Friday, June 3, 2016

Listening & Writing from Our Repeated Thoughts and Words



Cat Chat
by Amy LV




Students - Today's poem idea grew from a question that I often ask my cats, "Where did you come from?  Where did you live before you lived with me?  Where was your home before this was your home?"  We have four cats that appeared mysteriously at our home (and one that was given to us with our blessing), and I frequently think about their unknown pasts.  I especially think about Mini Monster, the cat I wonder most about.  What is his history?  I will never know, and so I invent it with sweet tuna-gifting grandma who sang...

Pay attention to stories you often tell or questions you often ask.  We each have recurring lines in our lives, repeated wonders and wishes and hopes and stories that we tell over and over again.  These refrains are rich writing territory, and I encourage you to listen to your own voice, to ask, "What do I hear myself say or feel myself think again and again?"

I may have written a poem about this same topic before.  Or not...I honestly do not remember.  But if I have, I am happy to explore the same material more than one time.  By doing so, I can follow my changing thinking.  And so can you.  Allow yourself to write about the same ideas in new ways - you will surprise yourself.

And if you always try to rhyme, play with free verse.  I'm working on that too.

If you missed my last week' post (on a Wednesday, not a Friday, and I did not link in on Friday), please do visit, enjoy, and leave a comment for the young writers.  It's a wonderful collection of blackout poems all made from the same poem by fourth grade students from Easthampton, Massachusetts and taught by Carol Weis and Jodi Alatalo.  I loved seeing how differently all of their poems turned out!

Over at Sharing Our Notebooks, I am so happy to host teacher Katie Liseo and her adventurous student notebookers with a very inspiring post and giveaway of Aimee Buckner's NOTEBOOK KNOW-HOW. And HERE you can find out who won the signed copy of Laura Shovan's fabulous verse novel, THE LAST FIFTH GRADE OF EMERSON ELEMENTARY.  Too, please remember that there is a whole treasure chest of summer notebooking ideas at Sharing Our Notebooks.  Find those at the tab atop the blog or just click HERE.

Today's Poetry Friday roundup is over at Check it Out, in the wise and generous hands of Jone.  Come on by, meet some poetry friends, and feel free to link right in if you wish.  Poetry Friday is for everyone!

Please share a comment below if you wish.

14 comments:

Books4Learning said...

I like how this poem captures the moment. I also like how at the end, I don't know if you are talking about the cat, the gray-haired grandma, or both.

Sally Murphy said...

A beautiful poem, Amy, and I loved hearing it in your voice.

Molly Hogan said...

What a delightful poem, Amy. I love the imagined singing grandmother with her can of tuna. I once had a cat disappear for 13 months. While I certainly asked where she'd been and wondered, I never thought to invent her experiences. If only I'd looked deeper into her eyes perhaps I'd have seen one of her moments. Perhaps I will now! Thanks so much for sharing!

Brenda Harsham said...

This is a great way to draw out the wondering we all do. To make art of the unknown. I like this orientation toward teaching that you and many of the other poets have. I learn, too.

Catherine said...

This made me tear up, Amy. I guess I feel sad for the gray-haired grandma who is surely missing her sweet old cat. Your thoughts about revisiting topics in new ways validates something I've been thinking about a lot lately. Thank you!

Doraine Bennett said...

So lovely, Amy. Such good questions and you find such good answers.

Liz in Ink said...

How much do I love "hereandgone moment"?????
This is lovely -- would that our animals could speak English! We had a cat for 19 years who went on a walk-about each spring -- sometimes he'd be gone for up to two weeks! I was always just dying to know where he'd been....

Penny Parker Klostermann said...

I love your made up poem-story for your sweet, old cat. I especially love the part that imagines he's always been loved.

Tara Smith said...

I, too, love "hereandgone" moments...such a sweet and loving poem, Amy!

Tara Smith said...

I, too, love "hereandgone" moments...such a sweet and loving poem, Amy!

Margaret Simon said...

Those secret stories hidden behind their eyes. Your poem plays with the sounds of words, too, like fur and purr. Such a sweet loving story poem.

Mary Lee said...

I could feel this poem in my heart. About six weeks ago, we said goodbye to one rescue cat with less of an unknown history than our new guy. Will was rescued from the mouth of a dog, and lost a toe in the process. Plus, he carried BBs in his backside until the end. He was grateful for an easy indoor life after all that. Our new guy, Hemingway/Hem is a scoundrel and a sneak who wants to slip through any door and go exploring. He is still learning to trust that a kind hand does not need to be bitten. He's getting better at having his harness put on so he can go outside every day, and his bites are fewer and softer. We do wonder if someone is missing him, or if he was abandoned because of his bity-ness. No matter what, he has curled up purring in our hearts and we're looking forward to many years together!

Bridget Magee said...

Lovely poem, Amy. I love the idea of using a question as a point of entry for writing a poem. I can picture "Sweetie Muffin's" first family. =)

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes said...

What wonderful places your imagination takes you, Amy!