Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Poem #2 - Peanut Butter Sandwiches

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 now...today's poem.

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.

When I write a poem without a clear meter or rhyme scheme, I still read aloud my words again and again while drafting.  And when a poem does not have clear meter or rhyme, I must rely on other techniques such as line breaks and repetition.  Here you will find some repeated line structure and repeated words - turns to me/looks at me/follows me, good girl/good boy.  And too, you may notice some repeated sounds - bits/bites, Betsy/gently, sandwich/hands.

You may wish to experiment with repetition of structure, words, and sounds.  There are so many ways to make a poem poem-y!

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 wish.day 


  1. I like the movement of the story, Mom realizing that her 'good boy' is one that needs the truth. (But it is sad, too, already.)

  2. Amy, you're breaking our hearts with this story. I'm wondering where it will lead...

  3. Oh no! This is taking a turn a little faster than I had imagined. I find the way each stanza begins with an action to be interesting in the way the poem is structured. The repetition, structure, and way dialogue is set help to make this roll as I read. Looking forward to tomorrow. It's going to be hard to miss a day!

  4. I love the idea of writing a series of poems to tell a story. These two short poems have hooked me and drawn me in. A story is being built, characters are being introduced and developed. I’m amazed at how much emotion and “story” is already present in these first two poems. Excited to see where the story goes.

  5. I know where this is headed, and I am sad. Betsy is my Dick Tracey, a collie my sister and I found and kept. We scavenged Food Town for food, both dog and human.

    There’s a tenderness in your poem. Both the mom’s touch and the boy’s sacrifice show unconditional love.

  6. Day Two, and my heart already aches for John and Betsy. For the entire family. Good girl And you are my good boy. Phew.

  7. Really loving this idea. I am amazed at the depth of feeling I have already for John and Betsy...such is the power of poetry!

  8. I just read all the poems that I'm already sure will be a published book. This is heartbreaking. I already feel for John and Betsy.

  9. Oh, Amy, this is such a tender, touching story. I feel both the mom's and the child's pain.