Forest Has a Song
by Amy Ludwig Vanderwater, illus by Robbin Gourley
I shared a poem from this book for Poetry Friday?in celebration of its Cybils win in Poetry. (YAY!)?The words themselves are so simple, but there’s a lot going on. Here are a few things I notice about this poem, “Dusk.”
First, I notice that the poem is kind of in the shape of a crescent moon, and I picture it hanging pale in the sky right as the sun is setting and the moon is rising. I like all the’different animals that are being implied, even though they’re not named. So the burrow, nest, and tree trunk make me think of rabbits and birds and skunks. There are?other animals in those three homes–those are just the three I think of. [CCRA.R.1]?I really love how the words?”peek” and “winking” give this poem a kind of secretive, magical feel. [CCRA.R.4]
And I’m enchanted by the rhyme scheme. I’struggle to keep my meter from being?too predictable. I love how Amy has mixed it up some here! The first and last stanzas have 7 beats total spread over 4 or 5 lines, and each line in the middle stanza has 3 beats. Clap it out and see. [CCRA.R.5]?So it’s not perfectly symmetrical, but it works. And in those?final?3 lines, I see the period at the end of each’short line. The action is coming to a stop. Dusk is falling, and it’s time to get ready for bed.?[CCRA.R.6]
Finally, when I listen to Amy read her own poem, I like hearing how her voice sounds so sweet and well, snuggly, on “snuggle in a tree trunk.” And how she gets quieter and quieter on the last three lines. [CCRA.R.7] Lovely!
In this blog feature, I externalize my process of reading a poem and then I go back and pop in the CCSS Anchor Standards that I think I happened to address in my thoughts. I’m hoping this will be useful for those of you who are?educators sharing poetry, especially if you might not be too comfortable with it. This might give you ideas of some?elements you could include?in your poetry discussion.