Sunday, April 21, 2019

Poem #21 - I Ask for Permission

Welcome to my 2019 National Poetry Month Project

Each day of April, I will write and share a new (first person, free verse, fewer than 15 lines not including spacing) poem. Taken together, these will tell a story about John and Betsy, two characters I posted about on March 22.  This will be new for me, and I invite anyone who wishes to join me in writing a collection of 30 poems that tell a story.

Here is a list of this month's poems so far:


And now...today's poem.

Two Rainbows
by Amy LV




Students - This month's poems will tell a story about John and Betsy, and all of the poems will have three things in common: each will be written in John's voice, each will be 15 lines or shorter (not including spacing), and each will be written in free verse. I find it helpful to set writing boundaries for myself, so I chose three to work with over the next 30 days.  But sometimes, friends, I am breaking these rules.  Rules can help a project, and they can also hinder it.  So I begin with these rules, and then I listen to each poem and what it desires to be.  When given a writing choice between listening to a poem and listening to a rule, I usually listen to the poem.

Today's poem is the shortest of the month so far.  I was once again reading Ron Padgett's THE TEACHERS AND WRITERS HANDBOOK OF POETIC FORMS, and thought I would try writing a lune (syllable pattern 5/3/5 or words per line 5/3/5) but in the end, I wanted a few more words and syllables.  Still, beginning by trying something new helped me end up with something new.  

This poem is a simple snapshot of what John's parents look like when he tells them about Miss Betsy and his wishes to help her and spend time with Betsy at the same time.  One thing I have very much enjoyed this month is choosing what to leave in and what to leave out.  If you have read all of my April poems here, you know what John is asking and you also know why his parents look surprised and happy. This leaving in/leaving out has been an excellent exercise for me.  I have not before considered myself much of a storyteller, but I am learning, day-by-day, here.  Thank you for being here to help me do so.

Each Friday of National Poetry Month, Heinemann has generously offered to gift a copy of my book POEMS ARE TEACHERS to someone who has commented during the week.  This book includes over 150 poems by contemporary poets and students alike as well as over 50 poem explorations written by me. I will keep track of weekly comments and will draw one more winning name next Thursday, to be announced next Friday. To be entered into this final drawing, please leave a way to contact you along with your comment.  And...Heinemann is offering 40% of all poetry professional books throughout April...thank you Heinemann!


If you would like to learn more about other National Poetry Month projects happening throughout the Kidlitosphere, Jama has rounded up many NPM happenings over at Jama's Alphabet Soup.  Happy National Poetry Month 2019!

See you tomorrow!

xo,
Amy

Please share a comment below if you wish.day 

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Poem #20 - Definition

Welcome to my 2019 National Poetry Month Project

Each day of April, I will write and share a new (first person, free verse, fewer than 15 lines not including spacing) poem. Taken together, these will tell a story about John and Betsy, two characters I posted about on March 22.  This will be new for me, and I invite anyone who wishes to join me in writing a collection of 30 poems that tell a story.

Here is a list of this month's poems so far:


And now...today's poem.

Word
by Amy LV




Students - This month's poems will tell a story about John and Betsy, and all of the poems will have three things in common: each will be written in John's voice, each will be 15 lines or shorter (not including spacing), and each will be written in free verse. I find it helpful to set writing boundaries for myself, so I chose three to work with over the next 30 days.

Back on April 11, I shared this in my post:

Yesterday I was lucky to visit some thoughtful students at East View Elementary in Olean, NY.  In a second grade class, we talked about how while there is a little bit of truth in John and Betsy's poems, they are mostly fiction.  Writers often choose to mix the true world and the imagined world when telling a story.  

We also spoke about the word 'bittersweet' and how sometimes life can feel happy and sad at the very same time. Memories of Betsy are happy, but Betsy being gone is sad.  You might be able to think of a time when you had two opposite feelings at the very same time.  It is a normal thing to happen and interesting to think about.

Clearly, I cannot get this conversation or this idea out of my mind.  I once read (my apologies for not remembering where) that a powerful story is one that can hold two feelings at once.  John is holding two feelings at once here.

Today's poem is, obviously, a definition.  This is a type of poem you can see here and there, and it's one you might wish to try out yourself.  You can play with a definition however you wish, but the definition structure may give you somewhere neat to begin.

Note today's repetition.  Repeated words are like the repeated color beads in a bracelet; they hold a pattern together.

And oh.  Yes.  This poem is 20 lines, 5 over limit. But you see, these are my rules.  So I may break them when it seems necessary.  Today it seemed necessary.   (Actually, as a friend pointed out to me, it seems to have seemed necessary many times.  I think I have gone over the limit 4 times!  Ah, well.)

Each Friday of National Poetry Month, Heinemann has generously offered to gift a copy of my book POEMS ARE TEACHERS to someone who has commented during the week.  This book includes over 150 poems by contemporary poets and students alike as well as over 50 poem explorations written by me. I will keep track of weekly comments and will draw one more winning name next Thursday, to be announced next Friday. To be entered into this final drawing, please leave a way to contact you along with your comment.  And...Heinemann is offering 40% of all poetry professional books throughout April...thank you Heinemann!


If you would like to learn more about other National Poetry Month projects happening throughout the Kidlitosphere, Jama has rounded up many NPM happenings over at Jama's Alphabet Soup.  Happy National Poetry Month 2019!

See you tomorrow!

xo,
Amy

Please share a comment below if you wish.day 

Friday, April 19, 2019

Poetry Friday & Poem #19 - Facts

THE POETRY FRIDAY ROUNDUP IS HERE.

Congratulations to Alice Nine!
  You won this week's giveaway of my POEMS ARE TEACHERS.  
Please comment with a way to reach you.
Thank you, Heinemann.  
One more giveaway this month...next Friday!

Join Us!

Welcome to my 2019 National Poetry Month Project

Each day of April, I will write and share a new (first person, free verse, fewer than 15 lines not including spacing) poem. Taken together, these will tell a story about John and Betsy, two characters I posted about on March 22.  This will be new for me, and I invite anyone who wishes to join me in writing a collection of 30 poems that tell a story.

Here is a list of this month's poems so far:


And now...today's poem.

About Her
by Amy LV




Students - This month's poems will tell a story about John and Betsy, and all of the poems will have three things in common: each will be written in John's voice, each will be 15 lines or shorter (not including spacing), and each will be written in free verse. I find it helpful to set writing boundaries for myself, so I chose three to work with over the next 30 days.

Today's poem is a list poem.  It is a list of facts about Miss Betsy.  (Yes, that really IS her name, and I don't know why, but I know it to be true.)  Perhaps John wrote this list in his notebook.  Perhaps he is thinking about this list on his way home from the park. Perhaps this is a list of facts that John plans to tell his parents about Miss Betsy.  But for sure it is a list. And through it, we all learn a bit more about Miss Betsy too. 

We will never know everything about all characters in a story, but with clues, we can figure some things out.  And with our imaginations, we can fill in the rest.

You might want to try writing a list poem sometime. If you do, remember that lists usually have a turn at the end...a change in rhythm or meaning or idea that helps a reader know that the poem has drawn to a close.  The last line of today's poem is very short, just like a punctuation mark at the end.

Each Friday of National Poetry Month, Heinemann has generously offered to gift a copy of my book POEMS ARE TEACHERS to someone who has commented during the week.  This book includes over 150 poems by contemporary poets and students alike as well as over 50 poem explorations written by me. I will keep track of weekly comments and will draw one more winning name next Thursday, to be announced next Friday. To be entered into this final drawing, please leave a way to contact you along with your comment.  And...Heinemann is offering 40% of all poetry professional books throughout April...thank you Heinemann!


If you would like to learn more about other National Poetry Month projects happening throughout the Kidlitosphere, Jama has rounded up many NPM happenings over at Jama's Alphabet Soup.  Happy continued National Poetry Month 2019!

If you are here to link in for Poetry Friday...please do so below.  And if you've never joined us for Poetry Friday before, please know that you are always invited.  Each week, a different blogger hosts a roundup of posts...and all are invited to visit and link in if you wish.  Today is my turn, so if you click below, you will be transported to a list of many poetry places to visit around the Kidlitosphere today and beyond.
You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter
See you tomorrow!

xo,
Amy

Please share a comment below if you wish.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Poem in Your Pocket Day 2019 & Poem #18 - A Lady like My Grama

This is the third year that fabulous illustrator Emma Virjan and I have 
collaborated on a poem for this special day.  2019 brings foxes!

Art by Emma Virjan
(Click to Enlarge this Image)

Welcome to my 2019 National Poetry Month Project

Each day of April, I will write and share a new (first person, free verse, fewer than 15 lines not including spacing) poem. Taken together, these will tell a story about John and Betsy, two characters I posted about on March 22.  This will be new for me, and I invite anyone who wishes to join me in writing a collection of 30 poems that tell a story.

Here is a list of this month's poems so far:


And now...today's poem.

Fur, Sunshine, Poem
by Amy LV




Students - This month's poems will tell a story about John and Betsy, and all of the poems will have three things in common: each will be written in John's voice, each will be 15 lines or shorter (not including spacing), and each will be written in free verse. I find it helpful to set writing boundaries for myself, so I chose three to work with over the next 30 days.

I knew that today's poem would continue the reunion of John and Betsy, but how would I begin?  Well, here is something funny and true.  Sometimes it is the smallest thing that can get a person thinking.  Yesterday, I simply opened up a poetry book and fell upon the poem "When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer" by Walt Whitman.  The first word of this poem is when.  I thought I'd try beginning my poem with the word when too.  And there you go!

One secret I've found about writing is that when I am writing every day, every part of my day feeds my writing.  When I write only occasionally, many of those day-parts go unnoticed or unused.  Hence, writing daily makes me more efficient and more observant.  My notebook is my pal.

This project has been a good exercise in reading aloud to revise.  Because I am trying to build characters, I need to hear their voices in the air and in my ears.  Recording the poems helps me with this too; it is good to see if the voice I hear when reading matches the voice I wish to create when writing.  

Because I am writing scenes this month, my attention has concentrated on sensory imagery.  I really do see and smell and feel the nouns and settings in these poems, and writing them is stretching my understandings of fiction and story.

I also ended up changing the line breaks of today's poem a few different times.  This is easy to do once one moves a poem from notebook to keyboard.  A few presses of a button, and the same words look completely different on the page.  But yes, I do almost always draft first with black pen on white or cream paper.

Each Friday of National Poetry Month, Heinemann has generously offered to gift a copy of my book POEMS ARE TEACHERS to someone who has commented during the week.  This book includes over 150 poems by contemporary poets and students alike as well as over 50 poem explorations written by me. I will keep track of comments and will draw one name each Thursday evening, to be announced each Friday of the month. To be entered into these drawings, please do leave a way to contact you along with your comment.  And...Heinemann is offering 40% of all poetry professional books throughout April...thank you Heinemann!


If you would like to learn more about other National Poetry Month projects happening throughout the Kidlitosphere, Jama has rounded up many NPM happenings over at Jama's Alphabet Soup.  Happy National Poetry Month 2019!

See you tomorrow!

xo,
Amy

Please share a comment below if you wish.day 

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Poem #17 - I Only See Betsy

Welcome to my 2019 National Poetry Month Project

Each day of April, I will write and share a new (first person, free verse, fewer than 15 lines not including spacing) poem. Taken together, these will tell a story about John and Betsy, two characters I posted about on March 22.  This will be new for me, and I invite anyone who wishes to join me in writing a collection of 30 poems that tell a story.

Here is a list of this month's poems so far:


And now...today's poem.

Wagging like Crazy
by Amy LV




Students - This month's poems will tell a story about John and Betsy, and all of the poems will have three things in common: each will be written in John's voice, each will be 15 lines or shorter (not including spacing), and each will be written in free verse. I find it helpful to set writing boundaries for myself, so I chose three to work with over the next 30 days.

Today continues the moment of yesterday and the day before.  I have not written many fiction stories, but I do know that stories have important moments and that writers stretch these moments out.  So I chose to linger on this important point in time - before John discovers who holds the loop of Betsy's leash.

Likely you noticed those smushed words beginning both stanza one and stanza two.  Why are they smushed?  Well, you may have figured it is because when the words are smushed together, a reader reads them more quickly, more excitedly.  Similarly, the slowed down, shorter lines, cause a reader to read more slowly.  

When you write, your choices determine most everything about how a person reads your text.  This is why I often ask someone in my family to read one of my poems aloud with no comment.  I simply listen, and if the reader stumbles or seems confused somewhere, I know to revise.  

It is easy to make our own writing sound good in our heads, but when we hear it in the air in another person's voice, we hear our words differently. Consider asking someone to read your writing aloud without comment.  Listen to what you hear.  And then, if needed, revise from there. 

Each Friday of National Poetry Month, Heinemann has generously offered to gift a copy of my book POEMS ARE TEACHERS to someone who has commented during the week.  This book includes over 150 poems by contemporary poets and students alike as well as over 50 poem explorations written by me. I will keep track of comments and will draw one name each Thursday evening, to be announced each Friday of the month. To be entered into these drawings, please do leave a way to contact you along with your comment.  And...Heinemann is offering 40% of all poetry professional books throughout April...thank you Heinemann!


If you would like to learn more about other National Poetry Month projects happening throughout the Kidlitosphere, Jama has rounded up many NPM happenings over at Jama's Alphabet Soup.  And today, in an earlier post, I offer the 17th line of the 2019 Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem. Happy National Poetry Month 2019!

See you tomorrow!  Remember, Poem in Your Pocket Day is tomorrow...which poem will you carry?

xo,
Amy

Please share a comment below if you wish.day 

The 2019 Progressive Poem


Happy continued National Poetry Month, friends!  

Today I add the lastest found song line to this year's Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem, an annual April tradition begun in 2012 by Irene Latham of Live Your Poem.  This poem is like a potluck dinner, but instead of all bringing dishes to share at once, we each bring one line a day throughout the month, working to build upon the lines before. This year's are song lines, as suggested on April 1 by line finder Matt Forrest Esenwine.  You may read about this project's history as well as previous progressive poems HERE at Live Your Poem.

My line - line 17 - was written by one of our family's favorite singer songwriters, Sara Bareilles.  It comes from her song "She Used to be Mine" in the musical WAITRESS.  Our daughter Georgia introduced me to Sara's work years ago, and we VanDerwaters all respect her writing and singing and wisdom.  

KIDLITOSPHERE PROGRESSIVE POEM 2019 - DAY 17

Endless summer; I can see for miles...
Fun, fun, fun - and the whole world smiles.
No time for school - just time to play,
we swim the laughin' sea each and every day.

You had only to rise, lean from your window,
the curtain opens on a portrait of today.
Kodachrome greens, dazzling blue,
It's the chance of a lifetime,

make it last forever-ready? Set? Let's Go!
Come, we'll take a walk, the sun is shining down,
Not a cloud in the sky got the sun in my eyes.
Tomorrow's here. It's called today.

Gonna get me a piece o' the sky.
I wanna fly like an eagle, to the sea
and there's a tiger in my veins.
Oh, won't you come with me waltzing the waves,
                                                                                          diving the deep?

It's not easy to know


****

Below you can read the list of where each poem line originated:

Found Lines:
L1   The Who, 'I Can See for Miles' / The Beach Boys, 'Endless Summer'
L2   The Beach Boys, 'Fun, Fun, Fun'/Dean Martin, "When You're Smiling"
L3   The Jamies, "Summertime, Summertime'
L4   The Doors, 'Summer's Almost Gone' / Led Zeppelin, 'Good Times, Bad Times'
L5    Ray Bradbury, 'Dandelion Wine
L6    Joni Mitchell, "Chelsea Morning"
L7    Paul Simon, "Kodachrome," "Dazzling  Blue"
L8    Dan Fogelberg, "Run for the Roses" 
L9    Spice Girls, "Wannabe"/Will Smith, "Gettin' Jiggy Wit It"
L10  The Beatles, "Good Day Sunshine"
L11   The Carpenters, "Top of the World"
L12   Lin-Manuel Miranda, "Underneath the Lovely London Sky" 
          from MARY POPPINS
L13   Carole King, "Hi-de-ho (That Sweet Roll)"
L14  Steve Miller, "Fly Like An Eagle"
L15   Don Felder, "Wild Life"
L16   Nowlenn Leroy, "Song of the Sea" (lullaby)
L17   Sara Bareilles, "She Used to Be Mine" from WAITRESS

And here is a list of the line finders:
Poem Line Contributors:
2 Kat @ Kathryn Apel
4 Jone @ DeoWriter
5 Linda @ TeacherDance
6 Tara @ Going to Walden
8 Mary Lee @ A Year of Reading
9 Rebecca @ Rebecca Herzog
10 Janet F. @ Live Your Poem
12 Margaret @ Reflections on the Teche
13 Doraine @ Dori Reads
17 Amy @ The Poem Farm
18 Linda @ A Word Edgewise
20 Buffy @ Buffy's Blog
21 Michelle @ Michelle Kogan
22 Catherine @ Reading to the Core
25 Jan @ Bookseestudio
26 Linda @ Write Time
27 Sheila @ Sheila Renfro
29 Irene @ Live Your Poem

Take it away, Linda!

Remember, Poem in Your Pocket Day is tomorrow...which poem will you carry?

Please share a comment below if you wish.day 

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Poem #16 - Under Blue Sky

Welcome to my 2019 National Poetry Month Project

Each day of April, I will write and share a new (first person, free verse, fewer than 15 lines not including spacing) poem. Taken together, these will tell a story about John and Betsy, two characters I posted about on March 22.  This will be new for me, and I invite anyone who wishes to join me in writing a collection of 30 poems that tell a story.

Here is a list of this month's poems so far:


And now...today's poem.

Drum Heart
by Amy LV




Students - This month's poems will tell a story about John and Betsy, and all of the poems will have three things in common: each will be written in John's voice, each will be 15 lines or shorter (not including spacing), and each will be written in free verse. I find it helpful to set writing boundaries for myself, so I chose three to work with over the next 30 days.

Yay!  

It IS Betsy.  I have been hoping for today's poem for many days now, and it is so good to see Betsy again.  I tried to show John's excitement through the repetition of Betsy's name, the repetition of the phrase It's her and the highlighting of objects in bright color again.

Also, as I am not rhyming and instead relying on other poetic techniques, you may have also noticed the stretching out of the word "disappears."  I wanted the first part of this poem to feel slower than the second part.  A writer can control this slowness/fastness through the use of line breaks.  Try using longer line breaks when you wish for a reader to read more slowly and shorter line breaks when you wish for a reader to skip along more quickly.

I know that some of you are or will soon be writing your own stories through poems, and it is my hope that you will share some of these here.  We do all learn from each other in this beautiful world, and I look forward to learning from you.

Each Friday of National Poetry Month, Heinemann has generously offered to gift a copy of my book POEMS ARE TEACHERS to someone who has commented during the week.  This book includes over 150 poems by contemporary poets and students alike as well as over 50 poem explorations written by me. I will keep track of comments and will draw one name each Thursday evening, to be announced each Friday of the month. To be entered into these drawings, please do leave a way to contact you along with your comment.  And...Heinemann is offering 40% of all poetry professional books throughout April...thank you Heinemann!


If you would like to learn more about other National Poetry Month projects happening throughout the Kidlitosphere, Jama has rounded up many NPM happenings over at Jama's Alphabet Soup.  Happy National Poetry Month 2019!

See you tomorrow!

xo,
Amy

Please share a comment below if you wish.day