Sunday, April 1, 2018

Poem #1 - List Structure

Welcome to my 2018 National Poetry Month Project! I love projects!

This year at The Poem Farm, I will be writing a new poem every day about the constellation Orion.  Every day I will highlight a new poetic technique, a technique used by poets and by writers of other genres as well. After all, the techniques of poets are the techniques of all writers. I will be using my Fall 2017 Heinemann book, POEMS ARE TEACHERS, to lead me as I write all April long.

My hope is that some readers might also choose to dive deeply into writing about 1 Subject 30 Ways, to stick with one subject for a few days or for a whole month, approaching it from a variety of perspectives, in a multitude of structures, and with many playful word explorations.

Here is a list of this month's poems so far:

And's technique.

List Poem Drafting
Photo by Amy LV

Students - Today's poem is a list poem.  And as you can see, this is just what it sounds like - a list.  In this case, a list of facts about Orion. List poems are interesting to write, and you can begin drafting one by just writing a list about anything related to your subject.  

Often writers will end a list with a "twist" or a bit of a change.  This signifies to the reader that the poem is finished and may leave the reader with an important meaning or message or surprise.  For my poem, I saved the most emotional entry on my list for last.

In my book POEMS ARE TEACHERS, I highlight a mentor list poem by Kwame Alexander, shared from his 2015 Newbery winner, THE CROSSOVER.  The title of his poem is  "I don't think I'll ever get used to."   The two student poet mentors are Ryan R. with "Average Morning" and Clara W. with "What to eat if you want to be a Runner."

Remember, you can connect with all kinds of poetry goodness happening throughout April 2018 at my introductory National Poetry Month post HERE.

See you tomorrow...with a story poem!


Please share a comment below if you wish.


  1. This will be fun. I'm looking forward to your posts about your chosen topic. My students are writing poems about one topic for our poetry unit!! They made a list of their passions last week and will narrow it down to one tomorrow to being their "Poetry Passion Project".

  2. Excited to give this a go! Filled up my writing well with a trip to a vernal pool new to me, along the Battle Road trail in Concord and Lincoln. Jotted down all the sights, sounds, and sensations!

  3. I LOVELOVELOVE this project! And Orion...he's my early morning walk bestie from August - December!

  4. How lovely! And brilliant use of your (brilliant) book. You are going to know Orion inside and out by the end of this month.xo

  5. I see Orion every evening, love that you will write of it every day this month, Amy. This is a special beginning aligned with your own writing lessons! Happy April!

  6. I wish I were teaching English rather than speech this trimester, but the only English I'm teaching is AP Lit. Still, I'm planning to have students write poetry this month in both classes.

    I have not joined any kind of poetry writing group before, but I'm going do the Poem a Day challenge, although I don't really know how it works in terms of finding other writers and reading their work. I will, however, figure it out!

    I think I'm going to have to order your new book after reading this post. I only have one year of teaching left and am trying to restrain professional lit habit!

    1. Glenda! Visit Jama's Alphabet Soup (Blog) where you will see a variety of Poetry Month projects. We're a friendly bunch and welcome you! Too, I'll have a Padlet each day (if it seems to work....) where folks can post their poems! Happy NPM! xx

  7. I look forward to learning alongside you during your celebration. I have my book as my guide and your poetry as a gift.

  8. My students and I are excited to use your daily inspiration alongside your book. We have today off so all will begin tomorrow!

  9. Amy, I really like the creative choice for this month's poetry project. Your list poem is a great kick off entry. I have been playing around with list poems and like the suggestion of choosing one topic and seeing it from different sides and poetic formats.

  10. I love how you zoomed in on Orion! We will be reading and learning along side your poems this month on this constellation.
    Ms. Luft's class