Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Jammies - Poem #2 for April 2014 Poetry Project

Learn about this, my April 2014 Project, HERE!

Space Jammies
Photo by Amy LV

Students - Today's poem took me about seventy minutes to write, not including the revisions made in typing.  (You can see a couple of notes about those changes in the first image below.) Some of you may be wondering if I ever draft poems on the computer.  Well, it does happen sometimes, but mostly I draft longhand.  I like the feel of a black felt tip moving across creamy paper.  I like the sound of it and the fluidity of moving my hand all around a notebook, drawing arrows and scribbling when it feels right.  I even like the sound of a turning page.  I like being able to see the footprints of my own thinking, even if I don't like a particular poem.  It's, well, my brain on paper, warts and all.

As with yesterday, I once again began with another's poem to inspire rhyme and meter.  This time I began with Ben King's "The Pessimist" from THE OXFORD BOOK OF POETRY FOR CHILDREN (1963) by Edward Blishen, illustrated by Brian Wildsmith.

But surprise!  I did not stay with the meter at all.  But you know what?  Having "The Pessimist" close gave me the confidence to begin. For me, beginning is the hardest part.  What if I don't come up with something?  What if the poem is terrible?  Sometimes having a friend poem nearby to hold my hand makes everything feel safer.

Draft #2 Page #1
Photo by Amy LV

Draft #2 Page #2
Photo by Amy LV

Draft #2 Page #3
Photo by Amy LV

What do you notice about these drafts?  Is there anything you see that you might wish to try?

The end of this poem mattered most to me and it took the longest time to write.  You can see evidence of this on the left hand side of both Page #2 and Page #3 of today's drafts.  Endings are important, and I always think long and hard about them.  This one almost had a circular ending, but didn't.

Today I am happy to share a winter celebration poem from Dublin, Ohio!  Well chosen words can help us remember memories, favorite days and beautiful scenes.  Here on the dawn of spring, I  thank fourth grade teacher Stacey Hoover and writer Elliot C. for sharing "Ice" with us.


Slipping, sliding, gliding
skating, glowing in the night.
Freezing, melting, cracking up.
What a beautiful sight!

Elliot C.

I am very grateful to Anastasia Suen and Shirley Duke for their fabulously rich article in LIBRARY SPARKS about how to use my book, FOREST HAS A SONG, as a STEM resource.  

Teachers - Please know that I continue to share one favorite poem (not by me) at The Poem Farm Facebook page for each day of 2014.  I also post many interesting links to daily events and news throughout National Poetry Month at that page and on my Twitter page.  Don't forget to visit Jama's Alphabet Soup for a list of many things happening this month!

Please share a comment below if you wish.


  1. This is a FABULOUS example of revision, Amy!

  2. I love the ending, Amy, & the 'snuggled, snoozed and snored', & Janet is right, a good lesson to use for revision to show students. Thanks!

  3. Your poem brought back sweet memories of snuggling with our two sons when they were young enough to wear fuzzy footies--thank you!

  4. I am loving this project, Amy! What a great way to celebrate April AND thrift stores.

  5. The word "JAMMIES" just makes me smile! I love the rhythm and rhyme of this...and the man at the end!

  6. Oh wow, Amy. Such a fun poem and such a wonderful lesson for all poets. Your poetry posts are so juicy. Thank you for sharing your process with us.

  7. Love. This. You really have me thinking about the stories behind the items that have traveled to the thrift store. I can't help but smile at the ending.


  8. I am learning and being inspired by your posts every day. Thanks. I love the whole thrift store theme, although sometimes it makes me think more about going shopping than writing poetry. 8-)

  9. I really enjoyed this post and poem. It is wonderful to peek into your process! Footie jammies hold a special place in my heart. I have my own little boy who loves his soft and fuzzy dog pajamas and just marvels over the fact that the "the shirt and the pants are attached!"

  10. What I love is the lifelong connection to the sky. So much of what happens to us, what we experience and love as kids stays with us forever. Your poem and writerly wisdom delight, enlighten and inspire. You are a treasure trove of creative energy! Teachers who share your work with kids are doing them a huge favor. Thank you, Amy.
    Janet F.