Friday, November 17, 2017

Be Ready for Characters to Appear

Ghost Gratitude
by Amy LV

Students - Today's poem is in the spirit ('spirit!' - get it?) of the season...the whole season of autumn, rolling two holidays into one.  Earlier this month, sometime between the stretch of Halloween and Thanksgiving, this small sprite appeared in my mind, Sammy, the ghostie who loved Thanksgiving most of all.  I have more thoughts about Sammy, but today's poem was my first official meeting with him on paper.

Sometimes it's fun to turn something on its head a little bit.  You know, ghosts SHOULD favor Halloween ...but in a poem, a writer can flip such an idea around.  The ghost world of this poem is normal.  You know...sheets, ghost families, and all of that.  But this ONE thing is different - Sammy loves the wrong holiday best.

Such playfulness is not only plain fun for a writer, it's surprising for a reader too.  Sometimes writing can just allow a soul to take a little trip into a pretend land of the mind.  Everything doesn't have to be real in writing.  We can let our imaginations float a bit, even right through old stone walls if we wish.  I actually have a picture in my head of wee Sammy with a cranberry sauce stain on his sheet.  But that's for another day.

Did you notice the repetition in this poem, repetition of the words thank you and I love?  

Did you notice how I stretched out those last four lines of the poem? This is to slow readers' reading down toward the end, to emphasize the importance of death not being really final to this young ghost.

Pay attention.  Perhaps this week or sometime at the end of this calendar year, a curious character will walk right into your head.  If she or he does, jot down who it is.  Pay attention.  Your mind is creative; you just must pay attention to it.

Jane is hosting today's Poetry Friday party over at Raincity Librarian!  Jane is not only hosting for the first time today...but she is doing so from Osaka, Japan.  Please stop over, congratulate her on her new book WILD ONE....and take part in the poetry joy.  All are always welcome to join this gathering of poemlove and friendship.

Please share a comment below if you wish.


  1. Amy, this is so fun....philosophical at the same time. I laughed at "another plateful" ....but "no end" really gives food for thought in the last line. Just delightful. Thanks for making PF one of my favorite days!

  2. I just read Carrie Clickard's "The Magic Shop" this week that also has a rather friendly ghost, like yours, Amy. It's a different look at ghosts that makes it fun.

  3. This is such a fun poem. Sammy is the kind of ghost that I wouldn't mind haunting my space. He reminds me of a local ghost here who hangs out in the historical society museum and leaves the lights on for people.

  4. So much fun. I love characters who break expectations. Your Sammy reminds me of Casper, the friendly ghost, who I loved so much as a child. .

  5. Ha! Amy, you loon, you were on fire at yesterday's panel on craft but this post really "embodies" the real work, which is just to crank it out. What I love about this poem is that it's all the old cartoony ideas about what a ghost is without question--forever dead, floating through walls, wearing a white sheet--but then there is a heart full of thanks. So human.

    Thank you for inspiring me to a crank-it-out challenge. December will be a PoPerDayMo again! <3

  6. Ha! Amy, you loon, you were on fire at yesterday's panel, and this post is a reminder that sometimes the important thing is to just crank it out. What I love about this ghost is that he's the old cartoon classic without apology--white sheet, dead forever, floating through walls--but then he has a heart full of thanks, so human.

    Thanks for inspiring ME to crank it out, too. December will be a PoPerDayMo again for me!

  7. I like your Thanksgiving ghost and his prayer. I think you are onto something there. Turkeys beware.

  8. "You just must pay attention." Yes.

  9. You managed to put "cute" and "touching" into the same poem with this one, Amy - very nice!