Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Day 4 of the 2017 Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem

One of my favorite National Poetry Month activities is Irene Latham's annual Progressive Poem.  It's exciting, spontaneous, fun, and because it's a community writing experience, it takes on a life of its own. From April 1-30, a poem travels from blog to blog, each host adding a new line daily. The results are always richly layered, with a piece of every poet who takes part and the collected anticipation of everyone who has been following its journey.

This is the fourth year I've participated in the Progressive Poem. (You can read previous years' poems HERE.) I've contributed lines at the end and in the middle, so it's a treat to be near the beginning where I can help set the poem's direction. That said, it didn't occur to me when I signed up for Day 4 that I would need to make an important decision. It's my choice whether or not to establish a traditional pattern of rhyming quatrains. Our goal this year is a children's poem and many children's poems do take on that structure, but personally, I prefer when the progressive poem does not. Not all participating poets are comfortable with rhyme so why take on the extra constraint? Besides, judging by these first three lines, we don't need it.

I'm fidget, friction, ragged edges— 
I sprout stories that frazzle-dazzle,
stories of castles, of fires that crackle

Making use of alliteration, assonance, consonance and slant rhyme, this poem has plenty of interest and kid-appeal already! Of course things might change later on, but for now, why box ourselves in unnecessarily? Plus, I think the lack of a predictable rhyme scheme reflects the agitation of our speaker.

My objectives for line 4 were to keep up the playful language, continue channeling the speaker's restless energy into imagination, and reinforce the story themes introduced in line 3.

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.

Visit Diane Mayr tomorrow to see where she takes the poem next!


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 blog-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's 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

If you're looking for other creative ways to celebrate National Poetry Month, Jama Rattigan is your go-to for NPM festivites at Alphabet Soup.

Today is the final day to leave a comment for your chance to win Helen Frost's new verse novel, When My Sister Started Kissing (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2017). Click here to do so, then come back this Friday to see if you've won!


  1. Dragonwords! I love it! Thanks for adding some sizzle, Michelle. :) xo

  2. I'm with Ruth and Irene. Yay! Want to share this with kids as I am teaching today. Hope there will be time!
    Janet Clare F.

  3. Love it. I can't wait to see where "dragonwords" will lead us.

  4. Wow, Michelle, It's as if you've finished the intro which opens up a world where one can't wait to turn the page! Wonderful!

  5. Nice, Michelle! I wonder what the story will turn out to be, with dragonwords, castles, and fire?

  6. What a fantastic start! I love every line. Love the dragonwords and sizzle, Michelle.

  7. Oh, this word soup is off to a sizzling start!

  8. I may be forced to rhyme, tomorrow! We'll see...

  9. Yikes! Handspikes! What's not to like!
    My mind has been immersed on a hobbit adventure to get into Smaug's mountain, so I jumped at your line. And I think heretofore, evermore dragonwords will always goforth as a term you created. It is a wonder.

  10. Oooh, love the sizzling dragonwords!

  11. Fun, fun, fun!! (I was waiting for line number 4 to see what I might have to do with line number 8!!)

  12. Wow, Michelle, you lassoed all three previous lines in one way or another, and leave our new poem sizzling for adventure.... :0)

  13. Perfect fourth line Michelle, there's definitely a dragon out there somewhere . . .

  14. A beautiful contribution, Michelle. And I think your decision about rhyme was well made. It doesn't rule out wordplay (obviously - since this poem is already rolling with it) but rhyme will now be in keeping with the rest of the poem - a delightful surprise.

  15. You accomplished your objectives brilliantly, Michelle!!! And can you feel me smiling at dragonwords??? I'm a fan :-)

  16. You naailed it, Michelle--the hybrid chaos of dragonwords, the alliteration of smoke and sizzle, the hark-back to ragged and frazzle-dazzle--all build us up to a burning adventure! I'm hoping for the entrance of another character somewhere along the way, someone sassy and sidekicky for our speaker...

  17. Love. This. Thank you! Me want dragonwords! :) xx

  18. Yes -- three cheers (it looks like you've had more than that!) for DRAGONWORDS.

  19. Good one, Michelle! I feel like this girl is turning into an MG character, and quite a character, at that!