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Archive for the ‘Poetry Friday’ Category

Poetry Friday round-up is with Karen Edmisten.

I’ve joined in with a group of poets on social media writing to #inktober word prompts. It’s a great way to jot a little poem that keeps creative juices flowing. On Thursdays, Laura Purdie Salas faithfully posts an image prompt for 15 words or less. This week I used her photo of a red blooming tree and the inktober word, dizzy, to create an autumn haiku. Canva is my go-to site for creating image poems. Follow my posts on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. And join in the fun!

My new middle grade novel, Sunshine, is available on Amazon. I can’t wait to open the box of books coming soon. See a review here.

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Join the Poetry Friday round-up with Catherine at Reading to the Core.

Every week I am delighted to visit The Poem Farm. Amy Ludwig VanDerwater posts a poem and a student writing activity. A few weeks ago, I borrowed this post, The Real Me, and wrote I am poems with my students.

My students loved the activity. Many of them chose to post their poems on our kidblog site. I invited Amy to write comments. You should have heard them reading aloud their personalized comments; the pride in their voices made my heart sing. Amy has a talent for connecting to kids and finding just the right words to say. Thanks, Amy.

I wrote alongside my students. I put together my favorite lines to create this poem:

I am a lionness
set in the stars,
that drumbeat
around a warm campfire.

I am a longing look
from a silent child,
a melody strummed
on his guitar.

I am a secret
scratched on a yellow sticky note.
Don’t tell anyone
who I am.

Margaret Simon, after Amy Ludwig VanDerwater
Photo by Jeremy Bishop from Pexels

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Poetry Friday round-up is with Carol at Beyond Literacy Link.
Waiting for the Harvest, by Mickey Delcambre.
First place in the Sugarcane Festival Photography Contest

Ralph Fletcher’s new book, Focus Lessons, is coming out, so I took advantage of Heinemann’s offer to read a sample.

There are strong links between photography and writing. This is true in substance and process, as well as language. The world of photography provides a visual, concrete language (angle, focus, point of view, close-up, panorama) that is enormously helpful in teaching writing.

Ralph Fletcher, Focus Lessons

When I saw Mickey Delcambre’s photo on my Facebook page, I was compelled to write a haiku.

Equinox harvest–
Slow down days, long resting nights
Autumn changes time.

Margaret Simon, draft, 2019

On Monday, I talked with my students about the Fall Equinox. I was surprised how well they know the solstices, but they were less familiar with the meaning of equinox.

In New Iberia this weekend, there is the annual Sugarcane Festival, celebrated on the last weekend of September as harvesting begins. We only have to look out of the window to see the tall cane waving in the fields.

One of the Craft Lessons included in the book sample focuses on Mood. Ralph explains how mood can be expressed in a photograph as well as in writing. I look forward to finding more crossovers between photography and writing Ralph says, “Photography is writing with light.”

I put Mickey’s photograph up and ask my students to do a quick write about it. Our quickwrites are typically 5 minutes. Then we share. Sometimes (it’s always a choice), a quickwrite will become a poem.

Seeing the Days Change

I see the days
changing around me,
going from
day to night
and
night to day
the marks of tires
only
from the day before
seeing the sun go down
getting ready
for the night,
goodnight sun.

Breighlynn, 4th grade

Sugar

Sugar in the fields,
still as a cane.
Growing, oh so tall,
ready for the harvest.
Burning leaves
make the sweet smelling
smoke.

Can you smell
the sugar?
Smelling, oh so
sweet.
Have you ever
eaten the cane?
As pure as sugar
comes.

A.J., 6th grade

This morning on my morning walk I smelled the sweet air that A. J. wrote about. One of the gifts of fall.

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Poetry Friday round-up is with Linda at Teacher Dance

My students this year look forward to Poetry Friday when we read a poem and talk about what we notice, then try the form on. A few weeks ago we read Jane Yolen’s poem, “A Word is Not a Poem” that I had saved from her daily email poems. Having the form of her poem in hand, my students created interesting poem responses.


A Laugh is Not a Smile
 
A laugh is not a smile 
but it is a feeling inside you.
You can laugh once
but it’s best to laugh twice.
         laugh laugh
 
A smile is not a frown
but it is a feeling inside you.
used in several ways,
to express love, and happiness.
            smile smile

Jamison, 4th grade


A Book is not a Word
 
A book is not a word ,
but a forest in a tree .
Used in many ways ,
it can even be funny .
 
A book is not a poem
You can only read it once ,
but best to read it twice .
Book , Book .
 
A book is not a song ,
the words you cannot spin .
Won’t know it going in
you will though coming out .
Tone , Note .

A.J., 6th grade

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Poetry Friday round-up is with Sylvia and Janet at Poetry for Children

Our Sunday Night Swagger Writers Group has decided to post poems from a prompt on the first Friday of the month. Last month Heidi Mordhorst challenged us to definito poems. This month Catherine Flynn prompted us to write about a box:

  1. Who was the owner of the box? 
  2. How did what is inside the box transform him or her?

Having acquired some things from my parents’ home this summer, I knew what box I would write about. My grandmother whom I called Nene died when I was young, between 8 and 10. I remember so much about her, her white-white hair, how she sewed beautiful Barbie clothes and even made doll furniture from cardboard, and how she loved butterflies. She had a pinned collection in a shadow box. But that isn’t the box of this poem. I had never seen this box before. It was tucked inside a cardboard box of mementos from my father’s childhood.


This is Her Box

that touched her hands 
so many years ago.
A small brass box
that fits in the palm of my hand. 
What did these things
mean to her?

a tarnished silver spoon,
jeweled pin,
wire-framed butterfly,
silver post earrings–

I put on the charm bracelet;
Grands’ names in birth order
become my connection to her.

All tucked into her box
for me to find 
fifty years later
and remember
her touch.

(draft) Margaret Simon

See other box poems from my writer friends:

Catherine Flynn: Reading to the Core
Molly Hogan: Nix the Comfort Zone
Heidi Mordhorst: My Juicy Little Universe
Linda Mitchell: A Word Edgewise

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

The children’s poetry community lost a friend and a mentor when Lee Bennett Hopkins died on August 8th. I never had the pleasure of meeting him, but in everything I’ve read about him, he was a gentle leader and proud father of poetry.

Among his many anthologies, I have Amazing Places on my classroom shelf. In it, Lee Bennett Hopkins collected poems about places around our country. His contribution was a poem titled Langston.

Though his professional writing was successful, it was the death of poet Langston Hughes in 1967 that proved to be a spark for Hopkins’s career of anthologizing poetry for children. 

By Shannon Maughan | 
Aug 13, 2019
Amazing Places: Poems selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins, Lee & Low Books, 2015.

While borrowing a few lines as well as the form of this poem and reading his obituary on Publishers Weekly, I wrote this poem for Lee.


His Dusts of Dreams
after Lee Bennett Hopkins “Langston” 
for Lee Bennett Hopkins, 1938-2019

Who would have known
a young boy
of divorce,
a poor student
inspired by a teacher
would find his footing
in education–

from student
to teacher
to collector of poems,
With greetings to all
Dear Ones,
he left 
his dusts of dreams. 

Margaret Simon, 2019

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