Friday, May 24, 2019

Triolet for a Stone


A Stone I Love
Photo by Amy LV




Students - I love holding a smooth stone in my hand, feeling sun and earth and the whole natural world in my small palm.  When I do this, my human cares melt away.  Our lives are full of objects that require batteries, electricity, and charging, and so I find it nourishing to hold one small stone or feather or leaf in my hand.  Doing so, I am renewed.  You might wish to place a shell or stone or other small natural object on your desk or in your pocket.  When you feel adrift, hold this object in your hand.  Allow it to ground you.

This poem is a triolet.  You may read another triolet here at The Poem Farm from back during my April 2012 Dictionary Hike - Restore.  The fourth post ever at The Poem Farm also featured a triolet, a triolet about my Grandpa Norman's bango.

Last week I was lucky enough to write ekphrastic poems with the second graders of Harris Hill Elementary in Penfield, NY and to spend two days with the students of York Elementary School in York, NY.  Twenty-seven years ago, I was a student teacher in fifth grade at York Elementary, and it was a joy to return.  This past week I visited Warsaw Elementary, Avon Elementary, and Geneseo Elementary, all in Western New York, and next week I am off to work with middle school writers in Harrington Park, NJ. Thank you, teachers and students, for your kindness and hospitality.

Dani is hosting today's Poetry Friday roundup at Doing the Work that Matters with a wise and loving golden shovel poem about grief. Today Dani's blog is home to all links of this week's Kidlitosphere poetry happenings ...we gather together each Friday, and all are welcome.  

Please share a comment below if you wish.

Friday, May 10, 2019

A Poem Can Be Short



Two Tulips in May
Photo by Amy LV




Students - Yes, this IS a short poem.  

The weather here in Western New York has at last turned to spring, so I have been enjoying watching the new life everywhere.  The other afternoon, as I got out of my car at home, I was struck by these two tulips.  Don't they look like they are yawning?  When I spotted them, this was my first thought.  I took a picture because I knew these yawns would not last long.

Of course, this sight and observation caused me to wonder, Why would tulips yawn?  I figured it might be because they are so beautiful...but then I imagined other words for beautiful, at last landing on stunning

Two lines only, but you find a question, a possible answer, some personfication, and a wee bit o' play with sound.

Watch your world.  Look at things and imagine them as other things.  Attach unlikely verbs to objects.  Play.  And know that your poems may be short.  Your poems need not rhyme.

This week I was lucky enough to write with the second graders of Dodge Elementary in Williamsville, NY, to talk writing with the Pre-K through seventh graders at DeSales Catholic School in Lockport, NY, and to Skype with three thoughtful classes of third graders in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.  Thank you, schools and teachers, for welcoming me!

Liz is hosting today's Poetry Friday roundup at Elizabeth Steinglass.  Visit her place to celebrate her forthcoming, fun, energetic book --  SOCCERVERSE: POEMS ABOUT SOCCER, illustrated by Edson Iké, and to read an early poem draft from this book as well as an abecedarian soccer poem. Of course, Liz has links to all poetry happenings around the Kidlitosphere this week...we do this each Friday, and all are welcome.  Congratulations, Liz!

Please share a comment below if you wish.

Friday, May 3, 2019

A Pinecone - Poems Can Describe


In My Yard Today
Photo by Amy LV




Students - This short little poem is simply a poem of description and a poem of comparison.  I wrote it while working with some wonderful second graders at Northwood Elementary in Hilton, NY.  We were looking closely at natural objects, sketching them, and writing about them while using jewelers loupes.  I learned this process from the wonderful site, The Private Eye and every once in a while, I love reminding you about their work.

Here you can see my poem without line breaks and then again with line breaks.

No Line Breaks - Line Breaks
Photo by Amy LV

If you ever write something that sounds like a poem but does not look like a poem, remember that you can add or change line breaks during or after writing.  I like to use slashes to help me imagine line break possibilities, slashing and then copying the poem with new line breaks.  Sometimes I rewrite the same words many different ways, considering which way looks best and sounds best on the page.

Line breaks matter in poetry.  Read poems out loud to get the feel of others' line breaks, and enjoy playing with your own.

Did you know that pinecones open up when it is warm and dry and close up when it is wet?  They are good seed savers.  Interesting nonfiction facts always make for interesting poem topics.

Thank you to the sweet schools I visited in the past week: Schlegel Road in Webster, NY, Greenacres in Scarsdale, NY, and Lenape Meadows, Betsy Ross, and George Washington in Mahwah, NJ.  It was a pleasure to join your writing communities, each for a day!

Jama offers us a sweet and delicious entry into May this Poetry Friday where she is hosting this week's roundup at Jama's Alphabet Soup.  Visit her place to explore all poetry happenings around the Kidlitosphere.

Please share a comment below if you wish.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Poem #30 - Right Now

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.

Dreams
by Amy LV




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

This is it.  I bid farewell to John, to John's parents, to Miss Betsy, and to sweet Betsy Brown Eyes herself.  I did not expect to feel so sad at the end of this month; I have never become close to characters who took life from a pen held in my own hand.

Thank you to those of you who commented here, through e-mail, on Twitter, or in person...and thank you to those of you who quietly followed along or popped in here and there.  Writers need readers, and I am grateful to you for joining me on this journey, a new narrative path for me. 

My gratitude extends to Heinemann for giving away several copies of my book during this National Poetry Month.  Please know that all Heinemann poetry titles are still 40% off through the end of today!


If you would like to spend time visiting or revisiting National Poetry Month projects happening throughout the Kidlitosphere, Jama rounded up many NPM happenings over at Jama's Alphabet Soup.  Happy last few hours of National Poetry Month 2019...

I will be back for regular Poetry Fridays.

Sigh.

xo,
Amy

Please share a comment below if you wish.day 

Monday, April 29, 2019

Poem #29 - Important Mail from John

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.

Letter
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 links back to Day 8, when we read John's poem, to be hung on Betsy's cage, addressed to Betsy's future owner.  Time has passed, and John and Miss Betsy (and Betsy) have shared many memories as well as many poems over the weeks and months.  It was time for John to write another poem, this time wrapping up the story, explaining everything to the good people at the animal shelter.

Again, you will notice repetition, not within this poem, but between this poem and others.

One more day.

Thank you to Heinemann for giving away several copies of my book during this National Poetry Month.  Please know that all Heinemann poetry titles are still 40% off...through tomorrow!


If you would like catch up on other National Poetry Month projects happening throughout the Kidlitosphere, Jama has rounded up many NPM happenings over at Jama's Alphabet Soup.  Happy last two days of National Poetry Month 2019!

See you tomorrow!

xo,
Amy

Please share a comment below if you wish.day 

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Poem #28 - Whispering to 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.

Again
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 short and sweet.  We find a moment of John whispering to Betsy again, just as he did back before this story really began.  Did John always whisper I love you to Betsy?  I am not sure, but I think that in addition to other secrets, he did whisper and will always whisper these three words.  It isn't much of a secret at all, but I sure bet that Betsy loves holding those words all curled in her soft brown ears.

I do not know if this is the secret that John whispered to Betsy back when he first said goodbye to her.  Maybe yes, maybe no.  Secrets are like that.  What do you think?

Thank you to Heinemann for giving away several copies of my book during this National Poetry Month.  Please know that all Heinemann poetry titles are still 40% off through Tuesday!


If you would like catch up on other National Poetry Month projects happening throughout the Kidlitosphere, Jama has rounded up many NPM happenings over at Jama's Alphabet Soup.  Happy last few days of National Poetry Month 2019!

See you tomorrow!

xo,
Amy

Please share a comment below if you wish.day 

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Poem #27 - 10 Happy Things

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.

Calendar
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 only poem I wrote early - it was actually going to be yesterday's poem.  But then John's family invited Miss Betsy and Betsy to dinner...so today got moved over a day. 

This poem is another list poem, and if you go back through the past 26 poems, you will find other list poems.  Today's poem (like yesterday's) refers back to some of those previous poems as we draw this month to a close.  I am so happy that Betsy has weekend with John.  

If you ever write a poemstory, a series of poems that tells a story, remember to read them through as you go along.  This will help you make connections to your old poems in your new poems.

Thank you to Heinemann for giving away several copies of my book during this National Poetry Month.  Please know that all Heinemann poetry titles are still 40% off through the end of the month!


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