Saturday, April 23, 2022

Progressive Poem 2022


I am the latest stop on the Progressive Poem journey - and what a journey it has been! When I saw this year's poem was inspired by lines from novels and books and songs, I knew the book I wanted to use, yet I was worried it wouldn't fit in with the poem. This week, I skimmed, reread, and marked parts of the book, hoping one of them would work. And I think it does.

My interpretation of the poem is that we are all on a journey, which sometimes takes us to unexpected places--even when we don't want an adventure. When I listen and heed the call, I begin to dance and dream and discover that the whole world is a place of beauty, but through this experience I also learn the value of  home.

I took a line from one of the last chapters of Tuck Everlasting and adapted it as we head back home and think about how our own journey changes us. We change by the lessons we learn and the people we meet along the way. I also thought about the wonderful life journey of Margaret's father as he begins to find his way "home."

Here is the current poem with my line added at the end.

Where they were going, there were no maps.

   Sorry! I don’t want any adventures, thank you. Not today.

Take the adventure, heed the call, now ere the irrevocable moment passes!

   We have to go back. I forgot something.

But it’s spring, and the world is puddle-wonderful,

so we’ll whistle and dance and set off on our way.

Come with me, and you’ll be in a land of pure imagination.

Wherever you go, take your hopes, pack your dreams, and never forget –

 it is on our journeys that discoveries are made.

And then it was time for singing.

Can you sing with all the voices of the mountain, paint with all the colors of the wind, freewheeling through an endless diamond sky?

Suddenly, they stopped and realized they weren’t the only ones singing.

Listen, a chattering of monkeys! Let’s smell the dawn 
and taste the moonlight, we’ll watch it all spread out before us.
The moon is slicing through the sky. We whisper to the tree, 
tap on the trunk, imagine it feeling our sound.
Clouds of blue-winged swallows, rain from up the mountains,

Green growing all around, and the cool splash of the fountain.

If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden,

a bright, secret, quiet place, and rather sad; 
 and they stepped out into the middle of it.

Their minds’ libraries and lightning bugs led them on.

The darkwood sings, the elderhist blooms, the sky lightens; listen and you will find your way home.

The night sky would soon be painted, stars gleaming overhead, a beautiful wild curtain closing on the day.

Mud and dusk, nettles and sky – time to cycle home in the dark. 

There are no wrong roads to anywhere

lift me like an olive branch and be my homeward dove.

Standing at the fence of the cottage, 
    I hear the new note in the voices of the birds.

I added more white space in hopes that it would be the first line in the final stanza as we wrap up this week. If this doesn't work, feel free to change it. Take it from here, Marcie!

The source list:
1. The Imaginaries: Little Scraps of Larger Stories, by Emily Winfield Martin
2. The Hobbit, by J. R. R. Tolkien
3. The Wind in the Willows, by Kenneth Grahame
4. Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech
5. inspired by “[in Just-]” by E. E. Cummings
6. “Pure Imagination” from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
7. Maybe by Kobi Yamada
8. Sarah, Plain, and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan
9. inspired by Disney songs “A Whole New World” from Aladdin and “Colors of the Wind” from Pocahontas
10. The Other Way to Listen by Byrd Baylor
11. adapted from Cinnamon by Neil Gaiman
12. adapted from The Magical Imperfect by Chris Baron
13. adapted from On the Same Day in March by Marilyn Singer
14. adapted from a line in Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
15. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
16. Prince Caspian by CS Lewis
17. The Last Cuentista by Donna Barba Higuera
18. Kate DiCamillo’s The Beatryce Prophecy
19. The Keeper of Wild Words by Brooke Smith
20. Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv
21. ThePhantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
22. Dance Me to the End of Love by Leonard Cohen
23. adapted from Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt


  1. The vision of a journey is perfect, Leigh Anne.

  2. Well done, Leigh Anne. I especially like your backstory that led you to a wonderful line. Nature nurtures our souls and has a prominent place in this beautiful journey.

  3. Wonderful, Leigh Anne. I feel like any words from that special book would work! What a thought-filled story it is, and now you've added its flavor to our own journey.

  4. Beautiful, Leigh Anne. Lovely choice of words and book, and with extra kindness added by you.