Monday, April 8, 2019

Poem #8 - Please Hang this Note on Betsy's Cage

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.

A Note
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 (not today). I find it helpful to set writing boundaries for myself, so I chose three to work with over the next 30 days.

If you noticed that today's poem is written in couplets and not in free verse, you are right. See, I made the rules for my project...and so I can break them too.

The poem is written as a rhyming poem because John wanted to work hard on a poem to help Betsy get a good home.  And it would not be fair or right of me not to allow this character to do something important to him.  So there you go.

Look at the last stanza.  Do you see how the rhyme breaks in the final two lines?  John and I did that on purpose because the change from rhyme to no rhyme at the end draws attention to the ending and to all of that luck someone new will have with such a good dog as Betsy.

Even though this is a sad story so far, I hope that you got a giggle out of the snoring line.  Nobody's perfect...right?

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 comments and will draw one name each Thursday evening, to be announced each Friday of the month. To be entered into these drawings, please do 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. Another tear jerker. Today I am feeling really sad for Betsy, being left there, wondering where her boy has gone.

  2. What a heart tugging series. I am sad for both of them. Hope Betsy gets adopted soon . . .

  3. What a sweet and caring boy John is, to write a note for Betsy so she will get the best home! That is wonderful, Amy, to show another part of him.

  4. I love this letter and the young man who penned these words:
    "Always kiss her on the nose.
    Let her sleep with these old clothes."
    With hope for a perfect person to adopt Betsy!

  5. I have really enjoyed these poems so far. This story is so touching. I have shared it with my children and they want to know how it will all end. I really like how you changed the format to couplets because "John wanted to work hard on a poem to help Betsy get a good home." This created such a strong visual image for me...of a young boy pushing through his sorrow to find strength in writing his poem in the hopes that it will encourage someone to adopt his dear, beloved friend. Heartbreakingly real!

  6. John's note speaks to how much he loves Betsy. Thank you for the little chuckle with (She snores.).

  7. Nothing sweeter than a snoring dog! And this: " it would not be fair or right of me not to allow this character to do something important to him." Yay for letting John have his way! (One of the hardest things in fiction... listening to the character, and not just to yourself!) xo

  8. Amy, your words are intricately connected with John's thoughts. I can hear those sad words from this child, "...we are a little poort."

  9. Thanks for answering my *uestions, Amy--now I am fantasizing that the secret is that Betsy can write and will be penning poems back to John from her new home. : ) Also, I am in favor of breaking rules when necessary, and the reason you and John give is very persuasive. A poem WOULD help a dog be chosen from the shelter!

  10. ❤🐕 These poems are so heart-wrenching! You really know how to pull in an audience!! Awesome job! ❤🐕