Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Animals, Dictionary Hike, Madness!

Sage and Mini
Photo by Amy LV


Students - You may have noticed that I write many little poems about animals.  Animals are so mysterious and full of story, and they inspire me. Today's poem is one I wrote after watching our puppy chase one of our cats. This is, as you can imagine, a regular occurrence. Instead of biting the cats, though, Sage kisses and cuddles them.

Watch an animal for a while - a chickadee outside your window, a hermit crab in a tank, a bunny hopping across the yard, your dog running in his sleep. Then...write!

National Poetry Month is just around the corner...and over at Jama's Alphabet Soup, Jama Rattigan has posted a list of all kinds of videos, sharings, and good news all through the Kidlitosphere during April.  Check it out to see what is available for poetry lovers and classrooms full of children!

Hiking the Dictionary
Photo by Amy LV

Here at The Poem Farm, I will be celebrating National Poetry Month with a dictionary hike. This means that day-by-day, I will open my new MACMILLAN dictionary to a new letter of the alphabet, beginning with A.  I will close my eyes, point to a word at random, and then write a poem using that word. (First I will tab the dictionary to indicate where each letter begins and ends.) In the 30 days of April, I will work through the whole alphabet, and I invite you to join along. Please feel free to leave poems in the comments corresponding with that day's letter.

I just saw yesterday that Rena Traxel is also doing some alphabet celebration during April over at On the Way to Somewhere...I look forward to visiting there as I work here.

This dictionary hike idea grew from two places.  One is Ed DeCaria's March Madness over at Think Kid, Think! which I have enjoyed very much.  For each round, Ed has given us a word of inspiration to write from, and it has been both stimulating and fascinating.  This experience, combined with my love for The Lanyard by Billy Collins planted the seed for my first month-long dictionary hike.


Voting is still open in this Finals round of Ed DeCaria's March Madness over at Think Kid, Think! We began as 64 poets, and now we are down to 8. Please consider stopping by Think Kid, Think!, reading all 8 poems, and voting on your favorites to bring us to the Final 4. 

In this round, I was assigned to write from the word PLUNGE...and my wonderfully clever opponent, Debbie LaCroix, wrote from the word JERKY. The words keep getting tougher as they have been chosen by poets from the previous rounds. (Ed is tricky!) Please visit the site and vote on your favorites! Teachers - this is a great project to share and vote on in class.

How did I decide how to use the word PLUNGE? First, I made several lists of possibilities in my notebook (plunge in headfirst, plunge the toilet...) and then I wrote plunge in the creek. That jotting made me think of our farm dogs, Sage and Cali. And there it was. I decided to write in form this time, and since we were allowed 16 lines, a double triolet felt right. Thank you, Ed, for the fun!

Sage is Inspiring!
Photo by Amy LV

Here is the scoreboard where you can vote for all of your favorite pairings.

Please share a comment below if you wish!
You can like The Poem Farm on Facebook for more poemlove...


  1. This SO reminds me of our sweet (dearly departed) Bess (aka Betty Boop) and our ancient (also departed) cat< Jennyanydots. Good memories. Current cat (18 lb bruiser named Willie Morris, aka Will/Will-yum) was rescued from the mouth of a dog and would rather eat them than tolerate kisses. We will not be getting another dog any time soon.

  2. Hi Amy, This is crazy, but your puppy Sage looks just like our dog Nellie. Do you know what type of dog she is? We do not know Nellie's breed since she is a shelter dog but we think part Brittany Spaniel. Thank you for the poem! We do not have a cat, but Nellie loves to chase her brother, Louie. You have inspired me to try to write a poem about them. :)

  3. Leslie! I am just finding this, hoping dearly that I sent you an e-mail to answer your question. If I did not, I am so sorry. Sage is half Great Pyrenees and half Border Collie. And she loves cats! a.