Sunday, April 21, 2019

Poem #21 - I Ask for Permission

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.

Two Rainbows
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.  But sometimes, friends, I am breaking these rules.  Rules can help a project, and they can also hinder it.  So I begin with these rules, and then I listen to each poem and what it desires to be.  When given a writing choice between listening to a poem and listening to a rule, I usually listen to the poem.

Today's poem is the shortest of the month so far.  I was once again reading Ron Padgett's THE TEACHERS AND WRITERS HANDBOOK OF POETIC FORMS, and thought I would try writing a lune (syllable pattern 5/3/5 or words per line 5/3/5) but in the end, I wanted a few more words and syllables.  Still, beginning by trying something new helped me end up with something new.  

This poem is a simple snapshot of what John's parents look like when he tells them about Miss Betsy and his wishes to help her and spend time with Betsy at the same time.  One thing I have very much enjoyed this month is choosing what to leave in and what to leave out.  If you have read all of my April poems here, you know what John is asking and you also know why his parents look surprised and happy. This leaving in/leaving out has been an excellent exercise for me.  I have not before considered myself much of a storyteller, but I am learning, day-by-day, here.  Thank you for being here to help me do so.

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.  This book includes over 150 poems by contemporary poets and students alike as well as over 50 poem explorations written by me. I will keep track of weekly comments and will draw one more winning name next Thursday, to be announced next Friday. To be entered into this final drawing, please leave a way to contact you along with your comment.  And...Heinemann is offering 40% of all poetry professional books throughout April...thank you Heinemann!

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. This: "When given a writing choice between listening to a poem and listening to a rule, I usually listen to the poem."

    ...and I love those upside-down rainbow smiles.

  2. This poetic experience has been amazing. I have cried several times reading through this. What a powerful little story packed into these poems! When Miss Betsy says she was "saved" by Betsy and that she found her through a poem. Oh my goodness! Thank you so much for this. It's been a wonderful journey!

  3. Happiness often means serendipity or good luck. Whatever we want to call it, it can make a wonderful day of upsidedown rainbows! Wonderful, Amy!

  4. Oh the happiness the parents must feel. For John, for Betsy, for themselves, for Miss Betsy, for the serendipity. Lovely. Lovely. Again. Bravo.

  5. Left a comment yesterday via my phone which did not post. Lines 1 & 2 are perfect examples of hyperbole. Love the upside down rainbow smiles! And now I'm off to read today's poem.