Thursday, April 19, 2012

Wandering through a writer's notebook

 This morning I have a new appreciation for my writer's notebook.  I was stuck for what to write today's poem about so I followed some writerly advice and wandered through my writer's notebook, reliving the old entries that I have been collecting.  It was a delightful treat to read the list I had made at the end of our February vacation.  I paused at the gritty post it note that I rescued from my classroom floor.  I tried to decide if a list I had started in December could become a Christmas poem.  The only problem with reading my notebook is that it has seriously cut into my time to write!
     At the same time I was harvesting a poem topic, I had in my head that I wanted to write a persona poem.  These poems have also been called mask poems.  With either name, when you write this type of poem, you write from the perspective of someone or something else.  I began understanding this poetry form by reading this page.   After further research, I found Elaine Magliaro who keeps a blog at  Lastly, I revisited Amy Vanderwater's Poem Farm.  She keeps a great catalog of her poems; there is a whole section of mask poems.
     After much deliberation, I went back to the surprisingly shiny penny from the year 2000.  It was taped into my notebook with a caption that said, "Found on 1/1/12 on my New Year's walk.  If my penny could talk, this is what it would say...

See me, kid, pick me up
All year long, you'll have good luck.
I've been around, that much is true
but now I'm counting all on you.
My last owner was a sloppy soul
let me fall from her jacket hole.
Before that, I lived in a car
which was slightly better than my old jar.
I never did have time to thank
that guy who sprang me from the bank.
I've seen the mall, gas station and more.
I bobbled 'round from store to store.
Now I'm laying on the street
Wishing that I could grow feet.
So see me, kid, pick me up
All year long, you'll have good luck.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the links in your description! I especially liked Elaine's Mask poem of the snake and look forward to reading her students' poems. I love how you wrote as a penny; ideas are everywhere. I also liked how you shared your notebook jots! Today I shared Laura Shovan's notebook and her "In Early Spring" poem that Amy LV pointed us to yesterday. The 3rd graders were very into seeing the notebook photos and how the poem evolved. Hope you saw that yesterday. Off to try to compose a 15 or less word poem. It looks hard to me!! Are you really posting at 3am? A truly dedicated poet and poetry teacher, Mrs. Harvey! BTW, I liked thinking about the penny's travels from bank to mall to hole with a pocket in it, maybe "they" need to replace those pennies with a poem! Now that's probably the real treasure, at least for us poetry-lovers!