Welcome! I'm so glad you are here visiting today. After your stop here at the ridge, be sure to sail over to Donna's space Mainely Write, where she is hosting the round-up for us.
I'm glad to be back with my Poetry Friday friends this week. I have been away hosting my other dear friends and members of the CSISD Writing Project. This is the third year that our school district has offered The Heart of Texas Writing Project professional development for the teaching of writing. This summer institute is truly a transformative experience for the participants. As teacher consultants, we are honored to be in a room full of teacher writers so dedicated to providing authentic writing instruction for their students. In celebration of our week together as writers, I am sharing a few pictures that capture our work and a piece inspired by these writers with wings.
Writers with Wings
With many voices all coming together to learn and grow as writers, the room became a safe place. It became a space to question, a space to explore, and a place to feel stuck. So we dreamed a little dream together. We imagined this not only for ourselves, but for our students. And in the midst of that dream, we opened our hearts and dared our minds to give that dream flight, to give it wings. We vowed to give our students those wings to stretch out and fly into this world as thinkers and as writers. For on the wings of a writer, humanity is restored. And the space between words and this world, is only as wide as our desire to fill it.
Invitation to Write:
Discovering and exploring your identity as a writer is often a great place to begin your writing life. Spend some time getting to know yourself by writing inside your notebook. Write widely and often. Read and reread. Give yourself some grace. Focus on what is there rather than what is not. It is through a lens of appreciation that we must learn to view our own writing. It is through this lens that we may begin to expect and welcome the sound of our own words pitter-pattering upon the page. It is through this lens that we mine the words of others, those writers at heart.
Welcome Poetry Friday readers! This week, I am sharing a poem that sprang up while I was exploring some different ways to use space and line length.
For more poetic posts, visit Dori at Dori Reads. She's rounding up the poetry peeks for us today. Thanks, Dori!
Invitation to Write:
Try having some fun with white space and line length in one of your poems. Notice how the changes in space and length influence the different aspects of your poem. How do the changes impact both the structure and the mood? Read your poem out loud, paying careful attention to your chosen syntax and line breaks. Rewrite if you choose, but be sure to save each draft! You might decide to take them out of the compost pile later and plant them in a new poem where they will grow just fine. Keep revising and rereading until your poem says to you, "I'm ready!"
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.
A few days ago, the first cool front of fall came through the Brazos Valley. I was headed to a meeting with one of my dear friends and we started talking about how nice it was to have some cool air. It reminded her of when she was a little girl, waiting for the bus to pick her up with the cool air of a fall morning on her skin. There is something magical about that first front. In that moment, we could not put into words the feelings that came rushing back with a simple childhood memory of a change in the weather. Every time I tried, I thought about the memory that my friend had described. I quickly reached for my notebook and began to write.
Here's a peek at my entry.
It amazes me how one little conversation about the weather can be snatched from the air, captured in an entry, and finally set free again as a poem. Writing ideas may seem to fall as light the leaves, but as we gather them in our arms and toss them up again, we see a lifetime of possibilities swirling in the air.
I took this entry and immediately envisioned it as a poem. It is written in first person, and it's not really about me. With this poem, I found it really enjoyable to step inside this memory and share it with my friend.
Here's a peek at one of my drafts.
The beauty of drafting quickly and sometimes having more than one draft, allows you the freedom to crack your entry open again and again. I love the surprise that's waiting for me inside each draft.
Having a quick draft also gives you the opportunity to play around with the design, language, order, and so much more. In this draft, you can see me reworking the title, rephrasing some lines, making decisions about word choice, and envisioning line breaks. Once I type it up, I revise again until I am happy with my final changes.
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:
7 Carol at Beyond Literacy Link
14 Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference
21 Katie at The Logonauts
28 Linda at A Word Edgewise
4 Donna at Mainely Write
11 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche
18 Kay at A Journey Through the Pages
25 Jone at Check it Out
1 Kat at Kathryn Apel
8 Matt at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme
15 Michelle at Today's Little Ditty
22 Amy at The Poem Farm
29 Laura at Writing the World for Kids
6 Violet at Violet Nesdoly | Poems
13 Irene at Live Your Poem
20 Leigh Ann at A Day in the Life
27 Brenda at Friendly Fairy Tales
3 Linda at TeacherDance
10 Jama at Jama's Alphabet Soup
17 Jane at Raincity Librarian
24 Carol at Carol's Corner
1 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
8 Lisa at Steps and Staircases
15 Diane at Random Noodling
22 Buffy at Buffy's Blog
29 Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe