Myra here.

poetry friday

I am happy to be joining the Poetry Friday community hosted this week by the Haiku Queen, Robyn Hood Black of Life on the Deckle Edge. Thank you so much, Robyn, for hosting on a Good Friday.

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When I discovered this book by accident in the public library, I knew it would be the perfect Good Friday offering, plus the fact that it fits our current reading theme on celebrating multicultural titles quite nicely. With poetic verse, the timeless story of creation was retold by Nobel Peace Prize Winning Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the breathtakingly beautiful artwork of Nancy Tillman.

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In the very beginning, God’s love bubbled over when there was nothing else – no trees, no birds, no animals, no sky, no sea – only darkness. Out of this love, God spoke. 

“Let there be light.”

Each day is marked by artwork spreads that bleed onto the next page. I love the fourth day:

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On the fourth day, God said, 

“Let the sky be filled with

the sun and the moon.”

And God scattered stars

across the sky like

sparkling diamonds.

How beautiful is that. This story of Creation, so deeply ingrained in most people’s sensibilities, highly disputed, widely debated, universally fretted about; yet on this Lenten season, I hope these images find you and give you a quiet sense of peace.

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Then God said,

“I will make people, and

I’ll make them like me so

they can enjoy the earth

and take care of it.”

He did just as he had 

said, and it was all so

very, very good.

Here’s wishing you a day of silence and reflection, and the comforting knowledge that Archbishop Desmond Tutu so beautifully reminds us in this picturebook: “You are loved.”

Let there be Light written by Nobel Peace Prize Winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu and illustrated by Nancy Tillman. Published by Zonderkidz, 2013. Book borrowed from the public library. Book photos taken by me.

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Reading Challenge Update: 71 (25)

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Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

14 comments on “[Poetry Friday] Let there be Light on a Good Friday

  1. Myra – this post brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing this beautiful book and your thoughtful words. Peace and love to you this Easter.

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  2. Catherine Johnson

    Those illos are absolutely beautiful! Thanks for sharing on Good Friday, Myra.

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  3. haitiruth

    Lovely. I was blessed to hear Archbishop Tutu speak once.

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  4. Gorgeous illustrations, Myra. Have a blessed Easter with your family.

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    • Dearest Linda, may Easter be a day of joy for you and the family. Must be great to see everything all over again through your grandchildren’s eyes.

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  5. Wow. I attend a congregation where the Bible words I grew up with are used sparingly, and last night I attended a Good Friday service for the first time in a long time and heard the words of the Psalms differently, so I’m thinking about the language of the Bible. I really enjoyed reading Tutu’s wording of the familiar creation story. How fun to put this book beside the Jane Ray version of Genesis! Thanks, Myra.

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  6. maryleehahn

    Thank you, and peace be with you also.

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  7. A perfect post for Good Friday/Easter. Thank you, Myra!

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  8. Beautiful, Myra. The words, the illustrations, your sentiment, everything.
    The end of your post reminded me of the mug I sent my daughter at college last week (it said “You Are Loved”). Sometimes we all need to hear that!

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  9. Such a gorgeous book! Such a special time of year– I hope you had a wonderful Easter weekend.

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