[poetry friday] “Ordinary” — a Poem Starter

This week, my poem is “Ordinary,” a cinquain from my book?Do Buses Eat Kids? Poems About School?(Capstone, 2008).
.

Ordinary
Pencil
Black tube hiding
Inside yellow wrapping
Leaves grey trail of letters, stories,
Magic
–by Laura Purdie Salas, all rights reserved

Teachers, if you’re looking for a poetry idea…

Poem Starter: Listen to the poem “Ordinary,” by Laura Purdie Salas, and then write a poem about what you think?is hiding inside an ordinary object.
 
Heidi, the lovely poet of My Juicy Little Universe, has today’s Poetry Friday roundup – enjoy!
.
 

56 Responses

  1. I have been enjoying this new series, Laura. Love today’s idea and especially the last line of your inspiring cinquain. It is always fun to hear you read your work.

    I also wanted to thank you for sharing the link to the March Madness poetry competition (below). The quality of what you poets post is astonishing!

    1. “you” poets–as if you’re not one! I haven’t even had a chance to really see who’s taking part. Crazy busy lately. I was hoping you’d be in the lineup. Thanks for the kind words. I’m on school visits early next week again, so we’ll see what I can come up with super-fast for round 1. Ack!

  2. I have been enjoying this new series, Laura. Love today’s idea and especially the last line of your inspiring cinquain. It is always fun to hear you read your work.

    I also wanted to thank you for sharing the link to the March Madness poetry competition (below). The quality of what you poets post is astonishing!

    1. “you” poets–as if you’re not one! I haven’t even had a chance to really see who’s taking part. Crazy busy lately. I was hoping you’d be in the lineup. Thanks for the kind words. I’m on school visits early next week again, so we’ll see what I can come up with super-fast for round 1. Ack!

  3. Laura — I do love that trail of magic too. It really is the mystery of writing that makes me keep wanting to come back to it again and again. Thank you for sharing this new series — it’s like getting to visit with you a little wee bit. xo, a.

    1. Thanks, Amy! I’m hoping to grow it into something useful for teachers and get to feature both my work and the work of so many other poets I admire. Let me know if you’d be ok with my featuring a poem from FOREST. I’d pick one out based on what poem starter I could come up with. And I have no idea what the permissions issues are. I’m just going to start asking poets now that I have a couple videos up for them to see. I don’t know whether it’s something I can do without permissions, too, but I feel better asking. And I’m not sure whether poets will need to check with their editors. Anyway, if you’re interested, let me know. If not, no problem!

      I agree about the mystery. Where do our poems and stories come from? What will appear next? It’s always a surprise!

  4. Laura — I do love that trail of magic too. It really is the mystery of writing that makes me keep wanting to come back to it again and again. Thank you for sharing this new series — it’s like getting to visit with you a little wee bit. xo, a.

    1. Thanks, Amy! I’m hoping to grow it into something useful for teachers and get to feature both my work and the work of so many other poets I admire. Let me know if you’d be ok with my featuring a poem from FOREST. I’d pick one out based on what poem starter I could come up with. And I have no idea what the permissions issues are. I’m just going to start asking poets now that I have a couple videos up for them to see. I don’t know whether it’s something I can do without permissions, too, but I feel better asking. And I’m not sure whether poets will need to check with their editors. Anyway, if you’re interested, let me know. If not, no problem!

      I agree about the mystery. Where do our poems and stories come from? What will appear next? It’s always a surprise!

  5. Love this series, too, Laura. Nice to see and hear you read your wonderful poems. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Jama. I did these first 6 or 8 all in a batch. I don’t even want to watch them now–I’m so self-conscious about video. Oi.

  6. Love this series, too, Laura. Nice to see and hear you read your wonderful poems. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Jama. I did these first 6 or 8 all in a batch. I don’t even want to watch them now–I’m so self-conscious about video. Oi.

  7. Your poem reminded me of a poetry exercise I did with Allan Wolf who wrote “Immersed in Verse.” I like to bring in ziplocks of ordinary items for my students to write about.
    I love how the pencil makes grey trails of magic.

    1. I adore Immersed in Verse. So witty and hip! I don’t think I have it anymore–I need to get it–probably some great ideas I could use now that I am starting to do more school visits that are actual writing workshops–not only large-group presentations. Thanks for reminding me of this wonderful book!

  8. Your poem reminded me of a poetry exercise I did with Allan Wolf who wrote “Immersed in Verse.” I like to bring in ziplocks of ordinary items for my students to write about.
    I love how the pencil makes grey trails of magic.

    1. I adore Immersed in Verse. So witty and hip! I don’t think I have it anymore–I need to get it–probably some great ideas I could use now that I am starting to do more school visits that are actual writing workshops–not only large-group presentations. Thanks for reminding me of this wonderful book!

  9. Laura, I love the new series. Wonderful idea! Every year, I have my students read “A Valentine for Ernest Mann”, and my students write about the places poems hide. I like the idea of choosing an object. Love the “magic” in your poem. : )

    1. Oh, I have read that poem before–and loved it! Thank you for the reminder. What a wonderful video I saw of the poem too. Is that something you shared at an inservice?

  10. Laura, I love the new series. Wonderful idea! Every year, I have my students read “A Valentine for Ernest Mann”, and my students write about the places poems hide. I like the idea of choosing an object. Love the “magic” in your poem. : )

    1. Oh, I have read that poem before–and loved it! Thank you for the reminder. What a wonderful video I saw of the poem too. Is that something you shared at an inservice?

  11. An ode to gorgeous ordinary every day objects — and finding the magic in them — only a poet can do this so beautifully! I love it. A magical pen — kind of reminded me of Milo (Phantom Tollbooth) and his magic staff (turns out to be a pencil). 🙂 Thanks for sharing this, Laura!

    1. Thanks, Myra! I’ve had a great time leading upper elementary kids writing odes to ordinary objects (just odes, not in cinquain form or anything). Reading odes to stairs, can openers, grass, etc.–it’s a hoot, and the kids get to practice so many things: metaphor, exaggeration, sensory details, close observation, humor…it’s a blast. So glad you liked this little poem:>)

  12. An ode to gorgeous ordinary every day objects — and finding the magic in them — only a poet can do this so beautifully! I love it. A magical pen — kind of reminded me of Milo (Phantom Tollbooth) and his magic staff (turns out to be a pencil). 🙂 Thanks for sharing this, Laura!

    1. Thanks, Myra! I’ve had a great time leading upper elementary kids writing odes to ordinary objects (just odes, not in cinquain form or anything). Reading odes to stairs, can openers, grass, etc.–it’s a hoot, and the kids get to practice so many things: metaphor, exaggeration, sensory details, close observation, humor…it’s a blast. So glad you liked this little poem:>)

  13. Hi, Laura–

    Your poem starters–and this very accessible example–is a great project! I think I can see some of your marching-band swagger trying to bust out through the camera.…I say, let it bust!

    I thought about my pencil poem some more, and I think I was wrong–it was 3rd grade. I remember being given a story starter that became a prose piece called “My Life as a Pencil.” (My cinquain was about a mouse.) It stays with me because that was the year I “became” a writer. There was some joy and feeling of skill in writing about being a pencil that made me think, “Oh–this is what I’m here for!” Did this identification happen for you too? Thanks for the memories.

    1. Oh, Heidi–I’m so jealous. I didn’t even know “writers” existed until I was in college, I think. And to identify myself as one? Never crossed my mind until I had sold several books. I love your story–and how cool that you can remember specific things you wrote that young and the effect they had on you. Yay!

  14. Hi, Laura–

    Your poem starters–and this very accessible example–is a great project! I think I can see some of your marching-band swagger trying to bust out through the camera.…I say, let it bust!

    I thought about my pencil poem some more, and I think I was wrong–it was 3rd grade. I remember being given a story starter that became a prose piece called “My Life as a Pencil.” (My cinquain was about a mouse.) It stays with me because that was the year I “became” a writer. There was some joy and feeling of skill in writing about being a pencil that made me think, “Oh–this is what I’m here for!” Did this identification happen for you too? Thanks for the memories.

    1. Oh, Heidi–I’m so jealous. I didn’t even know “writers” existed until I was in college, I think. And to identify myself as one? Never crossed my mind until I had sold several books. I love your story–and how cool that you can remember specific things you wrote that young and the effect they had on you. Yay!

  15. I think the poems hidden inside the poet are the same kind of magic as the tube of black inside the yellow wrapper.

  16. I think the poems hidden inside the poet are the same kind of magic as the tube of black inside the yellow wrapper.

    1. Thank you, Penny! One of things I love to do when writing with kids is to write poems about really everyday objects they’ve never thought much about. They come up with the best things. This was a fun poem to write, I remember. The pencil is such a humble hero!

    1. Thank you, Penny! One of things I love to do when writing with kids is to write poems about really everyday objects they’ve never thought much about. They come up with the best things. This was a fun poem to write, I remember. The pencil is such a humble hero!

  17. Here’s what I have in response to your mission.

    BOOKS
    Pages
    Of words, drawings,
    Reading hidden secrets,
    Making me feel less alone in
    The world.

    © Charles Waters 2013 all rights reserved.

  18. Here’s what I have in response to your mission.

    BOOKS
    Pages
    Of words, drawings,
    Reading hidden secrets,
    Making me feel less alone in
    The world.

    © Charles Waters 2013 all rights reserved.

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