Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Progressive Poem, NPM Day 11, & SOL - Tipping my Hat to Incredible Irene!

Today I join my fellow bloggers in "serving up a slice" 
to the Tuesday Slice of Life (SOL) community.
Thanks to Stacey, Betsy, Beth, Kathleen, Deb, Lisa, Melanie, and Lanny
 for hosting this meeting place each Tuesday and nurturing our writing lives.

For my alphabetic National Poetry Month stroll, I have arrived at the letter I.  Incredible Irene Latham blogs at Live Your Poem and hosts the yearly Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem.  She writes poetry for children & adults and writes novels.  I'm so excited that her middle grade novel, Leaving Gee's Bend, is coming out in paperback.  Her most recent picture book of poetry, Fresh Delicious, is a delightful stroll through the farmer's market.  Both my grandsons have autographed copies of this book.  She continues her Artspeak! poem-a-day project for National Poetry Month with a focus on Portraits this year.  And she does school presentations!  This past year I hosted her when she spoke at the middle school where I taught before retiring.  She even agreed to a small group meeting with my after school book club.  And she resurrected the Spiritual Journey (first) Thursday group.  Feel free to join us to write about a designated topic and our spiritual journey on the first Thursday of each month.  Irene's OLW for this year is abundance and she's giving away copies of her book, The Sky Between Us, for National Poetry Month.  So it's easy to see why on Day 11 of my alphabetic journey through poetry that I'm compelled to tip my hat to incredible Irene who makes such a contribution to the poetic fun  in the blogosphere.  

After meeting Irene at NCTE 2014, I received a twitter invite to join the Progressive Poem.  In a moment of weakness (or insanity), I agreed.   Every year I tell myself, "Don't do it again." But something about playing with words entices me back onto the playground!  And it allows me to check the box, "Do something that terrifies you!" And this is my third year to be terrified.       
Here's our fearless leader Irene's invitation and explanation of the progressive poem:  "Poetry Friday Friends and other poetry lovers are invited to join the fun as a poem travels daily from blog to blog, with each host adding a line, beginning April 1." 

Here's the poem as it was handed to me yesterday by Penny at a penny and her jots who added line 10.  And my addition, line 11, is the one in blue.  

I’m fidget, friction, ragged edges—
I sprout stories that frazzle-dazzle,
stories of castles, of fires that crackle,
with dragonwords that smoke and sizzle.
But edges sometimes need sandpaper,
like swords need stone and clouds need vapour.
So I shimmy out of my spurs and armour
facing the day as my fickle, freckled self.
I thread the crowd, wear freedom in my smile,
and warm to the coals of conversation.
Enticed to the stage by strands of story,
So how did I arrive at my line?  I knew that I wanted to return to the stories of that first stanza.  I love what's happening as our freckled, smiling child threads the crowd and warms to the coals of conversation.  Linda's use of the word thread in line 9  interested me and so I spent a little time meandering through several definitions of thread until I discovered one I liked - "to move or cause to move in a sinuous, spiral, or circular course."  And so I thought about where our child's spiral course might be leading and how he or she might be warmed by conversation.  And now it's time to pass the fun to Janet F. who will be posting her line Wednesday on Irene's blog, Live Your Poem. Take it away, Janet!  I can't wait to watch this poem weave its wonder through the remainder of the month.
Below is a list of participating poets with links to their blogs so that you can follow  the 2017 Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem. 
1 Heidi at my juicy little universe
2 Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference
3 Doraine at Dori Reads
4 Michelle at Today’s Little Ditty
5 Diane at Random Noodling
6 Kat at Kat’s Whiskers
7 Irene at Live Your Poem
8 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
9 Linda at TeacherDance
10 Penny at a penny and her jots
11 Ramona at Pleasures from the Page
12 Janet F. at Live Your Poem
13 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche
14 Jan at Bookseedstudio
15 Brenda at Friendly Fairy Tales
16 Joy at Poetry for Kids Joy
17 Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect
18 Buffy at Buffy’s Blog
19 Pat at Writer on a Horse
20 BJ at Blue Window
21 Donna at Mainely Write
22 Jone at Jone Ruch MacCulloch
23 Ruth at There is no such thing as a godforsaken town
24 Amy at The Poem Farm
25 Robyn at Life on the Deckle Edge
26 Renee at No Water River
27 Matt at Radio, Rhythm and Rhyme
28 Michelle at Michelle Kogan
29 Charles at Poetry Time
30 Laura Purdie Salas at Writing the World for Kids


  1. Ramona! I am blushing! Thank you for making me a part of your alphabet, and a part of your life... I am so happy to know you! And: "strands" of story is beautiful! Thank you. xo

  2. Lovely post about Irene, Ramona. I love your "enticing" line that moves this person into telling more.This is becoming interesting!

  3. Love it, Ramona. Very nice nod to the beginning of the poem.

  4. Such an interwoven story with its strands looping back and around. I'm picturing a busy medieval market square - with crowds jostling about as our MC is drawn towards the entertainment. What will s/he discover?

  5. Poetry courses through your veins and out your fingers. What a terrifying challenge to create beautiful words, but you do it so well.

  6. What a lovely tribute to one of my favorite folks on the planet, and what an "enticing" line, Ramona! [I didn't see "stage" coming... now we're all looking that direction!]

  7. Lovely line. I am terrified, but my day is soon coming! Can I live up to this? Eek! :-)

  8. What a beautiful tribute to dear Irene! And your line is great! Can't wait to see where those "strands of story" take this character.

  9. I couldn't agree more about Incredible Irene! Your line, Ramona, is magical. Bringing back "story" and all of those magical 's' sounds... Onward...joyfully! xx

  10. Love the s sounds and the use of strands to match thread. I totally understand your fear. As my day quickly approaches, my heart just leapt into my stomach. Can I do this?

  11. Ramona, I am new to your blog, but delighted to be here. I read your line eagerly this morning. Then we drove home for over 5 hours and I wrote and reflected. A great way to travel as long as I wasn't driving! Terrific twist....weaving and strolling and conversing and heading toward a stage. I, like you, met Irene at an NCTE, I think it was in 2013 in Las Vegas. How lucky to spend time with such wonderful poets and poetry advocates like Irene, Janet Wong and Sylvia Vardell, along with Laura Purdie Salas and Amy LV who were also there. I am terrified, too, but less so and I persevere. You made it somewhat easier for me this year. Your line was a gift. I always feel such pressure to rise to the level and help our poem breathe with delight. Strands of story.....lovely. I also saw your post about Lee Bennett Hopkins and hope to go back and comment when I can. How can I find you on FB, are you there? I will look. Janet Clare F.

  12. I had missed of couple days of the poem, so I am glad I caught up here! I have been thinking about the gender of the narrator. There are times when I see a boy being a boy, and then a feisty girl. Interesting to see where this leads.

  13. Lovely tribute to Irene! I think you can put a check plus by " Do the thing that terrifies you." Your "strands of story"is just perfect.