Thursday, April 11, 2024


Happy National Poetry Month!

  (For new poetry writing videos, see the COAXING POEMS tab above.)

This month I am studying crows, sharing a new crow poem each day of April. 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.

I invite you to join me in this project! 

To do so, simply:

1. Choose a subject that you would like to stick with for 30 days. You might choose something you know lots about...or like me, you might choose something you will read and learn about throughout April.

3. Write a new poem for each day of April 2024, corresponding the number of lines in your poem to the date. For example, the poem for April 1 will have 1 line. The poem for April 14 will have 14 lines. The poem for April 30 will have 30 lines. OR....invent your own idea! And if you start later in April, just play around however you wish.

4. Teachers and writers, if you wish to share any ONE MORE LINE... subjects or poems, please email them to me or tag me @amylvpoemfarm. I would love to see what your students write and to know that we are growing these lines...and our understandings of different subjects...together.

Eleven Crows, Eleven Lines
Photo by Amy LV

Students - Today's eleven line poem borrows from the roundel form, but it is not actually a roundel. It does have eleven lines. The first and last stanzas are quatrains (four lines). The second stanza is a tercet (three lines). The beginning of the first line does repeat as both the fourth and eleventh line. But I did not follow the roundel rhyme scheme; my poem does not rhyme at all.

This said, I relearned something today. As writers, we can take a form invented by someone else and borrow parts of this form for our own poems without completely following every rule of the form. I like the way that this first part of my first line returns, and I have never done just that just that way before. Nor have I ever intentionally written an eleven line poem with two four line stanzas and a three line stanza between them. Thank you, roundel, for the lesson and the learning.

As for crow roosts, they are incredible and huge, up to two million crows. Scientists believe that crows roost together in winter for warmth, to protect each other from predators, and to share information about food sources and news, and possibly to find mates. 

In writing poems about crows, one challenge I face is choosing which facts to include. A poem can give information, yes...but I do not want my poems to feel like scientific articles. This is a balance. When I imagine this crow collection as a book, I imagine nonfiction notes around the pages, in the way that Nicola Davies includes nonfiction notes in her narrative nonfiction books ONE TINY TURTLE and BAT LOVES THE NIGHT.

A special note to Ms. Corbett's students who asked, "What are these small toy crows sitting on in all of these photographs?" It is a funny answer. Yes, they look like they are sitting on a tortilla or a round loaf of bread...but in fact, they are sitting on the stone mushroom statue in our yard. I took a photograph of all 30 crows and then subtracted one at a time to take all of the photographs for this month.

Mushroom Statue
Photo by Amy LV

Thank you for joining me for ONE LINE CROW...

To learn about more National Poetry Month projects and all kinds of April goodness, visit Jama Rattigan at Jama's Alphabet Soup where Jama has generously gathered this coming month's happenings. Happy National Poetry Month!



ps - If you are interested in learning about any of my previous 13 National Poetry Month projects, you may do so here.

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1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for answering our question! We never would have guessed it was a mushroom statue, though we did think it could be a rock, or a mushroom. :)