A Message for #EarthDay #NationalPoetryMonth #NaPoWriMo

Happy National Poetry Month! This month I am tagging along with poet/author Amy Ludwig VanDerwater during what has become her annual NPM Project. You can click here to learn more about this straight from Amy! This year she is writing and sharing a new poem every day, each highlighting a different poetic technique, but keeping the same subject. Her challenge, 1 Subject 30 Ways, is also a bit of an informal book study and master class, as she’s using her fall 2017 release Poems Are Teachers (Heinemann) as her guide. Join us!

Today’s poetic technique chosen by Amy is to end with a message. My subject is, and will be all month-long, vernal pools. It’s Earth Day today, so if ever there was a day for messages, this is it. In reflecting on the poems I’ve written throughout this month-long challenge, I often end with a message.

Let's go for a walk (1)Woods Walk (1)I believe (1)Vernal Pools

As Amy states, sometimes the message comes to us before the body of the poem. Other times the poem guides us to the message. One message that stands out to me, perhaps stronger than the others, is the final stanza in I Believe — “I believe you were born curious/Let that curiosity/protect the world we call home.” In rereading that stanza, and looking at it closely, I realized it’s a message that can stand on its own two feet. I became curious to see if the syllable count or form followed any formal poetic structure. Much to my surprise — and delight — it can be both a Fibonacci poem (1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8) and a Blackjack poem (7, 7, 7), with a little editing.

I do believe (fibonacci)
Fibonacci form (1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8)
You were born curious (blackjack)
Blackjack form (7, 7, 7)

I hope you’ve been following along the journey of the 2018 KidLitosphere Progressive Poem, a fun annual collaborative project lovingly begun in 2012 by poet/author Irene Latham. This poem has magically, and quite literally this year, been growing right before our eyes daily during the month of April. This year we are following along the journey of Jasmine, a seed, and her companions Moon and Owl. Jasmine, from a long line of poet’s jasmine, began has begun making her way in the world, finding her poetic voice, and teach us a new game. The process has been fascinating to follow and I was excited to dive in for the first time with line eighteen. I hope you will follow Jasmine’s journey for the remainder of our Progressive Poem month by clicking on the blogs in the list below.  I can’t wait to see what happens next!


2 Jane at Raincity Librarian
4 Michelle at Today’s Little Ditty
Jan at bookseedstudio
6 Irene at Live Your Poem
7 Linda at TeacherDance
Janet F. at Live Your Poem
11 Brenda at Friendly Fairy Tales
12 Carol at Beyond LiteracyLink
13 Linda at A Word Edgewise
15 Donna at Mainely Write
16 Sarah at Sarah Grace Tuttle
18 Christie at Wondering and Wandering
19 Michelle at Michelle Kogan
20 Linda at Write Time
23 Amy at The Poem Farm
24 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
26 Renee at No Water River
27 Buffy at Buffy’s Blog
28 Kat at Kat’s Whiskers
29 April at Teaching Authors
30 Doraine at Dori Reads


This post is part of my personal National Poetry Month celebration. I hope you’ll join me in sharing your favorite poetic gems throughout the month of April whether they are written by you, your students, or another poet.

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