Monday, July 22, 2013

To Look at Any Thing...


The summer
still hangs
heavy and sweet
with sunlight
as it did last year.

The autumn
still comes 
showering gold and crimson 
as it did last year.

The winter 
still stings
clean and cold and white
as it did last year.

The spring
still comes 
like a whisper in the dark night.

It is only I 
who have changed.

Charlotte Zolotow
 (c) 1978 To Look at Anything 
Lee Bennett Hopkins

This is my favorite poem from Lee Bennett Hopkins's book To Look at Any Thing.  Have you seen the book?  It's a collection of poetry centered around nature photographs by John Earl taken in Georgia.  Circa 1978.

There's something endearing when you find yourself thumbing through the pages of a book that was published 35 years ago.  The black and white photographs, coupled with poetry from some of our most extraordinary poets was a treat to reread.  To read Charlotte Zolotow's words in "Change," or Patricia Hubbell's words in "Beginning of Thoughts," or Lilian Moore's words in "Encounter," or Langston Hughes's words in "Hope."  This is a special book. 

I think it behooves us to look through our classroom and personal libraries and find "gems" we can share with our students.  

More importantly, it's important for us to reread great writing for ourselves.  To nudge our own writing.  To conjure up memories of the poets we love.  To think of ways to inspire others.  To remember that "new" is not always better.  To take a look at "any thing" and know that perhaps there's a poem hidden in even the simplest objects. 


  1. PATRICK: This was a joyous collection to do. It is shame some books go out of print. I always loved John's photography that matched perfectly with the poems. Thank you for rediscovring. Lee Bennett Hopkins

  2. Lovely poem. I suspect I'd enjoy reading the rest too.