Happy National Poetry Month! What an exciting week to join in the round-up of words and all things poetry! Irene is hosting the celebration at her space Live Your Poem. It's sure to be a splendid poetry party, so don't delay!
While every day is a day to honor the art of poetry, it's extra special to have thirty consecutive days devoted to the power of poetry. I look forward to this month all year long when everyone comes together to spread the poetry love.
Though I have not taken on a poetry project this month like many of my PF friends, I look forward to reading all that these magnificent poets will share! I plan on participating in my own way each day as well. So this week, I am looking back in my notebooks for notes or poems inspired by guest poets that I have had the privilege to hear speak over the years. The first notebook entry I found was from 2014 when the always amazing, Georgia Heard came to our school district to share. Here are a few of my notes from her workshop, along with a poetic entry it inspired. Happy #npm17!
in the moon, the stars, the sun on my skin, the birds in the trees, the voices of my children, beneath the water and the soil-
no matter where I am, it lives in me, somewhere quiet, dark and deep, but still, always with me, always carried in my soul wherever I go...the seashell on the beach, each speck of sand between my toes, and the waves that crash upon the shore.
Invitation to Write:
This month, poetry will be celebrated by many. It's so fun to learn about all the projects that poets role out throughout the month. What are your favorite poetry projects?
One of the best things about National Poetry Month is that there are endless ways you can join in the fun. So even if you don't decide to do a project, there are still opportunities to share in the joy of poetry. There are some great websites that will give you tons of ideas. One of my favorites is poets.org. You can find more about the celebration along with ways to participate. Twitter is another go-to favorite of mine for finding poetry inspiration throughout the month. Just search for #npm17 and you'll be set! Will you participate this year? How so?
You can start right now if you like! Think about where poetry hides for you. Finish this sentence stem inspired by the poet Georgia Heard.
I love the beginning of each new season, but there is something about the way spring enters that really takes my breath away. Everything in life seems refreshed and renewed. It is so much fun to walk around my yard and see everything in nature brimming with new life. It makes me think of how exciting it is when things are just beginning. I have come to appreciate new beginnings for giving me the strength and hope to begin again. As a writer, it really energizes me to think about each blank page as the beginning of something wonderful.
Invitation to Write:
Think about the way things begin. It could be the beginning of a season, a new year, the first day of school, or even a time that you tried something new. Write from those feelings, thoughts, and memory of those moments when something felt new.
One of my favorite things to write about is the moon. It's one of those objects that has intrigued and fascinated me ever since I was a little girl. I believe that the moon holds great power and mystery. It's often written about in poems and songs as having great significance and enchantment. I have many entries in my notebook that include the moon, but today's poem seemed to really fit this time of year. Whenever I'm feeling a little off track with my writing, I can always find my way back by looking up to the moon.
If you are ever in need of a little writing inspiration, you might try looking to the moon or any other object that has great significance to you. Even the constant objects of our world can evoke a great feeling of power and change within us.
A few weeks ago, I was visiting my parents back home. My mom and I were sitting out in the backyard just before dark. I was sitting there thinking about all the memories I have of this special place. It became clear to me that no matter how much a place may change, the way I feel about it and the memories that are there will always remain. This isn't just any backyard to me, it's a magical place that I know well. As I thought more about the attachments we form to certain places, I began to take in all the sights and sounds around me. That's when I heard the sound of whistling ducks and the pair of owls overhead. These were common sounds and sights from my childhood, so I just sat there in awe of what was taking place. Today's poem reflects my moment in a special place I know by heart.
Invitation to write:
Sometimes thinking about the places we know really well, can spark ideas to write. Think about a place, or go there if you can, and let your thoughts of that place surround you. Try writing about the past, present, or future of that place.
Since Thanksgiving is next week, I have been thinking a lot about the word harvest. Most of the time when we think of a harvest, we think of the gathering of crops. But a harvest can be anything that we intake or collect.
A few mornings ago, I stood at my open window in awe of all the marvelous shades of brown and gold in my yard. I never thought of brown as being such a wondrous color, until I took in all of it's color variations in the fall leaves and grasses around my home. Now I see brown in a totally different way. You might try harvesting a color, too!
Invitation to write:
Try paying attention to the way things move and then try describing that movement in detail. Think about the objects around you or in nature. For example, you might try thinking about a bicycle, a clock, or maybe one of your favorite animals.
Invitation to write:
Even moments that we spend at little places that we love can spark ideas for writing. Think of the everyday moments you spend in your room, your yard, or even around the kitchen table. These little places can hold great significance for us. Sometimes thinking about the places we spend our day and the conversations or habits that happen within those places, can turn out to be a great starting point for getting our writing going.
Invitation to write:
Sometimes when we allow ourselves to listen to the sounds of nature all around us, we end up imagining what the natural world might actually have to say to us. So whenever you are outside with nature, try to stop, listen, and even have a conversation with some of her friends.
It's fair season! This week, the Brazos Valley Fair was the happening place to be. I started thinking about all of the wonderful memories I have of my experience at the fair. It is full of so much excitement and opportunities for fun around every corner. This poem comes from my own memories of the fair and as it might be seen through the eyes of two little boys, one day at the fair.
Sometimes when I am drafting a poem, I look for patterns that turn up between the lines. One of the first things I did was to think of a list of different things I remembered about the fair. I noticed that many of the words I had written began with the same first sound, so I decided to group those words together to roll off the tongue as you read down the list. Next, I counted the syllables in each line to see if any patterns emerged. You can see in my draft how I played with the arrangement of the lines, until I had the meter I was looking for. Before I was satisfied with the final poem, I read it out loud a few times to make sure I had the sound just write. So whenever you write your next poem or really any next piece, you might try looking for patterns and see where that leads you.
Last weekend I was sitting in the yard watching the boys play a game of flag football. The air was new from a cool front and the sunlight streaming through the trees gave just enough visibility to see the tiny gnats flying through the air. I felt like I had slipped into a beautiful dream. The world just seemed so surreal to me in that moment. Here is a poem inspired by my daydream on that perfect October day.
A common thread in our daily life is to day dream. Daydreaming allows us to step into a world of our own creation or place to follow our thoughts to reason. When you find yourself daydreaming, try to tap into the thoughts of your mind and the world around you. There is much to discover about ourselves when we let a little dream into our writing lives.
Welcome! I'm Kiesha Shepard, and I have a love for writing and the teaching of writing. Whispers From the Ridge is a place where I can share my words and ideas for teaching writing. It's also a place for you to find inspiration for writing the words inside of you. I invite you into my world of writing as I capture the whispers from the ridge.
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Schedule of Round Up:
6 Linda at TeacherDance
13 Keri at Keri Recommends
20 Violet at Violet Nesdoly | Poems
27 Carol at Beyond Literacy Link
3 Penny at A Penny and Her Jots
10 Katie at The Logonauts
17 Jone at Check it Out
24 Karen at Karen Edmisten*
3 Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe
10 Michelle at Today's Little Ditty
17 Robyn at Life on the Deckle Edge
24 Catherine at Reading to the Core
31 Amy at The Poem Farm
7 Irene at Live Your Poem
14 Dori at Dori Reads
21 Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference
28 JoAnn at Teaching Authors
5 Jama at Jama's Alphabet Soup
12 Tara at A Teaching Life
19 Kiesha at Whispers from the Ridge
26 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche
2 Buffy at Buffy's Blog
9 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
16 Carol at Carol's Corner
23 Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe
30 Diane at Random Noodling