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, as she’s using her fall 2017 release Poems Are Teachers (Heinemann) as her guide. Join us!
Today’s writing technique chosen by Amy is to start with setting. While this is a poetry challenge, starting with setting is certainly a wonderful way to begin many forms of writing. My subject is, and will be all month long, vernal pools. In between two sections of our magical vernal pool is a finger of land — a tiny cape, geographically speaking — with a perfectly placed log. I’m not sure if nature placed this downed limb there, a habitat unto itself, or if the Forest and Trail Association who maintain the trails leading to the pool did, but it’s perfect.
That log is a favorite spot of mine and my students. When sitting on either side of it, we face water, have water behind us, and water to one side. It’s the perfect place to stop and rest for a while, to become part of the vernal pool habitat if only for a few brief moments. We sit and listen, watch, wonder, and sometimes sketch in our field notebooks. Do you have a picture in your head of our special place?
Does it look something like this? If only you could come with us and experience it for yourself.
I also hope you will stop by Live Your Poem daily to follow along the journey of the 2018 KidLit Progressive Poem, a fun annual collaborative project lovingly begun in 2012 by poet/author Irene Latham. The poem will magically, and quite literally this year, be growing right before our eyes daily during the month of April. This year we are following along the journey of Jasmine and her companions Moon and Owl. Jasmine has now safely landed, begun wrapping herself around a trellis, and is beginning to grow. The process is fascinating and this year I am diving in for the first time with a line right in the middle of the month — April 18th. I’m up tomorrow and nervous as all get out!
Many thanks to the crew at Two Writing Teachers, and the extended SOL community, for giving us the time, space, and encouragement to live the writerly life here each Tuesday. Won’t you join us? This post is also 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.