Saturday, April 12, 2014

Books - Poem #12 for April 2014 Poetry Project

Learn about this, my April 2014 Poetry Project, HERE!

Book Sign
Photo by Amy LV

Thrift Store Bookshelf
Photo by Amy LV

Students - Each day of this month, I sit to write, beginning by asking myself the same question - "Should I write from the clothing department?  The toy department?  Housewares?  Shoes?  Furniture?"  I look at my list of already-written poems and see where the collection feels like going.  
Then I try to find an open window of the waiting poem.  "What will let me in? Will I write AS the books, TO the books, ABOUT the books?"

I also think about tone.  "What feeling do I want the poem to have?"  This has been interesting throughout THRIFT STORE LIVE so far.  Many days I have felt a nostalgia for these objects, yet I do not want the collection to be a weepy and sad, so I consider how the tone is moving along.  If one poem is a little bit sad, the next one will not be sad.

Then, it's all about words and sounds, and the head scratching and muttering begins.

In the draft below, you can see that I scribbled in my notebook for only nineteen minutes last night before starting typing, but I type-revised for quite a while because once again, I needed a lot of time to work out the ending.

Endings matter.  How you say goodbye - to a friend, to your mom on the phone, to a reader of your poem - matters.

If you are working on a poem, think hard about the ending.  Do not be afraid to rewrite and rewrite.  Will you write a surprise ending?  A circular ending? A funny or emotional ending?  Try to end your poem a couple of different ways. Which way sounds best to you?

Books - Draft Page #1
Photo by Amy LV

What do I like best in today's verse?  I like the way "less than a" repeats three times to create some internal rhythm and sound.

Today, I offer a giveaway of two books here: one copy of THE POETRY FRIDAY ANTHOLOGY FOR SCIENCE compiled by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong and one copy of my own FOREST HAS A SONG. Each Saturday of April, I will offer this same giveaway here, for eight books in all.  Thank you to Sylvia and Janet for your generosity.  Please leave a comment below, and I will draw two names next Thursday evening to be announced next Poetry Friday!

For last week's winners, check yesterday's post!

For a fabulous Poetry Peek chock full of ideas for sharing poetrylove with your students, don't miss Thursday's post with librarian Vida Zuljevic.

Please share a comment below if you wish.


  1. Love it! So true what you say. Poems about books are the best.

  2. Amy,
    I love that the books will be read in a tree. Thanks for pointing out the great bargain they are in your poem.

  3. I feel like I am getting a private workshop every day at your site. In my post today, I linked back to your site for those readers who enjoy, like me, reading about the process. I love your ending here. I try again and again to get the ending just right. Sometimes I go too far and try to tell the reader, rather than show them, what to think. I hope the ending of my Jabber poem works today. I was thinking specifically about my daughter who is suffering from a broken heart, but as poets we are always striving for the universal, how the poem may speak to others.

  4. Oh, this is a delight. I love how you get your words just right. I second what Margaret has said! I want to come to your thrift stores! Can't wait to see this collection in print some day. What a terrific idea.

    Janet F.

  5. Continuing to enjoy this series every day! I love how much the two MYs in your last line tell us about the narrator and how she feels about reading.

  6. I love browsing at the thrift stores for good books. When I see good books that I know, I place them a little differently so others might grab them! This is another delight, Amy! Love your ending.

  7. Yes, what Margaret said. "A private workshop." This has been a blessing and so motivational.

  8. Thank you for a minilesson on endings! (for ME...and maybe for my students, too!!)