Thursday, December 15, 2022

Poetry Friday: I'm hosting!

Photo by Jodi Pelman

Welcome to Poetry Friday! 

If you've never made the rounds, here's an old post from Renée LaTulippe (some links may be out of date) that will tell you about this bloggy, poetic gathering. And here's an older article at the Poetry Foundation from Susan Thomsen of Chicken Spaghetti

Here's another fun (old!)* article from Susan about poetry and homeschoolers, in which she mentioned one of my daughters who, at age four, was enchanted by Emily Dickinson. A funny coincidence about that article: it was written way back in 2008 and Susan also interviewed Julie Bogart, of Brave Writer for that piece. Nine years later, Julie and I would cross paths again. In 2017, when Brave Writer was growing tremendously, I was lucky enough to be hired as one of their writing coaches, a part-time job that I still do and still love. 

On to this week's offerings! 

I think this lovely piece by Michael Blumenthal could alternatively be titled, "Surely the hedgehog" (from lines 21-22) but I'll take "Be Kind" — both as a title and as a life suggestion, motto, and blueprint. 

As Blumenthal exhorts: 

Oh friends, take
whatever kindness you can find
and be profligate in its expenditure...

Here's to poetry and profligate kindness. Happy Poetry Friday! 

*Are all the articles about Poetry Friday old? Do we need to write new ones? Anyone, anyone? 

Be Kind
by Michael Blumenthal 

Not merely because Henry James said
there were but four rules of life—
be kind be kind be kind be kind—but
because it's good for the soul, and,
what's more, for others, it may be
that kindness is our best audition
for a worthier world, and, despite
the vagueness and uncertainty of
its recompense, a bird may yet wander
into a bush before our very houses,
(Read the rest here, at 

Mr. Linky is here to gather the goodness and scatter it throughout the poetic, bloggy neighborhood. Please join us with a link or as a reader — your choice. 


  1. Thank you for hosting today and for this beautiful poem, Karen. The phrase that speaks to me is: "there's / weather arriving from every direction." I love the way that Blumenthal talks about vulnerability here.

    I'm celebrating Hanukkah this weekend. I made a 10-verbs Hanukkah poem with words taken from Leslie Kimmelman's picture book, The Eight Knights of Hanukkah.

  2. I love the message in "Be Kind." Thank you for sharing it and for hosting today. Happy holidays!

  3. "The happiest possible dust." I love that! Thanks for rounding up the poetry, Karen, and thank you very kindly for the Chicken Spaghetti mentions. When my kiddo was in school and not loving it, I got such a lift from reading the homeschool blogs, and found many great ideas there. And it is and was always so great to talk about books with y'all.

  4. Love the poem!! And the hedgehog in it :). Thanks for hosting this week. Happy Holidays to you!!!

  5. An amazing poem! I'd never heard of better reasons to be kind. Thank you for sharing that. The best thing about a holiday season is that it seems to wake up kindness and generosity. Happy Holidays!

  6. I am most definitely here for the kindness! Thank-you for spreading it - and hosting us today.

  7. What a beautiful poem. I've not seen that poem before..but yes, four rules only. And, thank you for hosting Poetry Friday. New articles? Why, yes! Let me think on that. We should all write one.

  8. Thanks for sharing this gorgeous and sensitive poem by Michael Blumenthal, that I'm saving so I can return to it again—It gives me a good-goosebump feeling! Thanks also for all the links and for hosting the Roundup, Happy Holidays!

  9. Hi Karen! Thank you for hosting us so kindly. I meant to talk about experience with my OLW for 2022 (generosity) this week but then I got in a rush. Maybe I'll talk about it next time. Maybe I'll settle on my next word!
    I had an article about Poetry Friday, but it doesn't qualify as new!

  10. "detritus of blessedness" - lovely. Thank you, Karen, for hosting us with this wonderful poem and the reminder that kindness is welcome and necessary for any season. Merry Christmas!

  11. Karen, your post is ever timely. Kindness deserves continual rekindling. The poem you have chosen is most apt in conveying this message. Thank you for hosting and may kindness find you easily.

  12. The perfect poem to share! I love "Oh friends, take
    whatever kindness you can find
    and be profligate in its expenditure" and so much more about this poem. It is one I will revisit and share with others. Thank you for sharing it today and for hosting.

  13. "Dust's certainly all our fate, so why not
    make it the happiest possible dust,
    a detritus of blessedness?"

    Thank you for hosting and for this gorgeous poem which I am copying into my notebook. I love knowing that you are a writing coach with Brave Writer. I am such a fan of Julie and of you. It's been too long since I visited here...what a delight to return. xo, Amy

  14. I got lost in the moment of the poem, wanting it to wash me in kindness, which seems so easy when you look at the simple rules. "Be kind be kind be kind be kind." And yet I listen in the halls every day as teachers bray and berate children. I wish...
    Thanks for hosting.

  15. Thanks for hosting, Karen, and for sharing this beautiful poem. I love the word "profligate" which is a new one for me.

  16. This is a wise poem. I'm feeling hedgehog-y this morning so especially appreciate the reminder to be kind. Thank you! xo

  17. Here's to kindness and poetry! Thanks for sharing, Karen, and for hosting today.

  18. What a fantastic poem! Like Amy, I'm copying it into my notebook. And, like Margaret, writing it on my heart as armor against the world.

    My post resonates with this poem in ways you'll see when you visit, but which I will not give away in this comment. :-)

    Yes, we do need new articles about Poetry Friday. Or maybe we write the articles each week just by showing up with our offerings and our comments...

    Thank you for hosting.

  19. Yes! "Why not make it the happiest possible dust"? Wonderful message to take into the coming week. Thank you, Karen!

  20. Karen, Thank you for hosting this week. Kindness is so important and the poems are correct when you are kind to others, you feel good yourself. May we all be more kind! Thanks, again!

  21. Ah, Karen. Yes. Be kind. It really is just that simple. Blessings and peace to you this day!🤗🕊

  22. "Take whatever kindness you can find ..."
    I love that. I'm actually sharing a kindness I received in the holiday poetry swap.
    Thanks for hosting today.

  23. Karen, I enjoyed your post. I read through Susan's blog about homeschooling since one of my duties as a Districtwide administrator of Language Arts, etc. was to oversee the homeschooling program. I especially enjoyed this line in the poem about kindness: kindness is our best audition
    for a worthier world
    Hats off to kindness, especially during the holiday season. I will enjoy reading other poets' blogs over this weekend.

  24. Hi Karen: Thank you for hosting and for your ever-needed reminder of kindness. A great quote/poem. My best to you for your Christmas.