Friday, October 20, 2023

Write from Art

Corridor in the Asylum
by Vincent van Gogh

Students - Today's poem is, once again, an ekphrastic poem...a poem about art. Over the past two weeks, I have so enjoyed writing with students at Alden Intermediate School in Alden, NY. One of the pieces I selected when writing with fourth graders was this van Gogh hallway above. It clearly made me think about choices and how one choices leads to another and another.

Art is a magnificent doorway to writing, and so many things count as art. Look around. Maybe you see wallpaper with an interesting design or a mug with a drawing on it. Perhaps the fiery tree outside your window looks like a statue or your new kitten (you know if I am talking to you!) reminds you of a painting.

We can always have many poems brewing in our minds. I am working on another one inspired by a word J. shared this week - "bright."

Writing this poem, I most enjoyed the rolling repetition of the words doors, doorway, doorknob. I kept reading aloud as I wrote and do highly recommend this.

Update on November 3, 2024 - My musician and English professor friend Gart Westerhout has turned this poem into a song. Below you can hear his composition with him singing and playing piano. So now we see a painting turned into a poem turned into a song!

Thank you again to everyone at Alden Intermediate for my warm and welcoming days with you. I very much enjoyed reading your words.

Bridget is hosting this week's Poetry Friday roundup today at wee words for wee ones a happy birthday celebration! Each Friday, all are invited to share poems, poem books, poetry ideas, and friendship in this open and welcoming poetry community.

Wishing you interesting hallways and doorways...



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  1. Amy, I am using your poem today to lead my students to writing. Thanks. Here are two posts so far.
    by John Robert, 6th grade.
    Avalyn, 4th grade
    I love how poetry begets poetry...

    1. Kailyn, 5th grade:

  2. Thank you for opening the door to seeing van Gogh's painting anew via your words, Amy. Your poem reminds me of the book I'm reading, The Midnight Library by Matt Haig which explores parallel lives or the MC find her "new me". I highly recommend it.

  3. Two ideas, from art & the idea of openings in life, Amy! I love that ending!

  4. Amy, so many deliciously elongated O sounds. I can hear your voice reading this without evening opening the recording. Lovely!

  5. "The hallway of life is door upon door." YES! Today I get to turn a new doorknob! Exciting!

  6. "Doors galore." I love all of the surprising rhymes in this poem!

  7. Amy... thank you for this poem. I am reading a bio about Vincent and what a difficult life he lived. Yes, every day a new choice, a door to be opened. I will have to write to one of his paintings. Thank you for pointing me in that direction. Life has been a bit crazy, and I need a nudge.

  8. This is fun, Amy. I think a lot about this issue--how many different lives we could live, etc. Your poem captures this perfectly.

  9. I love thinking about like as a series of doorways that can take us to unexpected places. The rhyme and repeated sounds are lovely to say.

  10. I use reading aloud often, to let a poem unfold. I love to read a partial line and see what words it asks for to join it. Thank you, Amy.

  11. I often think about the doors we choose. I relate to everything in your poem!

  12. Your poem is lovely and so rhythmic when read aloud. Who can't relate emotionally to doors? Some we pass through so easily, others not so much, because we can't know what opening some doors will mean. Lovely poem, Amy.