Poetry Friday: Our Scarecrow

Carol has the Poetry Friday roundup today here. Be sure to stop by to read her beautiful farewell to summer. Her words and images are a delight.

We’re in a seasonal transition time now, and I’m already thinking about fall. This week I happened to come across the poem “The Scarecrow Prince” by Terry Webb Harshman in Lee Bennett Hopkins anthology Sharing the Seasons. That got me thinking about scarecrows and my fondness for them, probably stemming from my favorite Wizard of Oz character. But I couldn’t remember ever actually seeing one in a field. I’ve read many books about them like Beth Ferry’s The Scarecrow and Cynthia Rylant’s Scarecrow – beautiful, lyrical books that make me think differently about scarecrows. I remembered making a scarecrow one fall afternoon with my kids when they were small. We didn’t have straw, so we stuffed it with newspaper and sat him on the porch. That scarecrow mysteriously disappeared one night leaving only his boots, but that story is for another time.

The form I chose was inspired by Irene Latham’s pantoum “Belonging” in Dictionary for a Better World that she co-wrote with Charles Waters, a book I’m choosing to walk through by concentrating on one poem week by week. It was fun to revisit this form which I haven’t used much, but tried a few times with found poetry.

Our Scarecrow

Our scarecrow isn’t stuffed with straw
He’s packed with newspaper pages,
Dad’s old blue jeans, wading boots,
And a jack-o-lantern grin.

He’s packed with newspaper pages,
His head a scrunchy pillow.
With his toothy jack-o-lantern grin
He welcomes wee ones in.

Topped with a scrunchy pillow,
A candy-filled bin on his lap,
He welcomes scores of wee ones in
From his perch up on the porch.

With a candy-filled bin on his lap,
He hears their squeals of delight.
From his perch up on the porch,
He bids them all goodnight.

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8 Responses to Poetry Friday: Our Scarecrow

  1. Love the pantoum – and I love saying “perch up on the porch.” I can hear the “squeals of delight.”


  2. lindabaie says:

    Lots of fun to read about, Rose, but it was gone! Now I wonder if he walked off barefooted? My brother has a scarecrow in his garden with a bucket for the head, the only one I’ve seen recently!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. macrush53 says:

    I can just see this scarecrow. The seasons are definitely transitioning.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. cvarsalona says:

    Rose, I enjoyed reading your pantoum that gave me an idea. I think my little grandgirls would love making one. I thought about the process while reading your poem and how you carefully repeated and added new thought to your poem. I decided to start transitioning my house slowly so I can be ready for fall. Maybe I will get some squeals of delight.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. maryleehahn says:

    I love the surprise when the scarecrow “welcomed wee ones in” and had a bowl of candy in his lap — the image in my mind suddenly had to shift from garden to Halloween porch!! Well played!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. margaretsmn says:

    I recently wrote a few pantoums with my students, also after Irene, and it’s so much harder than it looks. Your scarecrow sounds wonderful with his scrunchy pillow and newspaper pages!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Love “perch up on the porch.”

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Karen Edmisten says:

    Love this, and love the way you are working your slowly and deliberately through Dictionary for a Better World.

    Liked by 1 person

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