Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Two Couches - Poem #15 for April 2014 Poetry Project

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

Living Room Couch
Photo by Amy LV

Family Room Couch
Photo by Amy LV

Students - Today is Day #15 of my THRIFT STORE LIVE project for National Poetry Month, and as it is a day that's a multiple of 5, it is free verse day!  If you look back, you can read the other free verse poems from this month, a way for me to try to strengthen my writing of free verse.

Today's poem is a two voice poem, two voices of two different couches.  We only have one couch in our home - an everything couch - but some people have one fancier couch and one more homey couch.  In today's verse, I try to let those two imagnied personalities shine through.  

Did you notice that the tag lines I use in today's dialogue match the couches' personalities?  While White Couch announces and declares, Orange Couch says and sighs.  What might this tell a reader about the personalities of these two objects, so similar yet so different?

I do like to trace back the family-idea-tree of poems when I write them, and if I were to guess where today's poem originated in my mind, I would say that it came from three mentors: "Famous" by Naomi Shihab Nye (read it here and you will know why), "Two Guitars" by Victor Hernandez Cruz, THE BEDSPREAD by Sylvia Fair, and I AM THE DOG I AM THE CAT by Donald Hall.  If you know any of these pieces of literature, you might think about which couch in my poem matches which shoe/person/pet in these pieces.  

It is a great thing to read a lot as each text we read deepens the well we draw from when we write.  We never know when our reading will show up, even in wee ways, in our writing, and so read read read we must!  As Gary Paulsen says, "Read like a wolf eats."

Here is today's longhand draft.  I did a lot of thinking about this throughout the day before writing even one word.  The idea of writing about two couches came to me in the shower yesterday morning, and so much of the thinking hummed along inside of me as I went about the day.  Later, sitting at the keyboard, I decided to indent the stanzas for Orange Couch, to make the different speakers more clear.

Two Couches - Draft Page 1
Photo by Amy LV

Happy happy second half of National Poetry Month!  Listen for poems everywhere...

Please share a comment below if you wish.


  1. Amy,
    I am loving your month of poems. I have two couches in my house, one in the family room in the basement, and one in the living room, but they are both family room kind of couches! And they both know the feel of a soft warm dog-- two snoring beside me right now! I love, love, love the last line! Absolutely perfect!

  2. It is like a big surprise when I open my email and click on your post I find myself excited to find what treasure you are writing about today. Love the Two Couches poem. I hear their voices! And feel their specialness. I think this NaPoMo project is genius, really. You are doing so much to help teachers and kids and hope that this all finds its way into a terrific book!!
    Janet F.

  3. Amy,
    A family room couch wears out. A living room couch, not so much. It's ironic that it is the "living" room couch.

  4. As usual, a lovely, clever poem. We have always had a living room and a family room. One of our exchange students always refers to our living room as "the room we never sit in." She's right and this poem is just right. Thanks.

  5. I love the contrast of the two voices!