Today I am delighted to introduce you to author, poet and blogger, Victoria Zigler. Victoria, known as Tori to her friends, is an author of a number of lovely children’s books, some of which I have read and really enjoyed. She has also published some lovely poetry books.
Over to Tori
I was excited to be a part of Robbie’s poetry readathon. But this presented me with a bit of a conundrum.
You see, picking a favourite of my poems is hard for me. Actually, I’m not very good at picking favourites of things in general, but I find it even more difficult with my own work, because each piece is special to me in some way. So I made it a little easier on myself by focussing on one particular poetry collection: Mr. Pumpkin-Head And Other Poems.
“Why that one particular collection?” I hear you ask.
Well, it’s quite simple. You see, Mr. Pumpkin-Head And Other Poems was not only the first poetry book I published, but the first book I published. It was the book I used to dip my toe in to the turbulent waters of the sea of authors, and was made up of my favourites of the poems I’d written – and still had copies of – at the time. It was a hard task choosing the poems for the book, and all my other poems did get their turn to be published afterwards. But that book – and by extension, the poems in it – will always be especially special to me, purely for being my first publication.
Additionally, the photo on the cover is of my very own Mr. Pumpkin-Head; the pumpkin featured on the cover of the book is a jack-o-lantern I carved myself. Not only the first one I’d done solo, but also the first one after I lost the last of my sight. Which is why I’ll never change the cover, even now I know more about the importance of good quality covers. Just like with the covers of my stories featuring some of my pets, where their own photos were used on the covers.
Given my fondness of the book, and the photo featured on its cover, it seems only fitting I pick the title poem – written about the pumpkin in the photo, almost four years before the collection was published – as my favourite poem. So, with that in mind, I present my poem entitled “Mr. Pumpkin-Head” for your reading pleasure.
© 2008 ~ Victoria “Tori” Zigler
In a pumpkin patch
Near a big red barn
Looking out over the fields
Of a very big farm
Lived Mr Pumpkin-Head
All day he’d sit in the pumpkin patch
Wishing he could do something good
“If only,” he said to himself one night
“Pumpkins could be more than just food.”
Then one day, when the air was chilly
And the trees were almost bare
Someone came to the pumpkin patch
Who’d never before been seen there
She was just a child – no more than six
With hair the colour of gold
Wearing a pretty little pink coat
To protect herself from the cold
She looked at Mr Pumpkin-Head
And all his friends in the ground
Then knelt beside Mr Pumpkin-Head
Making hardly a sound
She put her hand upon him
And smiling said, “You’ll do!
You’re coming home with me, you are.
I’ll make a jack-o-lantern out of you!”
In the window sill
Of a little house
Looking out of the window
Beside an ornamental mouse
Sits Mr Pumpkin-Head
His smile may be carved on
But inside he’s grinning too
For he thinks a Jack-O-Lantern is
A great job for a pumpkin to do
That’s why you’ll never see a pumpkin smile
As wide as Mr Pumpkin-Head
Victoria Zigler is a blind vegan poet and children’s author who was born and raised in the Black Mountains of Wales, UK, and is now living on the South-East coast of England, UK, with her hubby and furkids. Victoria – or Tori, if you prefer – has been writing since she knew how, and describes herself as a combination of Hermione Granger and Luna Lovegood from the Harry Potter books: Hermione’s thirst for knowledge and love of books, combined with Luna’s wandering mind and alternative way of looking at the world. She has a wide variety of interests, designed to exercise both the creative and logical sides of her brain, and dabbles in them at random depending on what she feels like doing at any given time.
To date, Tori has published nine poetry books and more than 40 children’s books, with more planned for the future. She makes her books available in multiple eBook formats, as well as in both paperback and audio. She’s also contributed a story to the sci-fi and fantasy anthology Wyrd Worlds II, which is available in eBook only.
Contact Victoria Zigler
Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Victoria-Zigler/424999294215717
Find Victoria Zigler’s books on…
…Along with a variety of other online retailers.
My review of Mr Pumpkin-Head And Other Poems
I did not know until after I finished reading this book that Mr Pumpkin-Head and Other Poems was the first book published by Victoria Zigler and that it contained her favourite and first poems. On reflection, this makes perfect sense to me because the wonderful variety of thoughts, ideas and reflections.
The poems in this collection touch on delightful concepts like Jack Frost, family relationships, nature, animals, witches, fairies and leaf monster. There are some revelations of intense emotion and feeling such as in the poem Embracing The Darkness and The Day which is about coming to accept challenges and difficulties in life. The poet also gives some insight into her thoughts on commercialism and freedom of spirit.
Some of my favourite extracts from the poems in this collection are as follows:
“Before settling down to sleep for the night
The sounds of nature still filled her head
As she snuggled up in her bed
This was the way she like it to be
It made her feel alive and free.”
“I wished for something to release me
From the world which I could not see
But no place to hide or release came
And the days kept passing just the same
Until the day when – by a stroke of luck
An idea was planted in my mind … and stuck!”
from Embracing The Darkness And The Day
“Jack Frost ran his frozen fingers gently over the ground
Covering everything with glittering frost without making a sound
A playful smile played across his blue lips
As he stroked everything with his fingertips”
from The Robin And Jack Frost