An Unknown Gift
by Amy LV
Students - The other week, I heard an interview on npr (I cannot find it now) with Kevin Dykstra and Fred Monroe, the two divers who have found a shipwreck that may be the long-lost Griffon, a ship that vanished from Lake Michigan in 1679. (You can read more here at Great Lakes Exploration and in The Washington Post, in an article posted this morning.)
Well, I just could not get that - still cannot get that - interview out of my mind. I began writing today's poem the day after hearing that radio show, and inspired by Laura Purdie Salas's poem at Writing the World for Kids today and by Irene Latham's poem - Titanic Remenbers April 16, 1912 - in the voice of the Titanic, I thought I'd play with my own shipwreck poem a bit more.
This is a free verse poem, and it's a what if poem too. I like exploring ideas that have never happened, imagining worlds and people and even gifts such as the gift for detecting shipwrecks. Writing can take us to new places; we are free. You can read another what if poem from The Poem Farm in 2012 here.
What radio or tv stories, magazine or newspaper articles are stuck in your mind?
What poems have you read that make you wish to get writing yourself?
What if? What if? What if?
Today I am honored to welcome my new friend, third grade teacher Kim Doele and four of her Poetry Club students from Wealthy Elementary School in Grand Rapids, Michigan! I am excited that I'll be spending the first week of February as a visiting poet in the East Grand Rapids School District, learning alongside students and teachers, and this Poetry Friday, I extend a hearty welcome to Poetry Club members Nora, Sophia, Teagan, and Hania and to Kim who shares her love of poetry with them each Wednesday.
Every Wednesday afternoon I eat lunch on my feet. That is, if I remember to eat at all. When 11:30 arrives my classroom evolves into a Poetry Club (but smells more like a cafeteria.) Between 30 and 40 third and fourth grade students enter, notebooks in hands, and settle in to eat their lunches. They are eager to begin writing, and it doesn't take long for their lunches to disappear. Soon, they are ready to write.
I usually begin our Poetry Club meeting by reading a few poems, sharing a new book of poetry, introducing a poet, or playing a recording of a poet reading. This group is not only hungry for lunch but also for writing ideas and I try to fill them up. They each keep a list in the front of their notebooks which they add to each week. I float among the third and fourth grade poets during our workshop. "Float" because that's how it feels when you are lingering over a young poet's shoulder watching words pour out into a notebook. I will admit that sometimes it feels more like flying because it seems everyone wants me to hear a poem at the same moment. We read, we write, and make sure to leave time to share. I am in awe of this poetry-loving group
In anticipation of Amy's February visit, we have been spending extra time reading poems at The Poem Farm. Often times the students will choose to respond to poems with a poem of their own, and many times they have chosen one of Amy's. Inspired by her recent photo of a box of snow and her poem A Wish for a Friend, some of the students chose to write their own wishes for a friend. I was surprised at their unique approaches. Of course when they shared the poems that follow, other students were inspired to write wishes as well.
When I asked the Poetry Club how they would choose to spend their lunchtime during Amy's visit, the most popular idea was to ask her if they could read their poems to her. We can't wait!
A Wish for a Friend
I could mail some pumpkins that people
in Antarctica could carve
and give them a "how to" manual
to say it is not hard.
I want to give them this so they
can carve on Halloween Night
and give the trick or treaters a
snowshoe running fright.
A Wish for Zeus
I wish that I could mail a...
New thunder bolt
for you to grip in your
big, huge, gigantic hand when
you get mad at people
Are you still mad at her
for stealing your old
A Wish for a Friend
to send a
right foot to the
because two left feet don’t
keep you from
bumping into things.
A Wish for Harry Potter
I wish for Harry Potter
not to be in danger
So that he'd have his parents back
and so Hermione Granger
would fall in love with him.
And he would not have to go
into the Chamber of Secrets
and if that wasn't so
he'd be much safer.
So he'd have Sirius Black
So that he'd go get Cedric back
So that he'd never know an Umbridge name
So that he was never in the Triwizard game
So that he never hated Snape
So that he'd never speak Snake
So that he could never fight
in the dark misty night,
These poems from Kim's Poetry Club are a wish come true for me. Thank you to each poet and to their teacher for sharing with all of us on this Poetry Friday.
Yesterday was the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and we celebrate this day with a school holiday on coming Monday. We continue to need Dr. King's and his vision as we learn to live in peace together. Here is a poem - For Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.- from The Poem Farm archives, 2011.
Irene Latham is hosting today's Poetry Friday roundup over at Live Your Poem. Join us to make poemfriends, wallow in words, and rub poems all over your body.
Please share a comment below if you wish.