Friday, September 20, 2013

Weaving True with Dream - Writing from Stories

Photo by Amy LV

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

Students - This poem is based on a true story that my teacher friend, Nicolette, told me just this fall.  One of Nicolette's students wrote a beautiful story about cutting a piece of her blanket to give to her little brother when he got hurt.  I have been thinking about this story ever since I first heard it, and even though I didn't really see it happen, writing lets me pretend.  See, I know that the first part is true, and I imagined the second part with the "I love yous".  Writing lets us weave true with dream.

I probably also wrote this poem because my friend Karen recently told me a kindness story about her sons.  You can't hear or read or write too many stories or poems about kindness. We can make the world a more gentle place by sharing the kindness stories we see and hear.

You may be wondering why this poem is so full of the word 'and'.  'And' is a word that I usually try to minimize - even eliminate - in my poems, but I wanted today's poem to have an almost breathless-storytelling feeling, to just roll away...and so I left all of those 'ands'  in there.

When I finished writing today's verse, I realized that it had a familiar sound.  Something about the rhythm made me think about a poem I already know.  I think I am being reminded of a David McCord poem I love very much, "I Have a Book" which ends like this, also with a rolling away feeling -

Now there isn’t any lady
and there isn’t any knight,
and there never was a horse,
so there never was a fight.
And the book all by itself
is sort of lonely on the shelf.

Do pay attention to the stories you hear and watch.  It is not necessary for us to only write about what happens directly to us.  Writers can be moved and changed and inspired by others and others' stories and lives.  Pay attention to kindness. Write about it.

Over at my other blog, Sharing Our Notebooks, I welcome teacher Kimberly Kuntz with her prayer journals.  Come and read about another way to keep a notebook in your life.

Today's Poetry Friday roundup is over at The Opposite of Indifference with Tabatha Yeatts. Visit her inspiring online home to find more poetry and poetry friends.

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.
Visit Sharing Our Notebooks to peek in all kinds of notebooks.
Follow me on Twitter or Pinterest!


  1. It's a big deal, that corner of a blanket-a gift as big as many of us could imagine. What a sweet sweet poem and story, Amy. I like the determined-ness of the story, as if the speaker is shouting it out-"listen, listen"!

  2. What a beautiful and touching poem and backstory, Amy! I agree, we definitely need more kindness in this world and we need to tell about it!

  3. Amy, what a lovely poem. I really like the voice of this poem. Thank you for writing this, I hope it helps many children and adults to make the world a better place, which is something you do.

  4. I like your "ands," Amy! I think they do add to the continuity of the story. Is there a published collection of kindness-themed poems? It seems as though there would be a market for it!

  5. Thanks, Amy. I wonder if the child heard the Henkes' story Owen. We are talking about small moments and kindness so this is perfect.

  6. You're so right, Amy, you can't hear or read or write too many stories or poems about kindness! This one is a beauty-- and one that I expect I'll come back to again and again.

  7. Just lovely, Amy! I so enjoy reading about your process too.

  8. I like this a lot, Amy and your admonition to pay attention to kindness. Yes! Yes!

  9. Beautiful poem and story, Amy. Very clever withe rolling away. I shall keep my eyes and ears open for kindness.

  10. A beautiful image of a special way to love. The ands were so integral to the flow of the poem that I didn't even notice them until you said something. We should all open our ears and eyes to kindness, practice kindness, and be an inspiration for kindness.

  11. My students and I have been talking about kindness over the past few weeks of school. I am thinking some poems on the subject will be our Chalk-A-Bration theme this month. I will love sharing this poem with them next week.

  12. I've been thinking about kindness a lot lately. It is something we have to be mindful of, isn't it? Thank you for sharing your lovely poem.

  13. So, Amy, it's Monday, November 21, 2016, and I'm back home, at my desk, from NCTE, and I felt this sudden need to read this poem again. Thankfully, google found it for me and I read it silently in my own head and then clicked on the link to hear your voice reading it to me. (Then I read your thoughts about the word 'and' which does such powerful things in the poem.) So thank you, thank you, thank you, dear friend. I needed this poem today.