Sunday, May 5, 2013

Celebrating The Progressive Poem

     
          On April 1st, the beginning of Poetry Month, Amy Ludwig Vanderwater at The Poem Farm began the journey of this year's poem, the idea of which was started last year by Irene Latham at Live Your Poem.  April Halprin Wayland at Teaching Authors completed the poem and its title!  
       Each morning, I opened the post of the next poet contributing, so exciting!  Here is the complete poem, a celebration of sorts, of the feelings of the writing process.  I believe I would use it for older students to see what metaphor they might use when crafting poems about their own work.  It was a marvelous experience, and I thank Irene for the idea, and fellow writers for their expertise!  You can see who wrote each line at the bottom of the page!
photo credit: Patrick Hoesly via photopin cc

P.T. BARNUM'S GREAT TRAVELING MUSEUM, MENAGERIE, CARAVAN, AND HIPPODROME
by Thirty Poets in the Kidlitosphere 

When you listen to your footsteps
the words become music and
the rhythm that you’re rapping gets your fingers tapping, too.
Your pen starts dancing across the page
a private pirouette, a solitary samba until
smiling, you’re beguiling as your love comes shining through.


Pause a moment in your dreaming, hear the whispers
of the words, one dancer to another, saying
Listen, that’s our cue! Mind your meter. Find your rhyme.
Ignore the trepidation while you jitterbug and jive.
Arm in arm, toe to toe, words begin to wiggle and flow
as your heart starts singing let your mind keep swinging

from life’s trapeze, like a clown on the breeze.
Swinging upside down, throw and catch new sounds–
Take a risk, try a trick; break a sweat: safety net?
Don’t check! You’re soaring and exploring,
dangle high, blood rush; spiral down, crowd hush–
limb-by-line-by-limb envision, pyramidic penned precision.

And if you should topple, if you should flop
if your meter takes a beating; your rhyme runs out of steam—
know this tumbling and fumbling is all part of the act,
so get up with a flourish. Your pencil’s still intact.
Snap those synapses! Feel the pulsing through your pen
Commit, measure by measure, to the coda’s cadence.

You've got them now--in the palm of your hand!
Finger by finger you’re reeling them in—
Big Top throng refrains from cheering, strains to hear the poem nearing…
Inky paws, uncaged, claw straw and sawdust
Until… CRACK! You’re in the center ring, mind unleashed, your words take wing--
they circle, soar, then light in the lap of an open-mouthed child; the crowd goes wild.
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