Winter Poem Swap Kindness #PoetryFriday

It’s Poetry Friday and Michelle Kogan is our hostess for this final Poetry Friday roundup of 2019. I hope to see you there! Michelle shares a call to action for the sake of our earth’s climate. We’ve got to act and fast!

I do believe (fibonacci)

In keeping with Michelle’s urgent message, here’s a fib I created for my Kindergarten naturalists. They are the next generation of stewards for the earth, after all.

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For this years’ annual Winter Poem Swap, our wonderful organizer, Tabatha, paired me with none other than herself! She is a truly talented, kind, and generous soul.

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Tabatha knows of my love of all-things-nature. I’ve been wanting to read Gooley’s The Lost Art of Reading Nature’s Signs for some time now, and my goal of nurturing my creative side outside of writing poetry is one step closer with the help of Nature Art Workshop. (Would you believe I instantly thought of Michelle’s stunning artwork as I was thumbing through this? If only!) I’m certain you might see my dabblings here soon!

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And Tabatha’s kindness did not stop there. Inside this wintery folio she had tucked a note, lovely handmade necklace (can’t wait to wear that!), and a poem card featuring her poem, When I Grow Up, I Want to Be a Cat.

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Tabatha knows I am a Kindergarten teacher and when her daughter was my students’ age, she responded ” A cat,” when asked what she wanted to be when she grew up. A purrfect (sorry!) response, don’t you think? I can just hear one of my kiddos saying that and explaining why, as Tabatha does in her poem. I think she captured beautifully the playfulness of a kitten, as well as the moodiness and cat-titude (sorry again!) to come.

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Using Canva, one of my favorite creative go-tos, I thought this sweet image of a kitten was an ideal match for her words. Thank you, Tabatha! I hope you enjoy this wee gesture of thanks.

Many thanks for hosting this week, Michelle. Now let’s bring on the poetry as we crawl towards the new year.

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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!

April

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

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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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