Friday, April 9, 2010

Poetry Friday & NaPoWriMo Poem #9

Happy Poetry Friday! If you are new to Poetry Friday, please let me introduce you to this weekly holiday through a helpful article by Susan Thomsen at the Poetry Foundation.  For links to many of the postings and events hosted thus far this month, check out Wild Rose Reader where Elaine has put together a fabulous contents.  Today's Poetry Friday roundup is hosted by Marjorie at Paper Tigers.

Musing on a topic for today's NaPoWrimo poem, one photograph kept sneaking into my mind.  Over the winter, we had some family photos taken by the wise and lovely Elizabeth Pellette, and in addition to human pictures, she took this charmer of our dog Cali and our cat Mini.

One of my favorite ways to get writing (and to get students writing) is to list real photographs from our lives or list photographs that should have been taken but were not, an idea I most likely learned at The Teachers College Reading and Writing Project.  Then choose a photo from the list, and get writing.  The best part of this exercise is the choice: write a list of photos taken, photos not taken, or write both lists.  Something always grows from such compost, no matter how many times you try it.

I am certainly glad this tender photograph was taken at our little farm.  Something about it feels so curious, so trusting, and it made me think about pet secrets.

Cat-Dog Secret

When humans go out
we wrestle.
We chase.
We nuzzle our noses.
We sniff everyplace.
We sleep on the couch
me on you
you on me.
We share food and water.
We always agree.

When humans come home
we bite
we can't stand each other.

But you're my best friend.

©Amy LV

Teachers - today I would like to celebrate two professional books that will help all of us teach poetry.  If you are a lover of poetry and seek books to help you spread the love, each of these books is full of rich, meaningful, and very friendly ways to share poems with children - through reading, performance, play, art, and writing.  If poetry scares you a little bit, these books will take you by the hand and welcome you into a world of joy and power.
Georgia Heard's work and this book so inspired me that our second daughter is named after her many Grandpa Georges and Georgia Heard too!

Awakening the Heart
by Georgia Heard

Poems Please!
by David Booth & Bill Moyer
Shop Indie Bookstores

This month's issue of Appleseeds magazine (a Cobblestone publication) is all about poetry.  You can read some of Sheri Doyle's poems and see the issue here.  What a treat to have a whole magazine devoted to reading and writing poetry, and you can even purchase one issue at at time.

Here's wishing that you find poems everywhere you look today, even in that clogged sink or those muddy dog prints across your kitchen floor.  As Naomi Shihab Nye says in her well-loved poem 'Valentine for Ernest Mann', 
"...poems hide.  In the bottoms of our shoes, they are sleeping..."

(Please click on COMMENTS below to share a thought.)


  1. thats so awesome.. I am so glad you love this photo enough to use it as inspiration for a Poem.. I love this photo.. the timeless feel to it the connection the animals have in this moment. The poem is perfect..

  2. Hi Amy,
    Carl Anderson led me to your site. I've found myself lost in it & time has melted away. Your poems resonate with me -- thank you for sharing so generously. :)

    I saw the photo on this post and loved it. Then I read your poem and saw it with poet's eyes . . . what a gift you are giving to your readers.

    Happy writing,


  3. Dear Elizabeth,
    I really have not been able to get that photo out of my're the best.

  4. Dear Ruth,
    I have found your site so helpful! Today I plan to add a link to great teaching blogs, and yours will the first one added.
    Thank you for your generous words.

  5. Hi Amy,

    Your poem made me smile. It has me thinking that our cat Mimi needs a friend.

    Thanks for sharing!


  6. Dear Sheri,
    Thank you for your note...I was so excited to see that issue of Appleseeds with your poems. What a great resource for all of us. I am now going to link to your blog with the information.
    I say go for the cat friend!

  7. Loved today's poem-one of my favorites. Love, Mom

  8. Dear Mom,
    Thank you for your note and love!

  9. First of all, I love it that your mom comments on your blog!

    Second, what a precious picture of your animals, and the perfect poem to go with it!

  10. Thank you, Mary Lee! It's fun to watch the pets get along and have all kinds of adventures... And I am, indeed, very lucky to have a wonderful mom.

  11. Hello, Amy,

    I agree with Mary Lee! I loved both the photo and your poem when I read them while drawing everything together yesterday for Poetry Friday - and it's great to have time to soak them up again properly today. We got a kitten and a puppy at the same time last August and they play and play together - in fact, they're rolling around right now! Thank you!

  12. Thank you so much, Marjorie. What a fantastic collection of things you put together for yesterday's roundup. It was a thrill to be part of it - I feel like a girl in a new school, hoping to make friends to sit with at lunch! Happy pet-watching!