Slice of Life: Prospecting for Poetry


I’m still in Virginia visiting my son, so writing time has been limited. But I did have time to go out for a walk this morning.

Taking walks is like going on a treasure hunt. I never know what I’ll find or what I’ll see that will spark an idea or a line of what might turn out to be a poem. I have my phone with me so I can take pictures so images will be fresh in my mind. My phone is new and I’m not completely used to it yet, so I ended up taking short videos as well as photos. This is a happy accident because now I have sounds to go along with my images.

Objects I found on my walk this morning.
Objects I found on my walk this morning.

It’s quite breezy here this morning, and any left over leaves from last fall were skittering across the road as I began my walk. Forsythia is in bloom, crab apple, pear, and weeping cherry trees are blossoming, grass is turning green, and magnolias are loaded with fat buds. Birds are busy doing what birds do: singing, soaring, feathering, flocking.

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When I get home to Connecticut, I’ll sift through these ideas and images, like a miner panning for gold. I’m pretty sure there’s a nugget of something bigger in here. 

This is a perfect activity for students of all ages. Every season is unique, but what better time than spring to go out and see nature in all its glory, when, in the words of Mary Oliver, “the world offers itself to [the] imagination” of poets young and old.

Thank you to StaceyTaraDanaBetsyAnnaBeth, Kathleen, and Deb for this space for teachers and others to share their stories each Tuesday throughout the year and every day during the month of March. Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers to read more Slice of Life posts.

14 thoughts on “Slice of Life: Prospecting for Poetry

  1. I love this post. Such a contrast to how you are experiencing this spring day with how we are doing in Maine! This #SOLC has let me peek into the lives of writers/bloggers all across the country (and even the world) The idea of “prospecting for poetry” is lovely. Definitely going to share this one. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I like both your word and picture images in this slice from your morning walk. There’s a lot happening in this slice (trees blossoming, birds singing) with so much potential for future slices. It’s like having delicious leftovers.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love your slice! I love how you said you will sift through your ideas and images like a miner panning for gold and there’s a nugget of something bigger here! Nature is a great spring board for poetry!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Mining for poems, always. Even when I don’t think I am, a poem may sneak up on me. That is what it is to pay attention and be present(my OLW). Have a great visit.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. “Mining for nuggets” … yes! So, I just have to share… perhaps you already do this or something similar… I have students go back at least 2 weeks in their free writing to mine for gems. A gem is a word choice, the way you put a couple words together, the way a phrase turns, a figure of speech that really works, or an idea that wants to grow larger. Gems catch your eye or your ear; they make you remember or begin to think of something bigger. Students highlight the gem and then jot down why it caught their eye or their ear– at least enough so when they return later they will remember. Sticky notes or slips of paper taped into the journal work for these notations.

    Liked by 1 person

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