Tuesday, April 26, 2011

PoetryTagTime & Writing in Costume!

Today is the day that my poem is "up" at PoetryTagTime!  PoetryTagTime is the new e-book (easily downloadable for .99 on your PC or phone) featuring poems by thirty different children's poets.  In this game, one poet tagged another who tagged another, each person writing a poem inspired by the one before.  The e-project was put together by Janet S. Wong and Sylvia Vardell, and I have even seen classes of children do their own "take-off" of PoetryTag.

It is an honor for me to be a part of this e-book, and today at PoetryTagTime Tips, you can find Sylvia Vardell's recommendations for bringing my poem into the classroom.  She has written such suggestions each day of this month, one post for each poem. 

Here is my tag poem.  It was inspired by Robert Weinstock's poem and then traveled to inspire Tracie Vaughn Zimmer.

My Hand

Whenever I look 
at my hand
I remember

I once was a starfish
in love with the sea.

Riding her waves
I ate clams.
I grew arms.

I never imagined
one day I would be
a person with legs
happy on land.

Were you always human?
Do you understand?

© Amy LV

This is my favorite type of poem to write because I love pretending that I am or have been other things besides myself.  This is why I love writing mask poems!  It's writing dress up and magic all in one.

PoetryTagTime was a lot of fun for our children to read in the car (from my phone), and I love the way Janet and Sylvia included information and website links to all of the poets.  If you are a student, writer, teacher, parent, homeschooler, grandmother, or poem lover who would like to learn more about several children's poets writing today, I promise you that your .99 will be very well spent on PoetryTagTime.

Poems Through a Mask

Students - when we write through a mask, this means that we write in the voice of someone or something besides ourselves.  If I wanted to write about my bunny, I could write, He hops.  He jumps.  He carrot eats!  

If I wanted to write AS my bunny, however, I would write I hop  I jump.  I carrot eat!

Writing mask poems allows us to take all of the facts we know and to swirl them with our imagination...what would it feel like to BE a car, to BE a waterfall, to BE the smallest lamb in a flock?

Here are some of my mask poems from this year.  (Apologies for no images, but rain storms are making our connection unstable.)  I encourage you to try some mask poems of your own.  And please, feel free to post poems in the comments.  I would love to read your work, students, and I would love to share it here with your permission.

Pill Bug's Lament
February 3

For this final week of National Poetry Month, I will keep posting about different ways to find poem ideas or different poetic techniques.  Next week, I will be taking a short break from blogging as The Poem Farm seeks a new direction...suggestions accepted!

This Month's Poetry Revisits and Lessons So Far

April 1 -   Poems about Poems
April 2 -   Imagery
April 6 -   Free Verse
April 9 -   Poems about Science
April 10 - Rhyming Couplets  
April 11 -  Riddle Poems 
April 12 -  List Poems 
April 13 -  Poems for Occasions
April 14 -  Concrete Poems
April 15 -  Poems about Food
April 16 -  Quatrains
April 18 -  Alliteration
April 19 -  Poems about Sports
April 21 -  Family Story Poems 
April 22 -  Poems about Nature
April 23 -  Repetition
April 25 -  Concerns Poems
April 26 -  Today - Mask Poems

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


  1. Hi Amy,

    We love reading and writing mask poems too. PoetryTagTime has been a great addition to Poetry Month. Thanks to you and all the other poets! Sent a few to friends also.

    Congratulations! I was delighted to see that you received the Golden Apple Award on our Rochester news tonight. Please know that in addition to inspiring teachers, you are leaving your mark on many students who look forward to your blog posts. Many of my fourth graders now visit your blog at home.

    As always many thanks! ~Theresa

  2. I did some pretending for my poem today! Fun stuff!

    (ooohhh...word verification is PRETEN...)

  3. Golden Apple: pretty neat! It's always nice when good people get recognized. And I agree with Theresa; you are definitely leaving your mark on many with all the hard work you do on your blog. It is quite inspiring. Thanks for pointing people to the daily tips that Sylvia has created at PoetryTagTime.blogspot.com.

    And thanks again for the mention of my ONCE UPON A TIGER eBook: we have a little surge in sales happening right now (probably because of you)!