Saturday, April 19, 2014

Skirt - Poem #19 for April 2014 Poetry Project

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

Photo by Amy LV

Students - When I saw this skirt, I knew it wanted to have a poem written in its honor.  And I knew, too, that the poem had to be about twirling.

Before writing this poem last night, I had already decided that it would match some parts of a sonnet - 14 lines with 10 syllables per line.  (In my poem, though, the last line has 11 syllables.) Today's poem does not rhyme each pair of alternate lines, yet it does have much in common with the sonnet form: the iambic pentameter rhythm, the end rhymes at half of the alternate lines, and a rhyming couplet at the end. 

Below, you can see that I first mapped out the lines with bullet points.  You can also see the rhyming words atop my page, and the iambic pentameter syllable beats too.  This helps.

One thing to consider when writing in form.  You do not want your poem to sound forced into an  uncomfortable cage of form.  Keep working and playing until your poemsound is natural, until it sounds like real human speech and not some strange backward-speaking alien.

Originally, I had written 'whirl' where 'swirl' is and 'swirl' where 'whirl' is.  I changed it when reading aloud because of the 's' in 'layers.'  Sometimes reading the same letter at the end of a word and then again at the beginning of the next word is just too strange, so this switch made the reading easier.

Recording poetry is one way to revise as it helps us hear in the real air what works and what does not.  For you know, in our minds we can fool ourselves into believing that it all works.  But in the real air, we hear the truth.

Skirt - Draft Page Spread #1 
Photo by Amy LV

Would you like to see the skirt twirl?  You!

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 have offered 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!

Please share a comment below if you wish.


  1. This skirt (and her poem) make me happy!

  2. Amy,
    You just make me want to run to the Thrift Store to see what fun I can find. This skirt has such personality we all want to take her home to whirl and twirl and swirl as we go to and fro.

    Such truth here: "For you know, in our minds we can fool ourselves into believing that it all works. But in the real air, we hear the truth."


  3. The twirling skirt! And pink. You are the best finder. When I read the poem before I heard your voice, I read it faster and I could actually feel the swirling, twirling going on. It brought me so into the poem, I almost put this "trinket" on! Then your version, made me just want to own it. And I agree with what Cathy said about your lines about saying the words in the air. I also love how you help poets, young and old, with your explanations and your notebook examples and process talk. Thank you again!
    Janet F.

  4. Beautiful imagery in this poem, Amy. And the girl in me can never resist a twirling skirt.

  5. I have always been a fan of the twirling skirt and cannot leave a skirt untwirled. And a sonnet! Impressive! So much love goes into your poems. I can feel them.

  6. When I first saw this skirt, I thought, "Kind of ugly!" but then I read the poem and listened to you read it, and watched the skirt and somehow, I wanted to run to the store and find a skirt just like this!

  7. I love twirling skirts. It doesn't disappoint. Thank you for the mentor poem on sonnets.

  8. My mind twirls in happy thoughts to your poetry1

  9. Amy,
    All girls need at least one skirt that twirls.