Horace Mann #ThoreaulyInspired #NPM #NaPoWriMo #NationalPoetryMonth #ProgressivePoem

ThoreaulyInspired Logo (1)

Each day during April, I will write a poem-ish piece inspired by a word or phrase mined from the pages of Henry David Thoreau’s jewel-laden journals. I have left my challenge open so that the poems may take any form — haiku, free verse, borrowed line, blackout –and who knows which direction they will go in.

Day #25: Horace Mann

Upon the esker's edge

A peek at my process

On April 25, 1861, Thoreau wrote in his journal, “Horace Mann brings me apparently a pigeon hawk. The two middle tail-feathers are not tipped with white and are pointed almost as a woodpecker’s.” (The Journal of Henry David Thoreau, Journal XIV: August 1, 1860 – November 3, 1861, Chapter VI. 1861, p. 338)

You may have noticed that the inspiration for my poem today is Thoreau’s reference to Horace Mann, yet he does not appear in my poem. I am continuously amazed by who Thoreau either knew personally or corresponded with throughout his life. Horace Mann is one such acquaintance. His list of friends also included fellow Concordians and writers Louisa May Alcott and her father, Bronson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and, most famously, Ralph Waldo Emerson. They all lay in rest together at the top of what is now known as “Authors Ridge” in the bucolic Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Concord, Massachusetts, which Thoreau was hired to survey.

Sleepy Hollow connects to several trails in Concord that we frequently walk. Every once in a while I stop to visit the authors, and it was one such visit several years ago that inspired today’s poem. It’s been living in my subconscious for quite some time and I keep meaning to put pen to paper. Seeing the reference to Mann nudged me in that direction today, and I stopped by the ridge this morning for some fresh photos. “Garden of the living” was borrowed from Emerson’s remarks at the opening of Sleepy Hollow in 1855. “The pond below” refers to manmade Cat’s Pond, which was again surveyed by Thoreau.

And now for…

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Our Poetry Friday family has launched the 8th annual Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem originally organized by author/poet, Irene Latham. Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche is taking over this year as the organizer. Many members of the #PoetryFriday family have signed up to provide a line for the 2020 poem, and yesterday it was my turn.

Here’s where things stand with our sweet poem’s adventure thus far.

Sweet violets shimmy, daffodils sway
along the wiregrass path to the lake.
I carry a rucksack of tasty cakes
and a banjo passed down from my gram.

I follow the tracks of deer and raccoon
and echo the call of a wandering loon.
A whispering breeze joins in our song
and night melts into a rose gold dawn.

Deep into nature’s embrace, I fold.
Promise of spring helps shake the cold.
Hints of sun lightly dapple the trees
calling out the sleepy bees.

Leaf-litter crackles…I pause. Twig snaps.
I gasp! Shudder! Breathe out. Relax…
as a whitetail doe comes into view.
She shifts and spotted fawns debut.

We freeze. My green eyes and her brown
Meet and lock. Time slows down.
I scatter the cakes, backing away
Safely exiting this strange ballet.

I continue the path that winds down to the lake.
Missing my breakfast for beauty’s sake.
But wait, what’s that delicious smell?
Something familiar, I know so well.

Today it’s Amy Ludwig VanDerwater’s turn over at The Poem Farm. She has offered up two intriguing and delicious options for Dani to choose from tomorrow

Here’s the itinerary for the final days of the Progressive Poem. I don’t want it to end!

1 Donna Smith at Mainly Write
2 Irene Latham at 
Live Your Poem
3 Jone MacCulloch, 
deowriter
Liz Steinglass
Buffy Silverman
6 Kay McGriff at 
https://kaymcgriff.edublogs.org/
7 Catherine Flynn at 
Reading to the Core
8 Tara Smith at 
Going to Walden
9 Carol Varsalona at 
Beyond Literacy Link
10 Matt Forrest Esenwine at 
Radio, Rhythm, and Rhyme
11 Janet Fagel hosted at 
Reflections on the Teche
12 Linda Mitchell at 
A Word Edgewise
13 Kat Apel at 
Kat Whiskers
14 Margaret at 
Reflections on the Teche
15 Leigh Anne Eck at 
A Day in the Life
16 Linda Baie at 
Teacher Dance
17 Heidi Mordhorst at 
My Juicy Little Universe
18 Mary Lee Hahn at
 A Year of Reading
19 Tabatha at 
Opposite of Indifference
20 Rose Cappelli at 
Imagine the Possibilities
21 Janice Scully at 
Salt City Verse
22 Julieanne Harmatz at 
To Read, To Write, To Be
23 Ruth, 
thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com
24 Christie Wyman at 
Wondering and Wandering
25 Amy at 
The Poem Farm
26 Dani Burtsfield at 
Doing the Work That Matters
27 Robyn Hood Black at 
Life on the Deckle Edge
28 Jessica Bigi at TBD
29 Fran Haley at 
lit bits and pieces
30 
Michelle Kogan

And lastly, I am also excited to share that I have joined the Teach Write blogging team and will be writing a Poetry Ponderings blog post for them every month. My first offering, Finding Your Poetry Secret Decoder Ring, is now live and May’s post, about inviting poetry into your classroom, will be up soon. And my blogging teammate, Paula Bourque, offers up Quick Write Sparks to Kindle the Poet In All of Us for her first Think & Ink post in honor of National Poetry Month. I hope you will take a peek at all of the posts by the Teach Write team!

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Bird mnemonics #ThoreaulyInspired #NPM #NaPoWriMo #NationalPoetryMonth #ProgressivePoem #PoetryFriday

Welcome to Poetry Friday, everyone! I am excited and honored to host the roundup this week and to be offering up the next line for the Progressive Poem. As usual, I’m sweating it out and crossing my fingers, eyes, and toes that everything goes according to plan. For those of you new to Poetry Friday, welcome, and here’s a link to our weekly hosting schedule.

First…

ThoreaulyInspired Logo (1)

Each day during April, I will write a poem-ish piece inspired by a word or phrase mined from the pages of Henry David Thoreau’s jewel-laden journals. I have left my challenge open so that the poems may take any form — haiku, free verse, borrowed line, blackout –and who knows which direction they will go in.

Day #24: Bird mnemonics

I hear you (3)

A peek at my process

On April 24, 1852, Thoreau wrote in his journal, “Heard again (in the village) that vetter-vetter-vetter-vetter-vet’, or tchi-tchi-tchi-tchi-tchi-tchi-tchi’ very rapidly repeated, which I heard April 23d,’ and perhaps the same that I saw April 17th (described April 18th)? I am pretty sure it is the pine warbler, yellow beneath, with faint olivaceous marks on the sides, olivaceous above, tail forked, about the size of a yellow-bird. I have not seen the fox-colored sparrow for some weeks. Thought I saw a loon on Walden yesterday.” (The Journal of Henry David Thoreau, Journal III: September 16, 1851 – April 30, 1852, Chapter VII. 1852, p. 464)

As a certified Bird Nerd, I am fascinated by bird mnemonics, as Thoreau appears to have been as well. There are many entries in his journal that include his attempts at recording the birdsong that became familiar to him. I am learning to recognize birds both by sight and sound — birding by ear. I wish Henry were around to teach me a thing or two! Some of the phonetic interpretations I have been studying worked their way into an almost-list-like poem. To learn more, check out Wonderopolis.org’s “What Are Bird Song Mnemonics?

And now for…

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Our Poetry Friday family has launched the 8th annual Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem originally organized by author/poet, Irene Latham. Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche is taking over this year as the organizer. Many members of the #PoetryFriday family have signed up to provide a line for the 2020 poem, and now it is my turn! Dun-dun-duuuuuun!

Here’s where things stand with our sweet poem’s adventure thus far.

Sweet violets shimmy, daffodils sway
along the wiregrass path to the lake
I carry a rucksack of tasty cakes
and a banjo passed down from my gram.

I follow the tracks of deer and raccoon
and echo the call of a wandering loon.
A whispering breeze joins in our song
and night melts into a rose gold dawn

Deep into nature’s embrace, I fold.
Promise of spring helps shake the cold
hints of sun lightly dapple the trees
calling out the sleepy bees

Leaf-litter crackles…I pause. Twig snaps.
I gasp! Shudder! Breathe out. Relax…
as a whitetail doe comes into view.
She shifts and spotted fawns debut.

We freeze. My green eyes and her brown
Meet and lock. Time slows down.
I scatter the cakes, backing away
Safely exiting this strange ballet.

I continue the path that winds down to the lake.
Missing my breakfast for beauty’s sake

On Thursday, Ruth rather astutely noticed a lack of smell in the sense category. I’m going with…

But wait, what’s that delicious smell? (I chose this option because it leaves it open-ended which direction the smell is coming from. Ruth’s other option — But what’s that smell up there ahead? — was equally wonderful, but I believe lead to the shore of the lake. I wanted the mystery to linger longer!)

So I’m offering up to Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, the poem’s next host…

  1. Something familiar, I know so well. (Could be food or a spring flower. Our explorer is getting quite hungry at this point, but the “whispering breeze” and “promise of spring” make me think more floral. What say you, Amy? Fresh biscuits, pancakes, muffins, or an early spring flower?)
  2. Lily of the valley pealing her bells. (Going with personification and a near rhyme. The spring flower route is in honor of May Day, the day after our poem ends. It also plays around with scent vs. sound. We wouldn’t have the gorgeous scent if the “whispering breeze” didn’t make the bells “peal.”)

Now I turn things over to Amy at The Poem Farm. I can’t wait to see what she does while writing in Betsy the Camper. That’s where the magic happens! Scroll on down to the bottom, so you can see where the poem heads next week.

Thanks for joining me for this week’s roundup. Click the link and bring on the poetry, friends!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

And here’s the itinerary for the final days of the Progressive Poem.

1 Donna Smith at Mainly Write
2 Irene Latham at 
Live Your Poem
3 Jone MacCulloch, 
deowriter
Liz Steinglass
Buffy Silverman
6 Kay McGriff at 
https://kaymcgriff.edublogs.org/
7 Catherine Flynn at 
Reading to the Core
8 Tara Smith at 
Going to Walden
9 Carol Varsalona at 
Beyond Literacy Link
10 Matt Forrest Esenwine at 
Radio, Rhythm, and Rhyme
11 Janet Fagel hosted at 
Reflections on the Teche
12 Linda Mitchell at 
A Word Edgewise
13 Kat Apel at 
Kat Whiskers
14 Margaret at 
Reflections on the Teche
15 Leigh Anne Eck at 
A Day in the Life
16 Linda Baie at 
Teacher Dance
17 Heidi Mordhorst at 
My Juicy Little Universe
18 Mary Lee Hahn at
 A Year of Reading
19 Tabatha at 
Opposite of Indifference
20 Rose Cappelli at 
Imagine the Possibilities
21 Janice Scully at 
Salt City Verse
22 Julieanne Harmatz at 
To Read, To Write, To Be
23 Ruth, 
thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com
24 Christie Wyman at 
Wondering and Wandering
25 Amy at 
The Poem Farm
26 Dani Burtsfield at 
Doing the Work That Matters
27 Robyn Hood Black at 
Life on the Deckle Edge
28 Jessica Bigi at TBD
29 Fran Haley at 
lit bits and pieces
30 
Michelle Kogan

And lastly, I am also excited to share that I have joined the Teach Write blogging team and will be writing a Poetry Ponderings blog post for them every month. My first offering, Finding Your Poetry Secret Decoder Ring, is now live and May’s post, about inviting poetry into your classroom, will be up soon. And my blogging teammate, Paula Bourque, offers up Quick Write Sparks to Kindle the Poet In All of Us for her first Think & Ink post in honor of National Poetry Month. I hope you will take a peek at all of the posts by the Teach Write team!

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Great Meadows #ThoreaulyInspired #NPM #NaPoWriMo #NationalPoetryMonth #ProgressivePoem #PoetryFriday

Thanks to Amy Ludwig VanDerwater at The Poem Farm for hosting this week’s Poetry Friday roundup, the second roundup of National Poetry Month! I can’t wait to see what Amy (and her little mouse friend) do with the words life, across, and curse. Here’s what’s happening in my neck of the poetry woods today.

ThoreaulyInspired Logo (1)

Each day during April, I will write a poem-ish piece inspired by a word or phrase mined from the pages of Henry David Thoreau’s jewel-laden journals. I have left my challenge open so that the poems may take any form — haiku, free verse, borrowed line, blackout –and who knows which direction they will go in.

Day #10: Great Meadows

Great Meadows

A peek at my process

On April 10, 1852, Thoreau wrote in his journal, “Down river to half a mile below
Carlisle Bridge, the river being high, yet not high for the spring. Saw and heard the white-bellied swallows this morning for the first time. Took boat at Stedman Buttrick’s, a gunner’s boat, smelling of muskrats and provided with slats for bushing the boat. Having got into the Great Meadows, after grounding once or twice on low spits of grass ground, we begin to see ducks which we have scared, flying low over the water, always with
a striking parallelism in the direction of their flight.” (The Journal of Henry David Thoreau, Journal III: September 16, 1851 – April 30, 1852, Chapter VII. April, 1852, p. 394)

Today’s concrete poem, which mirrors the image of the trees and their reflection in the water, is about a place that is very special to me and my husband, and apparently HDT — Great Meadows. Henry visited what is now the Concord Unit of the Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge often both on foot and via canoe. You can find us there on sunny Sunday afternoons walking the woodland and riverside trails (Henry’s canoe view), and the manmade dike trail that spans the wetlands, separating it into two pools. At times the birdsong — mostly red-wing blackbirds — is cacophonous but lovely. And it is always a bonus when a great blue heron or two are nestled among the cattails fishing for a snack.

And now for…

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Last week, members of the Poetry Friday family launched the 8th annual Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem originally organized by author/poet, Irene Latham. Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche is taking over this year as the organizer. Many members of the #PoetryFriday family have signed up to provide a line for the 2020 poem. Matt Forrest Esenwine takes over today, again offering a line choice for the next host. You can find Matt’s line options on his blog, Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme. I’m excited to provide the 24th line on Friday, April 24th. I hope you’ll join us to see what happens! Here’s the itinerary for the poem.

1 Donna Smith at Mainly Write
2 Irene Latham at 
Live Your Poem
3 Jone MacCulloch, 
deowriter
Liz Steinglass
Buffy Silverman
6 Kay McGriff at 
https://kaymcgriff.edublogs.org/
7 Catherine Flynn at 
Reading to the Core
8 Tara Smith at 
Going to Walden
9 Carol Varsalona at 
Beyond Literacy Link
10 Matt Forrest Esenwine at 
Radio, Rhythm, and Rhyme
11 Janet Fagel hosted at 
Reflections on the Teche
12 Linda Mitchell at 
A Word Edgewise
13 Kat Apel at 
Kat Whiskers
14 Margaret at 
Reflections on the Teche
15 Leigh Anne Eck at 
A Day in the Life
16 Linda Baie at 
Teacher Dance
17 Heidi Mordhorst at 
My Juicy Little Universe
18 Mary Lee Hahn at
 A Year of Reading
19 Tabatha at 
Opposite of Indifference
20 Rose Cappelli at 
Imagine the Possibilities
21 Janice Scully at 
Salt City Verse
22 Julieanne Harmatz at 
To Read, To Write, To Be
23 Ruth, 
thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com
24 Christie Wyman at 
Wondering and Wandering
25 Amy at 
The Poem Farm
26 Dani Burtsfield at 
Doing the Work That Matters
27 Robyn Hood Black at 
Life on the Deckle Edge
28
29 Fran Haley at 
lit bits and pieces
30 
Michelle Kogan

In other news…I am also excited to share that I have joined the Teach Write blogging team and will be writing a Poetry Ponderings blog post for them every month. My first offering, Finding Your Poetry Secret Decoder Ring, is now live. And my blogging teammate, Paula Bourque, offers up Quick Write Sparks to Kindle the Poet In All of Us for her first Think & Ink post. I hope you will take a peek!

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Dear momma bird #PoetryFriday

It’s Poetry Friday and Elizabeth Steinglass is our gracious hostess this week for the poetry roundup. Perhaps you’ll join us? Elizabeth is celebrating her new book, Soccerverse: Poems about Soccer. How fun, and congratulations, Elizabeth!

It’s spring, so bring on the robins!

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This week I discovered a robin’s nest in my backyard. On Tuesday there were two eggs and on Wednesday there were three! Robins lay a clutch of 3-4 eggs, just one each day, so yesterday should have been egg number 4 or the start of momma keeping them toasty warm until their debut in about two weeks. I wasn’t able to check yesterday, but this afternoon I found four and no momma. I’m going to keep my distance for a bit and let her get settled to do her important work.

In their honor, and for Mother’s Day, I wrote a poem in letter form to mark the occasions.

Dear momma bird

If you’d like to learn more about writing letter poems, Amy Ludwig VanDerwater has wonderful advice for you and your students at The Poem Farm. And, if you adore robins, there are many delightful poems about them. You may find a list here.

Thanks for hosting this week, Elizabeth. Bring on the poetry!

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Day 19: List and Borrowed Line Poems #NaPoWriMo #playwithpoetryNPM #PoetryFriday

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It’s Poetry Friday! My dear poetry and notebook-keeping mentor, Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, is hosting the round up this week. I do hope you will visit her at The Poem Farm, and lots of other PF participants throughout the upcoming week. In addition to her sweet (and often sad) poem project about John and Betsy, Amy offers up a bit of “how to advice” for writing list poems, the form which her poem takes today. My Kindergarten poets love writing list poems, so I have been working on one, too, with different words for walking that I have been collecting.

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— Christie Wyman, 2019 (draft)

 

And now for more playing with poetry!

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A collaborative poem written by Margaret Simon and her students.

Yesterday my #playwithpoetry playmate Margaret Simon honored me by borrowing a line from my haiku I shared on Wednesday. (Click here to see her original post.) Today I am repaying the favor by borrowing a line from a collaborative poem she wrote with her students — “In the spring-sprinkled garden.”

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I turned to one of my #playwithpoetry tools, magnetic poetry, for the rest of the poem.
In the spring-sprinkled garden
In the spring-sprinkled garden” appears courtesy of Margaret Simon and friends.

A peek into my poems and process.

  • I’ve been collecting words for a long time. My list poem about walking features just some of the many words for walking, one of my favorite pastimes. A favorite walk of mine and my husband’s is the nearby Emerson-Thoreau Amble. Dear friends Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson enjoyed walking together, and one of their favorite woodland walks was the 1.7 mile path that began behind Emerson’s home and ended at nearby Walden Pond.  You can read more about this walk here. The “good friends” in my poem was inspired by these famous good friends.
  • Here in New England we are only just beginning to see true signs of spring in our gardens. “Sprinkled” is the perfect way to describe the hints of color beginning to crop up here and there.
  • The photo in my spring poem is of a long, narrow garden bed that runs alongside my driveway. It makes me happy when I pull in and see some sprinkles of color.
  • When the sun is shining, and there is a light breeze blowing, the intoxicating perfume from my early spring bulbs in bloom wafts in through my open windows. It is truly delicious!

One full week of National Poetry Month to go, gang. If you are looking to share a little poetry wonder with your students, check out this Padlet of all the poetry-related wonders on Wonderopolis. Perhaps they’ll find a bit of inspiration here!

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And introducing….

2019 Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem

On April 1, the Poetry Friday family launched the 7th annual Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem organized by author/poet, Irene Latham. (Click here to learn more.) Many of us have signed up to provide a line for the 2019 poem. Author/poet Matt Forrest Esenwine kicked things off with some familiar “found” phrases merged to get us going. Today’s line comes from Heidi Mordhorst at My Juicy Little Universe. Participants are having fun lifting favorite song lyrics to create the next line in the poem. I was excited to provide the 14th line on Sunday, April 14th. I hope you’ll join us to see what happens! Here’s the itinerary for the poem.

April

1 Matt @Radio, Rhythm and Rhyme

2 Kat @Kathryn Apel

3 Kimberly @KimberlyHutmacherWrites

4 Jone @DeoWriter

5 Linda @TeacherDance

6 Tara @Going to Walden

7 Ruth @thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown

8 Mary Lee @A Year of Reading

9 Rebecca @Rebecca Herzog

10 Janet F. @Live Your Poem

11 Dani @Doing the Work that Matters

12 Margaret @Reflections on the Teche

13 Doraine @Dori Reads

14 Christie @Wondering and Wandering

15 Robyn @Life on the Deckle Edge

16 Carol @Beyond LiteracyLink

17 Amy @The Poem Farm

18 Linda @A Word Edgewise

19 Heidi @my juicy little universe

20 Buffy @Buffy’s Blog

21 Michelle @Michelle Kogan

22 Catherine @Reading to the Core

23 Penny @a penny and her jots

24 Tabatha @The Opposite of Indifference

25 Jan @Bookseestudio

26 Linda @Write Time

27 Sheila @Sheila Renfro

28 Liz @Elizabeth Steinglass

29 Irene @Live Your Poem

30 Donna @Mainely Write

I Know We’ll Get There #PoetryFriday

Happy Poetry Friday, everyone! My dear, but feeling under the weather, friend Amy Ludwig VanDerwater at The Poem Farm is our hostess for some poetry goodness this week.

Today we finished our first week of full day Kindergarten and I’m beat. The kids are beat. The parents are beat. I haven’t posted in a while, but it’s Amy’s turn, so I’m rallying. I’m not going to lie. This week was hard, but we’ll get there.

I Know But We'll Get There

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Thanks for visiting and join us for some Poetry Friday fun!

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Swap treasures in the mail! #PoetryFriday

Happy Poetry Friday, everyone! I’m back after a bit of a hiatus while the school year finished up. Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect is our hostess this week, and she’s showcasing some sweet summer souvenirs!

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On the very first morning of my summer vacation from school, our mail carrier delivered a delightful package from poetry swap-mate Brenda Harsham, who blogs at Friendly Fairy Tales. It was bursting with color, ladybugs, and a friendship theme. What a way to begin the season!

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the best friends appear when you need them like ladybugs — Brenda Harsham

I adore ladybugs (how did she know?), so I will treasure her creative offering. I also chuckled when I saw Brenda’s return address on the envelope and realized we live SO CLOSE to one another and I know exactly where she lives! Let’s meet some day, Brenda!

And then, a few days later, this arrived.

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The True Definition of Vernal Pool
Vernal pools, could just as easily be called poke puddles, observation opportunities or wonders water. These pools typically fill when kindergarteners are indoors missing the outdoors due to seasonal weather. If you’re fortunate, Mrs. Wyman will bridge the gap between vernal pools and lessons with jackets, boots, journals, pencils and a wander plan. Hands will get muddy, wonders will arise, research will begin. Poems about frogs, leaves crustaceans and life cycles will be written. These pools will continue to lure insiders out-of-doors whenever there are learners near a Massachusetts woods and Mrs. Wyman to lead them. — Linda Mitchell

Wow. I’m not going to lie. This left me in a puddle of the-school-year-just-ended-and-I’m-a-bit-of-an-emotional-wreck tears. Some of you know of my fondness for vernal pools. Ok. Let’s be honest. It’s an obsession! I write about them often, in both poetry and prose. Linda Mitchell (we ARE going to meet IRL one day, Linda!), who blogs at A Word Edgewise, followed along faithfully during the month of April, as I wrote a poem a day about vernal pools as part of poet/author Amy Ludwig VanDerwater’s 1 Subject 30 Ways challenge. My journey began here.  Linda had never heard of vernal pools and…well… “poems are teachers,” as Amy’s book is so aptly titled. Now Linda knows all about them! And her card will be treasured along with Brenda’s.

Many thanks to Tabatha Yeatts, who brilliantly coordinated this summer poetry swap!

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I hope you’ll join Tricia and the rest of us for some summer Poetry Friday fun here!

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