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.


  1. Drey? Who knew! I followed the NYT article link & loved learning about nest weaving by these scampering
    visitors to our trees. Appreciations for reminding me about the gift that each unexpected show-stopping new word brings to readers & writers.

    Happy December too, Amy.

  2. Saying porcupette just makes me smile.

  3. We have so many squirrels' nests here, but never knew they had a name! Thanks for taking us along on your bakery adventure. Baguette and porcupette are indeed wonderful words. :)

  4. I did not know about 'drey' either. i know "dray", now there are two! Thanks, Amy, fun to read about the wonder and the learning!

  5. Oh, how fun and interesting and joyful. A drey. Now I know...but also want to know more. Thank you for the fun and great poem and the resources. You are such a friend to writers!

  6. I was reading Poems are Teachers last night and found yet another student poem tucked inside. That makes 5 of my students featured. What a nice surprise!
    I have squirrels all over my yard and never knew their nests had a name. Your enthusiasm for learning new words is contagious.

  7. WEll, I learned something today! As I look out my window I can see quite a few drey (or is it dreys) on the trees now that the leaves have fallen. Thank you! now know what those squirrels' nests are called.

  8. 'Drey' is new to me, too - and who doesn't love 'porcupette'? You are a treasure, dear friend, wrapping simple treasures of each day in glorious words.

  9. There's such a joy and power in words!

  10. I love learning new words, and I did not know drey-I write about squirrels often so perhaps it will find it's way into a poem.Thanks for the lovely poem Amy, and also for sharing these book!.

  11. Love this post so much that it inspired me to order THE LOST WORDS. It arrived today, and what a beautiful book it is! Can't wait to share it with my colleagues and their students. As always, thank you!

  12. That's fun! I'm going to start keeping a list of words I come across that just appeal for one reason or another. Thanks so much Amy. ��