The Flow, a Poetryaction to Joyce Sidman’s We Are Branches

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Howdy, everyone–I’m (theoretically) in Central Florida visiting family this long weekend–if Idalia doesn’t stop my trip. Anyway, I won’t be around to visit everyone’s blogs, but I wanted to post this poetryaction and say Happy Poetry Friday!

Have you read Joyce Sidman’s wonderful new picture book, We Are Branches? It’s such a lovely example of lyrical nonfiction. Here’s my poetryaction for it. (You can see all my poetryactions here.)


And here’s what I read for the Sealey Challenge this final week. Maybe next week, I’ll have a few minutes to reflect on the month. But overall, I’m happy that I did the Challenge–and I didn’t miss a single day! Whee! Thanks for the reminder and inspiration, Marcie Flinchum Atkins!

    • Bob Raczka’s inventiveness & joy in wordplay has long inspired me. Today, I reread LEMONADE: AND OTHER POEMS SQUEEZED FROM A SINGLE WORD. So clever! #theSealeyChallenge #poetry
    • From Douglas Florian, I’ve learned the sheer joy of witty wordplay and rhyme and the beautiful impact of white space. Today, MAMMALABILIA. #theSealeyChallenge #poetry
    • I learned so much from Lee Bennett Hopkins’ poems & anthologies, esp about not underestimating young readers. Here’s 1 I treasure, signed to me, & dedicated to another favorite poet of mine, Rebecca Kai Dotlich! Great memories here RIP Lee. ALPHATHOUGHTS #theSealeyChallenge
    • I love David Elliott’s poetry. One of the things I’ve tried to absorb from his work is the ability to capture a big personality or tell a big story in 30 words or less! Today, IN THE WILD. #theSealeyChallenge
    • Another poet whose work has taught me–Jane Yolen. Her collections & anthologies reveal the lush possibilities of a single topic, poems inspired by photos, and the beauty of going into the darkness. Today, anthology ONCE UPON ICE, one of my favorites. #theSealeyChallenge.
    • From Ralph Fletcher, I learned about writing poems in a kid’s voice. Poems that speak big truths. Today, A WRITING KIND OF DAY. I’m also going to pull out my trusty POETRY MATTERS for a reread! #theSealeyChallenge
    • Eons ago at a CLN conf, Tracie Vaughn Zimmer told me about Billy Collins. TY, Tracie THE TROUBLE WITH POETRY wasn’t the first Collins I read, but it’s today’s pick for #theSealeyChallenge. I always learn from the path Collins takes readers down, those turns at the end.

And for lots of wonderful poetry, don’t miss the Poetry Friday Roundup with fabulous retired teacher and book lover Ramona!
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13 Responses

  1. I love “dreams made of wood and wishes and buds.” Thank you for all the great titles, Laura, as well as the many poetry actions you suggest. Safe travels as you venture to Florida.

  2. Laura, I hope you have a great trip to Florida, and that Idalia allowed you to keep your visit uneventful. I wrote a poem about something that branches:

    grateful for branches
    lawmakers, exec, judges
    help check tyranny

  3. Hope you do make it to Florida, Laura, & enjoy the weekend. I loved Joyce’s book and your “forever backwards – to the heart.”

  4. I love the thought of branches scattering like fairy dust! Best wishes for a safe trip to Florida!

  5. My favorite lines: “dreams made of/ wood and wishes/and buds…” just beautiful, Laura. WE ARE BRANCHES is on my TBR list. Thank you for sharing it here. I have most of Joyce’s books but somehow missed this one. By the way, congratulations on completing the Sealey Challenge. Way to go!

  6. August branches into September
    just like that – a blue moon, a gentle rain,
    a flurry of birds shooting back and forth across
    the summer field in a frenzy. That’s how change
    comes, doesn’t it? Quick and unexpected.
    Welcome just the same.

  7. I’ve been writing down titles I haven’t read from this who’ve done the challenge — thank you for yours, and well done on having done it!

  8. Laura, best wishes for your weekend trip. Stay safe. Your poetry acton is always filled with beautiful thoughts and great word choices. I love the title of this poetry action and the way your formatted this into the flow of branches.

  9. Hoping that the hurricane didn’t thwart your trip! I really love We are Branches! I’m a huge Sidman fan! I also read Billy Collins this week. I hope you enjoyed THE SEALEY CHALLENGE. I always think I’m not going to be able to do it–and then it all works out.

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