Wow!

download“Wow!”

That was just about all I could say, “Wow.”

Perhaps you recognize the nod to Kevin Henkes (Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse), perhaps not. Either way, you’re sure to realize that I was totally wowed by Linda Mitchell’s Poetry Swap gift to me.

Back in November, Tabatha Yeatts kindly invited people to participate in a poetry/gift swap this December. (Thanks, Tabatha!) I, in a fit of delusional optimism, thought, “Sure!” and signed up. Then I got matched up with Linda Mitchell, and knowing the recipient made participation even more fun. And it really was…even if November flew by and December approached far faster than I’d imagined and I barely squeaked out my gift and poem by the due date. (How is it that every year I forget how insane this time of year is?)

At any rate, I sent Linda’s gift off on Saturday and then early the next week,  Linda’s gift for me arrived. Wow! Clearly there was no squeaking done on her end! She created a stunning book for me including her beautiful artwork and an original poem. What a gift! With her permission I’m sharing it here. First, check out the adorable cover below.

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Then, on the inner flyleaf, she began the book with a poem from Wallace Stevens entitled, “The Snowman”.

80106239_425939268289694_6378211972852219904_n.jpgNext, she worked her scrapbooking/collage magic.

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These photos simply don’t do the book justice. That initial tree….wow! And those pines and snowflakes. Wow! Again, that was just about all I could say, “Wow!” Each page is a work of art highlighting a stanza from the original Wallace Stevens poem.

Then, the final page showcases her marvelous poem to me. Oh. So. lovely. Her first stanza moved me deeply and then she followed up with stanzas rich with beautiful winter imagery and ended with an echo of Stevens’s fabulous final line.

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Oh, Linda. Thank you for this beautiful book and your poem. I treasure them. The warmth of poetry and friendship mean so much and I am the richer for having received both.

Buffy Silverman is hosting the Poetry Friday Roundup this week at her blog.  She’s sharing a sneak peek at Liz Garton Scanlon’s stunning new book, “One Dark Bird.” Be sure to check it out.