Friday, December 29, 2017

Let an Object Inspire a Question


A Gift from K to Me
Photo by Amy LV




Students - Isn't that quilt square beautiful?  A friend just sent it to me...and she made a matching one for herself.  So even though we live far away from each other, we can look at our quilt squares and feel our friendship.  I love it.  In fact, I love it so much that it made me want to write a poem as a way of thanking my friend K.

Sometimes an object can give a person a big feeling.  This quilt square made me think about how much I love handmade gifts, both receiving and giving them.  It made made ask a question to all who read the poem - an invitation to remember any handmade gifts from our pasts.

You might want to try this.  Walk around your home or outside or look around inside your backpack or desk and choose an object.  Think about the questions it inspires.  List these questions, choose one, and write!

This poem almost grew up to be a Shakespearean - or English - sonnet.  But it stopped growing at line 12.  See, if this were a complete sonnet, there would be a rhyming couplet (two lines) at the end.  And as I wrote this, I chose to leave the question hanging rather than to wrap it up with a couplet including my reflection. Yes, the poem had a mind of its own!

I could not be more grateful and excited to share that my new READ! READ! READ! illustrated by Ryan O'Rourke, has made the 2017 Nerdies List for Poetry and Novels in Verse. It is a wonderful list and a wonderful honor. Thank you, Nerdy Book Club!

(Click to Enlarge)

Over at my other blog, Sharing Our Notebooks, you can find a wonderful peek into Julie Patterson's notebooks. Leave a comment...and you just may win a book. Do so soon as there will be a new post up after January 1.

Heidi is hosting today's Poetry Friday roundup over at my juicy little universe with a beautiful celebration of poems about trees...and a photo of some lovely handmade gifts too. Please visit! We meet weekly, and everyone is invited.

Happy glorious last Poetry Friday of 2017 to all of you!  I am very grateful for this community...for those of you I know personally and those of you whom I have not yet met.  See you in 2018!

Please share a comment below if you wish.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Photography, Winterberry, Haiku


Winterberry Branch Near My Porch
Photo by Amy LV




Students - Did you know that a poem can be very short?  This short poem is simply an image (winterberry branch) and my personification of that image (calling birds for breakfast).  It's a haiku. 

The Poetry Foundation explains haiku - "A Japanese verse form most often composed, in English versions, of three unrhymed lines of five, seven, and five syllables. A haiku often features an image, or a pair of images, meant to depict the essence of a specific moment in time."  This branch right outside of my front porch here at The Poem Farm is full of berries now...but likely not for long once the birds find it.  So this IS a specific moment.  Here I fell in love with bright red against white snow and brown barn and branches....

If you are on a school break this coming week, or even if not, keep your eyes open for images specific to the season where you live.  Find a moment, a specific moment when the season seems to define itself to you.  Write or draw or take a picture.

Right now, as I type to you....about 20 goldfinches are enjoying the feeder outside my window. Another moment!  Our world is very beautiful, and we can often find this beauty in small and surprising bits.

Over at my other blog, Sharing Our Notebooks, you can find a very cool peek into Julie Patterson's notebooks. Leave a comment...and you just may win a book!

Buffy is hosting today's Poetry Friday roundup over at Buffy's Blog.  She's offering up a fun personal holiday poem and a current political poem by our Young People's Poet Laureate Margarita Engle.  Please stop by if you'd like to visit many different blogs, all celebrating poetry.  We meet weekly, and everyone is invited!

Please share a comment below if you wish.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Time - Think about Two Perspectives



Sage in the 4-H Barn (2010?)
Photo by Amy LV




Students - I don't know where today's poem came from.  I was writing in my notebook, and I think that the holidays got me thinking about visiting relatives which made me think about how quickly children seem to grow up.  This made  me think that if children are getting older, I am getting older too...but I never really feel like this is true.

Then I got to thinking about when our own children first talked about babies they once know seeming so big or how our pets have gotten older without us even noticing where the time has gone.

In a way, this is a comparing and contrasting poem.  In the first stanza, we see what the grownups say and feel.  In the second, we get the narrator child's point of view.  It is interesting to explore an idea from a couple of different perspectives.  We learn about others and about ourselves too.  You might want to give this a try!

Below, enjoy a little kindness video of our cat Mini Monster giving grown-up Sage a little face bath last weekend.



Over at my other blog, Sharing Our Notebooks, you can find a very cool peek into Julie Patterson's notebooks. Leave a comment...and you just may win a book!

Diane is hosting today's Poetry Friday roundup over at Random Noodling.  Please stop by if you'd like to visit many different blogs, all celebrating poetry.  We meet weekly, and everyone is invited!

Please share a comment below if you wish.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Whip Up a Recipe Poem!



Ahhh....
by Amy LV




Students - Today's poem grew from our new snow outside and from a new habit I have of making lists of things that make me happy.  I keep these lists in my notebook. Here's a snip of one from earlier this week.  You can see it has a wintry theme because winter is now here in Western New York.

Happy List
by Amy LV

I have always found lists to be helpful jumping off points for writing poems.  And sometimes the lists turn INTO poems as in the one you read above.  You might wish to try to write a recipe poem sometime too.  It could be about anything: Recipe for Friendship, Recipe for Good Sleep, Recipe for Befriending Cats...who knows? Recipes are almost like magic spells, and poems are almost like magic spells too...

My wish for you this week is that you will find and make time for many small things that make you happy.  This is my own goal these days, to put down my electronics and to make applesauce, fold Froebel stars, and spend more time outside. The busier life gets, the more important I find these things to be.

Teachers - You can find me on Twitter and Instagram at @amylvpoemfarm.  In these places I share more bits and pieces of life, including interesting teaching links and photographs of The Poem Farm.

Over at my other blog, Sharing Our Notebooks, you can find a very cool peek into Julie Patterson's notebooks. Leave a comment...and you just may win a book!

Lisa is hosting today's Poetry Friday roundup over at Steps and Staircases.  Please stop by if you'd like to visit many different blogs, all celebrating poetry.  We meet every week, and we welcome all!

Tea!
Photo by Amy LV

Please share a comment below if you wish.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Let Words Inspire!


Can You Find the Drey?
Photo by Amy LV




Students - Today's poem started with the photo you see above.  I was walking to a local bakery to write, and I looked up to see squirrel nests in wintry trees.  I got to wondering, "Does a squirrel nest have a special name?" Lo and behold - it does.  A squirrel nest is indeed called a drey.  

Settled into the bakery, before I wrote, I read this book by Myra Cohn Livingston and many poets, I AM WRITING A POEM ABOUT...  This got me thinking even more about words.

Comfy at the Bakery
Photo by Amy LV

I have also been thinking about words because our daughter has been using her Word of the Day in a sentence each day. We have to guess when she uses it, and then she teaches us what it means!

One more reason my mind is full of words is that I adore this new book, THE LOST WORDS by Robert McFarlane and Jackie Morris.


Porcupette has one of my favorite words ever since I learned it from Joyce Sidman's beautiful book DARK EMPEROR AND OTHER POEMS OF THE NIGHT.

Image result for dark emperor indiebound

Orion is, at this moment, my favorite constellation.

As I was writing in a bakery, of course the word baguette popped into my mind.

The world changes, becomes a bit richer, each time I learn a new word.  New words offer new ways of thinking.  This is why those of you who know two or more languages are very fortunate.  You have more words with which to understand the world.

If you're not sure what to write about this week, think about words: new words, old words, favorite words, words you wonder about, words that open worlds to you.  A word, you see, is a window.

Over at my other online home, Sharing Our Notebooks, you can find a very cool peek into Julie Patterson's notebooks. Leave a comment...and you just may win a book!

Mary Lee Hahn is hosting today's Poetry Friday roundup over at A Year of Reading.  This weekly gathering is a celebration of poems, and poem books and all things poetry, and everyone is always welcome...we welcome you to stop by on any Friday at all.

Please share a comment below if you wish.