Friday, March 29, 2024

Coaxing Poems 10: Love those Words

Happy  birthday to The Poem Farm!
This blog is 14 years old today!


Hello, dear Poem Friends! Welcome to the final of ten poetry video visits here at The Poem Farm. In each of these short clips, I have shared a small something about poetry, and you will always be able to find the poem(s) I read below the video. If you wish, you may watch the earlier videos linked below:


Students - Throughout this series of visits, we have talked about many different aspects of poetry, and today we end on the smallest level, the single word. I love thinking about how English has only 26 letters, yet these letters make up all of our English words and thus, all of our English poems and articles and books. I even wrote a poem about this magic in my book WRITE! WRITE! WRITE!, titled "Alphabet."

In the companion book to WRITE! WRITE! WRITE!, READ! READ! READ!, I include a poem about a word collection. This poem grew from the many word collections that I keep in notebooks. Keeping such collections is a way to treasure-hunt and cherish words, to use them for inspiration and to pay attention to sound. Below you may see one of the word collections I have made over the years. I encourage you to try keeping such a collection; it is interesting to see how your most-loved words change and how they also stay the same.

One of Many Word Collections
Photo by Amy LV

Color Spot Seen on a Walk
Photo by Amy LV

This short free verse poem includes a bit of wordfun. I like imagining that I might be the only person to have described an orange punchbuggy as a pudgy orange lollipop car and that perhaps I invented the term zipzoops. Color-happy is a hyphenated word that is usually not hyphenated. But you see, my friends, when you may play!

Writers DECIDE to not write that a car is parked and to instead write that a car naps. We can see with our eyes and too, we can giggle with these very same eyes. Understand how words work, and then, dear writers, make them work in new ways.

So, collect words!

And too, reread your writing word-by-word, paying attention to the ways your words sound and mean in your poems. If you find yourself writing something in a way you have heard it said many times, go ahead and revise it to sound new. Then, give yourself a hug for doing so. Revision isn't always easy, but it often lifts a poem from a mudpuddle into a hot air balloon for a surprising ride!

Words are small, free collectable, sharable friends. Get to know them.

Tricia is hosting this week's Poetry Friday roundup over at The Miss Rumphius Effect with a most loving and ovely pantoum about her late pup. Cooper. Each Friday, all are invited to share poems, poem books, poetry ideas, and friendship in this open and welcoming poetry community.

I thank you for joining me on this journey through 10 visits of Coaxing Poems. It has been a joy to explore a few aspects of poetry with you from my little writing house...Gratitude.

National Poetry Month begins on Monday...April Fool's Day! I welcome you to join me throughout the month as I take on another 30-day writing project. This year's project is titled ONE MORE LINE CROW as throughout April, I will study crows and share a new crow poem each day. The number of lines in each poem will correspond to the date, with a 1-line poem on April 1...and a 30-line poem on April 30. If you'd like to play along, simply choose a topic that you'd like to explore for 30 days. It might be a subject that you already know a lot about or perhaps you'll explore something new.

As for me, I have a stack of crow books here and am excited to dig in!



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  1. Oh I love that pudgy orange VW. So great!

  2. Happy word collecting and blogiversary, dear Amy!

  3. Love all the wordplay, Amy, especially "zipzoops" and "color-happy."

  4. "color-happy eyes" ... I love it! Happy Blog Birthday! Thank you for sharing.

  5. Hurrah for 'color-happy' words, Amy. Hoping that many teachers capture all your videos to us with their students!

  6. This is such a fun romp of a poem and the entire post just sings with word love. My colleagues and I have been sharing some of your videos in our second grade classrooms, and they've been just wonderful. The kids love them. Thank you so much for sharing so generously!

  7. Happy Blogiversary! Your NPM project sounds fantastic...I can't wait to follow along! Being The Audience is my NPM project this year.

  8. I love what you said about the words in your poem--zipzoops as perhaps your own invention, the sweet name for the car and "color-happy eyes". It illustrates your coaxing poem idea so well.

  9. Zipzoop! Yes, please :>D Nobody loves words as much as you do, Amy. xox