Friday, February 23, 2018

He Said So - Keep Snatches of Talk


Here and Gone
Photo by Amy LV




Students - Last month, I was visiting a school, and as a group of students left the library, a boy walked by me, looked into my eyes, and said, "Cardinals are angels."  Later, I copied his words into my notebook.

Notebook Snip
Photo by Amy LV

When choosing a topic for today's poem, I flipped through my pages searching for a subject that felt worthy.  The words of this young boy who spoke me to briefly and in passing beckoned from my notebook.  I just knew.  And I was thankful that I had copied his words down.  Had I not, even though this was but a month ago...I would have forgotten this brief interaction.

Two thoughts for you about writing today.  One - write in your notebook even when you do not feel like it.  You will end up with some strange odds and ends and useless things, sure.  But you'll also end up with surprising bits and snatches that may bewitch you on another day.  Two - Take note of rhymes you like.  Those of you who know me may be giggling at the birds/words rhyme here.  I just love that word pair and have ushered it into many small poems.

And for those of you who love cardinals, this was just in yesterday's Alabama news.  A yellow cardinal!  I added this clip to today's post later...what a coincidence!

Video from AL.com

In the sidebar, you will notice that I have added my Instagram feed.  Please know that this is another safe space where I share photos of my writing process, book news, and pictures of life around The Poem Farm.

Liz is hosting today's Poetry Friday roundup at Elizabeth Steinglass with a thoughtful "Why I'm Here" poem, and an accompanying invitation that writers young and old might wish to try.  I am going to do so this week! Each week, we gather our posts together at one blog, so if you visit Liz this week...you will be introduced to many new poets and blogs and books.  

Please share a comment below if you wish.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Sometimes You Write from Grief



Students and Educators Shot and Killed in School 
Parkland, Florida February 2018
Photo by Amy LV




Students - Sometimes a person cannot find the words. There are so many words, so so many.  But sometimes they just cannot express the depth of a person's sadness and anger. And so here is my small poem offering for today.

Student and Educator Friends - I am heartbroken and so sorry that you have to do lockdown drills in school.  Children - please know that there are many adults working hard to keep you safe.  You are loved.  And your love brightens up so many corners of our world.  Shine those candle-hearts of yours.  Find the kindness and peace in others and in yourself.  We all can do this, and this finding and giving will fill our days with love.

Please comment this week over at Tuesday's post, where Bonnie LaMonaco's beautiful second graders spread love with their kindness poems.  I would love for them to read some generous words from us all.

Jone is hosting today's Poetry Friday roundup at Check It Out with Cybils goodness and postcard joy.  You can even sign up to receive a student poem postcard as part of the 10th Student Poetry Postcard Event! Each week, we gather our posts together at one blog, so if you visit Jone this week...you will be introduced to many new poets and blogs and books.  

Please share a comment below if you wish.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

A Kindness Poem Party!

Morning Hearts
Photo by Amy LV

Today we are very lucky.  We have guests at The Poem Farm!.  Second grade teacher Mrs. LaMonaco and her poets from Brooks Hill Elementary School in Fairport, NY are visiting with their poems, all celebrating quiet kindnesses.  Last month I invited poets to share such poems, and I could not be more grateful that these young writers chose to do so.  

This is a lovely way to celebrate love and friendship and all of the good things that people do for us every day.  For more ways to do this, take a peek at all of the beautiful projects folks are taking on at the Global Kind Project.

Please enlarge this slideshow to see it well!
Advance slides at your reading comfort speed.


Thank you so much to Mrs. LaMonaco and to these poets for celebrating kindness with us today.  If you would be so kind, please leave them a comment with your thoughts. Happy almost Valentine's Day! 

Peace,
Amy
xo

Please share a comment below if you wish.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Let's Make Some Valentines!



Thumbprint Hearts
by Amy LV




Students - Happy almost Valentine's Day!  I do love this holiday of tiny cards and tiny stickers and hearts made out of every kind of sweet imaginable, so today I thought I would write about candy.  I had two bags of candy, poured each out, and took this picture.  This picture was to be my writing inspiration.

Inspiring or Uninspiring?
Photo by Amy LV

But beware the best laid plans!  My brain did not want to write about these candies.  My brain wandered.  And my eyes wandered too.

My eyes wandered around the room and around the floor where something under the table caught my eye.

Who Keeps Art Supplies on the Floor?
Photo by Amy LV

Yes, it was a stamp pad.  Upside down.  Just sitting there.  Suddenly, I was overcome with a desire to make fat thumbprint hearts.  Sounds strange? Well, it's true. My forthcoming book, WITH MY HANDS, includes a bit of fingerprint art, and so I guess that fingerprints must be on my mind. 

I pressed my own thumb on ink and paper (see above), and I wrote today's poem.

Writing does not always follow a straight path, that's for sure!  Remember this as you write.  Keep your mind open for the surprises. Even a mess on the floor might invite a page or two.

This week, don't miss checking out SCHOOL PEOPLE, the new anthology by Lee Bennett Hopkins.  


I loved writing about a wonderful nurse for this collection, and Robyn Hood Black, who wrote about a kind lunch lady shares all about the book with an interview of Lee and a book giveaway today at Life on the Deckle Edge.

At Sharing Our Notebooks, third grade teacher Dina Bolan and her writers from Alexander Hamilton Elementary School in Glen Rock, New Jersey share their nonfiction notebook entries.  Please leave a comment to be entered into a drawing for a lovely new notebook.  

Sally is hosting today's Poetry Friday roundup at sallymurphy.com.au with some fun terse verse. Each week, we gather our posts together at one blog, so if you visit Sally this week...you will be introduced to many new poets and blogs and books.  

Happy Valentine's Day!
xo

Please share a comment below if you wish.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Imagine Yourself in a Story


Deer Sheds Found at The Poem Farm
Photo by Amy LV




Students - This story poem grew from a conversation I was fortunate enough to have last week with a few young hunters at Elba Elementary School in Elba, NY.  We were talking about the deer sheds I'd brought along, and they were kind enough to share some hunting stories with me.

I am not a hunter, and I have no interest in learning to hunt.  Yet hearing these young men speak with passion and reverence for nature and this skill filled me with curiosity and wonder.  Though I will likely never hunt or shoot a deer myself, in this poem I imagine the moment of transition between life and death.

In today's poem, I have pretended to play a part in a story I will likely never live.  And in so doing, I have been remade.  I see hunting in a new way, through the eyes of my young teachers and through my own imagination.  Since I write this from imagined and talked experience, though, I am not sure if there are details that are off or missing or untrue.  So, young hunter friends in Elba....if you read this, would you please tell me if there is something clearly wrong here?  Something that feels totally untrue?  If so, please send me an e-mail through your librarian, Mrs. Perrault.  And if you would like to share any of your own hunting poems or words around hunting, please let me know as I would love to include some of words here.  Thank you for that talk we had...I have been thinking about it all week.

This week I was fortunate enough to visit two wonderful elementary schools in Paramus, NJ, and I would like to extend so much gratitude to everyone at Parkway Elementary and Stony Lane Elementary for such a joyous two days of celebrating poetry and notebooking.  I loved writing with you and am now thinking about stories and ideas we shared together too.

At Sharing Our Notebooks, I am so happy to welcome third grade teacher Dina Bolan and her writers from Alexander Hamilton Elementary School in Glen Rock, New Jersey.  Please read their nonfiction notebook entries, and leave a comment to be entered into a drawing for a lovely new notebook.  I will draw a name next week!

Donna is hosting today's Poetry Friday roundup at Mainely Write with a bouquet of beautiful poetry postcards. Each week, we gather our posts together at one blog, so if you visit Donna this week...you will be introduced to many new poets and blogs and books.  Please join us!

Please share a comment below if you wish.