I have to admit I make lots of mistakes. Little mistakes, like calling one of my children the wrong name (okay, that could be a big mistake, but in my defence there are SIX of them, and at least I rarely call one of them the dog’s name. Rarely.) and big mistakes like saying something truly horrible to or about someone I love. And when I make those mistakes I feel bad. The good news is that I have also learnt, or at least am constantly learning, that most mistakes can be either fixed or at least forgiven. Get a a name wrong? Correct the mistake and say sorry. Offend someone? Say sorry, but also know that sometimes it takes more than just words to actually show you are sorry and that the person may need time to forgive.
So where is all this leading? To poetry of course (because today is Poetry Friday!). See, I made a bit of a mistake recently. When I got home from my wonderful trip to Europe there, amongst the pile of mail waiting for me, was a copy of a wonderful anthology in which one of my poems was included. And I was really happy about that and browsed the whole anthology over the next week or so.
But my mistake was, in the business of my return, I forgot to post about that wonderful anthology here on my website, to celebrate it’s release, and let the world know about it. Which is a bit bad, but also ironic, because, as it happens, the anthology’s theme is, you guessed it, mistakes.
So, to rectify my mistake, today I am pleased to announce (drum roll please ba da bada bada bada badaaaaa), the release of IMPERFECT: poems about mistakes, edited by the amazing Tabatha Yeatts, and with poems from many fellow Poetry Friday-ers as well as a bunch of other mistake-makers/poets.
If you are very clever, you will notice the vase is cracked. And, if you are even cleverer you might know about the Japanese art of Kintsugi, where broken pottery is repaired with gold or other precious metals, making a mistake a work of art. And this book is a work of art, made from poems which represent mistakes of all kinds and how to fix them. Some poems actually present solutions to the mistakes, and others, I believe, fix them by making us think about and learn from them.
I was delighted to see poems from many of my Poetry Friday friends, and poems that made me laugh out loud as well as ones that made me want to cry. The message of the book is that mistakes are everywhere and every one of us makes mistakes.
To give you a taste of the book, I would like to share my poem, which you will find on page 61:
There’s a time bomb
in our letterbox
tick tick ticking
No one can hear it but me:
tick tick ticking
counting down the time
till Mom checks the mail.
When she opens it
she will explode.
Letter from school.
(Poem copyright Sally Murphy 2018)
For my Australian readers, yes I know we spell it Mum not Mom, but I haven’t made yet another mistake. The book is, at present, not available in Australia. The good news is, it can be ordered online here, and, if you want to read more about the anthology, and the poets and poems featured, head over to the special Mistakes Blog.
I started this post talking about making and rectifying mistakes, and I hope I have rectified mine by FINALLY sharing news of this amazing book. And, of course, because I always look for the silver lining, I guess it’s nice to be spreading out the love for, and celebration of, a new book.
Congratulations to Tabatha for gathering, editing such a wonderful collection of poetry for young people, and thanks for letting me be part of the fun.
Today’s Poetry Friday roundup is being hosted by Molly at Nix the Comfort Zone. Head over there for lots more poetry goodness. And make sure you read Molly’s amazing poem, which I swear was written about me 🙂