Saturday, April 21, 2018

#21 - Inspired by Science


Welcome to my 2018 National Poetry Month Project! I love projects!
It is wonderful to find so many folks are joining in at blogs and elsewhere. 
All are welcome!

This year at The Poem Farm, I will be writing a new poem every day about the constellation Orion.  Every day I will highlight a new poetic technique, a technique used by poets and by writers of other genres as well. After all, the techniques of poets are the techniques of all writers. I will be using my Fall 2017 Heinemann book, POEMS ARE TEACHERS, to lead me as I write all April long.

My hope is that some readers might also choose to dive deeply into writing about 1 Subject 30 Ways, to stick with one subject for a few days or for a whole month, approaching it from a variety of perspectives, in a multitude of structures, and with many playful word explorations.

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


And now...today's technique.

Inspired by Science Drafting
Photo by Amy LV




Students - As I think about my Orion poem each day, I consider how much imagination and how much scientific information to include.  Today I did a bit of research, thinking about facts related to the two brightest stars in Orion: Betelgeuse and Rigel.  Sometimes an interesting fact can inspire a whole poem.

If you are ever at a loss of what to write about, read.  Read some science articles or look at spectacular science photographs of space or nature.  Part of a writer's job is to learn and to be interested in the world.  Science is a wondrous place to begin a piece of writing - poem or otherwise!

In my book POEMS ARE TEACHERS, I highlight finding ideas in science with a poem by Jeannine Atkins. The title of her poem (page 32) is "Night."  The two student poet mentors (page 35) are Kayli V. with "The New Brother" and Georgia V. with "R is for Redwood."  Thank you to these poets, and thank you to the teachers of the student poets in this book!

Remember, you can connect with all kinds of poetry goodness happening throughout April 2018 at my introductory National Poetry Month post HERE.

In celebration of National Poetry Month, tomorrow, Sunday, April 22 at 11:59pm, I will draw a winning name of a commenter on yesterday's Poetry Friday post. This person will win a copy of POEMS ARE TEACHERS, compliments of Heinemann.  I will announce the winner on Monday, April 23.  Please leave your contact information in your comment if you wish to win.

See you tomorrow...with an ending that hands off a message.

xo,
Amy

Please share a comment below if you wish.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Poem #20 - Back & Forth Structure



Welcome to my 2018 National Poetry Month Project! I love projects!
It is wonderful to find so many folks are joining in at blogs and elsewhere. 
All are welcome!

This year at The Poem Farm, I will be writing a new poem every day about the constellation Orion.  Every day I will highlight a new poetic technique, a technique used by poets and by writers of other genres as well. After all, the techniques of poets are the techniques of all writers. I will be using my Fall 2017 Heinemann book, POEMS ARE TEACHERS, to lead me as I write all April long.

My hope is that some readers might also choose to dive deeply into writing about 1 Subject 30 Ways, to stick with one subject for a few days or for a whole month, approaching it from a variety of perspectives, in a multitude of structures, and with many playful word explorations.

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


And now...today's technique.

Back and Forth Structure Drafting
Photo by Amy LV




Students - You have likely already noticed that today's poem goes back and forth, back and forth.  Many texts - from plays to opinion pieces to interviews - go back and forth between characters, points-of-view, and opinion - and today I go back and forth between a human's experience and my imaginings of Orion - the-Constellation's experience.

It was fun to write this poem once I figured out the way in.  For me, this is the most important part - finding a way in to the idea.  I often feel like I am feeling along a wall, waiting to find the secret button which releases the secret door. Today the secret door was the idea of trading places with Orion in the sky.

You might try going back and forth between two ideas, people, opinions, settings...anything!  And remember, no need to rhyme.

In my book POEMS ARE TEACHERS, I highlight back and forth structure with a poem by Heidi Mordhorst. The title of her poem (page 97) is "See Saw."  The two student poet mentors (page 100) are Moira D. with "Do's and Don'ts to Be in Miss Corgill's Class" and Mia K. with "Dogs."  Thank you to these poets, and thank you to the teachers of the student poets in this book!

Remember, you can connect with all kinds of poetry goodness happening throughout April 2018 at my introductory National Poetry Month post HERE.

In celebration of National Poetry Month, on Sunday, April 22 at 11:59pm, I will draw a winning name of a commenter on this post (one winner each Friday!) This person will win a copy of POEMS ARE TEACHERS, compliments of Heinemann.  I will announce the winner on Monday, April 23.  Please leave your contact information in your comment if you wish to win.

Tabatha is hosting today's Poetry Friday roundup at The Opposite of Indifference, and she's celebrating her new anthology, IMPERFECT, a book for middle schoolers...all about mistakes! Each week, we gather our posts together at one blog, so if you visit Tabatha this week...you will be introduced to many new poets and blogs and books.

See you tomorrow...with a poem inspired by science.

xo,
Amy

Please share a comment below if you wish.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Poem #19 - Opening Line Title


Welcome to my 2018 National Poetry Month Project! I love projects!
It is wonderful to find so many folks are joining in at blogs and elsewhere. 
All are welcome!

This year at The Poem Farm, I will be writing a new poem every day about the constellation Orion.  Every day I will highlight a new poetic technique, a technique used by poets and by writers of other genres as well. After all, the techniques of poets are the techniques of all writers. I will be using my Fall 2017 Heinemann book, POEMS ARE TEACHERS, to lead me as I write all April long.

My hope is that some readers might also choose to dive deeply into writing about 1 Subject 30 Ways, to stick with one subject for a few days or for a whole month, approaching it from a variety of perspectives, in a multitude of structures, and with many playful word explorations.

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


And now...today's technique.

Title with an Opening Line Drafting
Photo by Amy LV




Students - I find that writing a poem with a title leading the way in is very helpful.  It gets my poem jumpstarted.  You might try this yourself - start a thought and leave part of it as the title.  See where you go.  You may end up changing the title later, or moving it to the first line, and you may not like what you write at all.  But you will have begun.  And this is a very important thing to learn how to do.

You might have noticed that today's poem is also written as a mask - or persona - poem, something we talked about here on April 3.  Today, however, for the first time, I speak in Orion's voice.  It was an interesting challenge. 

Whenever you read a text and look to notice bits of craft, you will usually notice more than one thing.  Writers juggle many balls of idea-finding, organization, choosing words, and laying their words out on the page.  I always pay attention to the writing of others; I like to see what I can learn.

In my book POEMS ARE TEACHERS, I highlight titling a poem with a line that opens the door with a poem by Naomi Shihab Nye. The title of her poem (page 218) is "When I Open the Door."  The two student poet mentors (page 220) are Alexandra B. with "We can be best friends" and Sara O. with "When I told time to wait."  Thank you to these poets, and thank you to the teachers of the student poets in this book!

Remember, you can connect with all kinds of poetry goodness happening throughout April 2018 at my introductory National Poetry Month post HERE.

See you tomorrow...with a back and forth structure!

xo,
Amy

Please share a comment below if you wish.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Poem #18 - Repetition


Welcome to my 2018 National Poetry Month Project! I love projects!
It is wonderful to find so many folks are joining in at blogs and elsewhere. 
All are welcome!

This year at The Poem Farm, I will be writing a new poem every day about the constellation Orion.  Every day I will highlight a new poetic technique, a technique used by poets and by writers of other genres as well. After all, the techniques of poets are the techniques of all writers. I will be using my Fall 2017 Heinemann book, POEMS ARE TEACHERS, to lead me as I write all April long.

My hope is that some readers might also choose to dive deeply into writing about 1 Subject 30 Ways, to stick with one subject for a few days or for a whole month, approaching it from a variety of perspectives, in a multitude of structures, and with many playful word explorations.

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


And now...today's technique.

Repetition Drafting
Photo by Amy LV




Students - Poets - and writers of other genres - often repeat an important word or phrase to create a certain effect.  We can repeat whole lines or sections of lines.  We might match a beginning to an ending or begin or end each line with the same word. Repetition highlights importance, can create a rhythm, and may give readers a certain feeling of sadness or hope or excitement.

You'll notice that my last line repeats one final time but with a wee change.  Why do you think I might have added the word my to that last line?

As you see above, I write and revise by hand, but I also revise when I type and record. Listening to my writing helps me know what to change, so I record for me as much as for you.  When recording this poem, I made a one-word change.  Originally, I had written millionaire instead of zillionaire....but do you know what?  That didn't feel rich enough!

In my book POEMS ARE TEACHERS, I highlight repetition with a poem by Paul Janeczko. The title of his poem, from the book OUR WHITE HOUSE: LOOKING IN, LOOKING OUT (page 132) is "Mary Todd Lincoln Speaks of Her Son's Death, 1862."  The two student poet mentors (page 135) are Ian G. with "The Darkness" and Bobby with "The Kittens."  Thank you to these poets, and thank you to the teachers of the student poets in this book!

Remember, you can connect with all kinds of poetry goodness happening throughout April 2018 at my introductory National Poetry Month post HERE.

See you tomorrow...with titles that open doors or titles that serve as first lines!

xo,
Amy

Please share a comment below if you wish.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Poem #17 - Start with Setting


Welcome to my 2018 National Poetry Month Project! I love projects!
It is wonderful to find so many folks are joining in at blogs and elsewhere. 
All are welcome!

This year at The Poem Farm, I will be writing a new poem every day about the constellation Orion.  Every day I will highlight a new poetic technique, a technique used by poets and by writers of other genres as well. After all, the techniques of poets are the techniques of all writers. I will be using my Fall 2017 Heinemann book, POEMS ARE TEACHERS, to lead me as I write all April long.

My hope is that some readers might also choose to dive deeply into writing about 1 Subject 30 Ways, to stick with one subject for a few days or for a whole month, approaching it from a variety of perspectives, in a multitude of structures, and with many playful word explorations.

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


And now...today's technique.

Start with Setting Drafting
Photo by Amy LV




Students - One question young writers often ask is, "How should I begin?"  There are many ways to begin a poem or a story or an article, and one way is to begin by describing a place.  A writer might choose to describe the weather, the light, the nature, the way a room looks, a feeling in the air. When you lead with setting description, you set readers right down in a place: we know where we are.

I was not sure what today's Orion poem would be about, but I knew it would begin with a place.  But where?  Well, a backyard.  And then the child and the snowman and the grandpa just showed up.  This happens sometimes.  You make a place, and the characters will join you there.  Or if you already have characters and action, you may give them a place to be.

In my book POEMS ARE TEACHERS, I highlight ending with one word or a brief phrase with two poems by Marilyn Singer. The title of her poems, both from her book ALL WE NEEDED TO SAY: POEMS ABOUT SCHOOL BY TANYA AND SOPHIE. (page 174) are "Sophie" and "T.anya."  The two student poet mentors (page 177) are Noah J. with "The Silent Wilderness" and Beatrix with "Queen."  Thank you to these poets, and thank you to the teachers of the student poets in this book!

Remember, you can connect with all kinds of poetry goodness happening throughout April 2018 at my introductory National Poetry Month post HERE.

See you tomorrow...with repetition!

xo,
Amy

Please share a comment below if you wish.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Poem #16 - Experiment with Words


Welcome to my 2018 National Poetry Month Project! I love projects!
It is wonderful to find so many folks are joining in at blogs and elsewhere. 
All are welcome!

This year at The Poem Farm, I will be writing a new poem every day about the constellation Orion.  Every day I will highlight a new poetic technique, a technique used by poets and by writers of other genres as well. After all, the techniques of poets are the techniques of all writers. I will be using my Fall 2017 Heinemann book, POEMS ARE TEACHERS, to lead me as I write all April long.

My hope is that some readers might also choose to dive deeply into writing about 1 Subject 30 Ways, to stick with one subject for a few days or for a whole month, approaching it from a variety of perspectives, in a multitude of structures, and with many playful word explorations.

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


And now...today's technique.

Experiment with Words/Wordplay Drafting
Photo by Amy LV




Students - Today's poem was fun to write!  I approached it with the joy of sound, just looking for something Orion-y to play with word-wise.  It was not difficult to settle on his right shoulder star (left as you look at it) - Betelgeuse.  There are various pronunciations of star's name - just as there are varying stories of Orion's myth - but I needed to choose one, and the idea of a beetle drinking juice...well, I could not pass that one up.

There are many ways to play with words.  I am diddling around with sounds here, but often I like to smush words together to create two words out of one. It is also fun to make up your own words when you cannot find just the right one.  Poets and writers of all genres experiment with words and play until we find what is just right for our meaning and sound. We hope to offer our readers something interesting - and maybe even surprising - to read out loud.

In my book POEMS ARE TEACHERS, I highlight experimenting with words and wordplay with a poem by Douglas Florian. The title of his poem (page 152) is "Roam Poem."  The two student poet mentors (page 155) are Jeremy P. with "The Tool that Came to School" and Charlotte P. with "River Song."  Thank you to these poets, and thank you to the teachers of the student poets in this book!

Remember, you can connect with all kinds of poetry goodness happening throughout April 2018 at my introductory National Poetry Month post HERE.

See you tomorrow...with starting with setting!

xo,
Amy

Please share a comment below if you wish.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Poem #15 - 1 Word/Brief Phrase End


Welcome to my 2018 National Poetry Month Project! I love projects!
It is wonderful to find so many folks are joining in at blogs and elsewhere. 
All are welcome!

This year at The Poem Farm, I will be writing a new poem every day about the constellation Orion.  Every day I will highlight a new poetic technique, a technique used by poets and by writers of other genres as well. After all, the techniques of poets are the techniques of all writers. I will be using my Fall 2017 Heinemann book, POEMS ARE TEACHERS, to lead me as I write all April long.

My hope is that some readers might also choose to dive deeply into writing about 1 Subject 30 Ways, to stick with one subject for a few days or for a whole month, approaching it from a variety of perspectives, in a multitude of structures, and with many playful word explorations.

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


And now...today's technique.

One Word/Brief Phrase Ending Drafting
Photo by Amy LV




Students - I have so been enjoying this challenge, finding new ways to explore the constellation Orion.  And each day now will only become more challenging, as this is only the half-way point of April!

Today's poem strays back away from science (yesterday's focus on the Orion Nebula) and back into myth.  I am learning a little these days about how Orion is positioned in the sky, and if you study constellations, you will learn to find Canis Major and Canis Minor near to their master, Orion.

Notice the ending of this poem.  I certainly could have chosen not to stretch out that final line, but doing so helps readers know to slow down when reading the end, and as Orion's dogs move much more slowly than our Sage and Cali move, I wanted to highlight this by breaking up "sparkle/sit/and stay" into three lines.

Remember to read your writing out loud to yourself, listening for places where you wish for your readers to slow down.  You may break up important lines or surprising lines or lines that mirror motion.  Reading your words out loud will help you to make these line break choices.

In my book POEMS ARE TEACHERS, I highlight ending with one word or a brief phrase with a poem by F. Isabel Campoy. The title of his poem (page 201) is "Pen, Not an Ordinary Object."  The two student poet mentors (page 203) are Tucker W. with "Mushrooms" and Erik B. with "Skis, a beautiful poem."  Thank you to these poets, and thank you to the teachers of the student poets in this book!

Remember, you can connect with all kinds of poetry goodness happening throughout April 2018 at my introductory National Poetry Month post HERE.

Today, April 15 at 11:59pm, I will draw a winning name of a commenter on Friday's post. This person will win a copy of POEMS ARE TEACHERS, compliments of Heinemann.  Another will win a copy of SCHOOL PEOPLE, a new book by Lee Bennett Hopkins. I will announce the winners tomorrow, April 16.

See you tomorrow...with experimenting with words and wordplay (inventing words, combining words, playing with homophones...)!

xo,
Amy

Please share a comment below if you wish.