Maxine Kumin – Shine On


Pulitzer-Prize winning author and poet Maxine Kumin died over the weekend.  Her poem, The Quarrel, is one of our favorites…so much so, that my four year old will recite lines to himself when he’s playing. It’s a funny, fantastic piece that’s a hoot to read aloud.


The Quarrel

Said a lightning bug to a firefly,
“Look at the lightning bugs fly by!”

“Silly dunce!” said the fly. “What bug ever flew?
Those are fireflies. And so are you.”

“Bug!” cried the bug. “Fly!” cried the fly.
“Wait!” said a glowworm happening by.

“I’m a worm,” squirmed the worm. “I glimmer all night.
You are worms, both of you. I know that I’m right.”

“Fly!” cried the fly. “Worm!” cried the worm.
“Bug!” cried the bug. “I’m standing firm!”

Back and forth through the dark each shouted his word
Till their quarrel awakened the early bird.

“You three noisy things, you are all related,”
She said to the worm, and promptly ate it.

With a snap of her bill she finished the fly,
And the lightning bug was the last to die.

All glowers and glimmerers, there’s a MORAL:
Shine if you must, but do not quarrel.

Read more about Ms. Kumin here.


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