Sunday, February 15, 2015

Mary O' Neill

Mary O' Neill 
Children's Writer and Poet
February 16, 1906 - January 2, 1990
One of Mary O' Neill's most popular books, Hailstones and Halibut Bones  (1961), identifies and interprets the spectrum of colors through verse. 
O'Neil is a master at using rhythmic words to convey feelings. The format of her poem from the book The Random House Book of Poetry for Children  conveys the power of word choice.
                                                               Feelings About Words
Some words clink 
As ice in drink
Some move with grace
A dance, a lace.
Some sound thin:
Wail, scream and pin.
Some words are squat:
A mug, a pot,
And some are plump,
Fat, round and dump.
Some words are light :
Drift, lift and bright.
A few are small:
A, is and all.
And some are thick,
Glue, paste and brick.
Some words are sad:
"I never had..."
And others gay:
Joy, spin and play.
Some words are sick:
Stab,scratch and nick.
Some words are hot:
Fire, flame and shot.
Some words are sharp, 
Sword, point and carp.
And some alert:
Glint, glance and flirt.
Some words are lazy:
Saunter, hazy.
And some words preen:
Pride,pomp, and queen.
Some words are quick, 
A jerk, a flick.
Some words are slow:
Lag, stop and grow,
While others poke
As ox with yoke
Some words can fly-
There's wind, there's high;
And some words cry:
by Mary O" Neill

While some poets can write at great length about words, some poets on the subject are brief.
A Word
A word is dead
When it is said, 
Some say.

I say it just
Begins to live 
That day.
by Emily Dickinson 

The sun setting over the desert indeed is an incredible sight. This photo was taken right out my back door 
and reminded me of another poem of Mary O' Neill about the color purple written in verse form. 
What is Purple
Time is purple just before night

when most people turn on the light -- --

but if you don't it's a beautiful sight.

Asters are purple, there's purple ink.

Purple's more popular than you think...

it's sort of a great Grandmother to pink.

There are purple shadows and purple veils,

some ladies purple their fingernails.

There's purple jam and purple jell

and a purple bruise next day will tell

where you landed when you fell.

The purple feeling is rather put-out

the purple look is a definite pout.

But the purple sound is the loveliest thing

It's a violet opening in the spring.


Blueberry Blast Smoothie
Cook's notes: A healthy and nourishing start to your day.

  • 1/2 cup nonfat or 1 percent low-fat milk
  • 1/2 cup non-fat plain yogurt
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries (unsweetened)
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Put all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
2005, Ellie Krieger, Food Network


  1. Oh, that view out your back door is beyond stunning.

    And I do love that poem by Emily.