Monday, October 31, 2011

Monday Poetry Stretch - Three Words

I've been fiddling with the sestina as of late and having difficulty, so I thought a three word prompt might inspire me a bit. Since I'm still thinking fall, here are the three words I have been working with.
  • gate
  • leaf
  • moon
Your challenge this week is to use these three words in a poem. Leave me a note about your poem and I'll share the results later this week.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Monday Poetry Stretch - For the Season

Fall is my favorite season. I'm so grateful I still live in an area where the leaves change color. Fall poetry inspires me almost as much as the season. I could live on a steady diet of Frost during these months. I've read and re-read October, Gathering Leaves, After Apple-picking, and Nothing Gold Can Stay. I've also spent time perusing Keats and Ode to Autumn.

So, now that you're thinking fall, let's write about that. Leave me a note about your poem and I'll share the results here later this week.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Poetry Friday - At the Sea Floor Café

At the Sea Floor Café: Odd Ocean Critter Poems, written by Leslie Bulion and illustrated by Leslie Evans, is a collection that contains 18 poems, a helpful glossary of scientific terms, poetry notes that describe the form of the poems, and suggestions for additional resources. Did you know that Bulion has a graduate degree in oceanography? That means you'll find poetry and science--a perfect pairing in my opinion--that are nicely matched in this collection. 

Here's a poem about an octopus.
Walk Like a Nut

This octopus walks backwards on two arms,
And wraps the other six around its top.
It ambles free of predatory harms,
And thus avoids become shark-chewed slop.

It winds six tentacles around its top,
Pretending to be flotsam sharks ignore,
And treads away from trouble, flippy flop,
Instead of being chomped to guts and gore--

A coconut that strolls across the ocean floor.

Poem © Leslie Bulion. All rights reserved.
The poems in this collection are accompanied by factual information. Here's the text about the coconut octopus.
The coconut octopus wraps six of its arms around its head and walks backwards on its other two arms. This movement makes the octopus look like a coconut drifting across the shallow sea floor near Indonesia. Predators hunting for an eight-tentacled snack pass on by.
This is just the type of book I enjoying sharing with my preservice teachers. The blending of poetry and informational text makes this a good choice for teachers attempting to to integrate children's literature into the content areas.

If you want some additional information on ocean life, here are just a few resources you may find useful.
The round up this week is being hosted by Jama at Jama's Alphabet Soup. Do stop by and take in all the terrific poetry being shared. Before you go, be sure to check out this week's poetry stretch results. Happy poetry Friday all!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Monday Poetry Stretch - Children's Book Inspiration

I was thinking about selecting words for a prompt today, but then decided it might be more fun is you could pick your own, within some parameters. So, here's the challenge. Head over to Fuse #8 and check out the titles on the Top 100 Picture Books Poll. Pick a title with at least three words. Write the words in the title down the page and use these words as the first line in your new poem. 

For example, if I chose IN THE NIGHT KITCHEN, my poem starter would look like this.


And the starter for MAKE WAY FOR DUCKLINGS would look like this.


Easy-peasy, right? Leave me a note about your poem and I'll post the results here later this week.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Poetry Stretch - It's Never Too Late!

Monday was a holiday for some folks, so I took fall break quite literally and completely unplugged for the weekend. It was wonderful, though I am a bit overwhelmed with e-mail at the moment.

I had a bad day yesterday. My sister had a bad day too. Today it's rainy and kind of yucky. My son was looking forward to his first tree-climbing class, but it looks as though it will be canceled. So, while last week we wrote about what makes us happy, today I'm thinking we should write about what makes us sad. Too depressing? I hope not. Sometimes the strangest things bring on melancholy and longing. 

Leave me a note about your poem and I'll post the results here later this week.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Tuesday Poetry Stretch - What Makes You Smile?

Yes, I'm late, but Mondays are horrible days. I also scheduled this to post, but had the wrong date and didn't check the calendar, so I was off anyway!

Originally I wanted to write about things that make you happy, but this morning while stopping for a cup of tea, I saw two dogs outside my local coffee shop. They were both wagging their tails so vigorously that their whole behinds were shaking. If a sight like that doesn't make you smile, there isn't much that will. Babies make me smile, as do puddles (preferably ones I'm splashing in), bubble baths, the song Young Folks, Daniel Pinkwater talking children's books non NPR, and much more.

So, let's write about what makes you smile. Leave me a note about your poem and I'll post the results here later this week.