Friday, March 24, 2023

One Word Can Inspire a Poem

Twilight in My Pocket
Photo by Amy LV

Students - I collect words. In most every notebook that I keep, I save a page at the end for some favorite words. I love words for many reasons - sound, memories, meaning. Below you can see the list from my now-notebook. (The criss cross lines are from a writing game that I like to play with myself.) I copy words from books and words from poems, words people write to me and words I hear people speak. When I need to find a writing idea, I can always choose a word from my list. 

This is what I did today - I chose the word twilight from my notebook list below and wrote it on top of my notebook page. Then I wrote a poem from that one word. (Of course this is only ONE of my favorite words!)

Can you find twilight on the list?

Current Notebook Word List
Photo by Amy LV

I think the word twilight is magical and beautiful. You can read its definition and see a photo of a twilight sky below.

Definition of "Twilight"

Photograph of Twilight

Consider making your own list of favorite words in a notebook or on a piece of paper. This will not only give you possible writing ideas, but keeping a list will also direct your mind to pay attention to interesting and lovely, fascinating and fun words. See, once we begin paying attention to something, we see it and notice it more and more. 

Becoming a word-noticer is worth it. If your class of friends celebrates words together, you can even make a bulletin board or keep a FAVORITE WORDS notebook together. Then...see what stories and poems grow from your words.

And can always repeat words and lines in your poems, just as I did above.

This week has found me away from home, on a four day writing residency with the first and second graders of the Edgemont School District in Scarsdale, NY. Whenever I write with young people, I learn from them, and on my long drive home to Western New York this afternoon, I will hold these students' poems in my heart. Thank you to the PTA, teachers, administrators, and children of Edgemont for hosting me with such open hearts.

School Visit - Greenville Elementary
Photo by PTA

Rose is hosting this week's Poetry Friday roundup at Imagine the Possibilities with a joyful welcome to spring. Please know that all are welcome each Friday as folks share poems, poem books, poetry ideas, and friendship.

Next Friday I will announce my 2023 National Poetry Month Project - for yet another poem each day of April. Past projects have included poems that can be sung (Sing That Poem), poems matched to crayon colors (Writing the Rainbow), and poems about thrifted objects (Thrift Store). I still have no idea what I will do this year, but we'll all know next week!

I hope that you find lots of neat words as you go through your next days. And I hope that neat words find you too!



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  1. I love Twilight, too, Amy! It always reminds me of Ralph Fletcher's beautiful picture book Twilight Comes Twice. Can't wait to see what you come up with for Poetry Month. In the past I've sometimes written along with you. In fact, I was just rereading the poems I wrote for "Poems Can" in 2020. Maybe I'll write with you this year, too!

  2. Amy, I started a word journal but haven't given it any attention lately. Adding Twilight to it. We had a party this past fall that we titled "Twilight on the Teche." One of my favorite words, too.

  3. I love this, Amy--and twilight is a favorite of mine, too. I love how it serves as a mantra in your poem. I'm always noticing words, but I'll admit I don't keep a word list unless I'm particularly saving up to create a word bank for something. I think I need to find a spot to save words I savor.

  4. What a great poem and exercise! I may have to start keeping a word bank like this. Thanks for always having posts that delight and inspire!

  5. Amy, your poem about twilight is sweet. I think today I want to carry kerfuffle in my pocket. I started a list of words on the back page of my journal just now and wrote kerfuffle. Thanks for the inspiration.

  6. Lovely ending, Amy. It is great to collect favorite words then write about them.

  7. Lucky kids in Scarsdale! That picture captures your energy and generous spirit. As for a favorite word...imbue is on the list in the back of my notebook. It might need a Definito...

  8. I love twilight too. I also love the word "crepuscular." I have a book coming out about crepuscular life (in 2025). :)

  9. I guess my word list is in my head...but who, who could pick one favorite word!?

  10. I love the idea of writing a poem from a favorite word. I may try this for my April poetry project.

  11. This poem makes me happy. A friend of mine has a cat named Twilight. I need to send this to her.

  12. Love your word list, Amy. "Twilight" is the cinnamon of words. :)