Ballerina Georgia in 2004
Photo by Amy LV
So, last night when I sat down to write, I remembered this conversation and decided to write about those funcrazy outfits that we choose all by ourselves. I found today's poem idea in a recent telephone conversation, remembering that story that my sister-in-law told me about our niece. Try this technique yourself. Sit quietly and think about the conversations you've had in the past week. What do you remember? Find a conversation that might grow into a poem or a story and just jump in!
This week I also reread the new P*TAG, a new digital poetry anthology for teens. Snuggled up by the heater, I scrolled through poem and photograph after poem and photograph, remembering what it was like to be a teenager. So much of that time came back to me, from conversations with friends to my feelings about boys to my own questions about growing up.
P*TAG is available only as a digital download ($2.99!) for your Kindle, iphone, Android, or computer, and it's a great gift for a teen in your life or the teen in yourself. If you haven't taken a peek at this or at POETRY TAG TIME, I highly recommend both as strong collections that may well introduce you to poets you have never read.
For another wonderful e-collection by Janet Wong, check out ONCE UPON A TIGER, poems and artwork about endangered animals.
Janet Wong's poem, published in this fall's issue of the JOURNAL OF CHILDREN'S LITERATURE, expresses the way I feel when I hand my own phone to Hope, Georgia, or Henry for poetry reading in the back seat of our car.
We've been standing in line
five long minutes.
I'm starving but Mom won't let me
sneak a snack from the cart.
It's hard to stand there waiting, nothing to do, and Mom
knows it (because I know she's starving, too).
Then out of nowhere
she hands me her cell phone
and tells me to read the screen:
"Loud enough so I can hear."
A poem? I can't believe it:
I like the poem. It's funny.
The old lady behind us laughs so hard
she spit-sprays in my ear.
I put my hoodie up.
Mom asks for another.
It's good. I like this one even better,
even if it's not funny.
Even if it doesn't rhyme.
It makes me forget about the line
and makes me remember summer.
Three and a half poems later,
Mom says, "Time to go home."
I look up. The groceries are in their bags.
The checker says: "Wait! Won't you read
the ending, please?"
Jama Rattigan, hostess extraordinaire, is holding today's Poetry Friday party at Jama's Alphabet Soup. And when Jama has a party, you don't want to miss it! Enjoy the food and festivities... Happy Poetry Friday!
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