Festival of Trees @ Harbourfront: Tuesday May 16th

There are a few tickets still available to take part on the field trip to Harbourfront for the Ontario Library Association Festival of Trees.

The Festival of Trees is Canada’s equivalent of a rock concert for young readers!

  • Spend the day with your friends and your favourite Canadian YA authors.
  • Enjoy everything there is to experience on a lovely spring day on the Toronto waterfront.

The initial schedule is available at the Festival of Trees (Toronto) webpage.

  • Keep checking back as additional authors and events keep getting added right up until the day of.

Permission forms are available, in hard copy, from Ms. Wray in the Library.

OR… you may access electronic copies using these links:

Remaining tickets are available on a first come, first served basis.

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Festival of Trees @ Harbourfront: Volunteers Needed

Volunteers are needed to help with the official White Pine ceremony @ 10:00am on Tuesday May 16th.

Volunteers are needed to help out as each of presenters, sign holders and awards announcers.
  • Presenters only need to prepare a very short one minute introduction to their author.
  • Sign holders have to hold a sign to shepherd their author onto the stage, and then stand behind the author holding the sign up during the ceremony.
  • Awards announcers do not need to prepare anything, they only need to each open an envelope and read the card inside, one for the list of finalists and one for the winner.
Any students who are interested in volunteering should contact Ms. Wray ASAP.
  • Community service hours are available.

National Poetry Month

Catching up!  OOPS…  I left announcements for the week, and posted the first two days but got so busy in Vancouver I never had a thought for posting here.  So, here is Friday’s post:

April is National Poetry Month. This year’s theme is ‘Time’…  Join us, every school day throughout the month of April, for a feature poem on the theme.

Our poem of the day for today is: Erosion by Canadian poet E.J. Pratt.

It took the sea a thousand years,
A thousand years to trace
The granite features of this cliff,
In crag and scarp and base.

It took the sea an hour one night,
An hour of storm to place
The sculpture of these granite seams
Upon a woman’s face.”

E.J. Pratt, born in Western Bay, Newfoundland, was awarded – among other prizes – the Governor-General’s medal for The Fable of Goats and other poems (1937).  Mr. Pratt was the founder and first editor of Canadian Poetry Magazine.

National Poetry Month

Catching up!  OOPS…  I left announcements for the week, and posted the first two days but got so busy in Vancouver I never had a thought for posting here.  So, here is Thursday’s post:

April is National Poetry Month. This year’s theme is ‘Time’…  Join us, every school day throughout the month of April, for a feature poem on the theme.

Our poem of the day for today is: The Burden of Time by Canadian poet George Frederick Scott.

Before the seas and mountains were brought forth

I reigned. I hung the universe in space,

I capped earth’s poles with ice to South and North,

And set the moving tides their bounds and place.

I smoothed the granite mountains with my hand,

   My fingers gave the continents their form;

I rent the heavens and loosed upon the land

The fury of the whirlwind and the storm.

I stretched the dark sea like a nether sky

Fronting the stars between the ice-clad zones;

I gave the deep his thunder; the Most High

Knows well the voice that shakes His mountain thrones.

I trod the ocean caverns black as night,

And silent as the bounds of outer space,

And where great peaks rose darkly towards the light

   I planted life to root and grow apace.

Then through a stillness deeper than the grave’s,

The coral spires rose slowly one by one,

Until the white shafts pierced the upper waves

And shone like silver in the tropic sun.

I ploughed with glaciers down the mountain glen,And graved the iron shore with stream and tide;

I gave the bird her nest, the lion his den,

The snake long jungle-grass wherein to hide.

In lonely gorge and over hill and plain,

   I sowed the giant forests of the world;

The great earth like a human heart in pain

Has quivered with the meteors I have hurled.

I plunged whole continents beneath the deep,

And left them sepulchred a million years;

I called, and lo, the drowned lands rose from sleep,

Sundering the waters of the hemispheres.

I am the lord and arbiter of man—

I hold and crush between my finger-tips

Wild hordes that drive the desert caravan,

   Great nations that go down to sea in ships.

In sovereign scorn I tread the races down,

As each its puny destiny fulfils,

On plain and island, or where huge cliffs frown,

Wrapt in the deep thought of the ancient hills.

The wild sea searches vainly round the landFor those proud fleets my arm has swept away;

Vainly the wind along the desert sand

Calls the great names of kings who once held sway.

Yea, Nineveh and Babylon the great

   Are fallen—like ripe ears at harvest-tide;

I set my heel upon their pomp and state,

The people’s serfdom and the monarch’s pride.

One doom waits all—art, speech, law, gods, and men,

Forests and mountains, stars and shining sun,

The hand that made them shall unmake again,

I curse them and they wither one by one.

Waste altars, tombs, dead cities where men trod,

Shall roll through space upon the darkened globe,

Till I myself be overthrown, and God

   Cast off creation like an outworn robe.

Frederick George Scott  was known as the Poet of the Laurentians. Scott published 13 books of Christian and patriotic poetry. Scott was a British imperialist who wrote many hymns to the British Empire—eulogizing his country’s roles in the Boer Wars and World War I. Many of his poems use the natural world symbolically to convey deeper spiritual meaning.

Poetry in Voice: National Finals Update

A great day here in Vancouver…  where the forecasted rain held off and while the sun was not shining, it was all in all a pretty decent weather day.

This morning we had the English Qualifiers.  Sadly ESA’s Katie Beale is not moving on to  the Grand Finale tomorrow night, but Katie excelled at her job here in Vancouver.  Her recitations were top notch, presented with grace and poise.

The competition was stiff and it was anybody’s guess as to who would move on.  Everyone here in Vancouver is a winner.  24 students from across the country… chosen from over 500 hopefuls.  Phenomenal.

This afternoon everyone took a break from the pressure of the event, and explored ‘Poetic Vancouver’ on the Great Recitation Race.  Lots of zany tasks, improv poetry, writing haikus, and more saw the teams of teachers and students criss-crossing everywhere from the CBD, to the Chinatown Gate, to the Vancouver Art Gallery, to Granville Island – via the AquaBus – with a final stop at the Vancouver Public Library.  If we weren’t all ready for a nap earlier – thank you jet lag! – we certainly are now.

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Reminder that you can still tune in to more exciting happenings from Vancouver tomorrow:

Then be sure to tune in on Thursday, April 20 at 10:00pm Eastern Daylight Time

  • Whether you’re in Hay River or Antigonish, Grosse Île or Moose Jaw, join us at the Fei and Milton Wong Experimental Theatre via our livestream as we celebrate the power of poetry, name our 2017 National Champions, and award over $25,000 in prizes.

National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month. This year’s theme is ‘Time’…  Join us, every school day throughout the month of April, for a feature poem on the theme.

Our poem of the day for today is: On Time by English poet John Milton.

Fly envious Time, till thou run out thy race,
Call on the lazy leaden-stepping hours,
Whose speed is but the heavy Plummets pace;
And glut thy self with what thy womb devours,
Which is no more then what is false and vain,
And meerly mortal dross;
So little is our loss,
So little is thy gain.
For when as each thing bad thou hast entomb’d,
And last of all, thy greedy self consum’d,
Then long Eternity shall greet our bliss
With an individual kiss;
And Joy shall overtake us as a flood,
When every thing that is sincerely good
And perfectly divine,
With Truth, and Peace, and Love shall ever shine
About the supreme Throne
Of him, t’whose happy-making sight alone,
When once our heav’nly-guided soul shall clime,
Then all this Earthy grosnes quit,
Attir’d with Stars, we shall for ever sit,
Triumphing over Death, and Chance, and thee O Time.

John Milton, born and educated in London, is widely considered among the five greatest poets in the English language.  He is perhaps best well known for Paradise Lost, which chronicles Satan’s temptation of Adam and Eve and their expulsion from Eden.  Paradise Lost is widely regarded as his masterpiece and one of the greatest epic poems in world literature.

National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month. This year’s theme is ‘Time’…  Join us, every school day throughout the month of April, for a feature poem on the theme.

Our poem of the day for today is: What Horror to Awake at Night by American poet Lorine Niedecker.

What horror to awake at night
and in the dimness see the light.
      Time is white
      mosquitoes bite
I’ve spent my life on nothing.

The thought that stings. How are you, Nothing,
sitting around with Something’s wife.
      Buzz and burn
      is all I learn
I’ve spent my life on nothing.  

I’m pillowed and padded, pale and puffing
lifting household stuffing—
      carpets, dishes
      benches, fishes
I’ve spent my life in nothing.

Lorine Niedecker was born in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, and lived in this wilderness area for most of her life. Her isolation from other writers and the austere beauty of her natural surroundings had a notable impact on her work.  Niedecker’s verse is praised for its stark, vivid imagery, subtle rhythms, and spare language.  Since her death in 1970, several critics have identified Niedecker as a significant and original voice in contemporary American poetry.