Thursday, April 21, 2011

Watch and Listen to Your Family!

Hope and Jasper (one day old!)
Photo by Amy LV

Family Story Poems

Funny things happen in our house every day.  Happy moments blossom.  Sad moments find their way in.  Surprises burst.  Yesterday we had a surprise lamb!  The children had a friend visiting, and they went up to visit last week's new lambs.  

But wait!  There was one more lamb than everyone expected...little Jasper, only 3 pounds and 13 ounces.  Mother and son seem to be doing well so far, but we did bring him in for a bottle and a warm up by the heater.

Students - if you pay attention to your family life and the families you know, you will be brimming with all kinds of writing ideas.  Once I heard poet Georgia Heard quote her writing teacher, poet Stanley Kunitz as saying, "If you want to write must live in a way that lets you find poems."  I know that I've shared this quote with you before, but these words have always mattered deeply to me and have governed many of my life choices.

Here are two poems that came right from real family memories.

 from October 2010

from January 2011

Here are two more poems that grew from family stories.
New Do (this true story came from my friend's family)

A writer's notebook is a wonderful place to keep your writing snippets and scraps. By jotting down the small events of your life, you will build a library of writing topics, useful phrases, and memories that will feed you for years.

For all of this month, I have been rounding up poems from last year, categorizing them into various piles of poetry ideas and strategies.  Please feel free to revisit some of the other posts and share any poems you write or thoughts you have in the comments.

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 20 - Compare/Contrast Poems 
April 21 -  Today - Family Story Poems

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


  1. Amy,

    One of my favorite poems by Naomi Shihab Nye is "Valentine for Ernest Mann."

    Here's the ending:

    Maybe if we re-invent whatever our lives give us,
    we find poems. Check your garage, the odd sock
    in your drawer, the person you almost like, but
    not quite.

    And let me know.

  2. Oh, Elaine! That is one of my favorites too. We really need to get together again. A.