Friday, February 8, 2013

Poetry Friday

The Round-up today is at A Teaching Life.

BUILD A POEM is the poster name for my upcoming poetry workshop for kids. We’re going to use Patricia MacLachlan’s beautiful book Word After Word After Word as a springboard to create our own poems. Ms. Mirabel talked about the importance of landscape, so we’ll start there. Nephew Mike Beane photographed this lovely tree across from the Maine home we both grew up in.

A dear furniture maker friend donated wood blocks and scraps. We’ll talk about this wood and how once it was growing as a tree. We’ll brainstorm what the tree’s landscape might have looked like.

Poem #1 Be the tree. On the wood, write a poem showing what you saw, felt and heard in your landscape.

We’ll brainstorm words and phrases for our own personal landscapes.

Poem # 2 Turn the wood over. Write a poem that makes the reader feel your landscape.

My own landscape poem:


Warm sand sifts through my hand.
I sculpt curved roads,
plant trees of sweet fern,
then climb the pine to my platform
and snug my back against bark.
Year after year, I bury broken dolls.
The last hole I dig is for my dog.


  1. Joyce, what lucky students! Wishing you much success with the workshop.

    The last line of your poem caught me by surprise. Thanks for sharing. (And your nephew's photograph is so striking.)

    Stay warm...

  2. Hi, Joyce. Your poem has layers, like the rings of an old tree's stump. I like how the wood in your poem takes many forms and uses.

  3. Sounds like a terrific activity, Joyce. I hope the students enjoy it.
    Wow, the last line of your poem surprised me.

  4. That's such a clever and unusual poetry workshop idea -- I love it.

  5. Thank you, everyone, for commenting. Stay tuned for more about the workshop.


Comments welcome.