Girl and Bat: A Poem for Two Voices*

against full moon
Shadow soaring
over skylight
Wing-swept wind
above my nose
                                                               Heart frantic-beating

                                    It’s from this

skimming smallish                          jerky largish


Get it                                                    Let me

I can’t see!                                          I’m afraid!

                        She’s more afraid of me?

*Performance note: I have adapted the format used by Paul Fleischman in his wonderful Joyful Noise. The poem can be read aloud by two readers at once, one taking the left-hand part, the other taking the right-hand part. The poem is read from top to bottom; lines at the same horizontal level are spoken simultaneously, and lines in the center column are spoken in unison.

47 thoughts on “Girl and Bat: A Poem for Two Voices*”

    1. Oh, I’m so glad you thought the format worked. I’ve been second-guessing this all day. We have had a bat get into our house–twice!–and I just felt sorry for the poor thing. I’m sure we completely freaked it out with our reaction.


    1. Thank you. I should get my kids to read it, and record…I wonder if I’m technologically savvy enough to post something like that…


  1. What a cool format. And I love how these words sound together: “skimming smallish jerky largish”

    How we fear what fears us — great topic to explore, especially in this format. So well done, Jennifer.


    1. Thanks, Michelle. I’m going to keep recommending Fleischman’s Joyful Noise–his poems for two voices are amazing.


  2. The layering in this piece is incredible! I love how each line is able to stand alone and conjure an image in the reader’s mind. Nicely done.


    1. Thanks, Jen. I felt so sorry for that bat, especially after my husband tried to trap it with a broom…and accidentally knocked it a bit hard.


  3. Ha! Another bat story! I love that you’ve given us both perspectives and that the bat was surprised the person was more afraid. The format was very creative, too. I like that it was interactive and I had no trouble reading it (even before I saw the “performance notes”).


    1. Yay, bats! “Based on a true story.” I’m glad to hear the format worked for you–I was unsure how it would go over.


  4. Oh that’s wonderful. I particularly liked the bat’s voice. If only they had been able to hear each other think the last line.


I'd be so happy to hear from you.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s