Friday, May 13, 2022

A Day Writing Poems from Art

Postcard Pile
Photo by Amy LV

This Wednesday, I was so happy to visit Seely Place School in the Edgemont School District in Scarsdale, NY. While I have been doing some virtual teaching from my camper, this was my first in-person school visit (not counting teaching fourth grade last year) since February 2020. 

And what writers! 

These second grade poets focused on ekphrastic (art) poems during our time together, and their poems were fascinating and thoughtful. They looked at many many postcards, each choosing one that inspired them most. And as they read their poems out loud, each of us was transported to a new place.

Fish in the Sky, 2014
by Ben Giles

Students - For bits of time with the Seely Place second grade poets this week, I wrote too. I chose the above postcard, and those flying fish grabbed my attention. I wrote about them flying, and then the bird made me think about birds swimming...and so it went.

Now, that ending. It was a surprise to me. As you know, I am always working against spending too much time on screens, and so the ending probably came from there. The idea of something fantastic happening and people all missing it felt real, and those words just appeared on the page.

For me, the most fun in writing this poem is the repetition of knew and new which happen to rhyme with blue. It was not a plan, but it feels playful.

I wrote a different draft of a different poem about this postcard too, but I prefer this one. Remember that sometimes revision can mean starting all over again, starting fresh. 

If you're seeking inspiration this week, look to art. You can find art on walls and in books, in museums and on the internet. And each piece of art can take you on an endless number of writing vacations.

Thank you to everyone at Seely Place who spent time with me this week. I am still thinking about your poetry!

Congratulations to Linda Mitchell, winner of Emily Callahan and Debbie Miller's new book with Heinemann! Linda, I've tweeted a note asking for your snail mail address so that I can get your book to you. Thank you again, Emily and poets, for sharing your fabulous poems with all of in this space last week.

Rose is hosting today's Poetry Friday roundup at Imagine the Possibilities with a very cool idea to write poems from book titles and a lovely-book-title-inspired-poem to go with it. Please know that all are welcome each Friday as folks share poems, poem books, poetry ideas, and friendship.

I hope that you have the opportunity to look at art this week...even for a moment.



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1 comment:

  1. I love writing ekphrastic poems. So fun to do with kids. I'm excited for you getting back to school visits. It must feed your soul. This is a fun and imaginative poem.