Things To Do poem…



A1LwE+CtJkLIf you haven’t yet read Elaine Magliero’s book “Things to Do”, I strongly encourage you to do so.  I owe a big shout out to Jama Rattigan for her delightful interview with Elaine Magliero, which inspired me to pick up this enchanting book.  I shared some of the poems with my class, and they were eager to try out this form. So was I! It’s a wonderful entryway into persona or mask poem writing. Ever since reading it, I’ve found myself thinking differently. What might I do if I was…moss? a cat? a house? Thinking this way, I looked at my favorite birch tree in a new light. It now seemed like the perfect subject for a Things to Do poem.

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Things to do if you’re a birch tree

Greet the rising sun
Sparkle with dew
Wave au revoir to the morning star

as each day starts anew

Shelter singing birds
Dangle a swing
Spread your skirt of dappled shade
Jewel your core with rings

Stretch your pale limbs wide
and reach up high
Create a crackled quilt of color
in azure summer skies

Sway with the breezes
Rustle your leaves
Cradle the full moon in your branches
on a soft and sultry eve


Molly Hogan (c) 2017

To enjoy more poetry, make sure to visit this week’s Poetry Friday Roundup at Buffy Silverman’s blog, Buffy’s Blog.

29 thoughts on “Things To Do poem…

  1. margaretsmn says:

    I haven’t seen this book yet, but your poem is a wonderful addition. So much I love: wave au revoir, jewel your core with rings, crackled quilt… many gems in this poem.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Masterful poetry. What a gift for 4th graders to have a poet/teacher combo.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. joyacey says:

    Well done, I like the images you present and your rhyming is delightful. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Irene Latham says:

    Molly, this is gorgeous! Jewel your core with rings. Love!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. maryleehahn says:

    We had to say goodbye to our weeping birch last fall. So many memories. Thanks for this beautiful poem!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. lindabaie says:

    Wonderful imagination, Molly. You’ve given this tree a new being! Like Irene, I love “Jewel your core with rings” too. Elaine’s book is terrific, I agree!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I haven’t had a chance to read this book yet, but I am loving all the poetry it is inspiring. Your poem is lovely–makes me want to go visit a birch tree.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Lovely poem, Molly–I especially liked your magical final stanza. Things To Do is on my Books To Read list!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Sounds like quite a nice life, being a birch tree! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I love Elaine’s book. What a treat to share it with students. I like your poem, and I’m not alone in especially liking “Spread your skirt of dappled shade/ Jewel your core with rings”. Sensational.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Love this, and I adore birch trees! My instructional aide has Vitiligo and she says birches are her tree soul mates because of the coloration change. I can’t wait to share this with her!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. cvarsalona says:

    Molly, this is imaginative and such a picturesque statement from the birch tree. Are you interested in sending me an image poem for the spring gallery?

    Liked by 1 person

  13. jama says:

    Love your poem, Molly — such great images and word choices. Add me to those praising the second stanza especially — truly beautiful. Glad you like Elaine’s book — it is a fabulous mentor text. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Alice Nine says:

    Wonderful, Molly! I had to read it several times. I love trees. From my home I can observe at least a dozen different kind. And thanks for sharing Elaine’s book; I must add it to my mentor list.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. katswhiskers says:

    This is wonderful, Molly. I’m also in love with ‘Jewel your core with rings’. Gorgeous!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Sounds like that birch tree enjoys a beautiful and fulfilling life, Molly! You use many wonderful word choices and images, but yes, the ring line takes the cake.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Tabatha says:

    Wonderful verbs, Molly! “Cradle” is a favorite, and I also love “Jewel your core with rings.”

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Laura Shovan says:

    Gorgeous lines here: Spread your skirt of dappled shade/ Jewel your core with rings

    My friend, who is very fond of birch trees, taught me that groves are one living organism — not separate trees at all. Whoa!


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