Monday, November 8, 2010

First Autumnwinter Snow - Poem #223

First Dusting - November 6, 2010
Photo by Amy LV

Poem Drafts for "Overnight"
by Amy LV

It snowed here yesterday!  Our family woke to fristyfrost on the grass and powdered sugar on the rooftops.  Henry and Georgia went out and danced, and Henry threw the first snowball of this season.  A tiny one, right at our front door!  All was melted and gone within a few hours, but we know it will be back soon...for good.

Students - If you look above, you can see the handwritten drafts for today's poem.  We were on a long car trip yesterday, and I scribbled as Mark drove (much safer than scribbling as I drove!)  "Overnight" began as a one stanza poem, but as I read it over and over again, I realized that it needed something more.  You might have noticed that the last two lines of the first stanza are the same as the first two lines of the second stanza.  Why?  I just liked them and wanted to say them over again.  Reading and rereading, I still liked hearing them next to each other.  I feel like they give the poem a kind of marveling feeling, just like we had when we awoke one day ago.

After writing this poem, I dug back in to play with the sounds, to see if I could play with alliteration, or repeating of initial sounds.  For example, the third line originally read, "snuggled in the pines", but it now reads "snuggled in spruces".  "In darkness as I dreamed" (line 5) was originally "in the dark as I slept". 

Teachers - if your students have written a whole lot of poems, you might challenge them to dip in again and play with the words of one or two lines, examining each word closely and asking, "Might I choose a different word, a word with sounds to match the beginning sounds I have already used?"

You might also notice all kinds of little jottings on the side of this poem.  That's a habit - jottings and alphabets and numbers and word lists.  Everywhere.

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


  1. I love that image, too!

    Amy, so funny -- I've been reading your blog this morning, and in another tab, I just saw a comment come in from you on my blog. Nice timing. :)

  2. I love seeing drafts of poems. The always look like a certainly kind of drawing to me, the kind called making marks.

    I also think there is so much value in revealing how a poem happens, that it unfolds through time and some effort--because that is how poems are read.

    Snow is late here, this year, but there is a certain smell falling from the clouds and snowflakes are certain to follow.

  3. those first snows are always the best. sugary dustings and sweatery coats... before they become heavy and dirty.

    i love that you share the raw poems and revisions. i have similar looking pages when i write and sometimes it's a comfort to see that the thinking on the page.

  4. I like that one! It makes me look forward to snow days. We had hail here in SW CT this morning. Rather dramatic start to the week.

    Chicken Spaghetti

  5. winter switched are always getting flicked right under my nose!! :/

    I can't find the Summer switch! to turn white into green and pool-water blue! :(

    <3 this poem.

    Thanks for sharing.

  6. Toby, Bon hiver to you too! Somehow that pair of words just captures a shiver...doesn't it? A.
    Karen, Yes, we were too ships in the blognight today. Such fun to meet you in both places. Stay cozy! A.
    Blythe, I love that smell idea. It's so true, yet the smell is hard to describe. And yes about hearing how poems are made. I love going behind the curtains with others' work too! A.
    David, As a writing teacher, I am always looking for published books which include process information on the flaps. Too, when authors share these secrets on their websites and in talks, young writers see that it's all normal: the mess, the questioning, the journey. Welcome here! A.
    Susan, Hail! Wow. Somehow the sound of hail (when I'm inside) feels so exciting.) Happy start to winter - your snow will be soon! A.
    Amanda, Thank you! Yes, turn the switch! Well, I'll take winter for a bit, but it'd be ok to turn the spring switch sooner...Good luck finding your winter wardrobe from last year - hee hee! A.

  7. Amy-this is so lovely and your imagery makes me wish for snow. We don't usually get snow here until mid to late December. Last year, we had a blizzard in Dec. and another one in late January. The second time we were snowed in for several days, and I LOVED the way our world slowed down. I made soup, and bread, and baked apples. We watched the deer and drank hot chocolate. I'm wishing for lots of snow days again this year. Thank you for helping me remember a special time.

  8. Thanks for sharing a page from your notebook. I appreciate your generousity.
    Happy writing,

  9. Amy,

    My students and I read your poem a few times this morning, savoring the images your words painted for us. We all agreed this is one that we would like to post in the room. Many children requested copies for their poetry folders too.

    The glimpse into your notebook was an extra treat too.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. One expression of gratitude did not seem like enough!


  10. So I installed Desktop QR Code Reader and held a printout of the code up to the webcam on my Dell notebook...and here I am!
    (H/T Melissa Wiley for the tutorial putting links in comments)

  11. Lovely poem, Amy. I think you used the repetition of those two lines to great effect.

  12. Linda, There really is a magic in snow days. I love them. Love listening to the radio and waiting, hoping, baking. May you have many this year! A.
    Ruth, Thank you! That nosy side of me loves spying into others' notebooks, so sometimes it's just plain fun to put the pages out there. A.
    Theresa and Students, It means so much to me that you liked this one. Somehow the change of seasons casts a spell over us, almost like we're not sure which season it is until the whole world is one color. Happy autumnwinter! A.
    Oh, honey! What fun it's been playing with this crazy technology. Thank you! A.
    Elaine, Thank you. It's funny how I'd planned for the poem to be quite short, but those lines just stuck their necks out, immediately, again. A.