Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Poem #105 - How To Be My Favorite Book

Hope Reads in a Boat
Photo by Amy LV 

This is the fifth poem in a week-long series of free verse poems, and the idea came from a couple of places.  Our children are voracious readers, and so I always note the types of books they like and recommend to each other, us, and their friends.  I wonder about why my children reread certain books and easily let go of others.

After writing this poem, I realized that another writing influence has been joyfully sitting on my shoulder.  Elaine Magliaro, writer Wild Rose Reader blog, has been sharing poems from her "Things to Do" poems collection.  Last week she shared "Things to Do if You are the Ocean", and I think its loveliness crept into my mind.  Thank you, Elaine!

It has been exciting to wake each day for the past 105 days, not knowing what each day's poem will be about, and it is wonderful to finally trust that something (maybe not something excellent, but something) will come.  In his essay, "Listening to Writing", from THE ESSENTIAL DONALD MURRAY, edited by Thomas Newkirk and Lisa C. Miller, Donald Murray writes about the element of surprise in writing.  "We should push ourselves - and our students - to write what they do not expect to say, for the excitement of writing is the surprise of hearing what you did not expect to hear."

I highly recommend this book as well as any others by Donald Murray if you are interested in your own writing and/or teaching writing to others.

Students - so much of writing is listening to your inner voice (or many voices) whispering what matters to you, what you want to say, the story and mystery you need to tell.  Writing is a journey and discovery-ride inside of ourselves.

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


  1. Beautiful poem! My kids are also voracious readers and we are always up for exactly THIS sort of book.

    Funny how some of those beloved children's books still call us back... to enjoy with our children of course!

  2. Perri,
    I really think we live parallel lives. Sheep, children, books...everything! Maybe we will even meet someday. Thank you for your kind note.

  3. Hi Amy,

    I love this poem and experimenting with this type of writing too. What a lovely place to get lost in a favorite book. What fun it would be to collect photos of all the great places to read (especially the outdoor places!) Your home sounds like a wonderful place.


  4. Love your poem and your advice from Donald Murray, one of the best writing teachers. It would be fun to have a group of kids write their own versions of your poem. What would they demand of their favorite books?