Friday, December 9, 2022

Copy Quotes. Find Them. Write.

Photo by Amy LV

Students - Today's poem grew from a quote, this quote by writer Phillip Pullman:

"After nourishment, shelter, and companionship, stories are what we most need in the world."

I read the quote and then imagined a real person living it, surviving a difficult time of darkness by the light of a remembered story. Stories and poems help me get through difficult times too, and even though they are not physically solid like rocks and candles are, they are solid to our spirits.

I had copied Pullman's quote into my notebook back in October, and then, when I wasn't sure what to write a poem about, I just read through my notebook looking for memories, words, ideas. His quote jumped right out at me.

This is only one of the many values I find in keeping a notebook, having a place to return to when you want to write but do not know where to start. Consider copying quotes into your own notebook, or looking for quotes in books for inspiration when you're not sure where to start. A quote can be like a candle too, illuminating the path as we start a new writing journey.

You may have noticed that today's poem (like last week's!) has a circular structure, beginning and ending with many of the same words. Try this with one of your drafts. Circles can bring a pleasing sense of form to words.

Michelle is hosting this week's Poetry Friday roundup at More Art for All with a cozy poem and artwork as well as bits from an interesting article she read. Please know that all are welcome each Friday as folks share poems, poem books, poetry ideas, and friendship.

Light to you, my friends.



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  1. I do love hearing about your process, Amy! I have a poem about how stars and books always shine. I love that thought, that they lead us through dark times and bring light to us.

  2. Nice, Amy. The power of stories!

  3. A stunning, short, circular poem...the truth of it is like that candle.

  4. I keep quotes, too, Amy, & they do offer me a way to live through a tough time or celebrate what is. Thank you!

  5. This poem is a little treasure, Amy. I think we all need stories to thrive. I am remembering past Christmases as I unpack the boxes of Christmas decorations. May your holidays be bright.

  6. I've been a collector of quotes since I was very young - I use to cut them out (of magazines, newspapers, BOOKS! - gasp!). Now I copy/paste and carry them in my NOTES app on my phone. But in 2023, I may return to a non-digital form. I (heart) notebooks. :)

  7. I need to build re-reading my notebooks into my writing practice! Thanks for the reminder!

  8. Lovely image of a story, '(word by word)" lighting their way. I like spending time re-reading in my notebook too, there's often some treasures there or one waiting to be discovered, thanks Amy!

  9. Thanks for this little nugget of wisdom, Amy. There are so many benefits of rereading notebooks.

  10. This is so lovely, Amy. It reminds me of a scene from The Book Thief, when Lisel comforts her neighbors with a story as they huddle together during a night of bombing.

  11. One of the things I do daily with my students is notebook writing that begins with a quote. Your poem and this post will be great inspiration for them as we pick the practice back up after the holidays.

  12. I love, love, love circular poems. There is something so comforting about recognizing the end once you get there, like coming home after a perilous journey. Now I need to go write a few! :)

  13. Ah, yes, beloved quotes! I have so many of them and often turn to them for inspiration. What wonderful advice for young writers!