Poems Are Teachers by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater [Poetry Friday]

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

Today is the National Day on Writing, and what better day to share Amy Ludwig VanDerwater’s new book for teachers, Poems Are Teachers? This amazing book features 50+ poems by different poets (some of whom are part of the Poetry Friday community) and more than 100 poems by kids, all accompanied by wise and encouraging ideas and lessons from Amy on using those poems as mentor texts for all kinds of writing. I think this is a fantastic book not just for teachers but for writers as well. I’m looking forward to reading through the entire book. Meanwhile, here’s the poem I wrote for this.

Tree House

You are planks and nails, walls and floor
Nothing more, some say
I say no way

You are my tree house
My waiting for me house
My crow’s nest over the Baltic Sea house

You are whatever I need you to be, house
My nobody knows where I am—I’m free house
My “Let’s have a tea party, just you and me” house
My “OK, squeeze in, but just us three” house

You are my come in, no need for a key house
My rocket-fueled racecar to win the Grand Prix house
My prairie as far as my eyes can see house
My drowsy laze to the buzz of a bee house

You are planks and nails,
walls and floor,
but so much
more,
my house that is me
house

–Laura Purdie Salas, all rights reserved

 And for today’s Poetry Friday Roundup, visit with teacher Leigh Anne at A Day in the Life, where she’s sharing a wonderful Naomi Shihab Nye poem in a thoughtful post.

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18 Responses

  1. This book looks so incredible. I cannot WAIT to get my hands on it. And, I will use it as a teacher…but also as a writer. Thanks so much for sharing your poem. “Waiting for me” “Don’t need a key.” Oh, I wish I could give so many kids the experience of this. What a poem to dream on.

  2. What an amazing book! And truly, it’s not because I have a poem in it. It’s such a cool way to get kids going on writing poetry! Also, great poem. I love the series of cool, surprising ways you rhyme the lines. A touch of Ogden Nash there!

  3. “You are my come in, no need for a key house”

    zings directly into my heartstrings, Laura.

    And I love how the last lines circle back.

    Appreciations.

  4. Perfect for all the things a child imagines what a treehouse can become. Amazon says my copy of POEMS ARE TEACHERS will arrive tomorrow. I can’t wait!

  5. I am so excited to be able to see so many glimpses into this book today as poets share their contributions. I’m no longer teaching, but I do think I still want a copy for me to learn from. It looks amazing–such a rich resource.

  6. Your poem is lovely, Laura. It would be terrific to see what students, or children in general, share after they hear/read your poem. I think there will be lots of sharing, maybe lots of dreaming!

  7. I love your tree house! Ruth, thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com

  8. A treehouse is such the catalyst for the imagination. We had more of a tree “platform” than a house — no walls! But it still became so much more, just as you have written here. And I can’t wait to get Amy’s new book, especially after reading so much about it this weekend.

    1. Ours was totally a platform! Up high above our trampoline and enclosed only by tree branches :>)

  9. This book is such a wonderful resource as well as a labor of pure poetry love. I feel such a connection because I know so many of the poets, like you, and have student poems included. I walk by a tree house every day and have been wanting to write a poem about it. Your poem captures the feeling of childhood so well.

  10. Amy’s book is a treasure, as is your poem, Laura. I never had a tree house, but loved climbing trees. Even without the “planks and nails, walls and floor” I had a special tree that was “my nobody knows where I am—I’m free house.”

  11. I love all the alliteration in your poem laura along with the refraining house closing each line, they both move us rhythmically through your poem, lovely “Tree House” thanks!

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