Monday, April 16, 2012

Amy Ludwig VanDerwater - Secret

Secret
by
Amy Ludwig VanDerwater

One hushdark night I saw an owl
silentswooping near my head.
I still could feel its eyes on me
as I tumbletossed in bed.

I had a sensefamiliar.
Had I met this owl before?
Timidly I tiptoed
in my slippers to the door.

High on a branch I found a face
all goldengaze and pointybeak.
My breathing disappeared.
I froze.
I listened to the creature speak --

You know me, Child. I am your cat.
This is my secret – moonlitflight.
I’ll see you when the sun wakes up.
Go back to sleep.
Meow.
Good night.


© Amy Ludwig VanDerwater. All rights reserved.

The Secret Inspiration
When I read an Amy Ludwig VanDerwater poem, I always feel like she wrote it just for me. I don't know if its her word choices, her phrasing, her subject matter (though that's so varied, I can't imagine it's that), or exactly what it is... but they get in my head and stay there. I think I first noticed this when Amy wrote a poem a day on her blog, The Poem Farm, back in April, 2010... and continued EVERY DAY until April, 2011. And never once did I feel like the poems didn't connect with me. Pretty amazing when you think of it. Heck, even with some of my own poems I look back on them and shrug!

Amy's had poems in anthologies for years now (most recently in the Lee Bennett Hopkins anthology, Nasty Bugs), but starting next year, she'll be having books of her own. First up, most likely, will be Forest Has a Song (from Clarion) with Reading Time (from Wordsong) coming soon, too. That's exciting for a fan like me. Until then, I'll be reading her poems at her blog... and being incredibly grateful that I was able to have Amy Ludwig VanDerwater here today as part of 30 Poets/30 Days.

Yesterday, we had Cattail from Eric Ode. Tomorrow... Small Surprises from Ellen Hopkins! For more on 30 Poets/30 Days and ways to follow along, please click here.


18 comments:

Life's a poem said...

Love the phrasing here- thanks for sharing, a joy to read. Lorraine M

laurasalas said...

Such a moody, magical poem! I love the words overlapping each other like an owl's feathers--especially hushdark and moonlitflight. Amy's a treasure!

Betsy said...

Beautiful poem, it was vivid as I read it. The Poetry Farm is quite a place. I only recently discovered it and am very happy I did. Thanks for sharing Amy's poem today. Love how you are celebrating poetry each day and showcasing some great people in the process!

tanita davis said...

Ooh. I love her way of squashing words together - almost like German! - to create single words that work perfectly.

What if an owl were my cat?? How awesome would that be?!

KateCoombs said...

I've been following Amy's ABC poems this month, amazed by how good they all are. This one reminds me a little of Walter de la Mare's poetry--a small, magical story that gives you the shivers.

Liz said...

Lovely, gave me goosebumps!

Charles Waters said...

Amy's work ethic and love of children's poetry inspire me. Go ALV!!!!!!!!

Renee LaTulippe said...

Oh my goodness, that is so lovely. Amy, you really have a special talent. There's such finesse and a gentle spirit in all your work. Just love it.

Susan Taylor Brown said...

Oh Amy I always love your poems but like Greg, I feel like this one was written just for me.

Love this line especially:
High on a branch I found a face
all goldengaze and pointybeak.

Robyn Hood Black said...

Wow - this is now one of my favorite of your poems, Amy! Magical. Just gorgeous. It's Amy, but with a little G.M. Hopkins and a dash of T.S. Eliot tossed in? And congratulations on your publication news - past, present and future!

Amy Ludwig VanDerwater said...

I feel very lucky to have met so many good people in this Kidlitosphere. Thank you for your generous notes here, and thank you Greg for inviting me to an event I've admired since I started my blog in 2010! I look forward to reading all of the rest of the poems! a.

Amy Ludwig VanDerwater said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michele Krueger said...

So glad your prodigal cat has returned and inspired your muse!

Linda at teacherdance said...

Hi again Amy! I remember a recent post when you spoke of mooshed-together words, which I think you do here too, just beautiful! What else could "hushdark", "tumbletossed", "goldendark", "pointybeak" be but more evocative than ever mooshed together?! The poem is such a good dream, isn't it?

Linda at teacherdance said...

Sorry, Greg, I forgot to thank you too, for inviting Amy in & for all these wonderful guests. Amazing!

KarolinaS said...
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KarolinaS said...
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KarolinaS said...

I love, love LOVE this poem!!! I love the surprise at the end, which feels totally organic and just. I love the voice and wisdom of the cat. I love the playful language and word combinations. I just seriously could NOT love this poem more!!!!