Saturday, April 2, 2016

Douglas Florian

"Imitation is not just the sincerest form of flattery - it's the sincerest form of learning." — George Bernard Shaw

Welcome to Day 2 of FEET IN THE CREEK! Today's poet is author/illustrator Douglas Florian. See the review for his latest book, The Wonderful Habbits of Rabbits, at his blog, Florian Cafe. Admire his artwork here.

For each day of National Poetry Month, I have chosen a favorite poem, a favorite poet, or a favorite friend. I will look at the work, decide what draws me to it, what makes it resonate for me, and then write my own poem about the creek with those techniques in mind. These are first drafts, so nothing will be especially polished, but they will be starting points for revision after the month is done. Feel free to follow along or join in. 

Artwork by Douglas Florian, ©2002

from Summersaults, reprinted with the poet's permission.


                           u     t
                        a          i
Summer is a v                n
                                        g thing.

It summersaults its way past spring.
Turns cartwheels,
Has a ball
Until it t
                                 s into fall.

© Douglas Florian, ©2002. Used with permission of the author.

My Intention: Write a poem in which visual placement of the letters of a word express the action taking place.

Skipping Stones
by Doraine Bennett

My hand grips the perfect stone.
I flip my wrist. The rock whips through air,

          l        p
It    c               s    the water's surface

                                  l      p
               it             f              s

                                                        r      p  
                                     it             t               s

                                                                  it                 i
                                                                                 l      p  
                                                                              s              s  

                                                                                       beneath the surface
                                                                                               and is gone.

© 2016 Doraine Bennett. All rights reserved.



  1. Love your poem, Doraine, from the first flip of wrist to satisfying ending!
    I'm a big Florian fan, too.
    I also am quite impressed that you were able to format all of this so well in blog-land; I'm not so talented in that dept.
    Happy NPM!

  2. Love your spacing, not only of the letters, but the repetition of "it," which acts as a visual anchor until it's time to fall beneath the surface. Very nice!

    1. I had not consciously thought of "it" as an anchor, but that does resonate with me.

  3. Doraine,
    Your poem is NOT an imitation. It is your own beautiful original creation. What an excellent job of writing a concrete poem. Well done.

    1. Thanks, Joy. They are a lot of fun to write.

  4. Doraine, your concrete poem is so visual not only in its form but in its thoughts. I can actually see the rock clip-clopping the water. I think I will have to try this poem. In my Winter Wanderings Gallery, J. Patrick Lewis has a concrete poem for us. You may want to sent me this poem with the picture of the creek for the spring gallery.

    1. I'll go back and find that one from J. Patrick Lewis in the gallery. So much springy-ness to choose from!

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