Picture book poem

On the last day of the February Open Write at Ethical ELA, Britt Decker invites participants to write a poem based on a picture book, taking inspiration from beautiful lines, illustrations, or theme.

My little acrostic is inspired by Inky’s Amazing Escape: How a Very Smart Octopus Found His Way Home, by Sy Montgomery (a true story).

*******

The Long-Reaching Tentacle of Adaptability

Sometimes the keeper gave Inky toys. Inky liked to take apart LEGO blocks, and put them back together. He liked playing with Mr. Potato Head. One time, with his suckers, he pulled off Mr. Potato Head’s eyes and handed them to the starfish in his tank.”

 
Once upon a time, a 
Child yearned
To understand why
Others seem such a 
Puzzle
Until she learned
She didn’t have to solve them.

From Inky’s Amazing Escape: How a Very Smart Octopus Found His Way Home, written by Sy Montgomery, illustrated by Amy Schimler-Safford. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, New York, 2018.

I am in awe of octopuses. Inky’s story is etched on my heart. There’s something so poignant to me in his giving Mr. Potato Head’s eyes to the starfish.

9 thoughts on “Picture book poem

  1. Hi Fran, I don’t know this book, you make me want to find it right now. Intrigued by the idea of “true story”. I also love your acrostic poem. I think those when well done are wonderful, but they are in many cases difficult to do both skillfully and poetically. Here’s an idea. More of these based on stories of animals who are known to have helped others (broadly interpreted perhaps)!! Hugs, Janet

    On Wed, Feb 23, 2022 at 6:32 AM lit bits and pieces wrote:

    > Fran Haley posted: ” On the last day of the February Open Write at Ethical > ELA, Britt Decker invites participants to write a poem based on a picture > book, taking inspiration from beautiful lines, illustrations, or theme. My > little acrostic is inspired by Inky’s Amazing E” >

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Margaret. Octopuses fascinate me. I have another book by Montgomery, The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness, on the bookcase by my bedside. So captivating and heartrending. I do not know Irene’s book and now of course must have it!

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  2. Fran, I was on Ethical ELA reading and admiring the poems, when I saw the title of your book Inky’s Amazing Escape and your poem. I was so intrigued I had to look at the book. And what a great book indeed! I’m always fascinated when books about animals are based on real life. I learned some new facts about octopuses by reading the book; they are amazing. Your acrostic poem is a wow! The message of your poem is just what a lot of adults need to hear. I find that sometimes children are more accepting than adults. We can learn so much from children. Thank you for sharing your poem, book, and inspiration.
    PS I thought the same thing; I would spend too much time reading through old PBs. But I enjoyed great memories of reading old PBs to my children. 🙂

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    • Thank you for you always uplifting words, Gail! Composing the little poem was fun and I loved the idea of using PBs as inspiration. They are often beautifully written; with a small word count, what makes it into PBs has to be tight. I heard Matt de la Pena speak of how hard he worked on beats in his books. If you loved Inky (who could not??), you would really love Sy Montgomery’s nonfiction book The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness. One of my favorites. Will stir your emotions unimaginably and will fill you with awe.And oh yes, we can learn so much from children.

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  3. I love and agree PBs beautifully written and difficult to write. Thank you for the suggestion of The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness. I’m going to write that down. 🙂

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    • Now you have me thinking about putting the poem up in my room at work as well, maybe with a little illustration of an octopus… many thanks, Joanne. Do read Sy Montgomery’s other book, The Soul of an Octopus, too… it will stay in you own soul forever…I promise!

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