Thursday, April 25, 2019

Poem #25 - Every Afternoon

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.

Water and Poems
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.

To write today's poem, I first went back and reread all of this month's poems.  I said to myself, "Oh, no.  John and Betsy do not have many more days left this month."  Then I asked myself, "What would I like to see John and Betsy do together next?"  I read back on Day 8 "She loves to run" and on Day 19 "She said she needs help/playing with Betsy" and decided to show this good running fun.  If you have ever seen a dog run, you know what the ears and tail and fur look like.  And since Miss Betsy doesn't run much anymore, I knew for sure that she would have nice cold water and poems waiting for her two pals.

Today's poem repeats one line five times.  Try repeating a line like this yourself sometime, over and over again throughout your poem; repetition is a neat way to thread a poem together.

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 last name tonight, to be announced tomorrow. To be entered , 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 

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Poem #24 - We Talk in the Garden

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.

Poking Up Through Hard Dirt
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 another moment, a conversation moment.  Stories move forward through action, through dialogue (as in today), through thoughts and feelings, and through description.  I wrote today's poem to clarify any questions John might have in his mind about the boots and the truck.  Yesterday he thought he knew why Miss Betsy is alone and yet has an extra vehicle and a pair of too-big boots, but in today's poem he is sure.

If you write a story poem, consider rereading to notice if you are focusing more on the actions of the characters, the words between characters, the inner thoughts and feelings of characters, or descriptions of settings, objects, or people.  It is helpful to think about these four story ingredients and to balance them as you, the writer, feel is needed.  And as always, revise as necessary.

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 final winning name this Thursday, to be announced on Friday. To be entered , 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 

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Poem #23 - Holding On & Letting Go

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.

Big Rain Boots
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 I played with beginning each of the first three stanzas with a very short line.  While this is a free verse poem, you can feel a bit of structure with this repeated short/long/long line set up. The last stanza breaks this pattern as last lines often do.

Sometimes in a poem, as in life, words unspoken are just as important - or more important - as words spoken. Which words might I have chosen to leave out here? Does it matter if we know exactly what these might even be?  

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 final winning name this Thursday, to be announced on Friday. To be entered , 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 

Monday, April 22, 2019

Poem #22 - Meeting

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.

Tree, Sun, Pie, Cookies
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 sets a scene and shares a wee story.  Of course John's parents needed to meet Miss Betsy, so I wanted to show this. However, sometimes when grownups talk, children often want to play.  As do dogs.  This why John and Betsy have a park adventure; it is not important for us to know what the grownups say during this meeting, but if we wish, we can imagine.

As these days of April draw to a close, I am unsure of what will happen with John and Betsy and Miss Betsy.  I do not know much more than you know.  Each day, I listen to these characters.  They feel real to me, and I love them.  I close my eyes, I watch them in my mind, and I write what I see.  I trust that I will figure it out. And though I am often a little nervous and scared that I will not figure it out, I still close my eyes.  I still listen.  I still write.  For the words are here, my trust is here, and you are here.

And if it doesn't work...that's why we revise!  

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 final winning name this Thursday, to be announced on Friday. To be entered , 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 

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.