Saturday, December 18, 2010

Long Live the Kunimasu with Poem #263

A couple of days ago, I turned on my phone to see that Yahoo had an article up about the kunimasu, a Japanese salmon believed extinct for the past 70 years.  But lo and behold!  A team of researchers has just found many of them in Lake Saiko, near Mount Fuji.  These fish are not extinct at all, and they kept their secret for seven decades.  I am very happy for the kunimasu and for us.

I began drafting this poem on Thursday, in front of a group of third and fourth grade students at Country Parkway Elementary in Williamsville, NY.  These students were writing free verse poems, and after we talked about and read free verse for a bit, I modeled thinking and drafting on this chart.

Chart from December 16, 2010 
by Amy LV

It's clear to see that today's poem did not end up in free verse after all.  Maybe I shall try another kunimasu poem, a free verse one.  If I do, I think it will be from the fishes' perspective.

It was exciting to see the variety of poetry students wrote last Thursday, on all topics from authors to new ice cream flavors to the importance of wearing hats.  One girl wrote from the point of view of a whale, referring to us as "humans."  I may have an opportunity to share some of these students' poems here, and some of them may be turned into dance and song by high school students.  Some interpretations may be performed on an evening in April with former Poet Laureate Ted Kooser!

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


  1. Love this so much - especially because of Brice's reaction. He's running around the house pumping his arm & screaming "Yes!" Nothing makes that kid happier than a fish out of extinction!

  2. Oh please do write a poem from the fish's perspective. Not that there is anything lacking in this poem, only that I would like to read that one too.

  3. A great way to celebrate the discovery of a non-extinction. Yes, the fish's perspective would be fun. Thank you for all your poem gifts!

  4. Katrina, Brice is too cool to love fish so much. We just need to hang out with your family more! A.
    Blythe and Gretchen, Thank you for the kind-fish-words. You're on. Tomorrow it is. I think it will rhyme though...maybe even same meter. A.