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 will be introduced to many new poets and blogs and books.  Please join us!

Please share a comment below if you wish.


  1. I was moved by the story in the poem... and then I read the last line several times:"to spend a bright morning in winter with death" Powerful words stirred other thoughts as I pulled them from context and thought of the "bright mornings" in a loved one's "winter" who is wrestling "with death."

  2. Oh, those last two I'm from a hunting area. Even though I'm not a hunter, the hunters I know really have a love of the sport and the wildlife they hunt. You capture that beautifully here.

  3. I have two students this year who are avid hunters. I've talked with them a lot about their sport. I don't relate and would never ever shoot another living thing, but I respect their love of hunting, how it brings them out into nature and connects them to their families. I will share your poem with them.

  4. I don't hunt myself, but my husband does, and I've heard and read many hunting stories from my students, and your poem rings true from what I've heard from them. Most of them share that combination of excitement and reverence as life transitions into death.

  5. As someone who grew up around hunting, I'd say you captured the moment truthfully. And those last two, just perfect.

  6. I am currently reading The Snow Child - and it is rife with hunting and killing during winter - this poem would be a perfect backdrop to the story.

  7. I love the way this poem ended on a sacred note, Amy - I am not a hunter, but every hunter I've met in upstate New York has reverence for the animals they hunt. Your poem captured that so beautifully.

  8. I can't answer your question, not being a hunter, but my uncle describes the quiet of the blind. The stillness of the long wait. I think that's the part he likes.

  9. I have imagined hunting, and how it would feel, and I cannot say that I want to hunt - my husband and son do along with many friends. I would hunt, though, if ever my family were in need. I understand how the culling through hunting is more merciful than the starvation that would eventually occur for many of the animals. We only hunt in the abundance, and there are families that rely on what they hunt for their food supply in Maine.