Welcome to Poetry Friday and National Poetry Month. Amy Vanderwater hosts the round up today at the Poem Farm where you can find all kinds of crazy wonderful poetry projects going on this month at blogs around the Kidlitosphere. I hope you will join in.
"Imitation is not just the sincerest form of flattery - it's the sincerest form of learning."— George Bernard Shaw
I've decided to stick both feet in the creek and commit to a poem a day for National Poetry Month. I've put my toes in the water in years past, but never taken the full plunge. I started a project a few months ago that didn't get very far. The goal was to write poems about the creek in my backyard. As I was wondering how to go about this month's poetry project, I remembered an online class I took some years ago with The Writers Studio. It was one of the better writing classes I have ever taken. Each week we took an excerpt from a piece of work (poetry or fiction) written by someone at the top of their writing game. We analyzed what made it work so well, then set ourselves a goal of writing a piece that imitated the successful techniques. So I have a plan.
For each day I have chosen a favorite poem, a favorite poet, or a favorite friend. I will look at the work, decide what draws me to it, what makes it resonate for me, and then write my own poem about the creek with those techniques in mind. These are first drafts, so nothing will be especially polished, but they will be starting points for revision after the month is done. Feel free to follow along or join in.
I'm starting today with Ralph Fletcher, a poet I have enjoyed for many years. If you ever need an excellent book on mentor texts for using with a classroom, I highly recommend Ralph's Craft Lessons.
by Ralph Fletcher
soon the clouds like dark dough
pressed against invisible glass
soon the rain to turn the grass
so green it will make you stare
soon the nests filled with chirps
raining down like confetti bits
soon you'll be able to walk at night
breathing sweet blossoms unseen
© Ralph Fletcher, 1997. Used with permission of the author.
My Intention: Write a poem in unrhymed couplets with a repeating first word. Each couplet moves the poem forward in time to a satisfying conclusion.
after the slow clock ticks its tock
as far south as the frigid six
after the bell sounds the starter's shot
pressing classmates toward blue sky
after the bus meanders toward home
as though lost in a neighborhood corn maze
after books and bags and shoes find
their place, I find mine at the creek
© 2016 Doraine Bennett. All rights reserved.