Friday, May 20, 2016

Free Verse & Making Up Our Own Holidays


Tractor One
Photo by Amy LV

Tractor Two
Photo by Amy LV

Tractor Three
Photo by Amy LV




Students - Today's poem is about yesterday here on the road of The Poem Farm. There were many tractors out and about, and they looked so happy and full of energy, just tilling up the land once more.  Here on our road, when the tractors are out, you can sometimes see people standing by the road watching.  I like to imagine what they are thinking about.

This is a free verse poem, though it does have one rhyme right at the very end.  This is something I do sometimes when writing free verse, just bring things together with a rhyme at the closing.  I enjoyed playing with the images here and also with the sounds of the words.

Today's poem is about a made-up holiday, the day when the tractors come out. As I type these words, I realize that this idea of making up holidays reminds me of a favorite book, Byrd Baylor's I'M IN CHARGE OF CELEBRATIONS.


We each are in charge of our own celebrations, and if you wish, you might even think about a special day that feels like a holiday...but is not actually on the calendar.  Go ahead - write a poem about it.  If you're not sure how to begin, feel free to borrow my words -- "There is one day..."

Over at Sharing Our Notebooks, it is a joy to welcome teacher Katie Liseo and her adventurous student notebookers with a very inspiring post and giveaway of Aimee Buckher's NOTEBOOK KNOW-HOW.  Laura Shovan's fabulous post is also still up and the giveaway still open - visit behind the scenes of THE LAST FIFTH GRADE OF EMERSON ELEMENTARY HERE.

Margaret is hosting today's Poetry Friday roundup over at Reflections on the Teche.  Enjoy her persona poem and family story as she writes to the beat of her nephew Jack's drum!  Too, dive into all kinds of poetry offerings, today and every Poetry Friday.  All are always welcome!

Please share a comment below if you wish.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Mother's Day - Writing Presents for Those We Love



Debby Ludwig and Me 1995
Photo by Wedding Photographer (?)




Students - Mother's Day is Sunday! And today's poem is dedicated to my own wonderful mother, Debby Ludwig, a great human being, retired fourth grade teacher, and inspiration to me.  I am very lucky to be her child and to share her with my wonderful sister Heidi.

Holidays are a beautiful time to pick up your pen and write a tribute poem or a letter to someone you love. And we moms love the things that our children make so much.  Words are little presents, better than any object on any shelf in any store.

I would call today's poem a "thinking to yourself poem" because that's exactly how it sounds, like a person thinking to her or himself.  If you have something on your mind, you might try this out. Such thinking-on-the-page gives a poem a conversational sound.

It's a delight this week to be visiting Brave Writer's Poetry Teatime this week as part of an interview and podcast with Julie Bogart about...poetry!

And over at Sharing Our Notebooks, I am thrilled to welcome my poetry friend, the talented Laura Shovan with her process piece about THE LAST FIFTH GRADE OF EMERSON ELEMENTARY.  Enjoy learning all about the planning of her fabulous new verse novel, and leave a comment to be entered into a giveaway for a signed copy!

Sylvia is hosting today's Poetry Friday roundup over at Poetry for Children with some wonderful resources and books for celebration mothers.  

Please share a comment below if you wish.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

May 1 - Goodbye Wallow in Wonder & Giveaway Winner

Thank you, Wallowers...


And that, my friends, was Wallow in Wonder, my 2016 National Poetry Month Project.

It was wonderful (smile) to write poems all month from the daily Wonders at Wonderopolis.  As I did with my Dictionary Hike in 2012, I looked to surprise myself with new inspiration daily.  This year, such inspiration showed up in my inbox each morning.  I printed out every day's Wonderopolis Wonder, read, thought, wrote, rewrote, recorded, and made paintings inspired by each one.

Here are all thirty poems, including four sonnets, a few free verse, and a smattering of everything else!

Wallow in Wonder 2016

April 1 - So Suddenly - a poem inspired by Wonder #1659 
April 2 - Thankful Journal - a poem inspired by Wonder #1660
April 3 - The Storm Chaser - a poem inspired by Wonder #779
April 4 - A Jar of Glitter - a poem inspired by Wonder #641
April 5 - To Make Compost - a poem inspired by Wonder #1661
April 6 - Deciding Now - a poem inspired by Wonder #1662
April 7 - Hummingbird's Secret - a poem inspired by Wonder #1663
April 8 - Limits - a poem inspired by Wonder #1664
April 9 - Sundogs - a poem inspired by Wonder #1665
April 10 - Perspective - a poem inspired by Wonder #128
April 11 - At the History Museum - a poem inspired by Wonder #115
April 12 - Seventy-Five Years Ago Today - a poem inspired by Wonder #1666
April 13 - Homer's Poem - a poem inspired by Wonder #1667
April 14 - The Right - a poem inspired by Wonder #1668
April 15 - 5:00 am - a poem inspired by Wonder #1669
April 16 - Writing - a poem inspired by Wonder #1670
April 17 - Sometimes - a poem inspired by Wonder #194
April 18 - Once - a poem inspired by Wonder #192
April 19 - Eat It - a poem inspired by Wonder #1671
April 20 - Chatty Green Tomato - a poem inspired by Wonder #1672
April 21 - This Argument We're Having - a poem inspired by Wonder #1673
April 22 - After a Week in Foster Care - a poem inspired by Wonder #1674
April 23 - Pay Attention - a (recycled) poem inspired by Wonder #1675
April 24 - Please Don't Ask - a poem inspired by Wonder #201
April 25 - Mama Kangaroo's Poem - a poem inspired by Wonder #447
April 26 - Not Anymore - a poem inspired by Wonder #1676
April 27 - If We Were Whales - a poem inspired by Wonder #1677
April 28 - Written on a Paper Airplane - a poem inspired by Wonder #1678
April 29 - Under My Umbrella - a poem inspired by Wonder #1679
April 30 - Paper - a poem inspired by Wonder #1680

Thank you once more for joining me on this thirty day journey.  It has been a pleasure to wonder and wallow with you all.  Here is a post that shows the power of connection, one class inspired by another, at Mandy Robek's Enjoy and Embrace Learning.  How fortunate we all are to have each other.

And now...it's May, and time to announce this week's giveaway winner!


Congratulations to Carol Varsalona, winner of this week's giveaway of A WRITING KIND OF DAY by Ralph Fletcher.  Carol, please send your snail mail address to amy at amylv dot com, and I will send your book to you.

Much gratitude to Emily Callahan and her fourth grade poets who inspired this giveaway here at the end of National Poetry Month.  If you have not yet read their post here at The Poem Farm, you can do so HERE.

Happy May Day!

Please share a comment below if you wish.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Wallow in Wonder Day 30 - Ending as I Begun


Welcome to Day 30, the final day of of Wallow in Wonder!  

For my 2016 National Poetry Month project, I will celebrate learning and writing from learning, writing poems from each daily Wonder at Wonderopolis.  As I did with my Dictionary Hike in 2012, I am looking to surprise myself with new inspiration daily.  This year, such inspiration will show up in my inbox each morning. I will print it and carry each Wonderopolis Wonder around all day...and in the afternoon or evening, I will write and post the poem for the next day.  

I invite anyone who wishes to take this challenge too.  Just read today's wonder over at Wonderopolis, and write a poem inspired by it for tomorrow.  Share it tomorrow at your own site, and if you wish to link in my comments for others to find (or share your poem there), please feel free to do so tomorrow, the day after the Wonder is published at Wonderopolis.  If you would like to share any ways you have used Wallow in Wonder or your own site (safe for children only please), please feel free to do so in the comments.

My April Poems Thus Far

April 1 - So Suddenly - a poem inspired by Wonder #1659 
April 2 - Thankful Journal - a poem inspired by Wonder #1660
April 3 - The Storm Chaser - a poem inspired by Wonder #779
April 4 - A Jar of Glitter - a poem inspired by Wonder #641
April 5 - To Make Compost - a poem inspired by Wonder #1661
April 6 - Deciding Now - a poem inspired by Wonder #1662
April 7 - Hummingbird's Secret - a poem inspired by Wonder #1663
April 8 - Limits - a poem inspired by Wonder #1664
April 9 - Sundogs - a poem inspired by Wonder #1665
April 10 - Perspective - a poem inspired by Wonder #128
April 11 - At the History Museum - a poem inspired by Wonder #115
April 12 - Seventy-Five Years Ago Today - a poem inspired by Wonder #1666
April 13 - Homer's Poem - a poem inspired by Wonder #1667
April 14 - The Right - a poem inspired by Wonder #1668
April 15 - 5:00 am - a poem inspired by Wonder #1669
April 16 - Writing - a poem inspired by Wonder #1670
April 17 - Sometimes - a poem inspired by Wonder #194
April 18 - Once - a poem inspired by Wonder #192
April 19 - Eat It - a poem inspired by Wonder #1671
April 20 - Chatty Green Tomato - a poem inspired by Wonder #1672
April 21 - This Argument We're Having - a poem inspired by Wonder #1673
April 22 - After a Week in Foster Care - a poem inspired by Wonder #1674
April 23 - Pay Attention - a (recycled) poem inspired by Wonder #1675
April 24 - Please Don't Ask - a poem inspired by Wonder #201
April 25 - Mama Kangaroo's Poem - a poem inspired by Wonder #447
April 26 - Not Anymore - a poem inspired by Wonder #1676
April 27 - If We Were Whales - a poem inspired by Wonder #1677
April 28 - Written on a Paper Airplane - a poem inspired by Wonder #1678
April 29 - Under My Umbrella - a poem inspired by Wonder #1679

And now for Day 30, the final day of Wallow in Wonder!


Building a Home
by Amy LV




Students -  Well, I end this month in a circular way, with the same form I began it.

Today's poem is a sonnet, the fourth of this National Poetry Month.  April 1 (So Suddenly), April 9 (Sundogs), and April 16 (Writing) also featured English - or Shakespearean - sonnets. The difference here is that while my other sonnets only rhymed some lines, in this one you can find that each line has a match.

Something interesting about the English sonnet form is that you will notice how the first many lines (in this case twelve) all focus on one thing - what the speaker can make out of paper - but then at line 13, there is a turn, or a change.  For the final couplet, the speaker turns away from his or her own skill to marvel at the master of paper...wasps.  I admit to enjoying thinking, tapping, and writing in imabic pentameter, the meter of this form.

Count the syllables in each line.  What do you notice?  You might wish to try writing one line this way.  It is good practice to tune our ears by writing in different meters.

Thank you to all of you who have stopped by to visit The Poem Farm throughout National Poetry Month.  It has been great fun for me to take on this Wallow in Wonder challenge, and I very much enjoyed the stretch and surprise I experienced from each Wonder poem.  I enjoyed reading the Wonders, writing from them, reading these poems aloud, and making the watercolor paintings which I have kept together in this one book.

Wonder Watercolor Book
Photo by Amy LV

As this celebratory month closes, please remember that I have three giveaways, all closing at midnight.  Here they are:

Giveaway #1 - It has been a delight this week to host teacher Emily Callahan and her students from Kansas City here at The Poem Farm.  Visit and comment on their post to learn about Popcorn and Poetry and to enter a giveaway for a Ralph Fletcher book.

Giveaway #2 - Stefanie Cole and her students from Ontario, Canada have been gracing Sharing Our Notebooks with their generosity and wisdom all month. This is a fantastic post full of notebook inspiration, a video clip, and a great book giveaway from Stefanie. Please check it out, and leave a comment over there to be entered into a giveaway for a Lynda Barry book.

Giveaway #3 - I am hosting a goodreads giveaway for 5 signed copies of EVERY DAY BIRDS, to be sent to 5 separate winners.  


Happy Day 30 of National Poetry Month 2016.  It has been a pleasure wallowing, wandering, wondering, and whiling away the days with you...

xo, 
Amy

Please share a comment below if you wish.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Wallow in Wonder Day 29 - One Couplet in the Rain



Welcome to Day 29 of Wallow in Wonder!  

For my 2016 National Poetry Month project, I will celebrate learning and writing from learning, writing poems from each daily Wonder at Wonderopolis.  As I did with my Dictionary Hike in 2012, I am looking to surprise myself with new inspiration daily.  This year, such inspiration will show up in my inbox each morning.  I will print it and carry each Wonderopolis Wonder around all day...and in the afternoon or evening, I will write and post the poem for the next day.  

I invite anyone who wishes to take this challenge too.  Just read today's wonder over at Wonderopolis, and write a poem inspired by it for tomorrow.  Share it tomorrow at your own site, and if you wish to link in my comments for others to find (or share your poem there), please feel free to do so tomorrow, the day after the Wonder is published at Wonderopolis.  If you would like to share any ways you have used Wallow in Wonder or your own site (safe for children only please), please feel free to do so in the comments.

My April Poems Thus Far

April 1 - So Suddenly - a poem inspired by Wonder #1659 
April 2 - Thankful Journal - a poem inspired by Wonder #1660
April 3 - The Storm Chaser - a poem inspired by Wonder #779
April 4 - A Jar of Glitter - a poem inspired by Wonder #641
April 5 - To Make Compost - a poem inspired by Wonder #1661
April 6 - Deciding Now - a poem inspired by Wonder #1662
April 7 - Hummingbird's Secret - a poem inspired by Wonder #1663
April 8 - Limits - a poem inspired by Wonder #1664
April 9 - Sundogs - a poem inspired by Wonder #1665
April 10 - Perspective - a poem inspired by Wonder #128
April 11 - At the History Museum - a poem inspired by Wonder #115
April 12 - Seventy-Five Years Ago Today - a poem inspired by Wonder #1666
April 13 - Homer's Poem - a poem inspired by Wonder #1667
April 14 - The Right - a poem inspired by Wonder #1668
April 15 - 5:00 am - a poem inspired by Wonder #1669
April 16 - Writing - a poem inspired by Wonder #1670
April 17 - Sometimes - a poem inspired by Wonder #194
April 18 - Once - a poem inspired by Wonder #192
April 19 - Eat It - a poem inspired by Wonder #1671
April 20 - Chatty Green Tomato - a poem inspired by Wonder #1672
April 21 - This Argument We're Having - a poem inspired by Wonder #1673
April 22 - After a Week in Foster Care - a poem inspired by Wonder #1674
April 23 - Pay Attention - a (recycled) poem inspired by Wonder #1675
April 24 - Please Don't Ask - a poem inspired by Wonder #201
April 25 - Mama Kangaroo's Poem - a poem inspired by Wonder #447
April 26 - Not Anymore - a poem inspired by Wonder #1675
April 27 - If We Were Whales - a poem inspired by Wonder #1676
April 28 - Written on a Paper Airplane - a poem inspired by Wonder #1677

And now for Day 29!


Pocket of Blue
by Amy LV




Students - This is the shortest poem of my Wallow in Wonder series.  I am not sure why, but thinking about rain and showers just placed this picture in my head. I liked the first line and then played for quite a while to get the second.  

This is simply a couplet - one pair of rhyming lines - and it sketches simply one image.  Sometimes writing can be very spare.  Feel free to play with many words...and very few.  You will learn different things as you experiment with various styles.

I am currently holding two Poetry Month giveaways...both ending tomorrow, April 30!

It has been an absolute pleasure this week to host teacher Emily Callahan and her students from Kansas City here to The Poem Farm.  To learn about Popcorn and Poetry and to enter a giveaway for a Ralph Fletcher book...visit HERE.

Lucky me to have Stefanie Cole and her students from Ontario, Canada at Sharing Our Notebooks all month. This is a fantastic post full of notebook inspiration, a video clip, and a great book giveaway from Stefanie. Please check it out, and leave a comment over there to be entered into a giveaway for a Lynda Barry book.

Buffy is hosting today's Poetry Friday roundup over at Buffy's Blog.  Hop over to her place to her a wooing toad and to see all of this week's poetic offerings.

Happy Day 29 of National Poetry Month 2016! 

Please share a comment below if you wish.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Wallow in Wonder 28 - Written on a Paper Airplane


Welcome to Day 28 of Wallow in Wonder!  For my 2016 National Poetry Month project, I will celebrate learning and writing from learning, writing poems from each daily Wonder at Wonderopolis.  As I did with my Dictionary Hike in 2012, I am looking to surprise myself with new inspiration daily.  This year, such inspiration will show up in my inbox each morning.  I will print it and carry each Wonderopolis Wonder around all day...and in the afternoon or evening, I will write and post the poem for the next day.  

I invite anyone who wishes to take this challenge too.  Just read today's wonder over at Wonderopolis, and write a poem inspired by it for tomorrow.  Share it tomorrow at your own site, and if you wish to link in my comments for others to find (or share your poem there), please feel free to do so tomorrow, the day after the Wonder is published at Wonderopolis.  If you would like to share any ways you have used Wallow in Wonder or your own site (safe for children only please), please feel free to do so in the comments.

My April Poems Thus Far

April 1 - So Suddenly - a poem inspired by Wonder #1659 
April 2 - Thankful Journal - a poem inspired by Wonder #1660
April 3 - The Storm Chaser - a poem inspired by Wonder #779
April 4 - A Jar of Glitter - a poem inspired by Wonder #641
April 5 - To Make Compost - a poem inspired by Wonder #1661
April 6 - Deciding Now - a poem inspired by Wonder #1662
April 7 - Hummingbird's Secret - a poem inspired by Wonder #1663
April 8 - Limits - a poem inspired by Wonder #1664
April 9 - Sundogs - a poem inspired by Wonder #1665
April 10 - Perspective - a poem inspired by Wonder #128
April 11 - At the History Museum - a poem inspired by Wonder #115
April 12 - Seventy-Five Years Ago Today - a poem inspired by Wonder #1666
April 13 - Homer's Poem - a poem inspired by Wonder #1667
April 14 - The Right - a poem inspired by Wonder #1668
April 15 - 5:00 am - a poem inspired by Wonder #1669
April 16 - Writing - a poem inspired by Wonder #1670
April 17 - Sometimes - a poem inspired by Wonder #194
April 18 - Once - a poem inspired by Wonder #192
April 19 - Eat It - a poem inspired by Wonder #1671
April 20 - Chatty Green Tomato - a poem inspired by Wonder #1672
April 21 - This Argument We're Having - a poem inspired by Wonder #1673
April 22 - After a Week in Foster Care - a poem inspired by Wonder #1674
April 23 - Pay Attention - a (recycled) poem inspired by Wonder #1675
April 24 - Please Don't Ask - a poem inspired by Wonder #201
April 25 - Mama Kangaroo's Poem - a poem inspired by Wonder #447
April 26 - Not Anymore - a poem inspired by Wonder #1675
April 27 - If We Were Whales - a poem inspired by Wonder #1676

And now for Day 28!


Sun Letter
by Amy LV




Students - Today's poem form (letter) was inspired by a question I received during my school visit to Maple East Elementary School in Williamsville, NY yesterday.  I believe it was after the second grade assembly that a thoughtful girl asked, "Have you ever written a book of letter poems?"  I told her that I had not, and I certainly did not decide in that moment to write a letter poem for today...but this young girl's words stayed with me, and when I began writing...a letter poem is what emerged. So, today I extend my gratitude to the young girl with the question that helped me write.

There are so many things to be thankful for on this planet...and I giggled to myself imagining sending a thank you letter all folded up in a paper airplane to the sun.

You might wish to think about someone or something you might send a letter or thank you note to, and then write it as a letter or a poem...and send it or not.

And while I am feeling grateful, thank you to Librarian Michelle Weber and the students at Maple East Elementary for hand-copying so many of my poems and making these pretty birds. It was an honor to see them all!

Poems at Maple East Elementary
Photo by Librarian Michelle Weber

On Monday, I gratefully introduced teacher Emily Callahan and her students from Kansas City here to The Poem Farm.  They are a magical bunch, and I will be featuring their post all week.  It also holds a giveaway to a commenter.  So please, to learn about Popcorn and Poetry...visit HERE.

And in other blog news, I am so happy to host teacher and librarian Stefanie Cole and her students from Ontario, Canada at Sharing Our Notebooks this month. This is a fantastic post full of notebook inspiration, a video clip, and a great book giveaway from Stefanie. Please check it out, and leave a comment over there to be entered into the giveaway.

Happy Day 28 of National Poetry Month 2016!

Please share a comment below if you wish.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Wallow in Wonder Day 27 - If We Were Whales


Welcome to Day 27 of Wallow in Wonder!  For my 2016 National Poetry Month project, I will celebrate learning and writing from learning, writing poems from each daily Wonder at Wonderopolis.  As I did with my Dictionary Hike in 2012, I am looking to surprise myself with new inspiration daily.  This year, such inspiration will show up in my inbox each morning.  I will print it and carry each Wonderopolis Wonder around all day...and in the afternoon or evening, I will write and post the poem for the next day.  

I invite anyone who wishes to take this challenge too.  Just read today's wonder over at Wonderopolis, and write a poem inspired by it for tomorrow.  Share it tomorrow at your own site, and if you wish to link in my comments for others to find (or share your poem there), please feel free to do so tomorrow, the day after the Wonder is published at Wonderopolis.  If you would like to share any ways you have used Wallow in Wonder or your own site (safe for children only please), please feel free to do so in the comments.

My April Poems Thus Far

April 1 - So Suddenly - a poem inspired by Wonder #1659 
April 2 - Thankful Journal - a poem inspired by Wonder #1660
April 3 - The Storm Chaser - a poem inspired by Wonder #779
April 4 - A Jar of Glitter - a poem inspired by Wonder #641
April 5 - To Make Compost - a poem inspired by Wonder #1661
April 6 - Deciding Now - a poem inspired by Wonder #1662
April 7 - Hummingbird's Secret - a poem inspired by Wonder #1663
April 8 - Limits - a poem inspired by Wonder #1664
April 9 - Sundogs - a poem inspired by Wonder #1665
April 10 - Perspective - a poem inspired by Wonder #128
April 11 - At the History Museum - a poem inspired by Wonder #115
April 12 - Seventy-Five Years Ago Today - a poem inspired by Wonder #1666
April 13 - Homer's Poem - a poem inspired by Wonder #1667
April 14 - The Right - a poem inspired by Wonder #1668
April 15 - 5:00 am - a poem inspired by Wonder #1669
April 16 - Writing - a poem inspired by Wonder #1670
April 17 - Sometimes - a poem inspired by Wonder #194
April 18 - Once - a poem inspired by Wonder #192
April 19 - Eat It - a poem inspired by Wonder #1671
April 20 - Chatty Green Tomato - a poem inspired by Wonder #1672
April 21 - This Argument We're Having - a poem inspired by Wonder #1673
April 22 - After a Week in Foster Care - a poem inspired by Wonder #1674
April 23 - Pay Attention - a (recycled) poem inspired by Wonder #1675
April 24 - Please Don't Ask - a poem inspired by Wonder #201
April 25 - Mama Kangaroo's Poem - a poem inspired by Wonder #447
April 26 - Not Anymore - a poem inspired by Wonder #1675

And now for Day 27!


We Are Whales
by Amy LV




Students - It may be funny to figure out the connection for today's Wonder and poem, but there is one.

When I started learning about tongues, I learned that a blue whale's tongue is the size of an Asian elephant.  Swallow that fact!  I could not get this out of my mind, and early thoughts of this poem included a big elephant-sized tongue, but the tongue did not stay in the poem.

Recording today's poem, I remembered that last year, on April 2, I posted Blue Soul (sing to the tune of "Blowin' in the Wind"), another poem in which I wrote about being a whale.  I think that perhaps I really am part whale after all.

On Monday, I happily introduced teacher Emily Callahan and her students from Kansas City here to The Poem Farm.  They are a magical bunch, and I will be featuring their post all week.  It also holds a giveaway to a commenter.  So please, to learn about Popcorn and Poetry...visit HERE.

I feel very lucky to host teacher and librarian Stefanie Cole and her students from Ontario, Canada at Sharing Our Notebooks this month. This is a fantastic post full of notebook inspiration, a video clip, and a great book giveaway from Stefanie. Please check it out, and leave a comment over there to be entered into the giveaway.

Happy Day 27 of National Poetry Month 2016!

Please share a comment below if you wish.