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The Mayfly

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A mayfly flies
In May or June.
Its life is over
Far too soon.
A day or two
To dance,
To fly—

Douglas Florian, “The Mayfly” from Insectopedia. Copyright © 1998 by Douglas Florian. Reprinted with the permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the publisher.
Source: Insectlopedia (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1998)
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The Mayfly

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  • Artist and poet Douglas Florian was born and raised in New York City, and educated at Queens College and the School of Visual Art. Florian was a cartoonist for the New Yorker before a chance encounter with William Cole’s anthology of children’s verse, Oh, That’s Ridiculous (1977), inspired him to try his hand at the art.
    Florian’s illustrated poetry books for children often incorporate elements of collage, watercolor, and gouache on a surface of primed paper bags. He frequently takes the natural world as his subject, using wordplay, neologisms, rhyme, and humor to engage young readers. In a BookPage interview with Heidi Henneman, Florian spoke of the linguistic and syntactic pliability his poems flex, noting "poetry is not black and white. It is more like the gray and purple area that connects all the things we live in."
    Since 1980, Florian has written and illustrated dozens of...

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