Friday, September 7, 2018

Write About an Object Within Reach

A Gift from Emily
Photo by Amy LV

Students - Writers often work on more than one project at a time.  At the moment, my main writing focus is revisions for  WRITE! WRITE! WRITE! the forthcoming (2020) companion to READ! READ! READ!, my book with talented illustrator Ryan O'Rourke. (This companion will also be illustrated by Ryan - squee!) As a busy reviser, I am spending lots of time at my desk tinkering with words and lines and still writing new entries in my notebook too.

For today's poem, I simply reached out and grabbed something nearby...this DREAM rock from Emily, a beautiful writer who was once a student of Margaret Simon.  I decided to hold this rock, to look at it, to write about it.  And there you are.

'Not sure what to write about?  Stretch out your arm in all directions.  What objects are nearby?  Choose one of these objects, and write about it.  Start with your senses.  Move to the story.  Hold it up to your ear and listen to what it has to tell you. Draw the object. Consider what, if anything, it makes you feel and remember and wonder. Break all of this thinking up into lines, read it out loud to yourself a few times, maybe add a bit of repetition, and once you like it, you've got yourself a poem.

I chose to give today's title a job.  Its job is to give new, not-in-the-body-of-the-poem-information about my rock: where I keep it.  You may choose to have your title do a bit of extra work too.  Sometimes a title can lift a bit of weight on its own.

A new year often means a new notebook!  If you are starting a new notebook or curious about some newness in my notebooks, please visit my latest post at Sharing Our Notebooks where you will also find a call for notebook keepers willing to share.

Carol is hosting this week's Poetry Friday roundup at Beyond Literacy Link. Each week we gather together, sharing poems, books, and poetry ideas all at one blog.  All are always welcome to visit, comment, and post....and I will host next week!

Please share a comment below if you wish.


  1. Gifts such as these stay with us forever, don't they? I love the way children invest the simplest of "things" with so much meaning.

  2. I was so touched by your poem today. I sent it on to Emily in an email. She is doing really well, but I know your love and encouragement helped her in a time of great need. I have a rock from Emily. I also have some of her artwork in my classrooms. She is always with me in these things. "As life goes on, she came and went."

  3. Beautiful. A reminder to dream from a girl is a very special object to have.

  4. I love that Emily sent you the rock, you wrote the poem and Margaret sent the poem on to Emily. What a beautiful cycle you all have built! I also appreciate the tip about having your title do some of your work--I really struggle with titling and can see that this could be a very helpful strategy. Thanks!

  5. "As life goes …" everything came and went. How tender the connection, the message, the moment. Simple, but beautiful, Amy.