Monday, January 7, 2013

Lucky Pebble - Narrative Poems

It Stayed!
by Amy LV

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

Students - Today's poem is a narrative poem, and it's based on a true story that happened to someone I've never met.  People who write are always on the lookout for stories, and last summer when I was teaching a workshop, a teacher told me about a girl in her class who had a collection of lucky stones. This young girl knew her stones were lucky because each one had ridden home on the bumper of her car, and each one had made it all the way home...just like the pebble in today's poem.  When I heard that story, I thought, "Someday I am going to write about this."  Someday came last night.

Listen for stories, not just your own stories...but stories you hear others tell. Any story can make a good poem, and understanding others' stories helps us stretch ourselves and understand how we are all alike, even when we're different.

I adore the way that every object holds at least one story: the story of how you got it, the story of how you lost and found it, the story of how it was made, the story of "one time" with it, the story of how it got a little bit broken, the story of how you came to care about it.  This week, think about your favorite objects. Consider making a list of them, either with little sketches or simply a word list. Then, whenever you feel stuck, you'll have many many little stories to return to.

Did you notice how today's poem has two longer stanzas and one very tiny one-line stanza?  I did this on purpose.  I wanted to make a clear definition between the speaker's hope (that the pebble would stay) and the reality (just how it did stay).  In order to indicate that a reader should really pause mid-poem (listen to the recording), I left lots of space around those three words, "And it did."  This is how writers help readers know how to read their poems, by breaking up words and putting lots of space around them.

The next time I see you with a  new poem will be on Friday as The Poem Farm will now feature new poems only on Mondays and Fridays.  I'll be finding other ways to dip into the archives here as I tuck five new poems each week into my pink binder.  Two for The Poem Farm, five for the binder...each week.

I hope that you are having fun with your own Poetry New Year's Resolutions!

This week I welcome Reading Specialist Amy Zimmer Merrill to Sharing Our Notebooks.  Don't miss her beautiful collage journals or the chance to win one.

Please share a comment below if you wish.
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  1. Amazing story, & that you used it for your poem makes it very special. I think I might share with my grandson. What if it will work? Hm-m. I liked the rhythm you put into the second verse, like traveling. Thanks, Amy.

  2. I adore this one! It makes me think of the way Sylvester's magic pebble just sat there beside him on Strawberry Hill when he became a rock. And your words about the way you organized the stanzas present such an important lesson about being intentional. I'll be sharing this with my classes.

  3. What a wonderful teaching tool and poem and story. As a rock collector this speaks to me. I am going to give this a try and see if it works. I collect rocks and stones in Maine in the summer and give/gave them to my students. Too me rocks are beautiful and soothing and comforting. They remind me of home by the sea.
    Janet F.