Friday, November 24, 2023

Poetry Sisters Write "In the Style Of" Valerie Worth

The challenge this month was to write "in the style of" Valerie Worth. You can learn more about Valerie Worth and read some of her poems at Spotlight on NCTE Poets: Valerie Worth, with Lee Bennett Hopkins, a post by Renée M. LaTulippe at No Water River

Worth's poems are meditations on the little things in world around us. Writing in free verse, her keen sense of observation and economy of language make everyday objects seem extraordinary.

When William was in third grade (2009-2010) his teacher had the class copy and illustrate poems that "spoke" to them in their journals. This poem by Valerie Worth was one of his choices.

In Paul Janeczko's book The Place My Words Are Looking For: What Poets Say About
and Through Their Work
, Worth had this to say about poetry.
"One of poetry’s most wonderful features is that it can get beneath the surface of things and explore them not as mere objects but as remarkable phenomena with lively personalities of their own. Articles as coat hangers can take on unexpected dimensions within the realm of a poem; and if this can happen with coat hangers, then the world must be filled with other ‘ordinary’ subjects just waiting for poetry to come along and reveal their extraordinary selves."
Worth's poems are magical, so emulating her was quite a challenge. I used the poem porches as my mentor text.

in the attic
time is fluid

the air thick
with memory

trinkets and photos
recall a lifetime

a rocking horse sways
and gathers dust 

an old teddy bear
welcomes a new friend

holiday boxes wait
expectant and hopeful

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2023. All rights reserved.

You can read the pieces written by my Poetry Sisters at the links below. 

    Would you like to try the next challenge? In December we’re writing in the form of the elfchen, or German cinquain. You can learn about this form at German With Nicole.  Are you in? Good! We are continuing with our 2023 theme of TRANSFORMATION. If you’re still game, you have a month to craft your creation and share it on December 29th in a post and/or on social media with the tag #PoetryPals. We look forward to reading your poems!  

    Do take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by Ruth at There is no such thing as a God-forsaken town. Happy poetry Friday, friends!  


    1. Ooh! You captured the essence of "attic" perfectly. I love "the air thick/with memory."

    2. That was a terrific choice of a poem to emulate. I love the idea of boxes being expectant and hopeful. :)

    3. Stunning, perfect and true. Oh, those memories. I had no idea how much life they would take on when I wandered the attic of my childhood home. Great post.

    4. What I am loving about these "Valerie Worth" poems is the specificity. I can create an image in my mind with all the sights, sounds, and smells. I'd like to use your post with my students because they are familiar with the dog poem from Love that Dog. It makes a wonderful poem for creating your own.

      1. Of course, please do! Using anything I've written is high praise indeed.

    5. I see we used the same mentor poem to trigger our own poem full of memories. I love the nostalgic scene you painted in yours. Your last stanza has great word choice (expectant and hopeful). Calendars do turn with wishes for another fabulous holiday for the family. Have a wonderful weekend.

    6. I sat lots of hours reading old Post magazines in one of my grandparents' attics, Liz. It had a rocking horse, so I loved that you included one, too. The boxes waiting for the calendar's turn is a special thought.

    7. I can smell the must and feel the dust in your attic. :)

    8. Tricia, what a trip to your attic with you and the memories and dust and old keepsakes. I like the last line and imagining that the holiday boxes are hopeful and expectant. I love William's illustration and writing of Valerie Worth's poem.

    9. Those expectant, hopeful boxes are lovely, Tricia. There's something about imbuing inanimate objects with emotion that can feel so sweet.

    10. Air is often so thick in an attic it's a welcome pleasure to have "time is fluid" attempting to stir things up. And yes as Laura mentioned to "imbuing inanimate objects with emotion," thanks Tricia.

    11. Oh!! The very idea that the boxes are waiting for US!! This is such an atmospheric delight, Tricia....