Abby Sunshine

Duck Toller

7-3-10 Vachel Lindsay


The Little Turtle

by Vachel Lindsay

There was a little turtle.

He lived in a box.

He swam in a puddle.

He climbed on the rocks.

He snapped at a mosquito.

He snapped at a flea.

He snapped at a minnow.

And he snapped at me.

He caught the mosquito.

He caught the flea.

He caught the minnow.

But he didn’t catch me.

What would Abby Sunshine think about this little turtle? What would Abby think if the little turtle snapped at her??

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12-28-09 Abby Contemplates Poetry

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - Abby Sunshine - Snow Sculpture 3

The Creatures Rest

by Alcman (7th century B.C.E.)

Now sleep mountain-top and chasm

headland and ravine,

creeping kinds that emerge from the black earth

beasts who roam the hillside, the race of bees,

and creatures submerged in the purple sea

now sleep, and tribes,

too, of the wide-winged.

Animal Poems

This poetry book, edited by John Hollander and illustrated by Simona Mulazzani, has a wide range of poetry, including the poem above. It includes beautiful imagery and a lot of additional information. For example, in this poem, The Creatures Rest, it tells us that “Alcman was a very ancient Greek poet who lived in the seventh century. . . .only fragments of his poems survive. . .”

I recommend this book. I think it’s great!

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2-14-09 Will you be my Valentine?

“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…”
by Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861)
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, — I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! — and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.


I’m not sure what I think about this poem, it might be a bit much- a lot of loving going on there. . . . I do like the name of it, and have quoted the title for years. It’s sort of like Mary Had a Little Lamb by Josepha Hale, when you read one version of the original poem, there are way more words than we think about. . . 

Happy Valentine’s Day!


Lisa and Abby Sunshine

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2-13-09 Sit, Abby. Now what?

“It has an air about it

of having strolled in from the street

with a few tricks up its sleeve,

and if everybody would relax, please,

it would do its best 

to pass the time whimsically.”

Walter Kerr


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2-4-09 Dreams

Langston Hughes

Again I’ve been inspired by students. This time it was a group exploring poetry by Langston Hughes. The tone of these 8th graders was clearly upbeat.

There were kids in this group that I’ve observed NOT participating in lessons in the past. In fact, as much as I hate to admit it, I sort of expected them to follow that same pattern. To my pleasant suprise, today was different somehow. This language arts teacher had introduced poetry, but oh, there was so much more. The class began with a brief conversation – kids shared what was on their minds. It only took two or three minutes. I could see this simple, caring gesture meant a lot to everyone in class. I think I noticed this because I was even introduced and asked if I had anything on my mind that I wanted to share! This interaction felt good. It felt like we were more than just a number. It felt like we were beyond the walls of a school and that we were humans actually interested in hearing from each other! That sounds kind of silly- I mean obviously we’re humans, right? But have you ever been greeted by someone that you meet, perhaps walking down a hall- and it made you feel kind of happy? It felt good they acknowledged you? And even greeted you? Have you ever been pleasantly surprised when someone that you don’t know very well remembers your name? This is the kind of stuff I’m talking about. This is the kind of stuff that puts people in a good mood, and a mood that feels wonderful in a classroom. Today in this class, the atmosphere was ripe for learning!

Next came the poem research! Yikes, right–isn’t this when the moans begin? I heard NOT a mutter! It was as all that learning could be!  We were finding poems and reciting lines, asking about the meaning of words, etc. etc. 

I think Langston Hughes would have been pleased with this lesson and his marvelous poetry certainly added to the moment.

I returned home to find a very relaxed hound, and reflected on my experience.

abby1 What are your dreams, Abby Sunshine?

  Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.   

Langston Hughes 




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1-13-09 Deep Chill

Deep Chill
by Lisa Monson

A chill rushes in
And the door stands open;
A discovery has been made.

It’s winter now
And deeply so;
The air feels crisp to breathe.

It sends a chill
Right through your body
A chill that compares to no other.

You see, it’s the chill
That lets us know
The degrees have gone much below zero.

It exhilarating
And titillating
And it takes your breath away.

All you do is survive
And gaze at the wonder
Of this crazy, cold land of ours.

The sunshine of Abby
Curls up in a ball
And embraces the nature that’s here.


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12-10-08 Moments

“We do not remember days, we remember moments.”

Cesare Pavese

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12-06-08 Abby Sunshine and Robert Frost

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

by Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know. 
His house is in the village, though; 
He will not see me stopping here 
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer 
To stop without a farmhouse near 
Between the woods and frozen lake 
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake 
To ask if there’s some mistake. 
The only other sound’s the sweep 
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, 
But I have promises to keep, 
And miles to go before I sleep, 
And miles to go before I sleep.

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