Wednesday, March 31, 2010

It's ok to Write a List Poem

It Really Is
by Amy LV

Students - Today's poem speaks to something I have been thinking a lot about. Sometimes we people can worry about things that really will be ok in a day or a week, and when this happens, our worry can get in the way of our living.  We people don't need to know everything, don't need to be perfect, don't need to constantly achieve and produce. It is good to just be, good to appreciate, good to look out a window. I am thinking about this for my life and for the lives of all I care about, including yours.

When I write a poem, sometimes I wonder where it came from, and sometimes it seems that a new poem has an old poem relative. Could it be that this poem is a great grandchild of Kaylin Haught's God Says Yes to Me? It is possible that this poem is in my blood, I like it so much, and it is likely that it has influenced my thinking. See, the more poems you know, the more connections you can find, and discovering poem relatives and connections is fun indeed.

Today's poem is also a list poem with the repeating words It's ok to, and I welcome you to try repeating a few words at the start of each line of one of your own poems. Experimenting with this technique often yields more ideas than you may expect, and even if you do not use them all in your final will have created pile of lines and thinking to work with. And oh, did you notice how the last stanza breaks this repeated-words pattern? (That's how you know the poem is finished!)

Something else you may wish to try is framing a poem through advice. Can you think of a piece of advice you'd like to give yourself, either now or at another time in your life? Is there a piece of advice you would like to share with someone you know or with a book character? If you don't name the person in your poem, all readers might see themselves reflected in your words.

Sylvia and Janet are hosting today's Poetry Friday roundup over at Poetry for Children with a gratitude poem by Traci Sorell and a taste of the upcoming IBBY regional conference in October.   Please know that we gather each Friday, sharing poems and poemlove, and all are always welcome.

Please share a comment below if you wish.


  1. "It's okay not to have answers." Yes to this, and okay to sharing that you don't know too! Thanks for sharing this confidence building poem Amy. And, I like your idea of sharing some advice with a book character.

  2. I LOVE this poem, Amy. I will be reading it to my daughter when she gets home from school today because i think it is something we both need to hear and absorb.

  3. Wishing every classroom could share this together, have it posted on their walls, Amy. Kids put a lot of pressure on themselves to 'be' right. Love your way of telling the truth!

  4. Oh, Amy, I have also been thinking about how to "just be." It's so hard in this world that seems to judge us by our accomplishments. As you said, we often worry about things that will be ok. Thank you for the reminder. : )

  5. Yes!!! So affirming, and such a wise ending!

  6. This poem is so affirming! I love that it could have sprung from a poem you like a lot. And I listened to Barry Lane singing your poem "It Might Have Been Different." It's terrific, the chorus, the bridge, the melody..everything. I'm sending it to our church musician. I hope there's a way for others to hear this in a group setting.

  7. I have tucked this one away for my literacy council's 2020 Poetry Pandemonium contest. What an amazing poem of affirmation. We all need this....but our kids really need it these days. Thank you!

  8. Thank you for this gentle reminder that it will be okay.

  9. Beautiful, Amy, and such a word of comfort. It IS OK! And offering your poem as a model for kids for writing is also a great idea for starting the school year. Thanks for sharing this gem for this Poetry Friday!


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