First I would like to say hello to any classrooms of students who are following along here. Yesterday I received a lovely e-mail from fourth grade teacher Kristie Miner from the Whitney Point Central School District in Whitney Point, NY. She said, "I start out every morning by projecting your daily poem on our Smart Board, and then when we gather, students volunteer to read it aloud...it's inspiring us to embrace poetry, both as readers and writers."
Now, about today's poem. This past Friday, we went to a bonfire at our friends' home. In the yard, attached ever-so-intricately to the chains of a swing, glistened a perfect spiderweb. Once again, I fell in love. (I always fall in love with spiderwebs, don't you?) It had to be a poem.
Yesterday these words settled in as our family watched a Buffalo Bisons game in downtown Buffalo, NY. As is the case lately, I had a little pad of paper on my lap and just jotted words as they came into mind. Mostly I watched the game, but the whole first stanza came while washing my hands in the bathroom.
So much of writing is getting (and trusting) an idea, and this is something we can do all of the time. Watching a game, playing piano, eating our least favorite meal, hugging our cat...as we do these things, we can think, "Hmmmm...what could I write/paint/draw/sing/make out of this?" Creativity.
Today put yourself on lookout. Not for what you'll write today, but for what you'll write tomorrow or the next day or the next day. And tomorrow, tell your friends in class what you have been noticing in the world, what just might be good ideas for writing or other arts.
If you, too, love wet spiderwebs and would like to learn to photograph them well, this Digital Photography School site will give you 11 tips for How to Photograph a Spider's Web.
Teachers - Professor Sylvia Vardell, over at Poetry for Children, has a wonderful post up this week titled "The Poetry of Science". Here you will find book recommendations and fabulous ideas for marrying science with poetry, two disciplines that require both curiosity, close observation, and attention to detail.
This summer I will continue to write poems and offer ideas and book recommendations to student (and adult) poets. If any teacher-readers would like a poetry-bookmark with the The Poem Farm's address for your students, please send me an e-mail to amy at amylv dot com. I will send a printable page with three bookmarks to your inbox.
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