Monday, April 1, 2019

Poem #1 - Betsy

Welcome to my 2019 National Poetry Month Project

Each day of April, I will write and share a new (first person, free verse, fewer than 15 lines not including spacing) poem. Taken together, these will tell a story about John and Betsy, two characters I posted about on March 22.  This will be new for me, and I invite anyone who wishes to join me in writing a collection of 30 poems that tell a story.

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

And's poem.

Betsy Loves the Sound of the Bus
by Amy LV

Students - This month's poems will tell a story about John and Betsy, and all of the poems will have three things in common: each will be written in John's voice, each will be 15 lines or shorter (not including spacing), and each will be written in free verse. I find it helpful to set writing boundaries for myself, so I chose three to work with over the next 30 days.

While I chose not to dramatically show it with line breaks, you may have noticed that the last three stanzas of today's poem go back and forth in a see saw motion between the descriptions of John and Betsy:

Her soft self warms 
my feet in bed.

                                                             My secrets curl
                                                             inside her ears.

Her tail wags in full circles
                                                             when I run from the bus.

When you wish to show how two things are similar and/or different, you can try this too.  Just alternate lines between two characters, two places, two anythings-at-all.

This month at my other blog, Sharing Our Notebooks, you will find a joyful piece by Dr. Shari Daniels. Her post is filled with notebooking ideas, great photographs, and everything that makes me want to dive right into my own notebook.  And yes, there's a book giveaway for a commenter.

Each Friday of National Poetry Month, Heinemann has generously offered to gift a copy of my book POEMS ARE TEACHERS to someone who has commented during the week.  I will keep track of comments and will draw one name each Thursday evening, to be announced each Friday of the month.  Thank you, Heinemann! To be entered into these drawings, please do leave a way to contact you along with your comment.

If you would like to learn more about other National Poetry Month projects happening throughout the Kidlitosphere, Jama has rounded up many NPM happenings over at Jama's Alphabet Soup.  Happy National Poetry Month 2019!

See you tomorrow...


Please share a comment below if you 


  1. I’m looking forward to reading the narrator and Betsy’s story. I like the alternating technique and the way it prepares children for shifts in tone.

    I don’t have a specific plan to tell a story w/ poetry this month but do plan to write about journeys I’ve taken. We’ll see if they resonate as story. This is only my second year in NaPoWriMo so Im not sure which direction the writing will take me.

  2. I am a total dog lover. I have been thinking about John and Betsy ever since your first post a couple of weeks ago. It made me really, really sad. I couldn't imagine giving up a beloved family member like that. I can't wait to see this story unfold.

  3. My secrets curl inside her ears.... LOVE. And it's true! Thank you, dear Amy. I look forward to seeing what happens with John & Betsy. xo

  4. I have a feeling that this is going to be sad before happy, Amy! It's a wonderful idea, touching hearts everywhere: "Her tail wags in full circles. . ."

  5. So excited to be hoping on board for the story of John and Betsy. (And I'm not even a dog lover.) But who can resist?
    "Her soft self warms my feet in bed" and "her tail wags in full circles." This cat lover is captured by your words.

  6. I'm already enamored of John and Betsy. This singular relationship will resonate with so many of all ages.

  7. Can’t wait for more! Looking forward to following John and Betsy on their journey. Favorite line: Mt secrets curl inside her ears.

  8. I have to agree with Rose and Irene. I love "My secrets curl inside her ears."

  9. This poem gave me goosebumps as I read it because I could completely relate. My dog looks me straight in the eyes and I know she can see the very core of who I am. She is nothing but happy to see me... every day, any time, any place. Poetry is such a wonderful way to express so much with not too many words. I love how moments can be unfolded in a poem even after you have finished reading it. The words just seem to resonate more and longer, floating in the air before gently fading. Looking forward to reading more about John and Betsy.

  10. Hi Amy, wish I had written my secrets curl inside her ears. That is like nothing else I have ever read. I'm doing your challenge. I just wish we could all share them. Fun, fun, fun!

  11. Amy, Poem #1 is so touching. "My secrets curl inside her ears..." Today, I had lunch with a dear friend who just got an adorable dog after her longtime family dogs passed on recently. She is enamored by the sweet face of her new puppy. I was thinking of my friend's dog when I read your poem.

  12. when did u start writing your poem

  13. The secrets curling in the ears...fave.