The Idea and A Poem Grows Inside You

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

Logo by Linda Mitchell

Howdy, everybody! Thanks for all your well wishes–my back is feeling better! It’s been a super busy February so far with author visits, my 35th wedding anniversary <3, freelance deadlines, and endless promotion for my 3 spring books. But I’m really trying to hang in there with Poetry Friday! I love you guys.

This week, I read A Poem Grows Inside You, by Katey Howes and Heather Brockman Lee. It’s a lovely book that I won in the giveway from Laura Shovan. You can read Laura’s very cool writeup about this book here.

I felt inspired by this book, and I decided to write a poetryaction. Here’s what I came up with, and there’s a bit of writing process below the poem. I’m trying to share writing process thoughts a bit more often to help educators write poems with students!

I was sitting at a McDonald’s when I wrote this. What entered my head was “a thought in a pot of hot water.” I often use cooking language with ideas, even though I hate cooking! A story simmers, I put a project on the back burner, etc.

I wanted a different setting from a kitchen, so I decided on a campfire and wrote the first draft down the left side below.

Then I realized I wanted a few more concrete, sensory details to support that outside setting. So I made some changes and added the phrases on the right side below.

As I typed the poem into my Poetry Diary, and then as I created the Canva graphic, I made a couple more tiny adjustments on the fly. I often do that. The result was the poetryaction above.

Molly at Nix the Comfort Zone has the Poetry Friday Roundup this week. I’m out Thursday night overnight and all day Friday and Friday evening. But I’m looking forward to visiting some posts on Saturday!


13 Responses

  1. ooooooh! What an amazing way to respond to a book. I may need to try this out with kids! Thank you Laura for the idea of poetryaction and stars waiting for you to stir. Just lovely.

  2. Thank you always for sharing your process, Laura. And what a lovely response. Who knew a MacDonald’s could be a place where writing inspiration strikes. I’m looking forward to reading Katie’s book!

    1. I drafted it in between Scrabble turns. When I have a quick idea, I have to jot it down right away!

  3. I love Katey’s new book! I enjoyed all the action words in your poem! Thank you for the poetry prompt and for sharing your writing process.

  4. Love seeing your process, Laura, and love “waits for me to stir”. Glad your back is better & wishing you a wonderful weekend!

  5. I am enjoying your poetry actions! This one with the idea is lovely—makes me want to sit by a fire (at least when it warms up a bit)

  6. Laura, congratulations on your 3 spring books. Thanks for sharing another poetryaction for educators. Thanks for providing the backstory. I will share this information for the Zoom presentation I will make at the beginning of March. Teachers like as many new practical lessons, techniques, and examples that I can fit in a 45 keynote address.

  7. Wonderful poem Laura, I love the slow start, and then building suspense into your stir! Thanks also for sharing your process, and that continued process of edits/tweaks.

  8. Laura, thank you for the poem, and the idea for building our own, or with students. I love seeing your process and the scribbled out lines on your McDonald’s note. All the best during your busy February, and happy 35th anniversary! Hooray for you and your partner!

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