Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Poem #3 - The News

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.

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.

As I read this poem aloud many times, I thought especially hard about the line breaks. The spacing in lost/in/the/sea is meant to show a faraway feeling.  And the at noon words standing all alone at the end will hopefully cue readers to read that line with a sense of finality, a slowed down seriousness.  

If you are writing poems this month, be willing to change your line breaks.  You may choose to use the exact same words in the exact same order, but by experimenting with line breaks in different versions of the same poem, you will create different pauses and a different feel for your readers.

As I am not working with serious rhyme or meter this month, I will be leaning more heavily on other poetic techniques.  Today, a simile: like a tiny boat.  Is John really a tiny boat?  No.  But does he feel as lonely as one?  Yes.

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 see a sinking heart and tears in the downward movement of “lost in the sea.” 😢

  2. Thank you for your poetry inspiration, Amy! I am looking forward to I am looking forward to sharing your ideas with my 4th graders throughout the month. Your book, Poems Are Teachers, is already on my wishlist, so my fingers are crossed! My contact info is

  3. Children do often feel like that 'tiny boat', Amy, power rarely theirs. It's a moving on that's heartbreaking.

  4. Oh, my such sadness in these words: "I feel like a tiny boat lost in the sea." I had to move from this poem to Shari's post in order to lighten my mood.

  5. We liked how you structured the lined for "lost in the sea." We would love to hear your thoughts on why you did this. --Mrs. Haney's 3rd grade class.

  6. I'd love to share the poems and teaching ideas with my students. You can contact me at

  7. I love this idea! My sixth graders would love this and certainly relate. I like the beginning: No jobs./Broken car. How many kids live this life at home and we don't realize it...

  8. I cannot even imagine... My heart breaks for the boy, the dog, and for his mom who had to make this decision....

  9. No! I cannot read sad animal stories. Heartbreak. Homelessness. Heartbreak.

  10. You have captured the feeling of this child with few words and position of them.