The Tail of the Children’s Poetry Blog Hop 

Greetings poetry lovers!

It’s my turn to participate in the Children’s Poetry Blog Hop, and since I have not recruited anyone to follow me, it looks as though I’m the tail end of this leg of the hop. I’m grateful to be here at all, and I want to thank Michelle H. Barnes for inviting me to participate. Here is her humorous children’s poetry blog hop entry from last week at Today's Little Ditty 

Meet Children’s Poetry Blog Hop mascot, the dapper Mortimer.   

And now to my three questions:

Why do you like to write poetry for children? I simply like to write poetry. It just happens that some of my poetry appeals to children and I consider that my good fortune. I write poetry because I enjoy giving a sharp focus to something specific. I also love to work the words in a poem like a puzzle, moving them around until they fit just right.

Why are you so interested in poetic forms? At first I wrote rhymes because it was something that I enjoyed and didn’t pay much attention to rhythm, techniques, or forms. As a result, I wrote quite a bit of mediocre verse. Once I realized how mediocre it was, I was no longer satisfied and I wanted to improve. That’s when I began to study the elements of verse and poetry and started to apply those to my writing. Bit by bit I learned a few things and my poetry got better.

Do you remember the first poem you wrote? (This is the question borrowed from Michelle)

No. I’m sure I was writing poetry in early elementary school, but I don’t have those earliest poems. I do have some of my poems from my later elementary school career.

Here is an early action-based poem that I wrote:


Running is fun,

I like to run.

I was once told,

You shouldn’t run in the cold.

You shouldn’t run in a storm,

But you should if It’s warm.

Tamera Will Wissinger ©2013 

 Here is the original handwritten poem:


With this feedback from my teacher – how could I not become hooked on poetry? (I don’t remember which teacher wrote this encouraging comment and grade. I have a feeling it was my fourth grade teacher – the one who read from James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl out loud to my class each day after lunch.) Thank goodness for the teachers who helped inspire us when we were young!

Who inspired you when you first began to write poetry?

Thank you for joining me for this Mortimer Minute poetry break.


Poetry Friday is hosted today at Merely Day by Day



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Reader Comments (6)

I enjoyed reading your interview with Mortimer! Interesting that studying and writing poetic forms helped your poetry improve. I agree that the demands and restrictions of writing a specific form can help bring your poetry to the next level. And I've been enjoying studying all the forms in "Gone Fishing!"

Reply: Thanks for stopping by, Buffy. Thank goodness for the road map of poetic forms! I'm glad that you enjoy them, too, and happy that you're enjoying Gone Fishing!

October 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBuffy Silverman

How nice that you still have your teacher's comment on your elementary school poem! It must be gratifying for teachers to know that their comments can be so meaningful.

Reply: Thanks, Tabatha. Yes, those tiny comments of encouragement can last a lifetime.

October 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTabatha

Nice to see Mortimer here! Thanks for your Mortimer Minute! And yes, thank goodness for inspiring teachers!

Reply: Thanks for stopping by, Ruth; I'm glad you enjoyed my Mortimer Minute.

October 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRuth

I enjoyed your minute with Mr. Dapper, Tamera! I especially could relate to how you "work the words in a poem like a puzzle." It IS satisfying when you finally reach that moment when you say to yourself, "yes, now this feels just right."

Reply: Thanks, Michelle, and thanks for including me in the poetry hop! Glad to know that I'm not the only poetry puzzler!

October 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle Heidenrich Barnes

I love affirming and encouraging teachers. Their comments can indeed be life-changing. Thank you for sharing one of your earlier poems! :)

Reply: Hi Myra, Thanks for stopping by. Glad you enjoyed my poem.

October 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMyra from GatheringBooks

For those of us who started poetry early, it's always interesting to go back and see where and how we started. Being a teacher who knows the power of my (multicolored) marking pen, I think it's interesting that your sweet running poem shares some characteristics you attribute to your early poetry: rhymes without much attention to rhythm, technique or form. Yet your teacher, bless her, gave you an A and told you it was very good, without letting you know WHAT was very good and what might have benefitted from some further work. (Though, believe me, it's hard to get kids to revise.) Thanks for sharing some of your study and learning process--great post!

Reply: Hello, Heidi, and thanks for your comments. You're so right about my teacher's feedback. Re-reading this poem after all these years it took great restraint not to edit (or at least point out where it could have been better.) I wonder if my teacher had those thoughts at the time and also showed restraint in her kind comments. Maybe when we're beginning, the success is in the doing. The doing well can come later.

October 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHeidi Mordhorst

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