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As each new day during the month of November brings the challenge of at least ONE new picture book idea, I have been reflecting on what keeps us open to creative ideas, and I keep returning to the importance of being childlike, keeping that sense of wonder amidst the busyness and mundane. I am also particularly inspired about poetry this month, as I am partaking in a truly wonderful exchange with Jane Yolen. I think around 40 of us signed up on FaceBook to sponsor Jane a poem a day through this month, for charity. Oh my, I feel completely indulgent opening my email each morning to poetry from such a gifted and prolific author. I do, however, find letting others read one’s poetry is far more vulnerable than posting prose. Anyone else feel like that?

Elizabeth O. Dulemba said this on Saturday’s post at Picture Book Month:

« People need three things to survive – food, shelter, and wonder. That third need has been met for thousands of years through stories both as entertainment or as ways to share our history and culture. »


A Sense of Wonder

Never lose a sense of wonder,

lift your face up to the stars.

Feel the measure of your stature

confront infinity so vast.


Though your cup is overflowing,

keep a thirst for sights well-known;

a crescent moon surprising daylight;

a dragon fly on Lilly throne.


Do you still dance when no one’s looking?

Hold your best friend’s hand through tears?

Swing on swings and throw ice snowballs?

Play the games of childish years?


Let’s not ever take for granted

a healthy life or lover’s kiss.

Every gift is finite, fleeting,

How to measure what we’d miss?


Searing scars and fragile psyche

can dull the best man’s muse,

so hold on to tales of valor,

surf the wave of moonstruck truths.


Bitterness and blindness

dig deep in beauty’s grave.

Never settle for less than hopeful.

A childlike optimism can save.


In wonder, dawning thoughts are fertile,

imagination soaks the earth.

Brush strokes, prose and melody;

here our stories find their birth.


This entry was posted in PiBoIdMo, poetry and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Wonder

  1. Patricia Tilton says:

    What a beautiful and uplifting poem to start off the week. Thank you for being willing to share your vulnerability. If we embrace that innocent sense of wonder each day, our lives would be so much more fulfilling. So lovely, Joanna.


  2. Susanna says:

    It’s so true. I think wonder is at the root of childhood and writing for children, and it’s so important to keep that sense of wonder in mind, both when you’re opening yourself to ideas, and when you’re writing. Everything is new to children.

  3. What an inspiring and wonder-filled post and poem! I tend to overuse the term “wonderful”, but really, as you say, that is at the heart of childlikeness, and of taking joy in the world around us.

    A child’s wonder-filled eyes are looking at things for the first time, the child is experiencing things for the first time — we, with our jaded “been there, done that, bought the t-shirt” need to recapture that first-time feeling to truly be able to touch children with our writing. Thank you for this reminder.

  4. Beautifully written and so well said! It looks like your ideas for PiBoIdMo are producing some amazing things! Yay!

    • Joanna says:

      Jenny, I wrote the poem on Friday, the only day I didn’t have any PB ideas, but that’s OK, as I think I needed to express my thoughts in poetry, that day. Thanks for dropping in.

  5. That poem is amazing Joanna! And you are so right. Wonder is what makes life precious. 40 days of Jane Yolen poetry? I’m green with envy!

  6. Joanna says:

    Thank you, Julie. Indeed I am blessed daily with some Yolen wisdom at the moment!

  7. Here’s to surfing the waves of moonstruck truths – that sense of wonder is a gift, Joanna. I am glad you have such courage to embrace your vulnerability. *Hugs*

  8. Oh my I am sooooo behind in reading your posts, but gosh this is one of the most beautiful. Loved to, that you embraced your vulnerability. The poem was amazing. I nearly joined to hear Janes poems, now wishing I had.

  9. Joanna says:

    Thanks, Diane. I am awestruck by the quality of each poem I have received from Jane. I am so happy I signed up for this!

  10. M. G. King says:

    Beautiful! Thank you for sharing this!

  11. Joanna says:

    Thanks, Miriam.

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