Poetry Friday: Popsicle poetry!

It has been quite the busy week for Yours Truly…

I got back home last Thursday night from the Highlights Foundation writer’s workshop I had attended in Pennsylvania; the following day I began revising a couple of manuscripts before sending them back out again in search of a home; I’ve since sent out 4 picture book submissions and one poetry anthology proposal; I finally created an Instagram account (so let’s follow each other!); yesterday I participated in #PBPitch on Twitter; and all week long I’ve been struggling with putting together a math-related poem for a new upcoming anthology.

Oh, and taking care of my two kids, which of course is a job in and of itself.

Two kids, that is, who both started taking karate lessons this week.


The Highlights poetry crew!

So today, I’m sharing a short little ditty that I wrote while at the aforementioned Highlights workshop, which focused on children’s poetry. The workshop leaders, Rebecca Kai Dottlich and Georgia Heard, discussed a variety of topics – poetic form, voice, rhythm, etc. – and offered several writing prompts to help attendees practice not only writing, but thinking and observing, which is crucial to the writing process.

One of those writing prompts involved Popsicle sticks, which Rebecca passed out to us and suggested writing a poem using whatever phrase was written on the stick. My phrase had an ellipses at the end, which led me to think the obvious response would include the phrase somewhere in the middle or end of the poem; I, however, always on the lookout for the non-obvious angle, decided to use the phrase as the very first line (and title, too, for that matter):

(click to enlarge)

This was a quick, 10-minute exercise, so I couldn’t spend a lot of time on it. But once I had it written, I rather liked its brevity; plus, starting with “and” and making liberal use of ellipses tends to give it a stream-of-consciousness feel, almost as if they are separate, punchy little thoughts that tie together (similar to the way we process thought, actually).

For more poetry, please head over to A Journey Through the Pages, where Kay McGriff is holding down the Poetry Friday roundup with a “sunrise conversation” and all of today’s poetry links!


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31 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: Popsicle poetry!

  1. lindabaie

    “All the way to September” & then things do change, don’t they? At least for a young person, back in school, crowds of others. . . Your brief poem sparks my imagination, Matt. Well done!


  2. jheitman22

    I like your poem, too, Matt, and love the idea. It would be a great poetry or story prompt for teachers to use. Best wishes on that math poem. The topic itself would stymie me! 🙂 Not a numbers person, Jane


    1. Thanks, Jane. I’m thinking of doing several more popsicle prompts – asking folks to write down a word or two on a stick, and then I’ll write something short to go with it. As for my math poem, I think I’ve finally completed it – although I’m letting it sit for a day or so before I decide whether or not to send it off.


  3. Well, no one can ever call you a slacker — what a busy week! You must be brilliant at multi-tasking. (In the photo, are you standing on something, or are you just that much taller than everyone else?)

    Fun poem — those short burst-y lines are like brief summer sparks flying — a little flicker of romance burning out.


  4. margaretsmn

    I envy your time at Highlights as well as your bravery in getting your work out into the world. Love that popsicle poem idea and your quick poem that says so much.


  5. Matt, I often dream about going to that Highlights’ poetry workshop. The popsicle prompt is a clever poetry prompt which you used to your advantage as a poem starter. Well done! You created a short romantic poem from a popsicle starter.


  6. Linda Mitchell

    You are so wonderfully busy! My favorite part right after the popsicle stick poem is that you got some submissions moving. Hooray! So glad to hear you got a jolt of energy from Highlights. Can you imagine if Highlights hosted a Poetry Friday retreat (which was really like what you just went to) but, I mean a retreat of more of us regulars? Oh, my goodness that would be such a blast.


  7. Pingback: Inspiration, observation, and the joy of grown-up marshmallows: a look back at a Highlights Foundation poetry workshop – Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme

  8. Michelle Kogan

    Your last week, sounded like mine–and I’ve another one coming up almost as busy. Love the popsicle poem–short, sweet in so many ways–and I like the dreamy quality all those ellipses offer. Good luck with all going on Matt.


  9. Pingback: Poetry Friday: A Paint Swatch Poetry Prompt – Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme

  10. Pingback: Poetry Friday: Popsicle Poetry returns! – Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme

  11. Pingback: Poetry Prompt: “Deep, deep…” an iambic pentameter poetry prompt – Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme

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