You have just read a revised version of "In My Pocket", which was first written in a straight line down (see below). After writing it the first time and thinking about it, after getting to my own computer (fingers itching!), it became concrete. How could a poem about Mexican jumping beans not jump? That would not be right. I posted the above poem two days after the original. Students - it's healthy to come back to poems again and again, even after you think they might be finished. I once read a quote by Paul Valery, "A poem is never finished, only abandoned." So often I feel that I must abandon poems in order to find new ones. But then, somehow, I find myself cycling back to old friends like this one.
In My Pocket
You might think
that it's odd
but I carry
in my pocket.
What is it?
Yesterday, I wrote this poem to the sound of my daughter's three Mexican jumping beans clicking around in their tiny box. I was visiting my mother's house, and as everyone else slept...those jumping beans and I kept each other company. These little guys are all the rage at my children's school lately, and one of their friends even had one hatch.
I remember having Mexican jumping beans when I was very little. Even if you know that there's a little larva in there, the beans feel so mysterious and exciting. Holding them feels like you have your own tiny pets. Georgia even named hers: Tracy, Bill, and Fred. As these are small living beings, we will be sure to water them and take care of anything which may hatch.
Students - what are the fads right now in your school and life? Or what was all the rage and you can't forget it? Fashion, foods, toys, games, fads...all of these things come and go in waves of popularity. Any of these things would make great writing ideas.
When we return home to our own computer, I look forward to playing with a few formatting changes on this poem. I'll share them with you as a before and after.
It is the final day of Banned Books Week for 2010. Today let's celebrate THE LORAX, by Dr. Seuss as our banned book of the day.
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