Saturday, April 16, 2022

NPM Day 17: The Progressive Poem Lands Here!

I look forward to the Progressive Poem every year, and I've participated in it since the beginning. It always feels like a huge responsibility to add a line. I appreciated Heidi's deft summary/interpretation of what's happened so far, and I love her choice of source material, too. I had thought about something Narnian, as the second line reminded me of Puddleglum, but after reading and being inspired by Heidi's words ("with poetry to gird us"), I decided instead to go with a book I read far more recently, this year's Newbery-winning novel The Last Cuentista, by Donna Barba Higuera. My line is adapted from some words in the 29th chapter.


And now I pass the poem on to Patricia!


2022 Progressive Poem

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.

Our lines came from the following sources:

  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

The schedule of 2022 Progressive Poem participants is:

1 Irene at Live Your Poem
2 Donna Smith at Mainely Write
3 Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core
4 Mary Lee at A(nother) Year of Reading
5 Buffy at Buffy Silverman
6 Linda at A Word Edgewise
7 Kim Johnson at Common Threads
8 Rose Cappelli at Imagine the Possibilities
9 Carol Varsalona at Beyond Literacy Link
10 Linda Baie at Teacher Dance
11 Janet Fagal at Reflections on the Teche
12 Jone at Jone Rush MacCulloch
13 Karin Fisher-Golton at Still in Awe
14 Denise Krebs at Dare to Care
15 Carol Labuzzetta at The Apples in my Orchard
16 Heidi Mordhorst at My Juicy Little Universe
17 Ruth at There is no such thing as a God-forsaken Town
18 Patricia at Reverie
19 Christie at Wondering and Wandering
20 Robyn Hood Black at Life on the Deckle Edge
21 Kevin at Dog Trax
22 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche
23 Leigh Anne at A Day in the Life
24 Marcie Atkins
25 Marilyn Garcia
26 JoAnn Early Macken
27 Janice at Salt City Verse
28 Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference
29 Karen Eastlund at Karen’s Got a Blog
30 Michelle Kogan Painting, Illustration, & Writing


  1. Would that our knowledge, our own mind's libraries, will not stop us from change, but help us carry on to better! Your line feels so right, Ruth. Happy Easter!

  2. Very nice line, Ruth!
    I liked Heidi's guidance too.

  3. How I love the alliteration of "libraries and lightning bugs led them on"--the perfect combination of wisdom and wonder to carry about yourself in these times! Lovely, Ruth!

  4. I love your line choice, Ruth. The Last Cuentista is an amazing book!

  5. So interesting, Ruth - and thoughtful! Looking forward to seeing where our travelers go from here... (& yes, Happy Easter!)

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  7. Ruth, I like the introduction of our minds' libraries as fountains of knowledge and of course, recognizing nature's lightning bugs as guides. Good work after Heifi' line.

  8. What a lovely line you added to the poem. I had to return The Last Cuentinista unread, but I'm back on the holds list again. Hopefully, I'll be able to read it the next time it shows up.