Friday, July 20, 2018

Where did my parsley go? {Poetry Friday}

Who is eating my parsley?
Not I.
Cooper the dog?

What is that?
Plump and striped.
is that a caterpillar?
Green, white, yellow, black.

What kind of caterpillar is it?
Striped caterpillar eating parsley?
Parsley worm caterpillar.

What kind of butterfly?
Black Swallowtail.
Are they harmful?
No, just ate my parsley "crop."

I'm continuing my study of the book Poems are Teachers How Studying Poetry Strengthen Writing in All Genres by Amy Ludwig Vanderwater.   Each week I will let you know the technique of the week I've played with and a thought or two about the process.  

"Questioning teaches us about the world, and a willingness to question is a citizen's responsibility."  Amy Ludwig Vanderwater

This week was Follow a Question and lucky for me I had skimmed last week's writing idea and was on the look out for a questioning situation.  On Wednesday I made a discovery, grabbed my notebook, and did Amy's suggestion; a question hike.  I didn't have to go far.  This situation was right on my deck.  

I wanted to get rid of my parsley eating friend right away and then decided there was no point because most of the "crop" was gone.  As I wrote my poem today and learned more I dashed outside in a rainstorm in hopes of collecting my parsley eating friends.  I wanted to buy more parsley for them and watch their transformation.  This whole process just confirms Amy's writing; "Questioning teaches us about the world, and a willingness to question is a citizen's responsibility."

Thank you Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe for hosting Poetry Friday this week. 


  1. Mandy, while you were disappointed that parsley is gone, you also gave yourself an amazing experience into noticing, wondering, researching, and writing. Questioning teachers us about the world=>your poem does just that!

  2. I love that your writing prompt not only led to such a cool poem, but also to seeing the parsley problem in a whole new light!

  3. Oh, I've never seen a parsley worm caterpillar--it's gorgeous! I love the idea of a question hike--what a great thing to do with kids!

  4. You and I have the same question this week, Mandy! Early in the week, I noticed some bumps on the stalks of my parsley plant. Thanks of Mary Lee, I wondered if they might be eggs. I haven't seen any caterpillars yet, but now I'll be more attentive to them. Thank you for sharing your journey through Amy's amazing book!

  5. We should chat! These are the critters I raise from teeny caterpillar to adult all summer long (see this week's PF post). I plant dill and fennel and parsley just for them! After yesterday morning's miracle, we had an evening miracle: one emerged from chrysalis, and we found it in the jar only moments after it stepped into the world as a butterfly. We watched its wings fill out, then took it and hid it in the middle of the viburnum bush to protect it from the rain. I currently have 3 in chrysalis and two caterpillars. There are at least 5 more outside doing their thing in the natural world. The magic never gets old.

  6. Hi, Mandy--I'm planning to trek through Amy's book in August as she did in April, but I'm all anxious about what topic to choose! I think for experienced adult poets it's a good challenge to use all the techni*ues and entries into the same topic, but what, what should I pick? Your parsley poem is a fun ride.

  7. I love the pic and your poem and that you're challenging yourself to read Amy's book and write along with her poets. The book is on my #mustreadin2018 list which I must admit is languishing. I get so distracted by all the new stuff coming my way! We hope to see a butterfly pic before long.

  8. These are the caterpillars I discovered on the dill I bought! There were nine of them to start with and now seven are in chrysalises! My mother in law "caterpillar sat" for me while we were on vacation. Mine ate all the dill and when it was gone, I gave them some fresh fennel and they gobbled it up, too!