2018 KidLit Progressive Poem–Day 1!











Happy National Poetry Month!

In 2012 Irene Latham launched the first Progressive Poem to celebrate the month, poetry, and community. Every day in April, a different poet adds a line, and together we compose a poem. It’s a mysterious and surprising process that results in a beautiful and unexpected piece of writing. (You can read all of them here.)

I was surprised and honored when Irene asked me to write the first line this year. I was also a little nervous. I wanted to write something poetic and unique but also open-ended, something that offered a solid first step along a path that could head off into the woods in any number of directions.

You can read more about Irene’s inspiration and my agonizing at Heidi Mordhorst’s blog My Juicy Little Universe. Last Friday, as host of Poetry Friday, Heidi posted an interview with Irene and myself. She also suggested we add a little twist this year.

New for Progressive Poem 2018:  Participants, when Liz posts her Line 1 on Sunday, April 1, please take a minute to record your first impressions of how the line strikes your imagination and what you think the poem might become.  A few lines should do it, and that’s Step One.

Step Two is to hide this reaction/prediction from yourself until your day to add your line arrives.  : )

Step Three is to bring it back out and include it in your post  that day, with a little commentary about how your initial expectations have to be adjusted now that each person has altered the trajectory of the poem. 


Are you ready? With great thanks to Irene and Heidi and to all of our participants, and without further ado (drumroll, please) …


Nestled in her cozy bed, a seed stretched.


Jane, you’re up!

I hope you’ll all follow along for the rest of the month to see where this poem takes us.

Happy National Poetry Month!





2 Jane at Raincity Librarian
4 Michelle at Today’s Little Ditty
Jan at bookseedstudio
6 Irene at Live Your Poem
7 Linda at TeacherDance
Janet F. at Live Your Poem
11 Brenda at Friendly Fairy Tales
12 Carol at Beyond LiteracyLink
13 Linda at A Word Edgewise
15 Donna at Mainely Write
16 Sarah at Sarah Grace Tuttle
18 Christie at Wondering and Wandering
19 Michelle at Michelle Kogan
20 Linda at Write Time
21 April at Teaching Authors
23 Amy at The Poem Farm
24 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
26 Renee at No Water River
27 Buffy at Buffy’s Blog
28 Kat at Kat’s Whiskers
30 Doraine at Dori Reads
37 replies
  1. haitiruth
    haitiruth says:

    Great start! I can’t wait to see what the seed becomes! Ruth, thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com

  2. maryleehahn
    maryleehahn says:

    For this first line, you began with a concrete and specific image, and yet one that is open-ended and able to (pun intended) GROW in any direction! Is this seed the one in the fourth picture in your header? One that stands out a bit from the rest?

    You also managed to be very poetic! Love the internal rhymes!

    Poetry Month has officially begun!

  3. Heidi Mordhorst
    Heidi Mordhorst says:

    What Mary Lee said, and also, something about this line’s rhythm also suggests growth and possibility:

    NEStled IN her COzy BED should be followed by another baBUM baBUM baBUM baBUM, but instead we get

    Instead of being bouncy and cheerful, I get a sense of effort and intention. Love it, Liz! And we’ve never had a garden poem, if that’s what this should turn out to be.

    • Liz Steinglass
      Liz Steinglass says:

      Yes, yay, I’m so glad you saw that. I went back and forth on the meter, but ultimately I decided to go with a line that changes. I was hoping it would reflect the shift in the seed. I also wanted to offer a more open-ended option for everyone who will be adding on.

  4. lindabaie
    lindabaie says:

    You’ve put all the hope we feel into that word “stretched”, Liz. What a perfect “April” beginning! Happy poetry month!

  5. Ramona
    Ramona says:

    Three of my favorite words in this first line – cozy, bed, and stretched. So many possibilities for our seed. Can’t wait to watch the poem grow line by line.

  6. Donna Smith
    Donna Smith says:

    The interesting “think about” this, is that as I was reading and thinking about your thoughts with Irene, I began thinking what I would do with my line given it is the halfway line. I decided that before reading your first line I would jot down thoughts of “how about doing this?” Then I read this post. The neat thing is that all my “what if I did this” thoughts could be done with that opening line. No telling where it will take us though. When I read your line, the image was strong yet malleable! Can hardly wait to see where it grows!

  7. cvarsalona
    cvarsalona says:

    Liz, you gave us a beautiful direction for this poem. Will we see the evolution of spring unfolding with this tiny seed? The word nestled is a wonderful word to set up the scene and then we see the words cozy bed but stretched allowed for movement for this little seed. Thank you for starting us off.

  8. Bookseedstudio
    Bookseedstudio says:

    Hi Liz. I love thinking about this little package planted in her bed. And thinking: what bed? The earthy dirt, like in our yard here, where we’ve just put in the basil seeds? Or a big big patio pot? Or in a hothouse greenhouse in Alaska? The possibilities are fun to jot in my notes. I like the One, Two, Three plan for recording/sharing impressions. Appreciations for planting the seeds of many ideas with us.( I’ve been away & had scant WiFi
    during the holiday weekend, so this is the first chance I’ve had to connect with this year’s Progressive Poem.)

  9. Bridget Magee
    Bridget Magee says:

    Oooh, I am just catching up on email and I found this one, Liz! What an honor to launch this poem and you’ve done it VERY well! So much potential in those 8 words. Now I have to catch up with this poem and see how it has “grown” over the last 14 days. Better late than never… =)


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *