The Inspiration: I sit at my computer, hoping for an idea. What have I noticed recently that could become a slice of life on this first Tuesday after the March challenge? My mind wanders through events of the past few days and I think about the Crayola crayon that is being retired – Dandelion, I believe. Then I remember that Amy at The Poem Farm is doing a project where she pulls a crayon at random each day and creates a poem from it. Bingo! I’ll try it.
The Process: Since I don’t have a box of 64 Crayola crayons handy, I pull up a list of the colors, choose a random number, and count down. I land on Banana Mania. I like the name, but what shade of yellow is that exactly? I soon discover that it really isn’t a shade I normally associate with a banana – more of a tan or beige with yellow undertones. I’m not inspired, so I decide instead to brainstorm thoughts and ideas associated with Banana Mania. I come up with monkeys, rainforest animals, nutritional value, how to eat a banana, the banana tree at Longwood, taste, and various recipes that use bananas. Is there something in there I can use?
Bananas in my smoothies
Bananas in my bread,
Bananas on my waffles,
Bananas fill my head!
The Reflection: I will be the first to admit that this is not a wonderful poem, and although I tried to come up with a second stanza, it just didn’t work for me without feeling forced. But it reminded me that this experience plays out every day in classrooms. As we offer strategies to our students, it is important to remember that what works for one may not work for another. It is a reminder to see each writer as an individual and help them find what works or inspires them. It’s OK to hit a dead end. It happens to writers all the time.
I think I’ll go eat a banana now.