Friday, May 27, 2022

A Repeating Line

Hearts
by Amy LV



Students - Today's poem is about something I am thinking about: how important it is for me - and for each of us - to be present and kind in the face of another's struggles and sorrows. We cannot do everything, but each of us can do something...every day...to bring more peace and hope to our world. We can each pay attention to the people around us, noticing if they may be hurt (inside or out) and if they might need a bit of our care.

You will see that this poem has a repeating line that turns at the end. I did not plan that. The poem made it happen. Allow your poems to lead you, young friends.

Linda is hosting the Poetry Friday roundup at A Word Edgewise with thoughtful words and a golden shovel poem about her work as a school librarian this week. Please know that all are welcome each Friday as folks share poems, poem books, poetry ideas, and friendship.

I offer my deepest respect and appreciation for all teachers and staff in schools over this past year and days. Thank you for all that you do to love, teach, and protect our students every day. For those of you heading into summer now, I offer you my love and wishes for joy and rest.

xo,

Amy

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If you are under 13 years old, please only comment with a parent
or as part of a group with your teacher and class.

Friday, May 20, 2022

Making. Making. Violet Tea.

2 Cups Violets
Photo by Amy LV



Students - Today's poem is about a process: making violet jelly, something I did this week, something that made me feel happy. 

I first found some recipes and chose to make the Violet Jelly recipe over at Homestead Acres.

Visiting many places in the yard to pick, pick pick, I even found a little snake sunning himself! It took a long time to pick so many violets, but it was a cool sunny morning and picking violets was a good way to spend it.

Violets and Snake Under the Redbud
Photo by Amy LV

I gathered two cups of violets and packed them down a little bit...but not too much. But the more you pack them down, the more violet your jelly will be.

Violets and Bunny at St. Francis's Hem
Photo by Amy LV

Then I made the "violet tea," which is simply boiling water poured over violets. It sat in the fridge for two nights, though one night would have been enough. The water eventually became deep blue.

Violet Tea
Photo by Amy LV

Following the recipe, I ended up with ten sweet and sparkly jars full of spring goodness! My favorite part was pouring the lemon juice into the strained violet tea...the blue tea turned purple. My son came down to watch this part, and we were both surprised and delighted when it happened...even though the recipe promised it would.

4 oz. Jar of Violet Jelly
Photo by Amy LV

Making is inspiring. When I am down, it helps me to make something. And trying a new recipe or craft opens doors in a person's mind and heart. If you're looking for something new to make, I recommend going to your library and taking out a craft book or a gardening book or a cookbook. Check your classroom or a shelf at home. 

Make something! And then...write about it.

I love making so much that I wrote a whole book about making. You can find a maker guide with all sorts of links to fun projects at my website HERE.


Today's project is dandelion jelly. They say it tastes like honey!

Dandelion Tea
Photo by Amy LV

Carmela is hosting Poetry Friday at Teaching Authors with a "STEAM poetry sneak peek" and this week's roundup. Please know that all are welcome each Friday as folks share poems, poem books, poetry ideas, and friendship.

What new thing will you do with your hands this week?

xo,

Amy

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If you are under 13 years old, please only comment with a parent
or as part of a group with your teacher and class.

Friday, May 13, 2022

A Day Writing Poems from Art

Postcard Pile
Photo by Amy LV

This Wednesday, I was so happy to visit Seely Place School in the Edgemont School District in Scarsdale, NY. While I have been doing some virtual teaching from my camper, this was my first in-person school visit (not counting teaching fourth grade last year) since February 2020. 

And what writers! 

These second grade poets focused on ekphrastic (art) poems during our time together, and their poems were fascinating and thoughtful. They looked at many many postcards, each choosing one that inspired them most. And as they read their poems out loud, each of us was transported to a new place.

Fish in the Sky, 2014
by Ben Giles




Students - For bits of time with the Seely Place second grade poets this week, I wrote too. I chose the above postcard, and those flying fish grabbed my attention. I wrote about them flying, and then the bird made me think about birds swimming...and so it went.

Now, that ending. It was a surprise to me. As you know, I am always working against spending too much time on screens, and so the ending probably came from there. The idea of something fantastic happening and people all missing it felt real, and those words just appeared on the page.

For me, the most fun in writing this poem is the repetition of knew and new which happen to rhyme with blue. It was not a plan, but it feels playful.

I wrote a different draft of a different poem about this postcard too, but I prefer this one. Remember that sometimes revision can mean starting all over again, starting fresh. 

If you're seeking inspiration this week, look to art. You can find art on walls and in books, in museums and on the internet. And each piece of art can take you on an endless number of writing vacations.

Thank you to everyone at Seely Place who spent time with me this week. I am still thinking about your poetry!

Congratulations to Linda Mitchell, winner of Emily Callahan and Debbie Miller's new book with Heinemann! Linda, I've tweeted a note asking for your snail mail address so that I can get your book to you. Thank you again, Emily and poets, for sharing your fabulous poems with all of in this space last week.

Rose is hosting today's Poetry Friday roundup at Imagine the Possibilities with a very cool idea to write poems from book titles and a lovely-book-title-inspired-poem to go with it. Please know that all are welcome each Friday as folks share poems, poem books, poetry ideas, and friendship.

I hope that you have the opportunity to look at art this week...even for a moment.

xo,

Amy

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If you are under 13 years old, please only comment with a parent
or as part of a group with your teacher and class.

Friday, May 6, 2022

A Spring Welcome to Young Poets

Leaf Lullaby - May 5, 2022
Photo by Amy LV



Students - As I was driving down the road to my home the other day, I noticed that the hill was once again whispering green. And the words a lullaby of leaves came into my head. I have been happily carrying that phrase in the palm of my hand all week long, and today it lives in this tiny poem. 

Pay good attention to the words and phrases that come to you as flashes. These are like shooting stars, meant just for you. You can sew stories and poems together with such bits and pieces.


Today I am so lucky to welcome some great fourth grade poets and artists from Liberty, Missouri. They are fine poets and poem-celebrators, popcorn eaters, and thoughtful creators. Their teacher - author Emily Callahan - and I have shared many poem joys back and forth through the years, and the work of these students has touched me deeply.

Click through the slides below (enlarge the show if you wish) to see proverb poems, prequel poems, artwork, poem thoughts, animal poems, and color poems. Notice the students' writing moves and their thoughtfulness. Enjoy every moment, just as I did and will each time I visit their work.

Thank you so much, young poets. You make the world a richer, kinder place with your words.

Slideshow is Here 


I would like to give a copy of Emily Callahan's wise, beautiful, and  brand new book with Debbie Miller -  I'M THE KIND OF KID WHO: INVITATIONS THAT SUPPORT LEARNER IDENTITY AND AGENCY - to a teacher who comments on these students' poems. The book can also go to someone who is not a teacher...but who will give it to a teacher. Please simply comment on this post, about these students poems, before next Thursday, May 12 at 11:59pm.

Giveaway Book!
Comment by Thursday, May 12 at 11:59pm

Jama is hosting today's Poetry Friday roundup at Jama's Alphabet Soup with an exquisite tribute to mothers and Mother's Day in both poetry, family photographs, memories, and art. Please know that all are welcome each Friday as folks share poems, poem books, poetry ideas, and friendship.

May the hushes and swishes of the changing seasons bring you peace this week.

xo,

Amy

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If you are under 13 years old, please only comment with a parent
or as part of a group with your teacher and class.

Friday, March 18, 2022

A Secret or a Surprise

Cloud Pocket
by Amy LV

Students - I could never tell you why I wrote about a secret cloud today for I have no idea. I could try to trace it back to yesterday, when I spent a lot of time outside on a beautiful spring day. I could try to trace it to all of the magical fiction books I've been reading lately. I was simply writing in my notebook this morning, about all kinds of things...

...and the cloud showed up!

So, I have two possibilities for you today.

1. You might consider writing about a secret - either a real or a magical secret. If it's real, you may change anything you wish.

2. You might consider just writing, writing, writing and seeing what or who shows up on the page. Allow a surprise to arrive.

Writing gives. When you least expect and never know what will happen, words will arrive. 

Ruth is hosting today's Poetry Friday roundup at There is no such thing as a God-forsaken town with a haibun (combination of prose and haiku) about a morning collection of birds. Please know that all are welcome each Friday as folks share poems, poem books, poetry ideas, and friendship. I'm hosting next week!

I send you secrets and surprises today, my dear friends.

xo,

Amy

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If you are under 13 years old, please only comment with a parent
or as part of a group with your teacher and class.

Friday, March 11, 2022

Something Hidden Now Seen

 

My Family's Pocket Watches
Photo by Amy LV



Students - Some of you may remember that my father died in August 2020. Since that time, I have slowly been going through many of his belongings, thinking about the past and my ancestors. I had my father's shirts made into quilts, am having a pile of broken jewelry made into a ring, and this week I made a display of these very old watches. I want to surround myself with reminders of who I am, not to leave precious stories hidden away.

In today's poem, the pocket watches come to light after years of darkness. Can you think of something in your life that has not seen the light in a long time? Perhaps an object, like a toy from when you were very little or an article of clothing that no longer fits but you have saved. Perhaps a feeling you have not felt in a long time. Try thinking about hidden things. And consider bringing one to light, either in real life or in a poem or story or piece of art. Let the hidden be seen.

As for the title of this poem, did you figure out that it is the message of the watches, one of the phrases I imagine them saying - Time is everything. I almost always title poems last, after a poem reveals to me what it wants to say. If you title your poems first, leave space to change your title afterward if you so choose.

And one revision note. I thought that this poem was finished. But when I read it aloud a final time, I changed one single word. In the third stanza, I had originally written I talk with them/sometimes. Somehow, changing talk to chat made the conversations feel more cozy and intimate. So I changed one single word to make a better poem.

Look at, read, and think carefully about every word. Each one matters.

Sylvia and Janet are hosting today's Poetry Friday roundup at Poetry for Children with a celebration of their delicious new anthology, THINGS WE EAT: A POETRY ANTHOLOGY FEATURING FOOD POEMS FROM A TO Z. Please know that all are welcome each Friday as folks share poems, poem books, poetry ideas, and friendship.

May you spend your time on what you most love.

xo,

Amy

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If you are under 13 years old, please only comment with a parent
or as part of a group with your teacher and class.

Friday, March 4, 2022

Peace

Sky and Field
Photo by Amy LV



Students - Sometimes a person can have a busy week and yet still have one important word in the background of everything. This afternoon I took a walk with our dogs Cali and Sage around the pasture, and it sounded like the big spruce trees were whispering, Peace. Peace. As I looked at and listened to those trees, I imagined the oceans making the same plea.

It is important to pay attention to the thoughts that return to you. If a word or idea returns to you again and again, it may be asking you to write or make music or art about it. Listen to those thoughts -- they know.

You might wish to try taking a walk outside to get your writing started. Close your eyes and listen to your imagination. Imagine what the nature may be saying to you.

If you'd like, feel free to experiment with a two stanza poem like the one I share here. You might even choose to begin one stanza with the word outside and one stanza with the word inside.

Consider writing a poem focused around just one word. As you write and revise, experiment with repeating it in different ways.

Kat is hosting today's Poetry Friday roundup at Kathryn Apel with a celebration of the release of her new verse novel, WHAT SNAIL KNOWS which I am very excited to read!  Please know that all are welcome each Friday as folks share poems, poem books, poetry ideas, and friendship.

Peace.

xo,

Amy

Please share a comment below if you wish. 
If you are under 13 years old, please only comment with a parent
or as part of a group with your teacher and class.