Sunday, April 2, 2023

welcome to npm 2023 & progressive poem line 2


combine an illustration by Marc Brown of ARTHUR fame with a line from the current adult poet laureate Ada Limon?


open a colorful vista and suggest that each of us, however small in the landscape, has an essential role to play?


(if you can't center poetry every day of every month of every year) make April the epicenter of poetry in the nation's calendar?

As for me, I'm certain that this opening page from the book that taught me to read also taught me what I was meant for...

"a poet writing poems" in her garret

This makes it look like poeting is a solitary activity done with eyes lifted to the heavens, but we all know that poetry happens in community.  First of all, poets write to communicate, and the moment anyone reads our words--even if we don't know them--community begins to develop.  Secondly, poets help and support each other as they change and experiment and learn and grow.  Thirdly, poets play and collaborate, as we are doing again this year with the Progressive Poem!

Irene Latham began this tradition in 2012 and hosted our month-long collaboration through 2019, when Margaret Simon took over. (Early archives here; recent archives are tabs at the top of Margaret's page.)

Mary Lee Hahn kicks us off this year, following these few rules:
  • Each poet-blogger adds a line, creating a poem for children
  • by copying the previous lines exactly as written (unless permission from the previous poet is obtained).
  • Commentary on the process is welcome but optional.

Here is Mary Lee's opening line, which is gloriously "opening" by any definition of the word despite having a happy-ending sound to it.

                                        Suddenly everything fell into place.

At first I thought I wanted that place to be a crossroads of some kind, to lead in many directions, but I spent time yesterday gardening and watching little spring storms come and go, showers of wind and hail between stretches of sun. I thought about what it's like when rain lands in its best destination, when we find we've landed just where we're meant to be. And so...

                                        Suddenly everything fell into place

                                      like raindrops hitting soil and sinking in.

But think also of all those raindrops that hit rooftops or pavement or other hard places far from soil or stream...they have a ways to go, a more strenuous journey. Do they all get there in the end?  Do we?  As Mary Lee says, "I love stories that start at the end...Write me a story that ends with sudden clarity."

Our poem will continue tomorrow with Tabatha's line, which you'll find at The Opposite of Indifference.

April 1 Mary Lee Hahn, Another Year of Reading
April 2 Heidi Mordhorst, My Juicy Little Universe
April 3 Tabatha, The Opposite of Indifference
April 4 Buffy Silverman
April 5 Rose Cappelli, Imagine the Possibilities
April 6 Donna Smith, Mainely Write
April 7 Margaret Simon, Reflections on the Teche
April 8 Leigh Anne, A Day in the Life
April 9 Linda Mitchell, A Word Edgewise
April 10 Denise Krebs, Dare to Care
April 11 Emma Roller, Penguins and Poems
April 12 Dave Roller, Leap Of Dave
April 13 Irene Latham Live You Poem
April 14 Janice Scully, Salt City Verse
April 15 Jone Rush MacCulloch
April 16 Linda Baie TeacherDance
April 17 Carol Varsalona, Beyond Literacy Link
April 18 Marcie Atkins
April 19 Carol Labuzzetta at The Apples in My Orchard
April 20 Cathy Hutter, Poeturescapes
April 21 Sarah Grace Tuttle at Sarah Grace Tuttle’s Blog,
April 22 Marilyn Garcia
April 23 Catherine at Reading to the Core
April 24 Janet Fagal, hosted by Tabatha, The Opposite of Indifference
April 25 Ruth, There is no Such Thing as a God-Forsaken Town
April 26 Patricia J. Franz, Reverie
April 27 Theresa Gaughan, Theresa’s Teaching Tidbits
April 28 Karin Fisher-Golton, Still in Awe Blog
April 29 Karen Eastlund, Karen’s Got a Blog
April 30 Michelle Kogan Illustration, Painting, and Writing


  1. Thanks for sharing your process, Heidi. And I love what you said about poetry and community. I know I have learned so much from the support here in the safety of experimenting. So excited to see where this poem is going.

  2. Ah, I agree with Rose on all the points and the community. Always indebted to you for pointing me in the direction of the kidlitosphere all those years ago when we met the first time in Chicago. And it allows us to rejoice in everyone's growth and success and new creations. Yes, to figuring out even if later in our lives, where we are supposed to land and what we are meant to do and be. Thank you, Heidi.
    Janet Clare F.

  3. Love your comments about writing in a community and the image of raindrops soaking into ground. Thanks, Heidi.

  4. Glorious! Perfect! Grounded! (heh heh)
    And YES to community. That's what it's all about.

  5. I love Heidi's line, but I want to know if Heidi put the period at the end of her line, or if someone else did. Like a seedling, I want the line and the raindrop to grow into something more-- and it can't if there is a full stop, period .

    1. I did put a period, but you can take it out if you want. I did the same to Mary Lee's line, and I didn't even ask! : )

  6. I can feel those sinking drops! Lovely line, Heidi.

  7. Brava, Heidi! I like that you were inspired in the garden. I love that little poet in the garret, not at all like I learned how to write poetry in these fabulous communities. Thank you!

  8. I just finished a mystery & you've started us down that path of who, what, when, where, why, and how quite wonderfully, Heidi.

  9. And I picture scarecrow from the "Wizard of OZ" with criss cross straw-stuffed arms pointing this way, no this way, no this way–all possibilities waiting to unfold… thanks Heidi!

  10. I love your three ideals about poeting. So very true. I love your addition with the raindrop simile. Looking forward to the adventure.

  11. I love the image of the raindrop's water sinking into the soil and that you've got the poem all set up with that imagery from the start.

  12. Heidi, I eagerly read your lead up to your PP line with excitement. I paused at your thoughts on community. Poets do support each other and love to play and collaborate. I wanted to take it all in before I read your line that grew so beautifully from your gardening experience.


Thanks for joining in the wild rumpus!