Friday, February 3, 2023

For You - Giving a Box

Snow in the Country
February 1, 2023
Video by Amy LV

Students - The other day, I walked outside to the scene you see above. It was such a magical snow - fat flakes falling in the stillness. I captured the short video above, and as I walked back inside, I thought to myself, "I would like to give this scene, this snow, to someone who would love it." Later, I wrote that thought into my notebook.

The origins of a poem are somewhat mysterious. This one grew from that snowy day scene, and also from a line from a "The Uses of Sorrow" - a poem by Mary Oliver:

Someone I loved once gave me
a box full of darkness.

Then I remembered the time, many years ago, when I had a video chat with author/teacher Margaret Simon and a few of her students from Louisiana. We had lots of snow here, and as they do not know snow, I brought some inside, and in front of my screen gave them a tiny snowman.

So there it is: Outside Scene + Someone Else's Poem + A Memory = A New Poem.

This is why paying attention matters. Sometimes the littlest thing comes back to haunt you in the very best way.

If you were to fill a box with something and give it to another, inviting them to enjoy the contents...what might you fill it with? Of course the thing you choose wouldn't have to really fit into the box, and of course it doesn't have to be something you could even ever put into a box at all. But still...what might you select, from all of the everythings you can imagine?

It is possible that this thought will walk you right into the arms of a poem.

Laura is hosting this week's Poetry Friday roundup at Laura's Blog with a joyful celebration of FINDING FAMILY, the newest book by Laura Purdie Salas. Please know that all are welcome each Friday as folks share poems, poem books, poetry ideas, and friendship.

For you, I offer a box full of ideas and a box full of hope.



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  1. Oh Amy, you saved me today. I hadn't really made a lesson plan for Poetry Friday, so I pulled up your post. And here it is, a gift of a poem and a prompt and even making me famous with your shout out. Thanks!

  2. My student Avalyn wrote a box poem:

  3. A box of snow sounds delightful, Amy! May I offer you a box of misty rain for when you are hot? Or maybe that windy feeling right before a storm, kind of a rumbly box of "something's going to happen"? My kids love that. Thanks for the idea!

  4. Oh, this is lovely. I would put the Scottish highlands in a box. Or the ocean. Or the feeling of being in a new country, ready to experience the world like a newborn. Yum. I want to write all these poems now. Thank you!

  5. A dear friend was nervous before giving a speech in front of a crowd. I gave her a very tiny box with a note inside: You already have everything you need. I love the idea of turning this into a poem. Thank you!

  6. This is wonderful and beautiful and genius all inside the box of snow.

  7. So beautiful, Amy It reminds me of a poem I used long ago about packing up a box called Summer by Bobbi Katz. Thank you.

  8. What a lovely gift with your poem! At first I thought of memes I've seen with people offering do-it-yourself snowman kits--just pay for the shipping and they will send you a box of snow.

  9. This poem is exactly the snowy Valentine I needed, Amy.

  10. Amy, this took me back to years ago when West Falls was pounded with snow on Christmas Eve and Fairport had none. Our daughter was young and wanted to play in snow on Christmas so her Bompa had the idea to fill her aunt’s truck with snow and dump it on our lawn fir Christmas morning. His granddaughter loved waking up to snow. It must have looked so strange to our neighbors, too! Thank you for sharing such creative moments so freely!