Friday, February 19, 2016

Humble is Beautiful - Looking Closely to Write

Georgia and Chickadee
Photo by Amy LV

Chickadee Close Up
Photo by Amy LV

Students - Yesterday the chickadee that you see above flew into our window. Georgia heard the window-hit and ran outside to find the bird stunned in a snow pile.  Learning that could not survive the cold stunned for long, she brought it inside and kept it warm in a box until it regained strength.  When Georgia opened the box, little chickadee flew around my study for a moment!  She and Mark caught and sent it back to the wild.

Georgia volunteers at Messinger Wildlife Care and Education Center, a special place here in Holland, NY.  She knows a lot about birds, and she was ready to bring this chickadee to a rehabilitator if it did not fly away within a couple of hours. I am very grateful to Messinger Woods for their work.  And too, they will be bringing a few educational ambassador birds, birds who cannot live in the wild, to my book release party for EVERY DAY BIRDS next Tuesday.  Take a peek at this video about Jimini Crowket. He will be with us for the book party, and I look forward to meeting him.

Sometimes things happen in your daily life, and you just KNOW, "This is a poem idea."  So it was with this little one.  I am so glad wee chickadee is well again, and grateful to have seen its beautiful feathers up close.  This poem pretty much wrote itself as I remembered just looking and looking at these humble and perfect colors on this humble and perfect bird. 

I believe that the small, humble objects and encounters we live each day hold great meaning, if only we look.  So look.  Put down a game or a phone or even a book sometimes...and just look.

When you look at today's poem in terms of writing, you'll notice that it does not have a regular meter at all.  And I planned to write it completely without rhyme.  But can you tell where the rhyme crept in on its own?

Last summer I also wrote a poem about (to) a bird who had flown into one of our windows.  You can read it HERE.  It is a poem of address, written right to the thrush.

Today you can find me visiting Kirby Larson's blog with a post about the family tree for EVERY DAY BIRDS.  Since the book flies into the world on Tuesday, I am very excited to begin sharing its stories.  Thank you, Kirby!

It is a privilege to host writer and nursing student Jenna Kersten over at Sharing Our Notebooks this month.  Please check out her post and comment to be entered to win a copy of Anne Lamott's BIRD BY BIRD.  I am still looking for a few missing winners from earlier drawings, so please check HERE to see if you have won a book

Donna is hosting this week's Poetry Friday roundup over at Mainely Write...enjoy every last morsel.

This weekend, our daughter Hope and I will be at The Dublin Literacy Conference in Dublin, Ohio with many Poetry Friday friends.  I can't wait.  Happy Poetry Friday to one and all!

Please share a comment below if you wish.


Irene Latham said...

Oh that wee chickadee! Thank you for your poem and for the video -- which also contains a poem! Also: I love the background music. Any idea what tune that is?? Excited for your birds to fly out into the world, Amy. Yay! xo

cb hanek said...

No wonder you're always raising a new "crop" of poets on your farm. Your writing is so accessible (albeit it deceivingly easy-to-replicate simple)that I have no doubt that youngsters set about responding to your favorite color poem in voices as varied as the old-fashioned boxes of dozens of familiar and unfamiliar hues of crayons. Your leap year birthday side bar poem caught my attention, too! I love how you've delightfully posed the Feb. 29th birthday how-old-am-I complication. I've often done the same mental exercise for pets--not that they were born on leap day, but in calibrating their age compared with ours. (As I write that, I hope it's true that 1 doggy-year equals 7 human years. If not, I've wasted a lot of mental calibrations:) ...Thanks and God bless you!

Linda B said...

It's rather shivery & serendipity that you had that visit from the chickadee just before your book birthday, Amy. It really is like a poem flew into your house! I'm looking forward to your book!

laurasalas said...

Hooray for a chickadee, flying away! Lovely poem:>)

Ramona said...

Can't wait for your new book to take flight! Wish I could join you at the Dublin Literacy Conference and be inspired again by all your wise words. Love the poem and pic of the chickadee. Have a fun weekend!

Catherine said...

Seeing the beauty in small things, humble things, that is the work of the poet. Thank you for sharing your vision of that sweet little chickadee!

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes said...

Oh Amy, how magical life can be, full of connections we haven't even discovered yet! This chickadee was meant to find Georgia. This poem was meant to find you. Hooray for birds and books and magic! xo

Margaret Simon said...

Your daughter must be the bird whisperer. Lovely bird. I enjoy so much how you process your everyday life through poetry and share it with us. I want to learn to delight in the magical, the simple, the beautiful. Happy Book Birthday! How can I get a copy signed for my kiddos? They love you, you know!

Amy Ludwig VanDerwater said...

Thank you, Irene and Margaret! Margaret, The Bookworm in East Aurora is shipping signed books (just let me know who to sign to) with a $3 shipping fee for an individual book. The manager, Jen, is on Facebook - The Bookworm. Please let me know if I can help. The book is really a primary book...just to be sure you know! xx

Carol said...

I love this. Such big truth here. Your post reminds me, a little, of Marge Piercy's poem, "To Be of Use." Not the structure, but the message. Have fun in Ohio this weekend- such a great group of people. Can't wait for your new book this week.

Heidi Mordhorst said...

Birds everywhere today, really! I thought of you when I bought a green shirt printed all over with robin's egg blue birds last night, and all the lists of 10 NF books seem to include birds. I can't wait to fly away with Every Day Birds!

Julieanne said...

My students now have a time in the beginning of the day to read or write and they can go online to do this reading or writing. I can't wait to share your site with them. Your thoughts will be a wonderful way to grow the poets in the room. Thank you!

Donna Smith said...

I hate to hear the sound of a bird hitting our window! I always watch over them for a bit to see if they are going to make it. Some don't. How wonderful that this little guy recovered! They are such happy little flitters!