Saturday, April 13, 2024


   Happy National Poetry Month!

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

Hello Poetry Friends! If you visited earlier this month, you may have noticed a change my National Poetry Month project title. For my National Poetry Month Project this year, I had originally planned to study crows and share a new crow poem each day of April with the number lines in each poem corresponding to the date. The plan was to write 1-line poem on April 1...and go all the way up to a 30-line poem on April 30. Now, for a variety of personal and poetic reasons, I have changed the project. The poems will go up to 15 lines...and then decrease from 15 back down to 1. Hence the new name: ONE MORE OR LESS LINE CROW. We are still on the MORE part, but beginning on April 16, we go back down in line numbers. Yes, the logo and the crow pics will change too!

Sometimes life surprises us, and we can change our plans to match the needs at the time. I chose to change course rather than abandon this project, and after some good thinking last night, I feel happy about this decision.

If you'd like to play along, simply choose a topic that you'd like to explore for many 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 many 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 and decide if you would like to match your line breaks to the date in any way. You might correspond 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 30 will have 30 lines. You may wish to switch it up as I have, writing increasing-line poems from 1-15 lines for this first half of April and then decreasing-line poems for the second half of the month. OR....invent your own idea! 

4. Teachers and writers, if you wish to share any ONE MORE OR LESS 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.

Thirteen Crows, Thirteen Lines
Photo by Amy LV

Students - Today's poem is a compare/contrast poem, highlighting the differences between Crow and Raven. Some people call this kind of writing "see saw" writing because it goes back and forth between two different topics, just like a see saw or teeter totter.

The poem is a free verse poem with no clear rhyme scheme or meter/beat. The use of couplets (2 line stanzas) was helpful to me as in each stanza, I could write the first line about Crow and the second line about Raven. You might have noticed that I repeated the first couplet at the end....but then added a one liner on its own. This, I think, gives the poem a wee bit of a twist. If you have been wondering why I am capitalizing Crow and Young Crow and now Raven throughout this project, it is because I am considering these birds as individual characters with names, not simply part of a group. Crow is one particular crow. And now Raven is one particular raven. We know, though, that in a way, the one stands for all.

When you go outside next and spot big black bird in the sky, give it the Know Crow test. Can you figure it out? (One additional clue - if you watch the bird fly, Raven does somersaults and rolls as he soars through sky.)

If you would like to see a great visual of the differences between crows and ravens, visit Corvid Research with Kaeli Swift to see Rosemary Mosco's work. And know, too, that there is much more information in books and online about this interesting topic.

Thank you for joining me for ONE MORE OR LESS 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. And I am glad! Glad to have clues for recognizing Crow and Raven. And glad for the One More… or Less Line- I was beginning to wonder how to make it to 30! Going back down to 1 sounds more doable. Whew!