Archive for the ‘Poetry Friday’ Category

Poetry Friday round-up is with Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference

Photo by Molly Hogan, mbhmaine at Nix the Comfort Zone.

The world
inside a crystal ball
feels mystical
and magical,
a fairy tale land
where princes
fall in love
with glass slippers.

The world
inside ocean waves
feels treacherous
and terrifying,
a tossed ship
where pirates
set traps
for fair maidens.

The world
in a child’s mind
feels exciting
and thrilling,
a shore of seashells
where girls and boys
gather treasures
to share.

The photo above took my breath away.  I saw it on Molly Hogan’s blog and thought, “I want to write a poem about this.”  I also went to Amazon to buy my own crystal photo ball.  I changed my header image to one of the bayou with the ball placed on my deck railing.

I had an email conversation with my virtual-poetry-writing-photographer-friend Molly Hogan about exchanging photos and writing poems about them.  The idea grew into something we’d like to share with the Poetry Friday community.  We are calling it “More than Meets the Eye.”

I am hosting the Poetry Friday round-up on Friday, May 25th and would like to invite poets to fill out the form below and I’ll match you with someone to exchange photos with. I’m going to make an effort to match you to someone in a totally different geographical location. Your charge will be to write a poem about the photo you receive and post it on your blog on Friday, May 25th.  The photos should not include people. (People tend to complicate things.) There are no other rules except that the writer should give proper credit to the photographer and vice versa. Please sign up by Friday, April 27th.

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National Poetry Month 2018

Poetry Friday round-up is with Robyn at Life on the Deckle Edge.


Today the Kidlitosphere is celebrating Lee Bennett Hopkins’ 80th birthday.  Click the Poetry Friday button to go to Robyn Hood Black’s site to see more posts for this celebration. How fun to light up cyberspace with candles and confetti!


Lee Bennett Hopkins is well known as an anthologist.  He collects the best children poets and puts them together in unique ways.  His most recent collection is World Make Way. 

World Make Way

This book is a collection of ekphrastic poetry, poetry about art from The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The book opens with the following quote:

Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.

Leonardo da Vinci

This month I’ve been writing poems about my father’s art and this quote speaks to what I believe to be true;  My father’s art is poetry that is seen.

Lee’s poetry collections are a canvas for poets, a place to find words that can be felt rather than seen.  To write my poem today, I have chosen a line from Early Evening by Charles Ghinga.

Steamboat by John Gibson


Coming Home

We are coming home
stretched across a canvas of time
waiting for steam to rise

into still humid air.
We carry a load
of dreams from far

away where seas meet rivers.
We are born of the river,
her muddy banks birthed

strength to carry us
through toil and trouble
all the way home.

–Margaret Simon (c) 2018



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National Poetry Month 2018

Poetry Friday round-up is with Amy at The Poem Farm.

Welcome to my National Poetry Month Day 5.  I’m writing ekphrastic poetry about my father’s art.






Country Barn by John Gibson

we take our time,
climb through barnwood
and tell secrets.

we find ourselves
wrapped in fieldgrass
and speak whispers.

we lower our masks
stay safely sunfree
and hum memories.

–Margaret Simon, (c) 2018

Quote from PoemCrazy by Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge: “I feel safe because poems take me to a place out of normal time and thought, dipping me below the surface to where we all meet.  The poem speaks in confidence, the reader feels included, honored, and keeps the secret.”

The form beginning with the word “here” borrowed from Janet Wong’s poem Walking to Temple found in Lee Bennett Hopkins collection World Make Way. 


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Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life March Challenge


Poetry Friday round-up is with Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe.


National Poetry Month is upon us.  Is it really April already?  I absolutely love the month of April.  It’s so fragrant and beautiful.  My middle daughter was born in April.  And April is all about poetry!

Join me and many others at Poetry Friday for daily doses of poetry.  My plan this year is to write ekphrastic poetry, poetry about art.  We did this in February for Laura Shovan’s birthday month challenge.  I love art.  Art often gives me an entry point into a poem that I may not have written otherwise.  I find art digs deep into my soul.

As a warm-up, I captured a photograph from Ralph Fletcher’s Facebook Photography page.  You may recognize Ralph from his work with literacy for children in books like What a Writer Needs, Joy Write, and many more resources for teachers.

Ralph has become quite an amazing photographer and especially of birds.  I was attracted to this amazing photo of a hummingbird by the name of Anna’s hummingbird.

Anna’s Hummingbird

Fierce in a hot pink boa,
this perfection of nature
dominates beauty
with feathers of lace,
a flying, glimmering gemstone.
–Margaret Simon (c) 2018



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Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life March Challenge

Poetry Friday round-up is with Laura at Writing the World for Kids.

This month’s Ditty Challenge on Michelle Barnes’ site is from Nikki Grimes.  Nikki Grimes has made the golden shovel an infamous poetry form.  I shared her book, One Last Word, with my students.  Michelle worked with boys in a juvenile detention center. She posted Lil Fijjii’s poem blurred lines.   This poem spoke to my students.  They could relate to the strong emotion.  To write golden shovel poems, each student chose a line to respond to.  At first Faith placed her head in her hands.  “This is too hard. I can’t do it.”  I set the timer and said, “Just give it a shot.”

My students were pleased with the results.  I’ve posted them on Michelle’s padlet.  Scroll for Students from Mrs. Simon’s Class.  

Made with Padlet


Spring is in the air here in South Louisiana and no one wants to stay inside, so I took my kids out for a chalkabration.  View their poems in this slide show.




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Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life March Challenge

Poetry Friday round-up is with Linda at Teacher Dance.

Have you thought about found poetry lately?  This week my friend Linda Mitchell posted a found/ black out poem on Facebook.  A day or two later Janet Wong posted a found poem from an article about the Parkland shooting. These two posts inspired me to try my own.

I’ve been reading aloud Tuck Everlasting to a group of students.  Natalie Babbett’s writing is so descriptive and beautiful, so I copied a page from the book and made a black out poem to use as a model poem for my students.

When I shared this with my students as a writing choice, two of my girls chose favorite pages from favorite books to create their own black out poems.

The day was absolutely gorgeous.  Highs in the 60’s, sun shining, not a cloud in the sky.  Who wants to stay inside?

My science kids are doing projects about plants, so I printed an online article for each of them.  We took the articles and clipboards out to the garden to write.

Circling words to create poems, these students enjoyed “finding” poems in nonfiction text. Poetry can be found anywhere!

Jayden’s poem about camellias:

Prized beauty of
exquisite blooms,
splendid evergreen foliage
attractive shrubs
burst into flowers
rest little prodigious garden.

Where will you find a poem today?

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Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life March Challenge

Poetry Friday round-up is with Michelle at Today’s Little Ditty

If you take the book jacket off of The Word Collector, you see a golden collection of words.



Wonders of words
Fill constellations.
There is an angel
On my shoulder
As I write … praline, crimson…
Sounds of words roll
Over my tongue,
Taste sweet…Argentina…
Musical… infinity of words
To release into the air.

–Margaret Simon (c) 2018

The librarian knows of my attachment to all things Peter Reynolds.  I introduced her to Dot Day and helped her plan activities in the fall.  Last week, she had a Scholastic Book Fair.  I shopped on Friday and put some wishes into a bin.  I never had a chance to go back and purchase any.  When this sweet librarian saw me she said, “I saw Word Collector in your book fair bin.”

I said, “I know!  I’m so sorry I never had time to come back and buy anything.”

“No worries. I had extra funds from the sales, so I bought a copy for the library.  I put it aside for you.”  And she handed me Peter Reynolds gold!

I shared the book with my students and as I did, I said, “Be a word collector.  As I read, make your own collection of words.”

My students wrote and wrote.  Their lists covered one, then two pages in their notebooks.  Given 10 minutes on the timer, they turned their lists into poems.  Amazing poems.

Madison decided to make word combinations, so she randomly matched together two word pairs.  When she finished, she realized that all her combinations could describe stars.  She titled this masterpiece Stars.


Azure Wonders
Emerald Willows
Drifting Whispers
Geometric Symphony
Aromatic Kaleidoscope
Marvelously Effervescent
Harmony Lore
Breezing Beyond
 Onyx Liberty
Tranquil Silence
Cascading Glints
Brilliant Waterfalls
Onomatopoeia Collections
Hopeful Grace
 Mused Clovers
Constellate Alligator
Utopia Yonder

 Stars Of The Sky

–Madison, 4th grade

I wrote about Dawson last week, about how he was not using line breaks yet in his poems.  I showed him how he could, and now he’s writing meaningful poetry.  I love what he wrote about his decisions for the line breaks. “I decided to do it like this with line breaks and words because it sounds like a song that you could play. If you read it again, watch go ahead, read this again while playing joyful music in the background.”

With Willows
soft as a whisper,
with royal flocks
prancing around in your dream,
let it be known
there is wonder in your heart.

–Dawson, 4th grade

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