Friday, February 15, 2013

Inspiration Envelopes & Flamingos

The First Ever Inspiration Envelope!
Made by Joy Acey
(Can you find what inspired today's poem?)

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

Students - Today's poem began with a little bit of matchmaking way back in September. Tabatha Yeatts over at The Opposite of Indifference set up a Winter Poem Swap for anyone who wanted to join in.  She paired up all participants and then, 'round the winter holidays, we were to each send our partner a poem and a small gift.  I was lucky to be matched with Joy Acey from Poetry at Kids Joy.

Joy sent me a merry poem, and I sent her a little wish poem.  To my happy surprise, Joy sent me another poem...a Valentine's Day wish poem with the same pattern as the Christmas one I had sent to her.  And then...a month-and-a-half later, just yesterday, I received this envelope from Joy -

I opened it up to find the big and small clippings that you see way above, words and pictures and a lovely note from Joy which read, in part -

Here is your very own, unique, first ever, poetry idea starter kit.  Select one, two, or more things from this envelope.  Which ones can you put together to get the ideas happening? Add your own words (of course).

Jot until you have something that looks like the start of a poem.

Do any of the pictures speak to you?  WRITE.  Enjoy.

This was a fantastic mail day, and I thank Joy for her generosity of spirit and great fun too. I am already thinking about making an inspiration envelope for someone else. Who will it be?

Well, all of this swapping fun is giving me two ideas for me and for you too.

1.  We can plan a poetry swap anytime we want to!  You might do this with a group of friends or with your whole class or maybe even with your class and another class of pen pals!  Thank you, Tabatha, for this idea.

2.  Inspiration Envelopes are delightful.  We can make these for ourselves or for each other, as secret idea-whisperers.  Imagine a wicker basket, just filled with inspiration envelopes.  Who knows what you might find!  Thank you, Joy, for this idea.

As I posted today's poem, it made me remember that I wrote a flamingo poem back in 2011.  It's funny to see that both poems rhyme think/pink!  And for those of you who read her regularly, you might giggle to see that word/bird rhyme again (one of my old faves).

Many many congratulations this week to Laura Purdie Salas and illustrator Josée Bisaillon for winning this year's CYBILS poetry award for BOOKSPEAK! POEMS ABOUT BOOKS  Congratulations also go out to all of the CYBILS poetry finalists!

Linda is hosting today's Poetry Friday party over at her cozy home, TeacherDance.  Be sure to stop by for poems and friendship.

Please share a comment below if you wish.
To find a poem by topic, click here. To find a poem by technique, click here.
Like The Poem Farm on Facebook for more poems, articles, and poemquotes!


  1. You have such a unique POV on things and are so adept at translating it into words. I love this flamingo poem. Thanks for sharing it. -Ed

  2. Another poem kids will have a lot of fun with! Well done.

  3. I don't know which is better, the Inspiration Envelope or the poem that came out of it. It's a tie! Joy is so great - what a fabulous idea! I want to make an envelope, too. I love this concept. :)

  4. Really, there's not much better than a good mail day! Love so much what Joy and you have done. And the flamingo poems!! I probably don't have to tell you I love those. :)

  5. I'm with Renee -- it's a tie! Both your poem and the inspiration envelope are so playful. We need that. Yay, Joy and Amy!

  6. I love this idea. Making one over vacation and sending it to a little girl I adore! Thanks for the great idea.

  7. What a great idea, Joy, and thank you Amy for explaining it so beautifully! Congratulations to you too, Amy, for the book pick by Patrick Lewis (Forest Has a Song) over at the Poetry Foundation. So very pleased for you!

    Violet N.

  8. I have been so amazed at the wonderful creativity that has been shared about the poem swap, Amy. This is delightful, as is your poem. I like the interesting way you rearranged the lines!
    I found lists of words a long while ago & used to play "poetry poker" with my students-7 "word" draw & they got to keep 5, throw 2 back, then use the 5 as inspiration for the poem. All the kids loved it. Joy's idea of cut out words & phrases is wonderful. Maybe for April?

  9. Oh what fun! I shall have to give this a go with my kids after winter break, when we could use something special to get our creative juices flowing.

  10. Plastic pink flamingo fun, just the sound of it makes me smile. I love the inspiration envelope idea. This would be a great project for poetry month.

  11. Oooh! Linda, I want to play poetry poker!!

    And yes, it is helpful to keep a basket full of pictures (I'll add some words and phrases to mine) for writing starters.