Friday, November 14, 2014

True Story - Poems Can Tell Stories

 Parakeet and Sparrows
by Amy LV

Students - This story is true, just as the title says!  Earlier this fall, I was visiting a different neighborhood and saw a parakeet hanging out with a flock of sparrows.  It was one of the most magical and curious things that I have ever seen, and sometimes I catch myself still wondering how the parakeet came to join those sparrows.

Poems can tell stories, and today's poem does tell a story, a true one.  Sometimes when I sit to write, I think about stories I love to tell, stories I love to remember and think about.  Sometimes, as in my poem Ketchup Man,  I make stories up. Sometimes, as in my poem After the Wedding, I write a story poem inspired by a fairy tale. And sometimes, as in my poem Luigi del Bianco, a story poem idea comes from a moment in history.

When we write stories or story poems, we can choose the person who will tell the story.  Today's poem is in the person's voice, but I could write it again in the parakeet's voice or in a sparrow's voice.  Maybe I will try this.

But today I started with the words:

Let me tell you a story....

I didn't keep these words in the poem, but they got me started.

You might try this should you ever feel a little unsure of what to write.  Just start with, Let me tell you a story...

Today's poem has a rather steady meter, so I did a lot of reading aloud and tapping as I wrote.  And as is often the case, the ending was the trickiest part.  I wrote and rewrote so many endings.  None of them included the reference to the expression, Birds of a feather flock together until this last one.  It just felt right.  Sometimes you know.

This week, over at Sharing Our Notebooks, I am thrilled to welcome teacher, literacy coach, author, and founder of Book Love...Penny Kittle!  Please check out her notebooks, the great exercise she offers us, and leave a comment to be entered into a book giveaway.

I very much look forward to attending and presenting next week at the 2014 NCTE Convention.  I am honored to be on a panel with Irene Latham, Ann Marie Corgill, Katie DiCesare, and Kathy Collins.  I am grateful to be on the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children committee and excited to be on that panel and to announce the next NCTE Poetry Award winner.  Too, I will host a table at the Chidren's Literature Luncheon as FOREST HAS A SONG is a 2014 CLA/NCTE Notable book.  Most of all, I can't wait to see many friends, new and old.

Keri is hosting today's Poetry Friday celebration over at Keri Recommends.  Stop on by and enjoy all of the poetry offerings in the Kidlitosphere today.

Please share a comment below if you wish.


  1. You ended up with a very sweet poem/story. I particularly liked the rhythm of it, and I think children will too.

  2. Amy, your poem told a true story that can be notice and wonder poem. I would like to show that one in a future PD workshop for teachers. I look forward to meeting you F2F at NCTE. Will you be at the Elementary Gathering on Thursday?

  3. Amy, I love the ending. It's perfect! I'm looking forward to seeing you next week at NCTE!

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  5. So cute - and how amazing to find a parakeet with sparrows. That must have been almost surreal!
    My poem today, has a sparrow, too. Not quite as chipper...

  6. Lovely story Amy. You are so good at finding those tiny moments and entertaining us too. Love "feathers morning blue".

  7. Amy,
    What a great experience. Thanks for sharing it in a poem for us all to enjoy!

  8. That's a sight I wish I could have seen!

  9. I read this to my son and we both really enjoyed it. What a sight that must have been!

  10. Story poems are my favorite. Love the line: "her feathers morning blue" - what a sight among the "small parade of brown". Lovely. =)

  11. This poem is such a treat! I'm at my mom and dad's house and he has six bird feeders so we have seen lots of birds the last few days.

  12. How wonderful that you've had the same experience. I love this words and art combo.