A note from William
I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine’s Day. I am in Belgium, land of chocolate! Yesterday, it snowed! As a native coastal Californian, I have only seen snow falling a few times in my life, so I was very excited! Big soft pieces of frozen water falling from the sky. Amazing!
This snow I just experienced brings me to a belated snow-related announcement: I’d like to announce that Analise Braddock, Stone Soup artist and poet, won a prize last November in a poetry contest sponsored by the New York Botanical Garden in partnership with the Poetry Society of America. The contest was judged by former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins. So congratulations to you, Analise, for having your snow-related poem “Tall and Proud” selected for this award. Analise is in third grade.
Tall and Proud
Tall and proud they stand
Up at the top the wind dances while snow gently patters down to the world
Lights flicker and the snow falls bringing warmth to everyone
If you listen, you can hear the skyscrapers and the snow speaking
Puzzling or not puzzling they know what they are saying
There they stand tall and proud
This many-layered poem makes an observation well-suited to poetry: “If you listen, you can hear the skyscrapers and the snow speaking.” With this line, Analise opens up the whole idea of our built environment—whether it is skyscrapers, houses, cars, roads, anything made by us humans—communicating with the natural world.
Let this thought work through your imagination. Where does this thought take you? Can your imagination take you to a place where buildings and snow can talk with each other? Can your imagination take you to a place where roads and rain have a connection? Airplanes and the sky? Your answer can certainly be “no” or “maybe.”
Read Analise’s poem several times. See where her images and ideas take you, and create a story, poem, picture, or photograph of your own that deals with the intersection of nature and our built environment.
Highlights from the past week online
Don't miss the latest content from our Book Reviewers and Young Bloggers at Stonesoup.com!
Apple is a huge company, and it claims to have adopted eco-friendly practices. Blogger Daniel dives into these in his blog post from this week: “Is Apple Really as Green as it Seems?” Even though Daniel admits the company has made strides, he argues there’s still a lot more it can do.
Have you ever enjoyed a book, even though based on the cover you thought it might be too childish? Lucinda, 13, reviews Girls Who Code: Spotlight on Coding Club and writes about how she was pleasantly surprised with the book, which dealt with tough topics like anxiety and the absence of parents.
From Stone Soup February 2020
By Rachel Ding, 13 (Cupertino, CA)
Illustrated by Mia Fang, 13 (West Lafayette, IN)
Once, there was a little girl with two pigtails. She was a joy to all those around her and was constantly happy. Her backpack was a bright red, and her shoes were a colorful pink. Her small feet carried her across a new street, and she skipped and skipped her way toward a woman who wore a placid face and held a silence that even the innocent little girl could hear. The woman didn’t look up, but instead kept on raking those beautiful autumn leaves. The girl passed by with the smallest glance at the strange woman and then skipped all the way to her first day of school.
At school, she learned and learned and played and played. The girl lost her pigtails and then her ponytail and finally had her hair down straight. She was one moment the happiest person on Earth, then the next moment crying through school. She was in a constant state of tears and laughter and much-regretted idleness. She stopped her skipping after a year and started running after three, for bullies ran fast. But in time, she slowed down to a walk. Her red backpack was lost and so was her green one, and at some point she had none. And finally, after all that change, winter came, and she went down the street again.
She was nervously walking, tripping over her heels and carrying a stack of books. She headed toward the old woman whose face remained unchanged except for her hair, which had become grey. By then, the woman walked with a limp .../MORE
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