Poetry Talk: Sizing and Shaping for Impact

A good lesson in craft.

Children's Author David L. Harrison's Blog

Hi everyone,
For anyone who might be curious, here’s how I built the snake poem I posted yesterday from the upcoming book, NOW YOU SEE THEM, NOW YOU DON’T.

My purpose came first. The book was to be about animals that use natural camouflage when hiding or hunting. I selected the copperhead for a list of potential subjects because its natural coloration helps it blend into its background, leading to its success as a predator. Therefore the first draft of the poem was straightforward and focused on making the point that it can be hard to detect the snake when it doesn’t want to be seen.

I decided to give the snake an inner voice as it detects a mouse in the area and waits motionlessly while the rodent approaches within striking distance. I don’t know why I thought of that approach. Each of us works differently and this is…

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