Writing with Ralph Fletcher

This weekend, I had the opportunity to attend a workshop at which Ralph Fletcher was speaking.

I brought my writer’s notebook for the occasion and was not disappointed.

Ralph offered the following poem as a mentor text for us to follow:Screen Shot 2016-03-12 at 8.11.31 PMHere is the poem I wrote:

The Good Old Days

Sometimes I remember the good old days,                                                                    swimming with my brother until we were called in for dinner.

No adults telling us                                                                                                                            what to do or how to do it.

Repeatedly jumping in,                                                                                                      swimming back and forth underwater until our lungs were about to burst.

Turning somersaults,                                                                                                                            performing endless handstands and backflips                                                                        until our fingers and toes resembled prunes;                                                                                bloodshot eyes.

I still can’t imagine                                                                                                                                  anything better than that.



13 thoughts on “Writing with Ralph Fletcher

  1. Your poem places me there beside you on the cool linoleum floor. Ralph Fletcher is wonderful. He will be on my panel at NCTE next week. Will you be there?

  2. I have heard Ralph Fletcher speak several times and am always inspired by what he has to say and share. This kind of poem leads to so many talking points and topics that can be expanded into other types of writing. It would be a great activity for a writing workshop.

  3. Love love love this! Will be using Ralph’s and yours as inspiration for our next Joy Writers meeting! Thank you thank you for sharing! So simple, yet so powerful!

  4. I’ve been there with Ralph working with his same poem. I can tell you it works with both students and teachers. I just did it at our staff meeting last week. Awesome!

  5. I, too, have been in a Ralph Fletcher session with a rewrite of this poem. I need to find that. . . Amazing how such a powerful model ALWAYS stands the test of time!

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