Friday, February 25, 2022

Collect Colors & Surprise Yourself


The Sky's Clothes
by Amy LV

Students - Yesterday I had another joyful meeting with Mrs. Jermolowicz's students from Luther J Schilling School in Homer Glen, Illinois. We are connected through Kids Need Mentors which is a program that pairs educators and authors for year-long partnerships. When we meet, we read and write and share, and I look forward to each visit. They may share here someday!

Yesterday, we had sound troubles (my computer) we shared in the chat, and we wrote together kind of in silence. Our time together grew the poem I share today. Here's what we did, and here's how you can try it too. 

Divide a page in your notebook into four boxes as you see below. Somewhere in each box, write the name of a color that you have seen today. If you would rather choose your colors in a different way (favorites, colors that remind you of your grandfather, garden colors, lunch colors, what you're wearing colors), feel free. It just matters that you have a few color choices.

Then, take a few minutes to jot whatever comes to your head about any of the colors in its matching box, in any order you wish. You might write about all colors in order. You might stick with one. You might jump around.

See if you are given a line or two of a poem. I chose to stay simple and just revise my lines a little bit.

My Color Notes
Photo by Amy LV

It can be very helpful to try a little game like this to get your writing going. You can play such idea-generating games by yourself, with a friend, a group of friends, or a whole class. When our brains play and feel free, they can be very generous with ideas!

My next book, illustrated by the wonderful Emma Virj

├ín, enters the world next Tuesday, March 1! It is a celebration of Poem in Your Pocket Day, titled IF THIS BIRD HAD POCKETS, A POEM IN YOUR POCKET DAY CELEBRATION, and you can see the beautiful book trailer, made by the great folks at Wordsong/Astra Books for Young Readers. It's my third COVID book release (WRITE! WRITE! WRITE! in March 2020 and THAT MISSING FEELING in January 2021), and that has definitely been strange.

I feel so thankful to have collaborated on this book with Emma and everybody at Wordsong/Astra. I learned a lot along the way and was filled with such wonder as I wrote. Poem in Your Pocket Day is on April 22 this year, so you might want to mark your calendars and start choosing your own pocket poem.

Enjoy this trailer if you wish...

Tricia is hosting today's Poetry Friday roundup at The Miss Rumphius Effect with the results of an Exquisite Corpse game she played with some poet friends and also an upcoming poetry challenge called an ekphrastic doditsu (read the post to learn more!) Please know that all are welcome each Friday as folks share poems, poem books, poetry ideas, and friendship.

Happy color collecting!



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  1. Thanks for sharing your poem, and your creative process behind it! Tucking this idea away for the next time I need to jump-start my creativity.

  2. Thanks, Amy! I love writing poems about color. I like the jump-start activity and will tuck it away in my treaure box of prompts to try out.

  3. Thanks for this colorful poem and the idea for writing with my students. Congrats on the new book!

  4. Linda M. reminded me to include smells in my poems. Now you remind me about color! Thank you both!

    PS -- Love that scarf that Sky wears!!

  5. The sky was wearing a bright blue dress here today, though alas I think she'll be changing into something grey for the rest of the week. :)

  6. What a delightful poem! I especially love "white scarf/ woven /with a scattering/ of crows." That image will stay with me. Thanks for sharing your creative process--I'm sure it's one I'll share with students. Congratulations on your new book!

  7. Thanks for the reminder that color poems are 'pigments of our imagination', Amy. Congrats on your new book! :)

  8. Exciting to read your sky poem, Amy, & about your new book. Congratulations!

  9. I will be searching my world for color notes to fill my four boxes :)

  10. The sky is making an appearance in many poems this week! I love that yours is "wearing a white scarf, woven with a scattering of crows." Thank you for sharing this sweet poem, and the fun exercise! Can't wait to get your new book! Congratulations!

  11. Congratulations on the new book, Amy! Just like "Flashlight Night" and "Read! Read! Read!", we once again have dual book birthdays! Looking forward to reading it.