It’s National Poetry Month in the United States – Get Your Poetic Groove On!

It’s National Poetry Month in the United States, and I think it’s a wonderful opportunity to talk about poetry and celebrate one of my favourite literary forms. There was a time when I looked down my nose at such greeting-card company-esque “theme” months in the United States (do any other countries do this? We don’t in France.), but now as an educator I can see the importancece of such campagnes. They allow for poetry (or Women’s History, or African-American History) to find a place (albeit small) in the classroom, and educators can carve out a place to enhance an often white-bread and fast-food-flavoured curriculum.

Who is your favourite poet? Do you have one? I’ll be honest, I don’t have just one that I love more than others. Through my own interest (I swear I was born with a book in my hand), and accompanied by education (one of my undergrad degrees and my Masters are both in literature), I’ve found solace and companionship in poetry much of my life.

I think like most rebel-teens I fell in love with the Beat Poets, and admit that Gregory Corso will always have a special place in my heart. I even took to memorizing The Lizard King’s poetry when I was 15, because I so understood what he was talking about.

Richard Brautigan is one of my favourite poets and novelists, and In Watermelon Sugar and The Pill Versus The Springhill Mine Disaster changed my life (as literature often does when you’re but 20 or 21 years old), and I’m still looking for a copy of Please Plant This Book (so if you EVER come across a copy at a yard sale, do pick it up!).

I also need to mention Charles Simic, because I absolutely love his sense of humor. The World Doesn’t End is just amazing, as is A Wedding in Hell. Read them!

Because I love you, I’ll share with you one of my favourite poems, written by the French poet Tristan Tzara, a Romanian-born avant-guarde French poet.

t267406aTzara with Man Ray – photo credit google images

I might be breaking a copyright law, but here it is:


quel est ce chemin qui nous sépare

à travers lequel je tends la main de ma pensée

une fleur est écrite au bout de chaque doigt

et le bout du chemin est une fleur qui marche avec toi

Here is my translation (do be aware there may be an official translation out there somewhere…)


what is this path that separates us

across which I hold out the hand of my thoughts

a flower is written at the end of each finger

and the end of the path is a flower who walks with you

This is also the perfect moment for me to gain momentum on my 300 Poem Project. I used to be an avid writerfish, but life just gets in the way and new creative outlets push others to the background. My hope is to have a volume of 300 poems (my initial hope was a poem a day, but that isn’t going to happen people) to document my year.

I would love to read about your favourite poems and poets, especially female poets (the lacunae of my poetic knowledge). Share! Tell me who you love (or hate!).

I’m also looking for some short story recommendations. I love studying short stories with my students, and I would love to hear some of your favourite short story titles! Tomorrow we’ll be reading Dahl’s Lamb To The Slaughter, a classic!

Chocolate Chip Pancakes and Hummus (no, not together, sillies!)

Then again, hummus and pancakes could be good together…I mean, a pita isn’t that different from a pancake, right?

Ok, anyway…before I get to the food, I need to send huge thanks to three amazing bloggers and friends : Celine of Have Cake, Will Travel, Ricki of Diet, Dessert and Dogs and Diann of Eat’n Veg’n Vegan Food & Recipes. These three amazing ladies are participating in The 60-Day Project of birthday gifts for my mum, and their goodies have arrived safely chez elle (to her house). I spoke with Mammafish Sunday morning and she was giddy with birthday delight : Celine’s gift arrived on her actual birthday (what timing!), and Ricki‘s and Diann’s packages arrived the following day and she got to open them at her birthday dinner! She just loved everything and was marveling at your thoughtfulness and talent! You are all very appreciated! Merci!!!


I was feeling the need for some comfort food, and pancake brunch on Sunday is as good an excuse as any. I’ve made Chocolate Chip Pancakes before, but they often ended up burnt, or a little too done. These delicious pannycakes were perfect: fluffy and ever-so-chocolaty, and you’ll find the recipe in the upcoming 500 Vegan Recipes. You could smother them with jam or even peanut butter, but we went with maple syrup, of course…

Another test recipe which is more than worth mentioning is the Traditional Hummus :


I tend to fancy myself as a bit of a hummus snob, and seem to always have some freshly made in the fridge, but I have a confession to make kids : I have never, ever, had such creamy and silky smooth hummus. Ever. And it’s easy-peasy. So there. I don’t know what I did to get to be a tester for 500 Vegan Recipes, but I’m one lucky Shellyfish! I recognize the above photo has the personality of boiled potatoes, so how about this one:


And to end this post on a happy note I’d like to share this gem, in honor of National Poetry Month (in the U.S.). This is one of my favourite poems. Washington Post writer Richard Thompson compiled some classic “Bushisms” and penned this oeuvre back in 2002 (I think). I am incapable of reading this poem without laughing out loud.

Make The Pie Higher

I think we all agree, the past is over.
This is still a dangerous world.
It’s a world of madmen and uncertainty
and potential mental losses.
Rarely is the question asked
Is our children learning?
Will the highways of the internet become more few?
How many hands have I shaked? They misunderestimate me.
I am a pitbull on the pantleg of opportunity.
I know that the human being and the fish can coexist.
Families is where our nation finds hope, where our
wings take dream. Put food on your family!
Knock down the tollbooth!
Vulcanize society!
Make the pie higher! Make the pie higher!

I don’t know about you, but I’m thankful that the human and the fish can coexist! Now got knock down the tollbooth and have a happy Sunday.