Friday, June 19, 2015

Bottles - Writing from Words People Say

Memory Bottles
by Amy LV

Students - There are many reasons to keep a notebook, and one of them is to find out what will surface in your mind when you are free to roam the pages like a dog in a huge field.  No limits, no assignments, just you and the page.  What will happen?  What idea, thought, memory, or opinion will rise to the top of your writing heart?

Yesterday, I was doing just this, roaming the blank pages like a joyful beagle, and I found myself writing words that my mother used to and still does say -

Notebook Blip
by Amy LV

Why did I write this?  Who knows!  But there it was...and off I went.  Lately, I've been struck by the number of red-winged blackbirds out on these country roads, and so that beautiful animal made its way into today's poem as well.

For me, poems are a way to celebrate the people and things I love.  And often, sitting to write, I do not know what I will write about at all.  This happens to all writers, I think, and it is always fun to be surprised by our own selves.

What are some words that people have said to you in your life, words that come back to revisit you when you are alone?  Any one of these phrases might be a great place to begin a poem or story or piece of your own.

Sometimes people ask about where to break stanzas.  With this poem, I thought about breaking it into quatrains, as the rhymes fall.  But then I thought again and decided to break it into two parts: the first part about the bottles and today's collecting and the second part reflecting on the importance of these bottles.  There is no right way to break stanzas, but it is important to understand and be able to talk about the decisions we make.

Teachers and Adult Readers - Something I found inspiring yesterday is  Dani Shapiro's most recent blog post which you can find here.  It is always good to find others who find themselves by first allowing themselves to get lost.  A relief, indeed, not to be alone.

Mary Lee, who so wisely and graciously rounds all of us up all year long here on Poetry Fridays, is hosting today's roundup with a fun sounding book (baa!) over at A Year of Reading.  Gallop on over to her place to learn about the poetry happenings all 'round the Kidlitosphere this week.

Please share a comment below if you wish.


Carol said...

Amy, I love this. I love the idea of collecting bottles. My mom is going through some really tough health stuff right now and you make me think about the bottles in my own cupboard. I also wonder about using this poem with kids and asking them to start fthink about their writing notebooks as a place for collecting bottles. Hmmm… Thank you!

Cynthia said...

I love this poem, too! My mom used to say something very similar!

Margaret Simon said...

I love how you captured moments in your bottles. I also appreciate the nudge to Dani Shapiro's post. I am heading to Highlights next week and I'm so afraid I will not be able to write. Now I have this advice to hold on to. I'm going to write those words in the notebook I take with me.

Penny Parker Klostermann said...

This is so sweet, Amy! I love the idea of memory bottles:-)

Matt Forrest Esenwine said...

Very touching, Amy - I think we all would like to bottle up some of those feelings and moments.

Bridget Magee said...

So true - I love the "Laughter Bottle"! Thanks for sharing, Amy. =)

Linda said...

My mother also had a similar saying. Now that my mother has passed, her sayings have become even more precious to me. Thanks for such a lovely reminder!

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes said...

Lovely! Amy the Alchemist and her bottles of magical inspiration.

Linda A. said...

I love the idea of keeping a notebook being like a dog exploring a large field. I also love the bottle collection idea and have begun one of my own, thanks to this post. Thank you for inspiring young and young at heart!

Gretchen said...

Lovely, lovely poem! So tender and mindful of treasuring the present so we preserve these memories for other times. Thank you!

Mary Lee said...

"Vial of June...
Snip of Moon"

your sweet poem
makes me swoon!

(and gently prods me to get back to my writer's notebook!)

laurasalas said...

I love this poem, Amy. Your bottles and poem are full of jewels!

Keri said...

Your drawing is precious! I love this poem. (It reminds me a bit of Harry Potter, too!) :-)