Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Collecting & Collecting in Poem #328


Collection Museum
by Amy LV


This is not a story poem.  It is a list poem.  And like most list poems, it has that "turn" at the end.  The other week I had the opportunity to work with teacher and artist Sarah Paprocki in Webster, NY.  In preparation for our time together, she taught her kindergarten children that list books often end with a "trickster page," or a page that sounds different than the rest of the book.  That's a wonderful way to explain it.  So this poem ends with a "trickster line."  Thank you, Sarah!

Students - once again, I did not have a plan for this poem before settling my bottom into my chair.  Instead, I looked into the little cubbyholes in my desk and took out a pearly swirly seashell.  I just held it for a while, admiring its shine and the teeny hole in one side.  I thought about how nature makes the most beautiful objects of all, and I was transported back to my own childhood shell collection.  I'd pore over those shells for a long time.

Now, as an adult, I love the idea of collecting free things.  Collecting words is so democratic - we are all equal with our lists of well-loved letters and sounds.

Sometimes just writing anything-at-all is a great way to get started with a poem.  Poems have a way of taking shape on paper, not always in our heads ahead of time.  Keep lists in your notebook, watch for strange ideas that go together, and see if any of these form a poem or story idea.

I've written before about my childhood friend, David Manley, who used to collect pencil shavings.  Well, guess what?  Now my son collects pencil shavings!

Now, if you are in the mood for something very unusual, visit Graham Barker's website which chronicles his collection of naval fluff.  And lest you think his beard clipping collection completely crazy, I must admit something here.

I once brought my husband's beard clippings to a teaching interview for luck.  

And you know what?  I got the job!  I saved that little baggie for years, but it's now gone.  True.

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1 comment:

Mary Lee said...

I think I already told you that I collect cat whiskers. If not, there you have it.