Monday, April 2, 2012

B is for Bluegrass - Dictionary Hike

Photo by Amy LV

Students - Today's word - "bluegrass" - gave me a couple of possibilities.  I could have written about bluegrass music, which I like very much.  But I decided to write about the bluegrass plant instead.  Can you believe that I never realized that it even IS a grass?  Golly, there are 250 varieties of bluegrass, we have it in our pasture, and I didn't even KNOW about it because I always just thought of "bluegrass" as music!  Our family loves Cherryholmes, a now-disbanded family band, so maybe this is why!

Opening the dictionary to a random word opens up my writing self.  I am determined to learn from the word offered, to let my poem turn on its gifts.  Today's word whispered, "Smush words together, Amy.  Smush 'em!"  I like the way that blue and grass squish themselves together.  Compound words are so cozy, so I made some of my own here - all with color words.  This is something you can try too - just squeeze those words together if they seem huggy.

Today is Day 2 of the Dictionary Hike!  Should you be interested in following through the alphabet, I am keeping all of this month's dictionary-inspired-alphabet poems in the left-hand sidebar. So far, I have felt quite lucky with my words.

Who else is taking Dictionary Hikes?  Well, Mary Lee and one of her students are dipping into dictionaries.  And Lisa left an ANCIENT haiku in yesterday's comments. (I hope she does this every day and encourage you to check.) Linda is writing daily poems too, and she may also use the dictionary as occasional inspiration.  If you do so, I welcome you to share in the comments!

Don't's down to the Final Four in Think Kid, Think!'s March Madness poetry tournament.  You can vote, and bring it to two here!

And now...a bit of bluegrass to introduce today's giveaway!

Today, over at my other blog, Sharing Our Notebooks, I am tickled to be hosting Janet Wong as she shares her process and office. Janet has generously offered these four books as a giveaway for today's post readers. If you leave a comment in this post or in today's (April 2) post over at The Poem Farm, you will be automatically entered into a drawing to win. This drawing will close at 11:59pm on Thursday, April 5. Please leave brief contact information in your comment so that I can let you know if you win!


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Mary Lee said...

Oh, you have made me fall in love with this farmer and his cows! This could be a picture book!

Mary Lee said...

PS -- Thanks for the bonus bluegrass MUSIC to get me jumpin' and jivin' this morning!

Storykeeper said...

I like the idea of a dictionary hike. It seems like a really fun way to do some writing. I think my kids would enjoy it. I think your poems would make a great picture book.

Poem of the Week - Lisa Vihos said...

Hi Amy! LOVE your "browncow, bluegrass" poem. Mary Lee is right. I can feel a picture book growing right there on that very spot.

Thanks for the shout-out about yesterday's haiku. I am committed to sticking with this. Here is one for day 2 and "B"


Bluegrass, green-sky. Why?
Why not? I wonder as my
day turns up-under.

Lisa Vihos

Amy Ludwig VanDerwater said...

Lisa! Are you going to keep these in one special place? If so, I can link to it each day! "Up-under" is so cool.
Thank you for your kindwords on this one, friends. I kind of have a crush on the farmer as it's my hubby. ;)

Poem of the Week - Lisa Vihos said...

Hey Amy, I hadn't honestly gotten that far in my you have any advice on where to "keep" these? I am psyched for this challenge. I love having something that I MUST do each write a haiku based on a random word that you find for me! (teehee!) Maybe we can communicate "offline" so to speak?

SueB said...

Thank you for again sharing your marvelous creativity! The dictionary hike is such a fun idea, I so llook forward to reading your daily poems!

Linda at teacherdance said...

Amy, you are so so creative. I know you must have been inspired with your farm, & then in the comments you mentioned that nice farmer, your husband, but this poem is so clever, & funny, & unique. I agree, it's a picture book in the making. I love the idea of smushing the words together. Thanks for all! And, as in the other post, I loved Janet Wong's work too.

Natalie said...

I can't tell you how much I love this poem! This is brilliant. I love what you did with all of your invented color words as a play on bluegrass.

"He snaps his tansuspenders feeling scarletcheeked and shy...." FANTASTIC.:)


Susan Taylor Brown said...

What Mary Lee said, this is so so so a picture book.

Love bluegrass even more now.

KateCoombs said...

Wow, Amy, you are good! Fun AND creative!

Charles Waters said...

Those compound words really elevate this children's poem. It's like e.e. cummings in rhyme!

Amy Ludwig VanDerwater said...

Thank you for liking this old farmer, everybody. I appreciate your kind words..... a.

Renee LaTulippe said...

One of my new favorite things to do will now by wordsmushing. LOVE this so much!