Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Miss Robin Longs for Home in Poem #315...

Miss Robin in the South
by Georgia LV

Miss Robin in the North
by Georgia LV

This is poem #5 in Story Poem Week, a week long project to write poems that tell stories.  This story is short and in the present tense; I imagine our Springtime harbingers awaiting their trip home to our yards and trees and bushes.

Students - My first work on this poem, the work in pencil on unlined paper, did not include this last stanza, but rather ended with Miss Robin's words.  When I typed it, however, I felt that something was missing.  In search of endings, I often go back to beginnings, asking , "Is there a glint of silver that I might reflect in the last lines, a moon to reflect the morning's sun?"  Today there was.

If you ever find yourself wondering how to end a writing piece, be it a poem or a story or even a  nonfiction piece or persuasive letter -- reread your beginning and you might find the silver you need.

If you are interested in having your American Robin questions answered, check out this post by Journey North who has also written a little book about the same topic.  Of course you can find lots of information, including the American Robin's song, at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, a rich source for everything-bird.

Once more, don't forget that the Great Backyard Bird Count begins on February 18.  You can participate in important and fascinating research by keeping track of the birds in your yard for four days!

(Please click on POST A COMMENT below to share a thought.)


  1. Dear Amy,

    Here's a poem that I wrote for the Pets Add Life contest. I wasn't sure how to end it, so I went back to the beginning with the mermaid just like you suggested in this poem.



    The mermaid shakes her long brown hair as Gill slides past her.

    Gill slithers like a snake when he dives down to his pink plant and rests on it.

    He immediately swims up fast when it's feeding time,
    Like he's in a race with another fish.

    Gill's sea-like gravel is his floor and his pink plant is strangely colored seaweed.

    I watch Gill swim his bedtime-swim.

    Out of the corner of my eye, I see the mermaid shake her long brown hair as he slides past her.

  2. Dear Jessica,

    Thank you so much for sharing your poem about Gill with me. What a lucky guy to be the subject of such a descriptive and thoughtful poem. That mermaid is intriguing, and the way she comes to life in this poem at the beginning and end adds such a magical quality (I love things like that!)

    This idea of beginning and ending writing the same way is one which will come in handy throughout your life. It works not only with poems, but also personal stories, fiction, nonfiction. Everything. Keep an eye out with what you're reading, and you'll be amazed. (Sometimes I have to make myself end in a different way - the circular text works so well!)

    Too, "I watch Gill swim his bedtime-swim" is a very sweet line. It's clear that you observed Gill a lot for this poem, and I think it's especially neat that you chose a pet that doesn't get as much honor as dogs and cats. Did you hang it near his bowl yet?

    I think you'd like the picture book NOT NORMAN.

    ZOOBOOKS also publishes student poetry about animals - they request different animal poems each issue. There are so many wonderful places to send your work.

    Do you have the book SPILLING INK? I think your whole family would like it!

    Thank you again for sending your work. This made my evening and I will now look at our little fish in a new way.

    Your Friend,