Borrow a Line with the Poetry Princesses [Poetry Friday]

Teachers & poetry lovers will be chatting on Twitter–please join us!


Happy Poetry Friday! Welcome, everyone! (Wondering what Poetry Friday is? Click here.)

Well, I seem to be on a real tree kick lately! This month, our theme, chosen by Tricia, was to borrow a line from Elizabeth Bishop’s One Art and use it in a new poem. I chose the line:

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster

I was planning to write about my poor memory or the way I look around at least once a day and say, “I can’t find my phone!” Or about the joy of getting rid of stuff. Downsizing a couple of years ago was wonderful! And I did write about that, but in a slightly different way than I expected to.

Advice from a Forest

I wonder what my Poetry Sisters have come up with. Let’s go see! (Addendum: Oh! This is one of my favorite groups of Poetry 7 poems ever. Please make sure to visit and bask in them!)


Non-poetry demands are keeping Andi away this month, but she’ll return :>)

Click here to see all our previous Poetry Princesses collaborations. 

And check out The Poem Farm, where Amy Ludwig VanDerwater is hosting the Poetry Friday Roundup!





24 Responses

  1. Speaking to a tree like a friend, a marvelous thing, Laura. This is very beautiful. I love the way you included all those things that trees should be proud of, and pleased to “give”. “Fling your ruby leaves into the sky/and watch them dance goodbye.” Awesome!

  2. Oh, I do love this poem and your switch from lose to give. I’ve been struggling with downsizing/reorganizing and a sense of loss and this poem offers such a wonderful shift in perspective. The exuberance of those flinging leaves is fabulous. Your poem speaks to me on many levels. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Thanks, Molly, for letting me know you connected with it! The flinging leaves is my favorite image:>)

  3. “Trust what you drop will find its way” OH SWOON! Love this poem so so much.

  4. Look up so you will find yours
    flings out arms and falls over

    I was all verklempt over the single line of “Give” and then the dusk-hungry deer, but now I am slain by that last line. This is just gorgeous. Who knew, with all the angst we had with Bishop, that we could do something like this???

    1. Thanks, Tanita. Isn’t that the truth about our challenges. This month’s batch is definitely one of my all-time favorites of ours!

  5. I love this one, Laura! The tree’s POV, the shift from losing to giving… wonderful. I had to go back to find your borrowed line, which must mean that it fit perfectly (and ha! I too would have thought first about losing my keys and my mind!)

    1. Thanks, Matt. They are two of my very favorite poets, so being grouped with them in any way makes me happy!

  6. Beautiful–I love how your poem comes out from the center like the growth rings in a tree, and the center is “Give.” Thanks for Giving this poem, to share with us Laura, what wonderful “ADVICE FROM A FOREST!,” Thanks!

  7. I can only echo what others have said about the joyful choices you’ve made re-building this line from Bishop into a new poem. Even the shape of the poem is perfectly suited to its words, allowing the reader to make that internal turn from loss to giving. Who needs keys when you unlock such grace with words??

    1. Thank you, Sara! I generally don’t like centered poems, and I had written this left-justified, as usual. But in the app WordSwag, where I was creating the graphic, this shape worked best with the watercolor background I had chosen. And then I ended up actually really liking the way the centering brought such emphasis to the “Give” line. Happy accidents certainly play a big role in poetry, for me, anyway:>)

  8. I am a “loser” and every day I spend hours hunting for things. Just yesterday, a colleague at work gave a coffee mug with my name printed on it, so when I lost it, people can return it. This poem puts a whole new, glorious, joyful twist on the whole losing thing. I love it!

  9. This poem is simply gorgeous.…and quite a philosophical stance. It reminds me of those “Advice from a.…” T‑shirts I see and love but, FAR better and more elegant in your words and watercolor. The joys of losing.…are as many as leaves on a tree. Lovely, every single leaf.

  10. Such elegance and truth here — and line three makes it all so real. Thank you, Laura. xx

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2,523 other subscribers

Are You Looking For?

Poetry Friday posts

Classroom Connections posts

All my poetryactions

Go to my Poetry page for:

  • National Poetry Month projects through the years
  • Small Reads Roundups (poems grouped by topic)
  • Introductions to several favorite poetry forms
#waterpoemproject15 Words or Less Poems20for2030 Painless Classroom Poems50 State Poemsacrosticsactivity pagesactivity sheetALAA Leaf Can Be...Amy Ludwig VanDerwaterA Need to FeedanthologiesanthologyA Rock Can projectsaudiopoemsawardsbad newsBarbara Juster EsbensenBilly Collinsbiopoemsblog tourbookalikesbook festivalsBookSpeak!book spine poemsbook trailersbop poembyr a thoddaidcafepresscalendar poemsCamp Read-a-LotCan Be... bookscan be... poemsCapstoneCarol Varsalonacascade poemsCatherine FlynnccbcCCRA.W.3CCRA.W.4CCRA.W.5centoschapter bookschoral compositionschristina rossetticinquainsCLAclassified ad poemsclassroom connectionclassroom connectionsClover Kittyconferences and conventionscrown sonnetscybilsdansaDare to DreamDavid Elliottdeeper wisdom poemdefinitosdiamantesdiversitydizaindodoitsuDot DayDouglas Floriandownloadablesdrum corpse.e. cummingsekphrastic poemsepistolary poemsequation poemsessentialethereeseventsexquisite corpseFairy Tale Garage Salefamilyfibonaccifiction picture booksfinding familyfirefightersforeign editionsfound poemsfree author zoomsfree versefrom studentsgeesegeorgia heardghazalGift Taggiveawaygolden shovelgoldilocksgratitudehaikuheart of aheart of a teacherHeidi MordhorstHelen FrostHighlightshow-to poemshow to make a rainbowI Am FromI Am poemsidiomsif you want to knit some mittensIf You Were the MoonILAimagepoemsinterviewin the middle of the nightIRAIrelandIrene LathamJ. Patrick LewisJanet WongJoyce SidmanKendraKerlanKidlit Comboslailaura's board booksLaura's booksLaura's poemsLaura's readingsLaura ShovanLee Bennett HopkinsLilian MoorelimericksLinda Booth SweeneyLine Leads the WayLion of the Skylist poemslittle free librarylive writingLullaby and Kisses Sweetlyricsmadness poetrymargaret simonMarilyn Singermary lee hahnmask poemsMeet My FamilyMelissa StewartMentors for Rentmentor textsmetaphorMichelle Myers LacknerMillbrookMinnesota Book Awardsmoneymoonmy reading lifemy writing processN+7naaninarrative poemsNational Poetry Month 2012 (haiku a day)National Poetry Month 2014 (riddle-ku)National Poetry Month 2015National Poetry Month 2016National Poetry Month 2017 (#wonderbreak)national poetry month 2018 (haiku a day)National Poetry Month 2020National Poetry Month 2021 (#EquationPoem)national poetry month 2022 (sticky-note poems)National Poetry Month 2023 (Digging for Poems)National Poetry Month 2024 (magnipoems)ncteNerdy Book Clubnifty newsnifty stuffNikki Grimesnonfictionnonfiction booksNonfiction Writers Dig Deepnovelsnovels in verseodesOne Minute Till BedtimeoppositifyOskar's VoyagepadletpantoumsparodiesPatreonpeacepersonalpet poemsphotopoetryphrase acrosticspicture booksplagiarismpoempicspoemspoems for two voicespoemsketchpoetic pursuitsPoetry 7poetryactionspoetry activitiesPoetry Blastpoetry booksPoetry FridayPoetry Friday AnthologiesPoetry Princessespoetry promptspoetry sistersPoetry Tips for Teachersprogressive poempublishing processpuddle songPutridquotationsraccontinosRandy Salasread-aloudreadaloudreading poetry in the classroomRebecca Kai Dotlichrecipe poemsrefugeesresearchreview copiesreviewsrevisionrhyming booksrhyming nonfictionrhyming picture booksRhyming Picture Books the Write Wayrhyming poemsRiddle-kuriddle poemsRock Can Be...Rock the Blogrondeau redoublesRudyard Kiplingsalas snippetsSCBWIschool visitsScotlandseasonssecrets of the loonSELsestinasshrinking daysskinnyskypeslice of lifesmall readssnack snooze skedaddlesnowman-coldsonnetsStampede!storm poemstorytimestorywalkstudent poemsstudent workSylvia VardellTanita Davistankatautogramteachableteacher resourcesteen/adult poemsterza rimasthankfulthank yous and referencesthe business sidethings to do iftracy nelson maurertrioletstunie munson-bensonvideosVikram MadanvillanellevillanellesWater Can Be...wealthy elementaryWe BelongWhat's InsideWhy-kuwinterwonderwonderbreakword of the yearwordplaywordsmithswork for hirewritingwriting bookswriting processwriting promptswriting the life poeticyoung authors conferencesYouTubeZapZap Clap Boomzenozentangle
Show More Show Less

Discover more from Laura Purdie Salas

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading

Join Laura's monthly newsletter for eductators

Get three of Laura's favorite poetry activities when you subscribe to "Small Reads."