I am . . .

I love new words. Words that aren’t words at all but when you hear them you think, Yes, of course.

In the student writing groups, we collect words. Our favorite words line the walls to create a playground of possibility.

We write I am poems. This fun and easy form combines images and actions, punctuated with a declaration. In writing these poems we create and define ourselves anew, every line, every time. Youngsters (and adults, too) take to this form quickly. Most of us like to write about ourselves, and I am poems give us permission to play with our words.

Here, a few lines, from a nine-year-old poet:

I am loveful.
I am wind.
I am Mother Nature’s friend.
I am a secret.
I am a hoper.
I am a lover of pie.

When she asked me if loveful was a word, I hesitated. It could be, it should be, it’s such a sweet and, well, loving word. By the time she read I am a hoper, I was cheering along with her. Is it a word? I’m not sure. I don’t care. I want to be a hoper, too!