Friday, February 17, 2012

Fear and Poems about Changing Your Mind

by Amy LV

Students - have you ever felt afraid of something, faced your fears, and then realized that the scary thing was not so bad after all? There have been many times in my life when I have felt sure of something and then later changed my mind. Today's poem is a changing-your-mind poem, telling the story of fear changing to wonder.

If you find yourself looking at a blank page of your notebook today, consider writing about a time when you changed your mind, when you realized something new, when you gave someone or something a second change. Such moments of realization and change are good seeds for writing.

You may notice that each stanza of "Fear" has three lines and that the first line of each stanza is short, only two syllables. I enjoy playing with patterns and sometimes even borrowing patterns from other poems I love. You can try that too. Choose a poem that you like and then ask yourself:  How long is this poem? How does the rhyme work? How does the repetition work? How can I take one of these ideas and make it my own?

My husband's biology class has just added a new friend, a ball python who doesn't have a name yet. And a warm box in our basement is currently home to three little chicks (Georgia named one Petronella, after a character in GOOD MASTERS! SWEET LADIES! VOICES FROM A MEDIEVAL VILLAGE.) It's animal season around here!

As-Yet Nameless Ball Python
(about 3 weeks old)
Photo by Mark VanDerwater

On Valentine's Day, the winners of the 2011 CYBILS were announced. In the poetry category, Paul B. Janeczko won for REQUIEM: POEMS OF THE TEREZIN GHETTO, a haunting and beautiful book, a book to make each of us more human. It was an honor to be a first round judge for this year's CYBILS, and I offer many congratulations to Paul.  Visit the CYBILS website to read about winners in all categories.

And now for a bit of personal happy news! I am extremely grateful that Boyds Mills Press will publish my collection of reading poems for children! More news when I have it...what fun to dream of illustrators...

Myra is hosting today's Poetry Friday roundup over at Gathering Books. Fill your arms and pockets with gathered poems and words, and many good wishes for a lovely weekend!

'Like' The Poem Farm Facebook Page for regular updates of all things poetry!
(Please click on POST A COMMENT below to share a thought.)


  1. I love the rhyming of your poem Amy-interesting. I imagine it would be inviting to students to think of ideas about their own changes. And a big congratulations to you on the publishing of your book! It must be wonderful to receive such news. I'll look forward to reading it!

  2. Congratulations on the book! Yay for wonderful news to cheer up February.

    Love your snake poem, though I'd much rather read about snakes than see them in person. That ball python looks big . . .

  3. Enjoyed your poem, Amy -- particularly the ending! Congrats on your upcoming book. I'm sure it will be great!

  4. This is great news, Amy, and so well-deserved. I can't wait to read both of your books!

  5. Fabulous news about the new poetry book!

  6. Congrats on your new collection to be published that is wonderful. And good luck with the snake. Yikes.

  7. Hi Amy,

    Congratulations on the publishing contract. I am sure it will be a collection of top notch poetry. My students and I continue to visit the Poem Farm often. Such inspiration and learning. Thanks.
    ~ Theresa

  8. Add my congrats to the pile!!

    And make sure you don't let those chicks visit the python!!!

  9. When my husband and I first started dating, he had a ball python. His name was Shakespeare (the python, not my husband).

    Congratulations! And I always love your poems.