Friday, March 20, 2015

I Hear the First Robin - Listening for Poems

Happy Spring!
Photo by Amy LV

Students - Spring is reaching Western New York!  And I am filled with joy.  And sometimes...when one is filled with joy, one must write a a poem about it.  Just the other day, we counted four robins sitting on a patch of grass (a patch of grass, not snow) in our yard.  It was fun to just count them, to think of all of the flowers and birds and goodnesses that will be bursting back to life in the next few weeks.

When I sat down to write yesterday, I began by imagining that I was hearing the flapping of robin wings from a far far distance, that I could hear spring coming, flap-by-flap, all the way to New York State.  That idea may find its way into another poem, but somehow, this robin in the verse above just wanted to sing its own poem today.

Listen for the poem that wants to be written.  For what wants to be written might surprise you.  You might not even know that you have a robin - or a lightning bolt - or a seashell - or a baseball - or a bowl of ice cream - living inside of you, waiting to speak.

We call these poems, poems that are in the voice of other beings or objects, persona poems or mask poems.  When you write such a poem, you have the opportunity to try on a new voice, to imagine what it would be like to speak and think and feel as another.  That's just neat, don't you think?

To learn more about the American Robin and to listen to its voice, visit All About Birds, the website of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Happy first day of spring...from me and from the robin too!

In book sharing news, I have a giveaway going through the rest of today for two copies of THE POETRY FRIDAY ANTHOLOGY FOR CELEBRATIONS from pomelo books - one student edition and one teacher/librarian edition.  

This is a big book full of fun and thoughtful poems for all year long, in both English and Spanish.  The poems were selected by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong creators of Poetry Friday Anthology series, and I am excited to have written the October 31 poem for Halloween.  If you would like to be entered to win a copy of this book, please leave a comment on the giveaway post at The Poem Farm Facebook page, a place where I share all kinds of poems and poetry news.  I'll announce the winner there tomorrow.

Catherine is hosting today's Poetry Friday party over at Reading to the Core.  All are welcome to stop by her place and join us as we pass the poetry cookie plate.

Please share a comment below if you wish.


  1. I actually saw a bluebird the other day outside my dentist's window. What a cheery sight! Love your singing cheery poem today.

    We listened to rain sounds and Emily wrote an onomatopoeia poem.

    My post features Erin today. She is taking poetry by storm as well.

  2. I love hearing those robins in the morning. They are busy, and loud! You've captured them in your poem beautifully, Amy.

  3. Amy,
    This is one proud and cheery robin. Fun! So glad your snow is gone and spring has appeared.

  4. Hooray for the resilience of Spring...and for robins returning!

  5. "Listen for the poem that wants to be written."

    Perfect advice!

    I enjoyed hearing the robin sing its poem.