Friday, September 7, 2012

Let's Not Talk About Bullies...

An Old Picture of Hope and Monster 
Photo by Amy LV

Click the arrow to hear me read this poem to you.

Students - I have been listening to the news lately, and there has been lot of talk about bullying.  The other day, maybe after too much news, this line popped into my head - Let's not talk about bullies.  Then, over the past few days, it kept on popping up in my head, and I could not shake it out.  So that's where this poem came from at first. Once I started writing, though, I realized that if I don't want to talk about bullies, there must be something else that I DO want to talk about.  And there is.  Kindness.

When we used to live in Amherst, NY, we had a neighbor named Nancy.  Nancy would feed birds right out of her hand, right out of the air, and she knew each chickadee by sight.  This past summer, our daughter Georgia volunteered at a wildlife rehabilitation center with our friend Margaret, and there she witnessed much kindness as people fed injured herons and orphaned possums.  Just yesterday, I walked into my credit union, and a man waited to hold the door for me to walk through.  Good people are everywhere, and I wish to celebrate them.

If you need a writing idea, you might try asking yourself...What do I NOT want to talk about?  What DO I want to talk about?  You might even want to begin with a line like, "Let's not talk about..." and see where it takes you.  (You can always take off that first line later!)

In terms of structure, you may have noticed that this poem repeats the word let's over and over again, usually at the beginning of the lines.  In my mind, I'm calling this an invitation poem as it invites the reader to do goodness.

You may also notice the circular structure.  The first two and last two lines are the same - I love doing that!

Today's picture is of our oldest daughter, Hope, a few years ago.  She is holding Monster, a wonderful cat who has since died.  We took stray Monster into our hearts years ago, and he returned the favor by loving some abandoned kittens we found in a ditch.  Sometimes animals are the most kind of all...

Congratulations to Diane Mayr (Random Noodling)....winner of last week's giveaway of THE POETRY FRIDAY ANTHOLOGY!  Please send me your snail mail address, Diane, and I will get it off to you.

Over Sharing Our Notebooks, Peter Salomon is still visiting on the eve of the publication of his book HENRY FRANKS. Stop by and read about Peter's first notebooks and enter yourself in the giveaway of his new book - the drawing is tomorrow!

Katya is hosting today's Poetry Friday roundup over at Write. Sketch. Repeat. Visit there to see who's got what at today's poem party!

Please share a comment below if you wish.
To find a poem by topic, click here. To find a poem by technique, click here.
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  1. Amy, what a fabulous poem! I especially love the second stanza where it talks about "...people ... who make us want to be good." That's what your whole poem and post does--make me want to inspire rather than depress others by my actions.

    I also want to thank you for your notebook blog. I write a poetry column for a newsletter and have decided to write my next article about keeping a notebook. Your blog not only sparked the idea, but is now giving me so many good ideas and quotes, not to speak of outside resources. There is a wealth there. Thank you!!

    Violet N.

  2. Right poem at the right time. Just shared the link with my 5th grade team.

    YOU are a force for good in the world, Ms. Amy LV.

  3. Love hearing how your repeated noticing (of the bad news/of the small acts of kindness) wouldn't let you go until it became a poem!

    And what a precious pic - Monster was surely a force for good in the world as well. :0)

  4. Hi Amy! I missed much of the Round-Up on Friday, and so, I missed your great poem and the news of my WIN! Many thanks for both. I will definitely share both with my daughter the teacher!

  5. I found this poem through The Year of Reading blog.Thank you, Mary Lee. Such a great timing. We have a continuous conversation about kindness in with my grade 3 and 4 students. Your poem will add to it. having ideas for poetry writing is a bonus. Thank you.