Friday Firstliners

Miz B originally started this meme (possibly known as First Line Fridays) and it was reinstated by “Daily Rhythm”. It asks the blogger/responder to copy the first line of a book to see if it makes a reader want to get that book as well. Here is my First Line for 8/23/19 from Nancy Pearl’s Book Crush, a bookful of recommendations for reading aimed at “Kids and Teens.”

“My happiest memories of a childhood that was otherwise scarred by an anxious and raging father and a depressed and angry mother were of escaping into books.”

It made me want to read more. How about you?



I have been working on my Advanced Writing class, which begins on August 28th, all morning. Perhaps this is why my thoughts have turned to art. The core of the class will be art majors, so I read Art for Dummies as a crash course in “the basics.” That strategy was only semi-successful because the book is more of a reference book than a textbook on art. However, I did come across this definition of art from Hoving, the former curator of the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art:

“Art is when anyone in the world takes any sort of material and fashions a statement with it.”  Whoa, that blows my mind. It reminds me that like beauty, “[Art] is in the eye of the beholder.” This was brought home to me by a children’s poem, “The Secret of My Art.”

The Secret of My Art

“It’s a beautiful whale,”…

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Coffee in the morning is what gets me started, and the following is a poem that expresses this early-morning pick me-up-and-get-me-started ritual.


Sometimes fog

surrounds morning

in a white room;

Then the silence

at sunlight seeps

into balsam shadows.

Steam is silence too,

slipping over the brim

of bone china

in the coffee-quiet

of morning.”

(Jeffrey Johannes)

After this coffee meditation from Coffee Poems, edited by Lorraine Healy, reflections on life with coffee, I am ready to start my day.

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Chris Harris has been described by Publishers Weekly as “a worthy heir to Silverstein, Seuss, and even Ogden Nash.” I couldn’t agree more. Some of his shorter poems are as pithy and to the point as Nash’s “Purple Cow.”

“I’ve never seen a purple cow,

I hope I never see one.

But, I can tell you anyhow,

I’d rather see than be one”!

Here is an example from Harris’s I’m Just No Good at Rhyming and Other Nonsense/for Mischevious Kids and Immature Grownups:

“Jack Sprat could ear no fat.

His wife could eat no lean.

He lived to be one hundred three;

She died at seventeen.”

I particularly love parodies and have come across some excellent ones lately. Here is Harris’s parody of Robert Frost:

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,

I took the one less traveled by…

Since then I’ve been completely lost.

Thanks for nothing, Robert…

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