Friday, October 4, 2019

If I had to choose...

A Snip from My Notebook
by Amy LV

Students - Today's poem came from somewhere, but I am not sure where. It is true that I flipped through and read some of my current notebook before writing, and it is true that I came across this little moth sketch above, so I guess the idea may have grown from there. Too, I've been carrying around my kaleidoscope to school visits, so the word kaleidoscope is on my mind as well.

The other week I wrote a poem titled The Real Me, also about imagined lives. One gift of writing is all of the imagined lives you wish to have can live in your notebook or on your computer screen. Today's poem allowed me to imagine two same-but-different-lives and then to choose one over the other. Feel free to play with the title line, If I had to choose.  I welcome you to see if it leads you somewhere interesting. I think I will use it again as it reminds me of the CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE BOOKS I once so loved.

This poem is a free verse poem - no rhyme - but I so enjoyed choosing each word, reading aloud again and again to discover which images felt and sounded just right. And who knows. As is often the case, one day I may revisit this poem and make some changes. Writing changes and grows as we do. Writing forgives and blooms when we least expect it. Writing can be plain as a moth or bright as a butterfly. We, the writers, choose.

Moths are quite mystical, methinks. Look at one up close sometime!

Cheriee is hosting this week's Poetry Friday roundup (for the first time!) with a celebration of Robert Heidbreder over at Library Matters. 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. All moths are interesting to see, the patterns and shades of brown are lovely. And I love the imagining of that small moth clinging to a screen, listening, listening. Thanks, Amy!

  2. Hmmm...I still think I'd choose to be a butterfly, I typically clothe myself in bright colours from head to toe anyway, it's just who I am. ;-)

  3. Kaleidoscope is a great word. I've seen it a few times today reading poetry posts. My students wrote I Am poems after you this week: I hope you have some time to read them. They are full of imagination.

  4. This is a treasure. Perhaps in a summer garden the butterfly will hear stories, too.

  5. I love the image from your embroidered pillow and the idea that maybe this poem came from it. I never thought about being a moth before, but you make it sound quite appealing. Thank you for sharing, Amy!

  6. I loved this poem Amy! It was fun to think of other ideas. Hope you don't mind me sharing mine.

    If I had to Choose

    I would not be the rose
    fragile and wise
    in everyone's eyes.

    I would be the thorn
    salient, enduring long after
    delicate petals fall.

    -Vicki Wilke

  7. Lovely imagery in your poem Amy, the bedecked butterfly and "plain moth" with it's poised position to ease drop on stories balance each other so well, thanks! How serendipitous, this morning I just put a moth outside on my front porch-it was clinging to my shade…

  8. Moths are definitely underrated! There's something to be said for staying under the radar...

  9. I am not particularly fond of moths (mostly because they startle me when I am reading in bed by diving for my reading light!) I do however love your image of one listening to a story. I am reading Judy Chicago's The Dinner Party these days. She writes about butterflies as a symbol of women's freedom. When I think of all those women who learned and worked on the periphery, because of their race or gender, but flew none the less, I think the moth is a brilliant image.

  10. Moths, never so plain as we think they might be!

  11. Lovely poem--I love the image of the moth listening to a story. I do like the title as a prompt, too. I suspect it will lurk around in my mind until a poem grows