Friday, July 31, 2020

Give Free Verse Advice







Students - Have you ever watered a plant? When I water plants, I almost think I can hear them whisper, "Thank you." Sometimes it really is the smallest, simplest act that brings a person joy. Here's something to try: pay attention to every small part of a day. Which bring you clear happiness? Keep a list of these things. Maybe one day you will wish to write long about one of them.

Today's poem does not rhyme and does not have a special rhythm. But the lines are short, and they are short so that a reader slows down while reading. I have decided to call this a free verse advice poem.

Here is one of my freshly watered plants. It says, "Hi!"

Happy Plant
Photo by Amy LV

Catherine is hosting this week's Poetry Friday party over at Reading to the Core with a magical book recommendation and the magical poem one of its paintings inspired her to write. We invite everybody to join in each Friday as we share poems, poem books, poetry ideas, and friendship. Check out my left sidebar to learn where to find this poetry goodness each week of the year.

Please share a comment below if you wish.day 

Friday, July 24, 2020

Poems About Endings



Clara and Her Kittens on May 1
Photo by Amy LV

Henry and Clary Sage on July 21
Photo by Amy LV




Students - On Sunday, the last two kittens our family is fostering will be off to their new homes. Throughout this spring and summer of Covid-19, we have had the pleasure of caring for a mother cat named Clara (her new family named her Molly) and Clara's five kittens: Nutmeg (now Opal), Pepper, Clary Sage, Rosemary, and Ginger (soon to be Gertrude Stein). Caring for these kittens and watching them grow has given our family so much joy. Now it is natural and right for them to have bigger lives in homes of their own, but still...it is sad to split them up and to say goodbye.

Poems stand by us in times of emotion: happiness, fear, grief. Wherever you are right now, there is a poem to match. Have you ever written a poem about letting something go? If you wish to try this, you might start by making a list of losses you have experienced and then choosing one to write from. Oftentimes our joys and sorrows hold hands and together, these feelings and experiences make us who we are. In your poem, see if you can hold two emotions at once.

Did you notice that I repeated the words they were ours? This poem is very short, but those words are important, important enough for me to write twice. Repetition is a way to slowly sew meaning into a reader's heart. When you write, reread your work to see if there are words or lines important enough to repeat.

Margaret is hosting this week's Poetry Friday party over at Reflections on the Teche with a generous share and the question: What is Poetry? We invite everybody to join in each Friday as we share poems, poem books, poetry ideas, and friendship. Check out my left sidebar to learn where to find this poetry goodness each week of the year.

Please share a comment below if you wish.day 

Friday, July 17, 2020

Just Make Something - A List Poem



Dough
Photo by Amy LV

Dough with Homemade Strawberry Jam
Photo by Amy LV

Baked Scones
Photo by Amy LV

Cut Scones
Photo by Amy LV




Students - This morning my husband had a colleague over for a meeting, and so I decided to make jammy scones! These are a favorite of our daughter Georgia, and it was fun to make them again. Whenever I'm not sure what to do, I make something...and then all is well.

Here is the recipe for today's scones if you wish to make them yourself.

An Old Favorite Cookbook
Photo by Amy LV

Yum! Try it Out!
Photo by Amy LV

Jan is hosting this week's Poetry Friday party over at Bookseedstudio with a lovely poem in honor of her swimming mom. We invite everybody to join in each Friday as we share poems, poem books, poetry ideas, and friendship. Check out my left sidebar to learn where to find this poetry goodness each week of the year.

Please share a comment below if you wish.day 

Friday, July 10, 2020

If you let yourself...


Curtain and Curtain Shadow
Photo by Amy LV



Students - Today I went out to my camper Betsy to do a little writing. I was feeling sad with the weight of a few things...but when I looked over at Betsy's bed, I saw the magical lace shadow that you see in the picture above. Even though I was feeling sad, something beautiful broke through my sadness and carried it away for a little bit. This is the power of paying attention...and too, the power of writing. 

Today's poem is free verse, no rhyme or special meter, and you may notice that the title comes from a line in the poem. I like the line, If you let yourself, and I may use it again sometime. I welcome you to use it too!

When you are feeling sad, remember that writing and looking for spots of surprise and beauty can lift your heart for a little or a long time.

Ruth is hosting this week's Poetry Friday party over at There is no such thing as a God-forsaken town with poems and thoughts about parties, "the analog kind." We invite everybody to join in each Friday as we share poems, poem books, poetry ideas, and friendship. Check out my left sidebar to learn where to find this poetry goodness each week of the year.

Much love.

Please share a comment below if you wish.day 

Friday, July 3, 2020

A Pantoum for Our Times


Self-Portrait, Summer 2020
by Amy LV




Students - You may have noticed a lot of repetition in today's poem, and you may have noticed that the repetition follows a particular pattern. This poem is a pantoum. A pantoum has stanzas of four lines (as many as the poet wishes), and in each stanza, the second and fourth lines repeat as the first and third lines of the following stanza. Pantoums do not always rhyme, and you will note that I changed the pattern in my final stanza, rhyming all four lines with each other.

I do not recall ever writing a pantoum before, but for today, I wanted my message to contain a lot of repetition, and this form clearly lends itself to that. I am writing about the importance of wearing masks because I know that science tells the truth, and I care about my community -- both the small community of my family and the large community of our world's people.

You might wish to try writing a pantoum of your own. You do not need to rhyme, and your pantoum can be as long as you wish. Simply experiment with four line stanzas, and follow the repetition pattern as above. I suggest choosing repeated lines that you wish to drive home. I found that making lists of rhyming words in my notebook and then drafting on the computer helped me with this form.

Linda is hosting this week's Poetry Friday roundup over at A Word Edgewise with a poem swap share and a powerful 'In One Word' poem for July 4. We invite everybody to join in each Friday as we share poems, poem books, poetry ideas, and friendship. Check out my left sidebar to learn where to find this poetry goodness each week of the year.

Please share a comment below if you wish.day 

Friday, June 26, 2020

Gran Teatre del Liceu



Plants Love Music
by Amy LV



Students - This week found me enchanted by this true story, a concert for houseplants at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, Spain. You may read about it at NPR. When I watch the concert, when I think about the musicians filling this hall, when I think about plants listening to a quartet, when I think about the plants carrying this music in their leaves and stems and roots to the homes of healthcare workers, I choke up.

This is beautiful and whimsical and necessary to me, and I thank the musicians of the Gran Teatre del Liceu for the idea, the work, the concert. When I listen, I choke up.

We can always write about the news. We can always write about what moves us deeply.


Enjoy this Concert for Plants!

Karen is hosting this week's Poetry Friday roundup over at Karen's Got a Blog! with a sweet Father's Day memory about a Norwegian nursery rhyme and a beautiful Norwegian poem too. We invite everybody to join in each Friday as we share poems, poem books, poetry ideas, and friendship. Check out my left sidebar to learn where to find this poetry goodness each week of the year.

Please share a comment below if you wish.day 

Friday, June 19, 2020

Fall in Love, Take Photos, Write


Tree Shadow
Photo by Amy LV

Flower Shadow
Photo by Amy LV

Leaf Shadow
Photo by Amy LV




Students - This week I have been falling love with shadows all over the place! I usually do not take photographs of shadows...but this week I did so a few times. And when a person falls in love with something over and over again, it is natural to write a poem about it. 

You may have noticed that the lines in today's poem go back and forth, back and forth. I chose to do this because as I watched plants dancing with shadows, my own eyes went back and forth, back and forth between them.

Keep your eyes open. Fall in love. Take some pictures. Save them. And then write.

Tricia is hosting this week's Poetry Friday roundup over at The Miss Rumphius Effect with a thoughtful and questioning golden shovel poem using a line from "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" by T.S. Eliot. We invite everybody to join in each Friday as we share poems, poem books, poetry ideas, and friendship. Check out my left sidebar to learn where to find this poetry goodness each week of the year.

Please share a comment below if you wish.day