Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Two Flowers - Compare & Contrast

Rose and Dandelion
by Amy LV

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

Students - Today's poem grew from some scratchings in my notebook. A few months ago, I wrote many of the flower-spoken words you read above, but as I reread them and thought about Monday's post about Thistle and about the YA novel I am currently reading - UGLIES by Scott Westerveld - I realized that I am thinking a lot about freedom vs. captivity lately.  I'm not sure why that is, but when you are writing regularly, you can see patterns in your mind and heart.  That's why I keep a notebook - to know what I think!

When I scribbled the beginnings of this poem in my notebook, I only had the lines from the flowers, but as I continued to work on it, I decided it would be fun to "bookend" it with some thinking and a question, the stanzas in italics. One of my favorite poems is Alley Violinist by Robert Lax, and I especially like how it leaves the reader with a question.

In addition to having different voices, this poem uses a technique we call "personification" which means that the writer gives an object or animal human characteristics.  In this case, I let the flowers think and talk. (It's funny, though, because I think that they actually DO talk and it's not a poetic technique at all!) This poem is also a compare/contrast poem, juxtaposing the lives of two flowers. are a few things to think about today:  keep your notebook and save those thought-treasures, consider writing something that compares two different things, listen to objects and animals talking (or pretend you can), and remember that you can end your writing with a question.

This week over at Sharing Our Notebooks, I welcome author Peter Salomon and congratulate him on his forthcoming book, HENRY FRANKS. Please stop by and read about his first notebooks, and enter yourself in the giveaway of his new book - coming out this week!

If you are interested in entering to win a copy of THE POETRY FRIDAY ANTHOLOGY (in which I am happy to have 5 poems!), please stop by Friday's post and leave a comment there.  Thistle will draw a winning name on Thursday night, and I will announce the winner on Poetry Friday!

This week also marks a change in The Poem Farm schedule - I am now back and posting poems and poem greetings each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Please come back and visit for lessons, poem ideas, book recommendations, and classroom Poetry Peeks.  If you are a classroom teacher or homeschooling parent, I invite you to share your students' poetry or your poem teaching ideas here.  If you are interested, please send me an e-mail to amy at amylv dot com, and I will get right back to you.

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  1. In our family, we often talked about dandelions as those ferocious dandy-lions, holding on to their kingdom strongly. Love the poem with its two distinct personalities, Amy. And it's interesting to contemplate the question. How much freedom would we give up for safety?

  2. Love this, Amy--fun to read, nifty study of point of view, and great food for thought, all in one super poem!

  3. Hi Amy. Sorry it's been awhile since I've popped over.

    I love your personification of these two distinct flowers.

    Very clever. And I love the drawing!

  4. Hello Amy,

    I shared this poem with my 4th graders here in East Aurora (never realizing that we are neighbors)...
    I actually came across your poem on Pinterest. It wasn't until I meandered to your blog and homepage that I discovered our geographical connection.
    Thank you for the inspiration you provided as we are in the process of learning how to effectively write compare/contrast compositions.

    Your 4th grade friends at Parkdale Elementary