical Monday #Reblog

When I was a kid, I learned the following version of “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”

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Mine eyes have seen the glory of the burning of the school.

We have tortured every teacher; we have broken every rule.

We have shot the principal, and then, we flushed him down the stool.

We go marching on!

 

Glory glory what’s it to ya?

Teacher hit me with a rulah.

Met her at the door with a loaded forty-four,

and she don’t teach no more.

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In light of all the school shootings today, any little kid who sings that will no doubt be in big trouble. Now, here’s Kathy Waller with more song parodies. I hope this gives you a good laugh to start your week.

 

Via The Words Fit the Music, or Not

 

By the way, for those of you who use the National Library Services for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. No matter how you read it, please be sure to review it wherever you can. That goes for all my books. Thank you for stopping by. Stay safe, happy, and healthy, and may you always have positive experiences.

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

My Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

Website

 

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

Essays Offer Glimpse of Life as Blind Parent #Thursday Book Feature

Daddy Won’t Let Mom Drive the Car: True Tales of Parenting in the Dark

By Jo Elizabeth Pinto

Copyright 2019.

 

In this collection of short pieces, the author describes what it’s like to be a blind parent to a sighted child. The title was inspired by her daughter’s response when a teacher asked her what it’s like to have a blind mother.

She talks about little cooking mistakes she made like using apple sauce instead of spaghetti sauce. She explains how she educated her daughter’s classmates and others about her blindness. She discusses cooking, gardening, and doing art projects with her daughter and provides recipes and craft ideas. She reflects on school violence after her daughter endured lock-down drills in elementary school and actually became involved in “the real thing.”

Even though I’m not a parent, I enjoyed reading this book because it brought back memories from when I was a visually impaired child and when I was a visually impaired adult married to my totally blind husband Bill. The author’s cooking disasters reminded me of the time Bill, before his strokes, put what he thought were muffins in the oven, and they turned out to be fully cooked sausages. The scene where the author fell and her daughter chastised a  passer-by for laughing instead of stopping to help reminded me of how my younger brother, when we were kids, said to other children, “Stop staring at my sister.”

As a caregiver to my late husband, I could relate to her feelings of inadequacy and fear of being turned in for neglect or abuse. I loved the last piece in which she explains how she accidentally put garlic instead of sprinkles on her daughter’s ice cream sundae. It was a great way to end the collection with humor.

Some people, especially those in the social work industry, are under the misconception that blind people cannot be parents. As a result, blind parents have been forced to fight for their children after giving birth. This book should be required reading for anyone training in social work and other professions that require working with disabled people on a regular basis.

In fact, everybody should read this book. You never know when you will encounter a blind parent. Before you shove them aside in a grocery store, laugh at them because they’ve fallen on the ice, or call the Department of Family Services because you think they can’t cope, read this book and realize that blind parents are no different from sighted ones.

 

 

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

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Review: The Rain in Portugal

Abbie-1

The Rain in Portugal: Poems

by Billy Collins

Copyright 2016.

 

In the author’s usual humorous style, poems in this collection reflect on jazz, nature, writing poetry, and other subjects. In “Lucky Cat,” Collins suggests betting with other humans on the actions of felines. In “Only Child,” he longs for a sister to help care for his aging parents. In “The Bard in Flight,” he imagines what Shakespeare would do on an airplane. The collection’s title comes from the poem “On Rhyme,” in which he reflects on such common sayings as “The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain.”

Billy Collins is one of my favorite poets. I heard about his latest collection when he appeared live yesterday on A Prairie Home Companion. Of course he read a few of his poems, and I was hooked. Needless to say, I downloaded the book and spent last night reading the poems aloud to myself.

According to an author’s note at the beginning, the electronic version of this book is designed so that formatting isn’t affected when the font size of the type is changed. Words at the ends of lines that are moved down when text is enlarged are indented to indicate they’re part of the same line. This didn’t make any difference to me, since I read the book in Braille, but I’m glad those with low vision who read with their eyes can enjoy the poems the way they were written. These poems are meant to be recited, preferably by Billy Collins, but I enjoyed reading them aloud and hope you will too.

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Author Abbie Johnson Taylor

We Shall Overcome

How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

Click to hear an audio trailer.

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