Friday, January 20, 2023

Copying Quotes and Listening

Quote from My Notebook
Photo by Amy LV

Students - I woke up very early this morning with some words in my mind:

Late last night - I walked outside - and stars fell from the sky.

I didn't get out of bed right away. Instead I stayed and thought for just a couple of extra minutes, repeating these words, asking myself, "What might the next line be?" Soon I turned on the light, snapped up my notebook, and began drafting the messy lines you see below.

Morning Drafting
Photo by Amy LV

While I am not sure, I think that the idea for this poem draft came from a quote that I copied from a book into my notebook just this week:

Perhaps they are not stars, 
but rather openings in heaven 
where the love of our lost ones 
pours through and shines down 
upon us to let us know 
that they are happy.
Inuit Proverb

Copying snips and bits of beautiful writing, collecting these into my notebook and including the names of authors and writers along with them is a way for me to hold onto words I love. Sometimes these words find me in other ways, creating new ideas and poems. Had I not copied this proverb into my notebook this week, I honestly do not believe that I would have written today's magic-trimmed poem.

Allow enough space in your life to let lines drift into the window of your mind. And know this: the more regularly you write, the more often interesting sentences will surprise you when you least expect them. Keep a notebook (or a napkin!) nearby for when this happens. Listen to your inner writing voice. It may speak when you don't have a pen in your hand.

Too, remember that your notebook is your place, and in its pages you are always free to write some magical memories of your own.

I feel very lucky to have spent most of this week visiting schools and working with teachers in the Wyckoff School District in Wyckoff, New Jersey. Thank you to the teachers and students of Washington School, Coolidge School, and Lincoln School for so warmly inviting me into your classrooms. I can't wait to visit Sicomac School and to return to you all in February!

Sharing Notebooks and Writing Possibilities
Photo from the Washington School Twitter Feed

Marcie is hosting this week's Poetry Friday roundup at Marcie Flinchum Atkins with some recommendations of books to go with her WAIT, REST, PAUSE: DORMANCY IN NATURE. (I am unable to link to this post yet, but will as soon as it is available.) Please know that all are welcome each Friday as folks share poems, poem books, poetry ideas, and friendship.

Remember: a memory may be real....or it may be real in spirit.



Please share a comment below if you wish. 
If you are under 13 years old, please only comment with a parent
or as part of a group with your teacher.


  1. Oh a treasure once more. I love everything about this, Amy. Your notebook, your poem, your explanation, your exhortation (well the kind and gentle version). Thank you as always. So glad you are traveling to schools!! They are so lucky to have you. Janet Clare F. PS not sure if the commenting thing has changed here, but glad to be available for PF today! I have missed many Fridays of late, said to say.

  2. What a treasure of journals and poetry.

  3. Love the process you shared with us.
    I love these lines:
    "This starfall memory
    lives in me."
    And someday I would love to bring you to our community. I hope the schools you visit realize what a gift you are.

  4. Quotes and notebooks and poems that follow us out of dreams. The best.

  5. Wonderful, makes me yearn to be far out in the country because I don't see many stars here, Amy. I'm glad you took us along on your journey!

  6. I love learning about your process! What a beautiful moment you have captured in your poem.

  7. "starfall memory" - there's a keeper! I'm so glad you reach teachers. Thank you.

  8. I'm copying this into my notebook today - "Allow enough space in your life to let lines drift into the window of your mind." Thank you, Amy!

  9. This is lovely, Amy. The vivid description of you waking up with the lines to the heartfelt poem itself. Thank you.

  10. Amy. this line is just enough inspiration this week when I go on the Disney cruise with my family and the little grands. "Allow enough space in your life to let lines drift into the window of your mind. Thanks. Your poem allowed me time to pause and just be.

  11. Beautiful imagery of these old falling stars, thanks for sharing the quote and kernels that inspired your poem Amy!