Poetry Friday Roundup: The Master Speed

May is a rush: a birthday, our wedding anniversary, school is winding down with concerts and activities, scouts, sports, Mother’s Day. I hurry from activity to activity and, in my haste, leave a wreck of half-done and poorly-done. Yesterday I was weeding the garden path while thinking about a writing project until I pulled up one of my beloved scilla bulbs. Staring at the bulb in my hand, I remembered these lines from Robert Frost’s The Master Speed:

And you were given this swiftness, not for haste
Nor chiefly that you may go where you will,
But in the rush of everything to waste,
That you may have the power of standing still-

I spend May living in the next moment — thinking about the garden while driving the kids to sports, worrying about dinner while quilting, planning writing while gardening. I need to slow down and live in the now.

Two such as you with such a master speed
Cannot be parted nor be swept away
From one another once you are agreed
That life is only life forevermore
Together wing to wing and oar to oar.

Because “life is only life forevermore.” The only life you have is the life that you are living — right now. Today, I am going to my son’s Fairy Tale Theater. I am going to leave my phone in my car and give him my undivided attention. What moment will you be present in, today?

* * * * * THE LINKS * * * * *
April at Teaching Authors is sharing the first book she wrote — a free verse poem about a child who runs away to live with rabbits and slowly turns into one. And she has a giveaway as part of the blog’s 3rd Blogiversary book gift
certificate giveaway extravaganza.

Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe is back from a poetry workshop. She’s sharing a poem about baseball and poetry by Robert Francis.

At A Year of Reading Mary Lee Hahn shares an original poem about distractible ducklings.

Tara at A Teaching Life shares Maria Hummel’s poem Station.

Over at The Poem Farm Amy has a poem about making music with a blade of grass. She also has a fascinating interview with a speech-language pathologist who shares one of her student’s poem.

Go visit Jama’s Friday Feast but bring me back some dessert. Jama and Greg share poems from Greg Pincus’s new book The Late Bird and a luscious recipe for Chocolate Chess Pie.

Laura Salas is sharing To One Dead by Francis Ledwidge and a 15 Words or Less poem inspired by a leaning spruce.

Robin Hood Black shares her experiences at the “Poetry for All” Highlights Founders workshop. She also shared a few lines from my childhood neighbor, the incomparable Jean Craighead George, whom we lost this week.

At The Opposite of Indifference Tabatha is sharing an original poem about the O.O.U. and inviting us to join a Summer Poem Swap.

If you need a great poetry lesson plan, Laura at Author Amok shares a fascinating lesson plan for writing portrait poems. She also has some pretty awesome news to share — congratulations, Laura!

Ed at Think, Kid. Think! shares a funny poem about gnats. Be sure to click on his gnice illustration to see it up close.

Great minds must think alike because Carol also has several poems about savoring the moment.

Diane is sharing an original poem, “William the Liar,” at Random Noodling today. Kurious Kitty gets silly with Spike Milligan. Kurious K’s Kwotes’ P.F. quote is by May Sarton. At The Write Sisters she has “First Girls in Little League Baseball” by J. Patrick Lewis.

Linda at TeacherDance has a poem about the goodbyes that the end of the school year brings.

At Friday Reads, Anastasia shares a snippet from Big Birthday by Kate Hosford.

Dori is thinking about a quiet moment in her garden and planting Zinnias.

Violet wrote a funny poem about a teacher we all hope to neve get — Mrs. Backward.

Ruth has written a clever and touching poem about the ocean, and Siri.

At Gathering Books, Iphigene offers a poem about the life of an immigrant today entitled “Life in the Overseas” by a Filipino poet, Jose Dalisay, Jr.

Liz at Growing Wild shares “Birth Moon” — a poem she wrote at the Poetry for All workshop.

Andromeda has a poem from Arnold Adoff’s My Black Me at A Wrung Sponge today.

Father Goose has an original poem about creepy pets.

If you’ve been out in the garden, you’ll appreciate the acrostic bumble bee poem over at Hey Jim Hill.

Over at Check It Out, Ms. Mac has a new collection of haiku and photographs called Solace in Nature. Enter for a chance to win a signed copy.

Greg is up with a re-issue of the first poem he actually got paid to write, I Don’t Like Words over at GottaBook.

At Wild Rose Reader, Elaine has an original poem about Jonas Salk that she wrote for an anthology that is coming out this fall.

Renee at No Water River entertains us with Joshua Seigal’s “The Homesick Pirate”.

If you’re in a nautical mood after visiting Renee, visit Lori at On Point to read her haiku, Yellow Raft.

Janet at All About the Books shares a neat book called “Eureka!: poems about inventors” written by Joyce Sidman.

Corinne at Paper Tigers has a post about Asian Heritage Month and poetic forms.

Rena has a poem about a mother birdie building a nest at On the Way to Somewhere.

Beth at Endless Books has an original poem about Duke Ellington and hearing the swing in everything.

Make your mouth hurt by heading over to Books 4 Learning and reading about tongue twisters.

Betsy at Teaching Young Riders has a lovely, color-filled original poem about dew.

* * * * *
Leave your links in the comments and I’ll get them up throughout the day. Except from 10-1 when I’ll be watching fairy tales performed by second graders.

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45 Responses to Poetry Friday Roundup: The Master Speed

  1. Tara says:

    Enjoy the play! Here’s a link to my contribution, also a poem about trying to be in the moment with one’s child:

  2. Thank you for this wise and needed post, Katya. I loved your last one too. Today I will be present in the evening with my children, as they ready themselves to spend the weekend working with horses!
    At The Poem Farm, I have a poem about making music with a blade of grass and also a visit from a speech-language pathologist and her poet-student! http://www.poemfarm.amylv.com/2012/05/tiny-tubas-classroom-peek.html
    Thank you for hosting – have a great time at the play.

  3. Pingback: Poetry Friday: To One Dead (by Francis Ledwidge) | laurasalas

  4. Thanks for the lovely post (and for hosting). I am always living one step ahead and struggle to be present in the moment. It’s not something that comes easily!

    I’m in with a poem called “To One Dead,” by Francis Ledwidge, at http://laurasalas.wordpress.com/2012/05/18/to-one-dead/

    And also with this week’s 15 Words or Less poems at http://laurasalas.wordpress.com/2012/05/17/spruce/

  5. Pingback: friday feast: greg pincus dishes on the late bird « Jama's Alphabet Soup

  6. jama says:

    Love those Frost excerpts, and this reminder to indeed live in the moment. Have fun watching those fairy tales :).

    Today Greg Pincus and I are talking dessert and The Late Bird. He shares three very yummy poems from the new E-book and a chocolatey recipe:


    Enjoy every moment of your weekend and thanks for hosting!

  7. What perfect thoughts for this busy time of year, Katya! Thanks for sharing, and enjoy the play. I’m also all about the “Poetry for All” Highlights Founders workshop, and I have a few lines from the incomparable Jean Craighead George, whom we lost this week.

  8. Tabatha says:

    Thanks for hosting, Katya! Enjoy the fairy tales. :-)

    I’ve got an original poem and a poem swap: http://tabathayeatts.blogspot.com/2012/05/oou-and-summer-poem-swap.html

  9. Laura Shovan says:

    Good morning, Katya. My third graders are sharing their portrait poems today. Our model poem is “Down Highway 163” by Navajo artist and poet Shonto Begay. I am sharing our discussion of that poem and the children’s original work. There is a full lesson description for educators. Thanks for hosting!


  10. Ed DeCaria says:

    Hi Katya! Thanks for hosting Poetry Friday.

    Today at TKT I have a new poem — Gnats! — with an invitation for reader participation. http://www.thinkkidthink.com/gnats/


  11. Carol says:

    “Master Speed” is new to me, but it instantly became a favorite. Think the universe is trying to tell me something, because I chose a similar topic for my post today. Thanks for hosting.

  12. Diane Mayr says:

    Thanks for hosting, Katya! At Random Noodling today, I have an original poem, “William the Liar,” and the story behind it.

    Kurious Kitty gets silly with Spike Milligan. Kurious K’s Kwotes’ P.F. quote is by May Sarton.

    At The Write Sisters I have “First Girls in Little League Baseball” by J. Patrick Lewis.

  13. Laura Shovan says:

    Katya, I also want to say how much I enjoyed your post. Like you, I feel like I’m rushing around in a million directions at this time of year. These lines are a great reminder: “But in the rush of everything to waste,
    That you may have the power of standing still-” I’ll be thinking “Frosty” thoughts in yoga class this morning.

  14. Linda Baie says:

    You are so wise, Katya. Thank you for the words from Frost that give us a bit of advice for this crazy month. It is hard to BE when May events go on and on. I have a goodbye poem I’ve used in the classroom before, another aspect of May, the traditions of ending well. Thank you for hosting!

  15. Anastasia says:

    Love the quote, Katya! I’m in today with Big Birthday by Kate Hosford.

  16. Thanks for hosting, Katya. Enjoy your day.

    I’m in with a garden poem. Much needed after a long week!


  17. violet says:

    Thank you for the reminder to live in and savor the now. And thanks for hosting (adding yet another to-do to your busy month)!

    I would like to share an original poem. “Mrs. Backward” is here: http://wp.me/pC77F-hQ

  18. Ruth says:

    I have an original poem today here. Thanks for hosting. You are so right about the month of May!

  19. Hi there Katya, Iphigene is offering a poem about the life of an immigrant today entitled “Life in the Overseas” by a Filipino poet, Jose Dalisay, Jr.
    Thank you so much for hosting! :) Frost is Love. :)

  20. Hi Katya,
    Thanks for hosting today. I was lucky enough to attend the Poetry for All workshop this week also. Happily, I can now count some Poetry Friday regulars among my friends. Today I’ve posted “Birth Moon,” a short poem I wrote one night during the workshop.
    Happy Poetry Friday!

  21. Hope you find time to just sit in the sun and BE this weekend! Thanks for rounding us up. I have something from Arnold Adoff’s My Black Me at A Wrung Sponge today.

  22. Thank you, Katya! Great blog!
    Our new “Creepiest Pet” is now appearing @

  23. Pingback: Bumble Bee – Poetry Friday

  24. Jim Hill says:

    Hi Katya – Love your Frost poem. May isn’t the only busy month. I think were all living three steps ahead of the moment. Thanks for the reminder to be mindful.

    I have an original, Bumble Bee inspired acrostic this week: Bumbly Me.


  25. jone says:

    Thank you for hosting. Hppy birthday and anniversary in the filled month. I am announcing my new collection of haiku, Solace in Nature and a contest to recieve a copy. http://wp.me/pG1xR-kI

  26. Greg Pincus says:

    I’m up with a re-issue of the first poem I actually got paid to write, I Don’t Like Words:


    Thanks for hosting!

  27. Thanks for doing the roundup this week! may has been a rush for me too! I didn’t even post last Friday.

    At Wild Rose Reader, I have an original poem about Jonas Salk. It’s one of several drafts that I worked on for the anthology “Dare to Dream…Change the World.” The book was edited by Jill Corcoran and will be published this coming fall.


  28. Hi Katya, thanks for hosting! Shiver me timbers! I’m up today with the poetry video “The Homesick Pirate” by London poet Joshua Seigal.


  29. Thanks for hosting.
    My selection is “Eureka!: poems about inventors” written by Joyce Sidman with illustrations by K. Bennett Chavez.

  30. Thanks for hosting! I love the image: “wing to wing.” I slowed down to read your beautiful entry. :~)

    Today at On Point, I have my haiku, “a href=”http://lorieanngrover.blogspot.com/2012/05/poetry-friday-yellow-raft.html”>Yellow Raft.

  31. kczaja says:

    Ok… I think I’ve managed to get everyone up. If I somehow missed you, my sincerest apologies. Email me and I’ll fix it.

  32. Thanks for hosting and yes, I agree that May is definitely a rush especially for those with school age children. Lots of end-of-the-year plays, assemblies, sports days etc to attend but such fun too! Hope you enjoyed the Fairy Tale Theatre.

    Our Poetry Friday feature is “Poetry Friday: Asian Heritage Month and Poetic Forms” http://www.papertigers.org/wordpress/poetry-friday-asian-heritage-month-and-poetic-forms/

  33. Rena J. Traxel says:

    I feel the same way right now. I’m always seem to be running during the spring and summer. Thankfully, I can slow down during the winter. Today, I wrote a poem about a mother birdie building a nest. Thanks for hosting.


  34. Beth says:

    What a beautiful poem from Frost. It sent me scrambling to my collected Frost on the shelf to read the whole thing — and I found another gem right beside it.

    I haven’t posted in a long while, but did post a original poem today — about listening to Duke Ellington. http://bookwormjournal.blogspot.com/2012/05/poetry-friday-swing-in-everything.html

  35. Pingback: Books 4 Learning: Poetry Friday: Six Sheep Sip Thick Shakes (Brian P. Cleary)

  36. Betsy says:

    A beautiful offering from Frost, some needed words for many. I know I too feel that many things are half finished because I am only half present.
    My family and I went to an Art Walk tonight. We watched trapeze artists, jugglers, chalk artists, and many other forms of artful wonder before our eyes. It was a very present and wonder filled moment. I may need to memorize those words from Frost as a reminder of the peace of feeling present and in the moment. My poetry offering is of a completely different moment, an imagined moment, but I wonder what it would be like to be in the place I describe and to be present there as well.

  37. Ruth says:

    Hooray, I just read all the Poetry Friday posts and it’s still Friday! We had a day off today (Haitian Flag Day), so I had some extra time. Thank you so much for hosting!

  38. You are a fine host, Katya!

    Along the lines of staying in the moment, this mantra has helped me:

    I am in the exact right place
    doing the exact right thing
    and doing it exactly right.

  39. Mary Lee says:

    My duckling seems to be doing a good job of living for the moment!

    Thanks for including my link!

  40. Mary Lee says:

    Here’s a link that wound up in my comments:

    I posted lyrics from Glow by Katy Rose at Bildungsroman.

    Happy Friday, everyone!

  41. Jone says:

    Thank for introducing me to Master Speed. Excellent as I speed towed the end of school.

  42. kczaja says:

    I was away all day Saturday in New York so now I’ve re-caught up with everyone’s links (I hope). Thank you, everyone, for visiting and making this such a prolific poetry friday. It’s so wonderful that we had 34 participants.