Thursday, July 24, 2014

Poetry Friday: The Poem That Got Away

Has this ever happened to you?  Last night, just as I was drifting off to sleep, I got an idea for a poem. It felt perfect for the collection I'm working on.  Now, I know I should have gotten up and jotted it down, but it had been a long day at summer school and I was exhausted.  Besides, I could remember it until morning, right?    Wrong!  This morning, I overslept, jumped out of bed, got dressed and dashed out the door. Driving to work, I tried and tried to recall that little poem, but it was long gone!

As I was thinking of what I'd like to share today, I came across my copy of the beautiful anthology Inner Chimes: Poems on Poetry selected by Bobbye S. Goldstein. I've owned this book for almost twenty years and return to it often for encouragement and inspiration. The poems express the joys and frustrations of making poems and speak to writers of all ages. It's an excellent resource for writing teachers.

The poem I'm sharing is by Felice Holman. I love this poem, and I really needed to read it again today.  If you write poetry, it might just become one of your favorites too!

The Poem That Got Away

There I was and in it came
Through the fogbank of my brain
From the fastness of my soul
Shining like a glowing coal
The nearly perfect poem!

Oh, it may have needed just
An alteration here or there--
A little tuck, a little seam
to be exactly what I meant--
The really perfect poem!

     I'll write it later on, I said,
     The idea's clear and so's my head.
     This pen I have is nearly dry.
     What I'll do now is finish this pie,
     Then on to the perfect poem!
Read the rest of the poem here.

Be sure to drop by Poetry for Children for today's Poetry Friday party where the multi-talented Sylvia Vardell  and Janet Wong (Pomelo Books) have a very exciting announcement that you won't want to miss!

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Poetry Friday

Last week, my four-year old granddaughter, Evie, read a book to her preschool class during circle time. She was so proud to be able to read it all by herself! 
Over the years, I've taught preschool, elementary, and middle school.  One of  the most rewarding experiences for me  is sharing the excitement when a child reads his/her first book.  I wrote this little poem to capture that experience.

First Book

Mommy! Daddy!
Come look, come look--

I'm reading, I'm reading,
I'm reading a book!

I just found it here
on the library shelf
and I can read every word
all by myself.

Mommy! Daddy!
Come look, come look--

I'm reading!

I'm reading
my very first book!

Linda Kulp- all rights reserved

                      My two-year old grandson loves looking at his magazine.
                      It won't be long before he reads his very first book!

Be sure to stop by to visit Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference for more poetry offerings.



Friday, July 11, 2014

 Welcome to Poetry Friday!  
My 4 yr. old granddaughter, Evie
stopped by to welcome you!
Hello, everyone!  It's so nice to see you here! This is my first time to host so I’m a little nervous but very happy to finally take the plunge!  Please leave your links in the comments, and I’ll be rounding them up throughout the day.

I've been busy teaching summer school, and the days just seem to be speeding by. I can't believe the summer is half over already!

I did do one very special thing for myself this summer.  I spent the month of June in an online class that turned out to one of the best writing courses I’ve ever taken.  I don’t usually post about classes, but I think this one is such a fantastic resource for poets, teachers, and writers of all genres that I wanted to share my experience. Besides, I'm hoping this post will inspire you to share writing resources you've found helpful too. So, here goes!
I enrolled in The Lyrical Language Lab: Punching Up Prose with Poetry for the month of June with one simple goal in mind; I wanted to develop a writing routine for the summer.   What I got was so much more! 
The Lyrical Language Lab is an intensive month-long course taught by Renee LaTulippe.  Renee (of No Water River fame) is an outstanding teacher. Her knowledge of poetic elements, precise lessons, individual attention, and editing background is phenomenal!

A few of my favorite features of the course were:
  • The lessons were well-structured: model, practice, apply, feedback.
  • The assignments and daily interaction with Renee and my classmates kept me motivated.
  • There were opportunities to apply new skills to my WIP.
  • The lessons meet the needs of a variety of  learning styles (verbal, audio, visual, kinesthetic).
  • A lot of information was packed into this course, but it was always entertaining and FUN!

Most courses end, and that’s it.  Not The Lyrical Language Lab! At the end of the course, Renee provided us with a packet containing all of our assignments and her feedback. She is also creating an e-book of our course so we can review as needed. And, we had the opportunity to join an online group of course alumni so we can continue to learn and support each other. How wonderful is that?

I loved the class, and judging by the comments made by my classmates, everyone else did too.  I recommend this course for writers of all genres, but especially poets and picture book writers. Teachers who want a stronger foundation in poetry will also find this class beneficial.  

If you're looking to “punch up your prose,” add to your poetry toolbox, or add to your teaching repertoire, I hope you’ll head over to No Water River and check out The Lyrical Language Lab.

I can't end this post without mentioning another excellent resource.  If you are in need of coaching, consulting, or critiquing,  Mentors for Rent is the way to go!  Laura Purdie Salas and Lisa Bullard are the providers of this outstanding service. Both of these ladies have years of writing and coaching experience and share a wealth of knowledge about the business of writing for children. I can tell you from personal experience, they work hard to help clients reach their writing goals.  Check out their website for more details.

Okay, I hope I didn't sound too much like an infomercial, but I know there are folks like me who are looking for resources to reach the next level in their writing.

Now sit back, have a cup of tea, and let's enjoy today's poetry offerings.
Thanks for stopping by!


First Cup Edition

 Laura at Author Amok shares, "July 2 was the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act. I'm celebrating with a post about Debbie Levy's latest picture book, "We Shall Overcome: The Story of a Song." In free verse, Levy covers the history of "We Shall Overcome" from slavery, to the Civil Rights Movement, and its worldwide popularity today."

Matt comes to us today with an original poem at Radio, Rhythm, & Rhyme.

Tabatha shares a roller coaster poem by Heidi Mordhorst at The Opposite of Indifference.

Robyn at Life on the Deckle Edge brings us fortune cookies and a poem by Irene Latham.
Michelle has a limerick by Irene Latham at Today's Little Ditty

Donna had some fun with her grandchildren this week over at Mainely Write, and she also share's a poem by Linda Baie.

Linda shares a summer swap poem by Margaret Simon at Teacher Dance.

Over at Gathering Books, Myra shares a poem by Iphigene.

Reading to the Core brings us a poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay.

Heidi is looking for suggestions about a classic poem for her revision project at My Juicy Little Universe.

Diane is in today with an original poem at Random Noodling.  She also brings us a short post about FIREFLY JULY at Kurious Kitty.

Laura is in today with a poem by Irene Latham from her new book DEAR WANDERING WILDEBEEST.

Margaret shares a poem by Wendi Romero at Reflections on the Teche.

Irene is in today at Live Your Poem with Quilts, & Pears, & the Summer Swap.

Monica over at Cartwheels shares at original poem today.

Violet offers us some summer advice today.

Becky shares an adaptation of Rilke's unicorn poem at Tapestry of Words.

Second Cup Edition

Tara is in today with a post inspired by the news at A Teaching Life.

Bildungsroman comes to us with an Emily Dickinson poem.

Sylvia has a must read tribute to the poetry of the late, great Walter Dean Myers at Poetry for Children.

Jone shares a postcard she received from Joy Acey at Check It Out.

Joy is in today with an original summer poem  at Poetry for Kids Joy.

Amy is at The Poem Farm with a poem about spirit animals inspired by Laura Shovan's post last week.

OK!  I think that's it for round two.  I posted all the links in the Comments section also, just in case.  I'll check back later this afternoon in case anyone else drops by.  I apologize for not giving a better description for each of today's offerings, but I'm on a time crunch (like always), and the computer was not cooperating!  Now, I'm going to get my tea and read these wonderful offerings!  Thank you to everyone who stopped by Write Time

Our Third Cup Edition

Mary Lee at A Year of Reading  stopped by to bring us some "Chicory".

Jen from I am a teacher et cetera just popped in to share an interesting piece she's been working on. I like it!

Carol invites us over to Beyond Literacy Link for some summer serenity along with a writing invitation.

Lorie Ann is in at On Point today with an original haiku and at readertotz, "It Rains, It Pains."

Friday, April 11, 2014

2014 Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem, Day 11

Happy Poetry Month! 

I've been checking out the poetry projects on the kidlit blogs this month.  I love having an entire month to celebrate poetry.  Every year, I dream of writing a daily post to celebrate National Poetry Month, but I quickly talk myself out of it because I worry that I won't be able to  fulfill my commitment. Well, this year I'm determined to devote more time to writing so I bought a little notebook and labeled it National Poetry Month. Although I'm not posting them, I'm scribbling something resembling a poem every night before I go to bed.  I use the word resembling because some nights after a long day at school (and a long commute home) that's about all I can manage! Yep, it's messy, but  I'm following the advice of real writers who tell us to just get something down. I've already seen some connections. Who knows, I might even find a few decent ideas for poems hiding in there!

Still, I really want to take part in the celebration so I'm extremely grateful to Irene Latham of Live Your Poem for organizing the progressive poem for folks like me who just want to dip a toe into the waters of National Poetry Month.  Like many others, this is my third year to participate.

It's fun to follow the poem's progress each day and wonder where it might go next.   Part of the excitement is that it's impossible to plan a line until the poet who precedes you writes his/her line. Yesterday, the talented Tabatha Yeats  added a whole new twist to the poem.  I love how she opened to door to some interesting possibilities. As  I read the poem again and again, it felt very dreamlike so that gave me an idea for my line.   I hope it works! 

Sitting on a rock, airing out my feelings to the universe
Acting like a peacock, only making matters that much worse;
Should I trumpet like an elephant emoting to the moon,
Or just ignore the warnings written in the rune?
Those stars can’t seal my future; it’s not inscribed in stone.
The possibilities are endless! Who could have known?
Gathering courage, spiral like an eagle after prey
Then gird my wings for whirlwind gales in realms far, far away.
But, hold it!  Let's get practical! What's needed before I go?
Time to be tactical— I'll ask my friends what I should stow.
And in one breath, a honeyed word whispered low—   dreams

Okay, Mary Lee, I've taken us to dreamland, I can't wait to see your creative imagination take us next!

Want more poetry?  Michelle at Today's Little Ditty has this week's Poetry Friday roundup!


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Poetry Friday: Love Poems for Valentine's Day!

In honor of Valentine's Day, I'm reposting a few of my favorite collections of love poems along with some links to poetry collections.

Valentine Hearts selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins  is perfect for young readers because they will relate to poems about everything from heart-shaped sandwiches to  hoping for a special valentine and a love note for a special pet. I am honored to have a poem included in this very gorgeous little book.

                                                       Singing Valentine

                                                          Outside my window
on the icy ground below
a little bird sings:






A valentine melody
          just for me!

Linda Kulp, all rights reserved

Click here to read two poems from the collection by two very talented poets,  Rebecca Kai Dotlich and Marilyn Singer.

Hopscotch Love:  A Family Treasury in Love Poems by Nikki Grimes is a true “valentine delight” with poems about many different types of love.  The rhymed and unrhymed poems are written in variety of  forms including: letter poem, list, and free verse.  I love the vivid imagery and deep emotions in this collection.  Here is the beginning of one of my favorite poems from the collection.

Sweethearts Dance

He pulls her close
           She strokes his face
Their thoughts fly to
           Their starting place

Read the rest of the poem here, and you'll see why I'm such a big Nikki Grimes fan.

Check out these links for a few Young Adult collections I love:

I Am Wings and Buried Alive both by Ralph Fletcher

A Lion’s Hunger: Poems of First Love by Ann Turner

Partly Cloudy: Poems of Love and Longing by Gary Soto

Dizzy in Your Eyes: Poems About Love by Pat Mora

 I found the next two collections several years ago while browsing the poetry section in my local Borders. It's unfortunate that so many wonderful book stores have closed.  I used to have a lot of fun discovering treasures such as these.

Also check out: Love Poems by Charles Ghigna. After you read these beautiful poems, you might want to pen your own poem for someone you love.  Charles provides us with inspiration and advice here.


Love Poems by Nikki Giovanni.  I come back to these poems again and again! 

If you have other favorite collections of love poetry, please share the titles with me so I can add them to my bookshelf.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Be sure to stop by to see Linda at  TeacherDance for more Poetry Friday to love today!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Winter Mornings

I love snow days!  Sometimes I think we teachers love them as much as the kids do!  There's nothing better than waking up on a winter morning to find several inches of new fallen snow. I love how the world becomes suddenly quiet and everything slows down, no rushing out the door at 5:45 AM, no long commute to work, or scrambling to the copy machine to beat the crowd.  Nope! A snow day is all about having precious unexpected time to make a crock-pot of vegetable soup, savoring the smell of homemade rolls in the oven, sipping cups of hot cocoa, and curling up with a good book. 

My husband has a different idea about what makes a perfect snow day.   He walks about five miles most every day regardless of the weather.  He likes to walk in the early morning or late evening, especially in winter. He says the frozen air energizes him. I enjoy going for walks outside too, but not when temperatures dip below zero! 

For Christmas, he gave me a copy of Ted Kooser's WINTER MORNING WALKS: one hundred postcards to Jim Harrison.  So while my hubby was out for his walk,  I enjoyed a winter morning walk of another kind with one of my favorite poets.

There are so many lovely poems in this collection. Today I'm sharing one that has special meaning to me because my mother passed away June 10 (technically still spring), and this was our first Christmas without her.  It begins:

december 31

Cold and snowing.
The opening pages forgotten,
then the sadness of my mother's death
in the cold, wet chapters of spring.

You can read the rest of the poem here.   The poem is toward the bottom of the page.
You can also read about composer Maria Schneider setting the poems to music.

Be sure to stop by and say hello to Tara at her new blog site A Teaching Life , and have a delightful Poetry Friday!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

One Little Word for 2014

I love how poetry helps me discover something about myself. Linda Engwall's  poem really fits where I am in my life right now.  It led me to my OLW.

Finding My Voice

When you have all these thoughts
just running around in your head
how do you make sense of any one of them
Switching from analyzing this
to analyzing that

Oh to find some relief
Like to take my head off
let all the garbage spill out
Then I would be left with a empty head
Funny I know
But how else do you clear the clutter away

Read the rest of the poem here.

I chose VOICE  as my one little word to guide me through 2014 because this is the year I want to figure out the "what's next" I mentioned in my birthday post.

Our voice is a unique expression of who we are.  I've spent much of my life trying to find my voice-- afraid to trust myself, I waited for others to tell me who I should be.  But, growing older gives us the courage to do things differently, to take risks, and discover our own true selves.  I don't know where Voice will lead me this year, but I look forward to the journey!

I'd love to hear about your One Little Word. 
In case you haven't chosen one yet, here is a link to a video with Jon Gordon talking about how to choose your OLW.  (I apologize for the advertisement that precedes the video.)

Don't forget to stop by and see Donna  at Mainely Write for today's Poetry Friday.