My project for National Poetry Month is to give a little love and attention to my long-neglected blog. I’m planning to write and post some seasonal poems each Friday, mostly inspired by what’s going on in my neck of the woods. Today I’m sharing a poem that I wrote on March 1st for Vivian Kirkfield’s 50 Precious Words challenge. The guidelines were to write a story for kids, 50 words or less. Pretty wide open–so I turned as I often do to my book shelf for inspiration. I landed on a favorite recent picture book (CONTEST ALERT: IF YOU ARE THE FIRST TO GUESS THE IDENTITY OF THIS BOOK, I’LL SEND YOU A BOOK OF MINE! WHAT A DEAL!) Ah, did my shouting get your attention? Anyway, as I read this mystery book, the rhythm of the text seeped into my mind, and a line and pattern started to form.
Now while my chosen book is a wonderful mentor text for writing a lyrical poem about a seasonal wish, and the text is spare and not much over 50 words, the story line is told in the illustrations (AH HA, CAREFUL READER… THREE HINTS FOR YOU!) I knew as I started to write that I was not exactly following the plan of writing a 50-word story with a beginning, middle and end. Unlike my mentor text, there are no gorgeous scratch-board illustrations to add a narrative arc (OOH, ANOTHER HINT!) But sometimes the brain does what it wants to do, and you go with the flow. Here’s my poem, with an extra couplet added post-contest, so slightly over 50 words.
When snow turns to slush
and puddles grow deep,
When chickadees swoop
and spring peepers peep,
I wriggle. I reach.
I stretch from my sleep.
I bloom like a bluebell.
I hum like a bee.
I open my buds.
I’m a sun-dappled tree.
When the world spins to green,
I’m the wind. I rush free.
–© Buffy Silverman
I’m not sure that my poem resembles my inspiration. But that’s the beauty of a mentor text. It gets the brain engaged and words start to flow. And maybe I’ve given enough hints that someone will guess its identity and win valuable prizes–please share your guesses in the comments!
As long as I’ve traveled back in time a month, I’ll post a few photos from the final week of February when winter quickly melted into spring. The flickers that were pecking under our suet feeder made a great snow-melt gauge.
Although we’ve had a few April Fool’s Day flurries, spring is starting to bloom. Next week’s poem and photos will celebrate April!
There’s a whole lot of poetry love for National Poetry Month to enjoy this month. Poetry Friday Wrangler/Daily Haiku Writer Mary Lee Hahn is rounding-up today’s links.
24 thoughts on “Happy April… Happy Poetry Month!”
Such a beautiful poem, Buffy! When I reach the end I can’t help but feel myself spinning with green glee. I love your snow-melt gauge photos too. Makes me almost wish I had some snow to gauge… almost.
Oh my goodness! I love this! It just sings as I read it. I can imagine it being a favorite for children.
This is perfect, Buffy! I especially love the swooping chickadees and peeping peepers! Happy Poetry Month!
Oh, that poem is rich with imagery and sound. I love it! And, haha, Joyce is a friend and critique partner of mine, and of COURSE I have BEFORE MORNING on my shelf. Did I guess the answer. Uh, nope. But that IS the joy of mentor texts. They set you up at the starting gate. But then, once you break free, it’s all you. Love this.
Gorgeous poem and the insight into your process is wonderful. Thank you!
Lovely poem. Can’t guess the mentor text. Boo-hoo. Love all of your nature photos, Buffy. That flicker is precious.
Love all the images of spring happening and the world spinning green. I am so ready for it, too!
No guesses on the book that inspired (except after reading the winning answer) but I love your poem. It just gushes with all the melting joy and warm breezes that come with spring.
Love this poem, Buffy! 🙂
What a fun poem! And I LOVE your flickers! They do make a great gauge for the progress of the melting snow.
I love–and recognize–the feeling of awakening in spring! Wonderful poem, and those flickers are amazing.
What a fun blog post, Buffy! I love the mystery and how this mentor text led you… right to a beautiful poem! Glad you’re reviving the blog. You are a gift. xo
Too late to guess, but I have your books anyway, Buffy. And I have ‘Before Morning’! The poem is spring itself, with beautiful rhythm & rhyme. I do love your flicker pictures, hilarious with the snow, going, gone, almost gone!
I love the alliteration! I also love the rhythm change in the second stanza with the opening repetition.
Hooray! I always enjoy a blog post from you, Buffy. And, a poem that’s spare in words but big in meaning is my favorite. Your rhyme is tight and perfect!
I loved your poem.
I’m ready for the wind to “rush free” with warm Spring-like breezes. Lovely, jaunty poem Buffy! I’m looking forward to a snow-free April and your next post celebrating it, thanks!
Hmm…I’m thinking Joyce Sidman, but without my books (they’re at school), I can’t be sure which one.
I love your poem, and I share your wish — I’m ready for the world to “spin to green.” We’re getting there. After today’s snow showers and tonight’s bitter cold, we should be well and truly done with winter.
Yes indeed–see Cynthia’s answer for the book. I might have given a few too many hints. Or you all are just too well-read.
Before Morning, by Joyce Sidman?
Winner, winner, chicken dinner! Cynthia, email me your address (email@example.com) and I’ll send a book in the mail.
very nice poem.
Thank you, Dianne!