“I will try and honor Christmas in my heart, and try and keep it all the year.”
Before The Ice Is In The Pools
by Emily Dickinson
Before the ice is in the pools—
Before the skaters go,
Or any check at nightfall
Is tarnished by the snow—
Before the fields have finished,
Before the Christmas tree,
Wonder upon wonder
Will arrive to me!
A few years ago, I took the same concept as Tom’s Best of CD and applied it to poetry. I keep a crude poetry log every year. It is a google Docs that I add poems as I come across that I like throughout the year. I print it out in early December and read through it, marking my absolute favorites. I then create a little hand bound book of poetry, making covers for it and give it away at Christmas to family and friends.
The first year I made the book it took a little figuring out. I make it the size of a 1/2 sheet of paper folded over, and I had to come up with a template on where to place each poem so that it worked out. This is the fifth edition of Tom’s Best of… Poetry and I have it down to a science, being able to use the prior year’s as a template. It consists of 10 sheets of paper – which when folded provides 40 pages. I include a title page and table of contents which takes up two pages so that I am left with 37 pages as canvas with which to work. I have found over time that long poems don’t lend itself to this format, so a poem has to fit on no more than two pages to make the cut and be included. I typically include two to four poems of my own.
Several of my favorite poems from 2018 that I have included in my poetry book are listed below. I have provided a link if you would like to read them. What was your favorite poem that you came across in 2018? Do you keep a poem diary? Have you ever made your own hand bound book?