Skip to main content

Poetry Friday: Present Continuous

This week my students will be taking a test that includes the present continuous verb form. We use the present continuous to talk about actions that have started, and are not yet finished. As I prepare my test for my students, I realize that I've been in a present continuous frame of mind all week.

On lunchtime walks, we see signs of spring; in the news, we read about fighting near Europe's largest nuclear plant and wonder if we should start carrying our iodine tablets* with us when we go out. 

We are living in a present continuous state of cognitive dissonance.

Picture of white and purple crocuses blooming in the grass. Poem reads: Crocus blooming. Bombs falling.  Bees buzzing. People fleeing.  Sun shining. World watching.  Temps warming. World worrying.  Birds chirping.  World waiting.  Spring coming.  World hoping.  Day dawning. World praying. © 2022, Elisabeth Norton, all rights reserved

*All residents of Switzerland living within a certain proximity of a nuclear plant are issued iodine tablets in case of an emergency. We never thought the emergency might come from fighting around a nuclear plant across the continent.

In my poem I'm grappling with the cognitive dissonance of such tragedy unfolding, and yet my own daily life and those of my family have (to this point) not been impacted by it. We work/go to school, meet deadlines, shop for groceries, and projects from the past are fully realized. 

That was the case for me this week. Late last year I had the pleasure of talking with debut authors Meera Trehan (author of The View From the Very Best House In Town), and Alison G. Myers (author of A Bird Will Soar) about their books, both of which feature autistic protagonists. That interview was published this week on the Cynsations website. Since we spoke, A Bird Will Soar has received the Schneider Family Book Award at the ALA Youth Media Awards, and The View From the Very Best House In Town has been named a Junior Library Guild selection.

Both of these books do a wonderful job of depicting characters that autistic readers will identify with, and which can give neurotypical readers insights into the autistic experience. From found families and rescued eaglets (A Bird Will Soar) to a sentient house as a POV character (The View From the Very Best House In Town), there's so much to love and to enjoy in these books. You can find out more about the books, the authors, and their journeys to publication in the interview here.

Our Poetry Friday host today is Kat Apel. You can find the round up of this week's poetry goodness here.


  1. Elisabeth, I have been late in responding to PF posts so I am glad to circle back and find your offering. You are so right that "we are living in a present continuous state of cognitive dissonance". Your poem beautifully shares that thought with the reader.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Poetry Friday: The Party is Here!

 Welcome everyone to Poetry Friday! If you're new to Poetry Friday, you can read more about it here . I've been chasing deadlines all week, but poetry always provides a welcome pause in the busiest of schedules. Perhaps because of the kind of writing I've been doing (which is not related to poetry at all) it was a bit hard to get started on a poem this week. I looked at a few of the poetic forms I've bookmarked over the past months, but in the end, turned to one of my favorite forms, the acrostic .  Thanks for joining the Poetry Friday party today! Add your link to the party below. You are invited to the Inlinkz link party! Click here to enter

Poetry Friday: Welcome to the Party!

Hi everyone! Thanks for coming to the Poetry Friday party today! I'm so glad you stopped by. Last week, Mary Lee Hahn reminded us of the August Poetry Peeps challenge :  We’re writing after the style of Jane Yolen’s eight line, rhyming poem, “What the Bear Knows,” a poem  written in honor of her 400th book ,  Bear Outside . Our topic is  What the ____ Knows .  I love Jane Yolen's work and was excited to take on this challenge.  We love to hike, and one of our favorite things to do when hiking is to look and listen for marmots. They are abundant in the Swiss Alps, and we have spent many a peaceful hour watching them, as other impatient hikers pass us by, unaware that silence and patience will be rewarded with glimpses like this:  I'm looking forward to reading the other Poetry Peeps responses, as well as all of your poetic goodness. Thanks for joining the party! You can add your links here. Click here to enter

Poetry Friday: Storm-felled Pine

Storms and their aftermath have been on my mind this week. Walking in the park a couple of days ago, we discovered this tree, a victim of a recent storm's fierce winds.  This week our Poetry Friday host is Laura Shovan, who has written a wonderful poem celebrating a woman whose contribution to a classic Hollywood film was erased. You can check out her poem, and find links to all the other Poetry Friday poets, here .