Friday, March 16, 2012

My Poetry Madness Poem - Slice 17

    The March Slice of Life Challenge is with Ruth and Stacey at the Two Writing Teachers blog 

As I wrote earlier this week, I participated with 63 other Poets on the internet in a kind of Ode to the NCAA March Madness basketball tournament, where we wrote children's poems for Ed DeCaria's Madness! 2012 (Kids' Poetry. Under Pressure.)

Visit the webpage. Look at the results of the pairings, and read all the wonderful poems that were written.  We were each given a word as a prompt, where we had to write a maximum of 8 lines that included the word at least once.  My word was paternity. I've been reading about more the emphasis being made on non-fiction writing so immediately thought I would write a non-fiction poem, hence the work about penguins (a favorite paternal story).
 I competed against a published writer extraordinaire named Donna Martin and lost by just a few votes.  I am rather proud that the day's voting was back and forth with our poems’ votes, and thought both were good.  The interesting part that sometimes happened with the pairings is that unbeknownst to each other, some, like Donna and me, wrote poems that were quite similar in content; ours were both about animals and the way they behave.  What serendipity!

Here is my poem, and here is the link to Donna’s.  Her word was prowl.

Paternity Patience 
The emperor penguin does not ignore

His given chore,  of perilous paternity.

He stands and waits.  He waits and stands.

It seems for all eternity.

While the momma empress swims for need

And gobbles feed, expressing her maternity.

She glides and dives; she dives and glides.

It appears with taciturnity.

 Keep watching.  The next 16 pairings happen soon!

photo credit: Martha de Jong-Lantink via photopin cc


  1. It is such a cool challenge. My mind whirls as I think of ways to adapt it for Poetry Month.

  2. Wow - you are doing so many things in the blogging/ writing world. How do you manage it? I adore your poem. Love that you wrote a non-fiction one. Beautiful.

  3. I love the poem! 'perilous paternity' is a great pair of words!

  4. I loved your penguin poem, Linda. And yes on the serendipity - I was matched up with Darren Sardelli, and we wrote similarly silly poems. They both included chickens! His poem garnered more votes - it was hard to compete with a "chicken-flavored cat." ;0)
    I'll enjoy watching the rest of the tourney, too.

  5. Oh I wish I'd known I would have voted too! I love your poem and I'd say it was very very close. So smart to turn it to nonfiction.

  6. I loved your poem, too. Such a tough matchup, as were so many in the Madness. Still, what I love is that we're all abuzz talking poetry which I think is why all 64 of us entered anyway! It's a win-win in that sense, for sure.

  7. Love the use of repeated form "stands and waits" "waits and stands" paired with "glides and dives" "dives and glides." This type of repetition in the form is so powerful and it appears throughout this poem. So perfectly crafted, Linda. I'm in awe.

  8. This is such a cool challenge. I wish it were not during March! Kudos to you for participating. I always admire your poetry--even with a prompt you manage to pull it off! I love the repetition in the structure of your poem.

  9. Linda,
    I love nonfiction poetry. Yours reminds me of the work of Joyce Sidman, a mentor for my fourth graders and I. My favorite phrases are perilous paternity and the repeating lines. Thinking I would like to share your poem and the process with my students. "Writing From a Word" is an Aimee Buckner strategy that we tried in the fall and could revisit during the March challenge and again in April for Poetry Month. Thanks for sharing. ~Theresa

  10. Such a cute poem! I like the contrast in repetitive structure of "stands and waits" for the dad and "glides and dives" for the mom. I did an Antarctica unit with my ELL kids last summer -- if you would've written this poem then, I would have shared it with them! :-)

  11. Linda, you are doing such a wonderful job with your writing. Not only your beautiful poetry, but I appreciate the way you spin your delightful comments - to me and for others. You bless my day.


Thanks for visiting!