V is for VULTURE
Photo by Amy LV
Well, we're back on track now after our little W/V mix-up. And what a great word for today! Today's word, the very last in the V section of my dictionary, led me to the Turkey Vulture Society, some good learning, and a greater appreciation of scavengers.
Today's poem is a villanelle. I once again turned to that great Paul Janeczko book, A KICK IN THE HEAD, to help me puzzle out form, and the villanelle is a tricky one. You'll see the 5 tercets followed by a quatrain as well as the rhyme scheme: aba, aba, aba, aba, aba, abaa. You will notice that the first line of the poem repeats as the last line of stanzas 2 and 4 as well as the third line of stanza 6. You will also see that the third line repeats as the last line of stanzas 3 and 5 as well as the final line of the poem. You may also notice that each line has 10 syllables.
If you are familiar with John Milton's poem On His Blindness, you will know the line - "They also serve who only stand and wait." That line went through my head as I wrote about vultures. There is something powerful in waiting, in patience.
When I told my daughter Hope that I was going to write a villanelle about vultures, she said, "Wouldn't it be neat to do a Dictionary Hike where each poem type had to begin with the letter of that day?" Hmmm... Here we go: Acrostic, Ballad, Cinquain...
And now for our guest poster!
Photo by Amy LV
Today I am most excited to welcome my eleven-year-old daughter, Georgia, to this space. She is a frequent photographer of Poem Farm photos, and she has been taking her own Dictionary Hike this month, right through the letters of her name. So far Georgia has written poems from:
G - GLIMPSE
E - ENTHRALL
O - ONCE
And today, she writes from REDWOOD. Last night after I came home from a school meeting, Georgia met me at the door with her poem, and I asked right away if she would allow me to share the poem and her process. I am so grateful that she agreed. Below you can read Georgia's poem, see her draft, and read her thoughts.
Draft of R IS FOR REDWOOD
By Georgia LV
The first thing I did was to Google REDWOOD tree facts. I didn't know I would write about any particular tree. I found that the largest Redwood tree was 379 feet tall and that it had a name. I became enthralled (my second word) by this tree character and decided to find out all I could about him.
I jotted down any facts that I found interesting and then crossed them out if I changed my mind. I was also very intrigued by the name. What does it mean? Why was he called that?
I looked HYPERION up in the online dictionary and found it was a name for a titan (Greek giant). Then I looked at my facts and added a couple in.
I formed my poem around the facts and not the facts around the poem. This is the first factual poem I have ever done. It was a lot of fun. Try it sometime!
Thank you to Georgia for her openness in sharing her fourth poem of this month and her thinking process too. Writing ABOUT our thinking helps us understand it even more.
Happy Poem in Your Pocket Day to all! Today I have a poem in my pocket. The poem is Candles by Carl Dennis. And since I will not see many people today, I will send in copies to my children's teachers. Here it is for you! What poem do you have (or would you like to have) in your pocket today? Please share in the comments as we're all always looking for more beautiful poemfriends.
In case you are new to The Poem Farm, this month I am walking, letter-by-letter, through the dictionary, (closed-eyed) pointing to a letter each day, and writing from it. You can read poems A-W by checking the sidebar, and you visit Lisa Vihos and read her accompanying daily haiku at, Lisa's Poem of the Week. In today's comments, watch for Lisa's Haiku and also Christophe's haiku. It is has been grand to poetryhike with new friends.
Do not miss this week's funny and informative post at Sharing Our Notebooks. Author and poet Suz Blackaby is sharing her notebooks as well as a clever writing exercise. Stop by to read her words and to enter the giveaway for her book, NEST, NOOK, & CRANNY. The winner's name will be drawn TONIGHT!
Remember, tomorrow is Poetry Friday, the last of this year's National Poetry Month.