Friday, January 18, 2013

Time - A Poem about Longing


Counting
by Amy LV



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

Students - Today's offering is a small poem that sprung from words I overheard a child say recently.  "I love my real dad....I haven't seen him in a half-a-month and three months."  

We all have longings: to see people, to go places, to find things, to be understood.  Hellos and goodbyes are a big part of life, and sometimes it helps us inside to write about them.  If you feel a longing, writing about it may help you understand it better or it might just feel good to put it into words.  I do that often, and sometimes, like today, I even write about others' longings.

You'll notice that this poem is written in tercets - lines of three - except for the ending. Originally, I drafted the poem in all one stanza, but then I decided to break it up to offer more pauses and more silence for the reader.  The middle four stanzas each end with a paratheses line because those lines feel like little hugs to me; they show how the child feels close to the father.

Why is that last line all by itself?  It's the most important one.

This week I am excited to be hosting teacher and notebook keeper Amy Zimmer Merrill over at Sharing Our Notebooks.  If you love notebooks and reading about them, you will enjoy her post very much!  And maybe you'll be the one to win a mini collage journal made my Amy herself!.

Violet is hosting today's poetry buffet over at Violet Nesdoly/poems.  Visiting her blog today will welcome you to the world of Poetry Friday poems and quotes, articles, and bits of inspiration, all across the kidlitosphere!

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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16 comments:

Renee LaTulippe said...

I can just picture the kid in this poem. Sniff. A lovely, quiet poem, Amy - thank you!

Carol said...

This poem puts a lump in my throat…

Irene Latham said...

Yes, Amy, I love how this poem shows we are creatures of longing from a very young age. SO HARD to be without the ones we love, no matter how old we are. xo

BJ Lee said...

You really pulled on my heartstrings with this one, Amy.

Joy said...

Amy,
I love how you have captured the "asides" in this poem. It works so well to present the situation in the poem. I think this would be a great poem for parenting magazines.
You've inspired me to try writing my own poem using asides. Thank you.

Bridget Magee said...

The longing and the emotion come through clearly. Thank you for sharing this child's words...and yours, Amy.
Happy Friday! =)

Author Amok said...

Sweet poem, Amy, that will speak to many children. "A poem about longing" is a great prompt for kids -- not just the stuff we think we want, but the people and places we long for.

Carmela Martino said...

The first stanza really caught my attention, Amy, so I was intrigued to learn it was something you overheard. I also love the pattern of the parenthetical lines. Lovely.

Fats Suela from Gathering Books said...

When I first saw your link and noted that your poem was about longing, I already had my "aww" moment before I even read the actual poem. It's bittersweet. It's a poem that speaks my heart. Sometimes, the wisest words are spoken by children. Thank you for sharing this, Amy. =)

Tara @ A Teaching Life said...

Such ha sweet poem, Amy. I love the use of those parenthetical thoughts, too.

Margaret Simon said...

You have a way with getting to the heart of the matter. I also love hearing about the writing process and the decisions you made. I'll share these comments with students so they, too, may decide to be intentional about their poem forms.

Violet N. said...

This is a very touching poem, Amy! You're so perceptive to get a poem from a little snippet of conversation like that. Love it--along with your explanation of how you put it together.

Violet N.

Matt Forrest Esenwine said...

Very heartfelt poem, Amy; it's both fortunate and UNfortunate that many kids will be able to identify with this.

Linda at teacherdance said...

It's so sweet Amy. The lines in parentheses add that extra feeling that is right there all the time. You've shown what's exactly real. The additional loss sometimes to the child is that the grandparents are also left behind. I've talked with students through the years that say that now that they don't see their fathers so much, they also don't see others in that side of the family.

Ruth said...

"Half-a-month and three months." That's just heartbreaking! Lovely poem, though.

Joyce Ray said...

Amy, your poem is reality for so many children. Thanks for showing kids one way to handle their emotions. I love each parenthetical line that highlights what they share.