Thursday, April 26, 2012

Day 26 ... NaPoWriMo / Poem-a-Day

Welcome to Day 26, everyone. Amazing how April seems to be moving so quickly, don't you think?

Today's first prompt comes from Maureen Thorson: an elegy or anti-elegy. Catherine's poem for Day 26, while not strictly an elegy, certainly leans toward the elegiac.


Sitting on a yellow polka-dot cushion
I listen as the pit in my heart unfolds
to the surface like an accordion,
bellowing out a blue tune,
in and out of itself
like a well-traveled road map.

—Draft by Catherine Pritchard Childress     [do not copy or quote ... thanks]

Wonderful small poem, like a jewel — I particularly like the accordion image, Catherine, how the wants and lacks of our lives enlarge and diminish, ebb and flow. So true to the experiences of many, I would suggest.

Getting back to prompts, Robert Lee Brewer suggests an animal poem. And Andrea Boltwood says: "Write a pocket poem to carry in your pocket today." I like that last prompt quite a lot. According to the Academy of American Poets, today is "national poem in your pocket" day.

For a moment, though, let's depart from our usual order and announce our featured NaPoWriMo site for Day 26 now: Griffin Lit. This wiki is a NaPoWriMo project by sixth graders: Ms. Danielle Filas's Language Art 6 class in Village Academy Schools in Powell, Ohio. Ms. Filas told me via e-mail: "I am so excited for them. They have been absolutely fearless in their poetry making!" Yes, indeed they are, and they have been staying on schedule. Check out their lovely poems, friends.
If you'd like to say something to the Griffin Lit sixth graders and Ms. Filas about their poems, please leave a comment to this blog post below; they will be checking back here to see if anyone has responded. There is NO way to leave a comment on their site unless you join their wiki. So comment away here, gentle readers!

In honor of their brave venture, I've written the following "pocket poem" for the Griffin Lit kids. This poem is in the hay(na)ku form, which we've seen quite a lot this month: first line, one word — second line, two words — third line, three words.

Blue Bravura
— for the Griffin Lit sixth graders and Ms. Filas
like gems
in my pocket

and glisten
in the dark

always with
their blue light

hey you
pay close attention

blueberries sky
blue blue blue

egyptian jewels
sapphire tanzanite turquoise

lapis lazuli
azurite aquamarine topaz

jade dragon
breathing carnelian flames

steel blades
crocodile kampilan swords

blazing rock
guitar bass timbales

prophecies ballads
in yours mine

blue pockets
brilliant breathtaking words

—Draft by Vince Gotera     [do not copy or quote ... thanks]

Okay, that's it for today. Go write a poem. Or carry a poem in your pocket, not just today, but till the end of April. And beyond, even. Leave me a comment below, all right? Especially, a shout-out to the Griffin Lit sixth graders? Ingat.

Added 4/27/12: For people who are posting comments to the Village Academy Schools sixth graders: you can address the students and Ms. Filas directly here. No need to filter your comments through me. Thanks!

POEM-A-DAY 2012 • Pick a day in April: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30


Patricia Fargnoli said...

I've just read all of the student's day 26 "mysterious man" poems. How wonderful and imaginative they are! Congratulations to the students for writing these poems and to their teacher for coming up with this project and encouraging children to write poetry.

Patricia Fargnoli (former New Hampshire Poet Laureate)

Vince Gotera said...

Pat, thanks for your comment. Indeed, indeed. It is wonderful, isn't it.

Friends who may comment. You can address the students and Ms. Filas directly here. No need to filter through me. Thanks!

Andrea Boltwood said...

my gosh!
Oh my gosh!

I love your "brilliant breathtaking words." Such a fun hay(na)ku that I had to write another for my post tomorrow. :) Thanks, Vince!

The kids' wiki is wonderful! I am still reading through it, but I will be sure to come back and comment further. Super work, kiddos! :)

Vince Gotera said...

Andrea, thanks again. You're the best! I'll look forward to reading your hay(na)ku tomorrow. You might look at my most recent post (for Day 27) where I followed your pantoum prompt. Thanks for that.

And thanks for the comment to the Village Academy Schools kids!

Susan said...

What an ambitious and worthy month of poetry writing for Ms.Danielle Filas's 6th graders! Of course, I haven't had time to read all of the entries yet, but the April 25 "Warriors Don't Cry" poems truly stick with me. The poems are so true! Lines I love: "They say there is no room left / There is so much room" "the man / Was really mean to the / Little child" "You’d think I was some weird thing, / Or a monkey, or a dog…." "it would never be right" "The Whites think they are clean water." "I remember him because he saved my life." "It lonely being "Colored" cause I can't do a thing" "i'm / epic!" "colors like yellow red, or green? / No / They feel hated inside" "I want to be her friend." Now, I haven't read the book, but I got the sense that her students got a sense of history that will never be repeated.

PS: I also LOVE the sonnets--also true and creative. At what age do we stop writing the truth? Or rather, at what age are we tempted to go for appearances instead of the truth?

Vince Gotera said...

Susan, thanks for your great comment. I'm sure the kids will love to read it.

Susan Elbe said...

What a wonderful spectrum of poems! Thanks, Ms. Filas's 6th graders! You rock! I read most of the poems and really enjoyed them. I wish I'd had a teacher when I was in 6th grade to introduce me to poetry. I had to find it all on my own. You are lucky, lucky students! Keep writing, even if you only do it for yourself. It's a way to connect with what's inside you. It will keep you in touch with yourself all your life. Great job!!

Anonymous said...

@Catherine: So visceral. I felt every line.

@Vince: thank you for shining light on Griffin Lit! Blue Bravura... is a delightful gem in itself!

@Ms Danielle Filas: As a poet and mother, I am beyond simply thrilled: excited and proud. Please tell your class, they are phenomenal... all of them. I have added Griffin Lit to my favorites. I expect to be spending a good bit of time with these gems.

Rock on and write on!

Candy Gourlay said...

Wow! I was excited and inspired by all your poetry, Griffin Lit poets! Particuarly loved the fairy tale voices - and wow, you even tried doing Hay(na)kus!!! Well done!

Rochita Loenen-Ruiz said...

Beautiful words and beautiful poems. Congratulations to the Ms. Filas and to Ms. Filas's class. Your poems are lovely and moving and speak to the heart. Thank you for sharing this with us, Vince.

And Vince, I love your hay(na)ku's. But I think you already know I'm biased in my love for the hay(na)ku. That form never ceases to inspire me. :)

Michael S said...

I just love the imagery of Vince's blue hay(na)ku. Breathtaking. Amazing repetition, I mean, maybe I am just a sucker for the color blue but what a great poem Vince.

Vince Gotera said...

Susan, Meena, Candy, Rochita, Michael ... thanks for your great comments about our poems.

And also, many thanks for your comments to Ms. Filas and her students. I'm sure they will see them here.

Vince Gotera said...

Ms. Filas and sixth-graders, on Day 27, Catherine Childress wrote a poem (near the bottom of the post) that was inspired by you and your George Ella Lyon prompt.

Also, be sure and look at the Day 28 post for another comment addressed to your class.

Danielle Mari said...

This is amazing! Thank you, everyone, for your positive feedback and most especially for the tribute poems. We spent some time this morning reading your posts and enjoying your poems, and I can tell you that my students were over the moon! We added a little stat counter at the bottom of our page, and the students also had a great time checking out the visitor map, which shows all the different states (and countries!) that have visited our little corner of the webiverse. You have inspired and invigorated my already voracious young creators... we'd love for you to keep in touch. Our next project will involve writing personal essays and memoirs. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for paying it forward to these incredible sixth graders. You've made them (and me!) very happy.
Best wishes and happy writing,
Ms. Filas

Vince Gotera said...

Hello! Did you see the George Ella Lyon poem that was inspired by you? And also the comment from Leslie on Day 28? Glad all of you were tickled by the responses.

Danielle Mari said...

Sure did! Love it! Our whole school is abuzz right now...

Sara said...

Thank you guys for look at our website! I really appreciate it! :)

~Village Academy 6th grader

Vince Gotera said...

Wonderful! You all deserve the reactions. Bravo and brava! Thanks for your wonderful work. I hope all of you will continue to be poets or writers or artists.

Vince Gotera said...

Oh, forgot ... also wondered what you all thought of the poem I wrote in your honor above. I was inspired to write it by knowing what you were all doing in your class. Such a noteworthy project! Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Ms. Filas and Sara we lost a student right at the end of April but we all managed to push through and make something that you all like i am overjoyed that you all enjoy are page and I know everyone in the class is.

P.S. Ms. Filas's class is in the morning but sleep works when it comes to poetry

-VA 6th grader

Anonymous said...

We all worked hard and managed to push through (even though you know its early in the morning).

We are tough Warriors
pushing our way through
the challenging month of

P.S. Sleepy works for poetry
-VA 6th grader

Vince Gotera said...

Elise, thanks for your comments. Wonderful work. I hope you all keep writing poems!

Mina said...

Thank you all so much for your comments....we have all been waiting for this moment to see of people like our new wiki. Her is one of my favorite sets of poems called Wabi Sabi; which means turning unhappy things into happy things:

An old silent pond-
Frogs leap high into the air
Splash! Silence once more.

From all directions
The quiet winds are blowing
Into the moist air.

The moon shines brightly
Making the water shimmer
Stars sparkle brightly.

Rain falls from the clouds,
Dripping from the many leaves
Pok! Pok! You’ll get wet!

The slippery ice,
Trying hard to make you fall-
Put on your ice skates!

-Village Academy
6th Grader

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