Poetry Is Delicious

 

 

Poetry is the achievement of the synthesis of hyacinths and biscuits.

 

Carl Sandburg

 

Poetry is all around you in anthologies or collections of verse, in Shakespeare, in holy books, in advertisements, in greeting cards, and even in the lyrics of songs. “Happy Birthday” is a poem set to music. American folk song writer Bob Dylan received the Nobel Prize for Literature for his gift with words. However, you may live in an age when people turn less frequently to poets in times of trouble such as the world now faces  with the COVID-19 pandemic. Poetry instructs. Poetry enlightens. Poetry offers comfort and solace when you most need it. Poetry also expresses joy when it is fitting to celebrate life’s blessings and special moments. Poets may startle you with their remarkable gift for being able to distill all that is around them into simple, powerful statements of truth. You may believe that poems have to be long to matter, but read Carl Sandburg’s short but endearing poem, “Fog.” 

 

 

In this Fun Family Activity you will hopefully fill the pages of your journal with original verse. Several formats for composing your own poetry are shared. You may even want to create a new and special poetry journal. Imagine the joy you will experience when you compose your own poems. One of the most enlightened ways you can live happily through the time of the CoronaVirus is to write a poem about the best or most generous thing that you did today. April in National Poetry Month is both the United State and Canada. England celebrates National Poetry Day on the first Thursday in October. Wherever you live, now is a wonderful time to remember the joy of writing poetry. Celebrate the beginning of a new day with a welcome poem. 

 

Poetry is a most appropriate form of writing for gifted, talented, and creative children. They often come in to this world madly in love with words and poets need lots of words. Poetry or verse should be an integral part of their education. It is not something “extra” to be tacked on to the core of their learning one day or one month out of the year. Poetry fits well with any academic or physical discipline. Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, and Langston Hughes wrote poems about science, history, art, sports, and even mathematics. Enrich the learning of children by sharing poetry so that it becomes as natural to them as breathing. A perfect ending to a lesson in botany is to invite children to write a poem about the glory of a living, breathing organism be it the bark, leaves, flowers, and seeds of a single tree.

 

The majority of children will not automatically turn to composing poetry unless it becomes an essential component of their home learning. A fine way to introduce children to composing verse is to use simple templates or models that make poetry easy to write. The following model poems provide both structure and example. Formats such as haiku and cinquain poems give children boundaries and guidance within which to ply their creativity through word and image choices. Examples of these forms provide children with stimuli to begin their own verses (and accompanying illustrations). 

 

 

Haiku Poetry

 

Haiku is a three-line verse form that originated in Japan centuries ago. A complete poem is written in three lines that total seventeen syllables. There are five syllables in the first line, seven in the second line, and five again in the final line. Haiku poetry often celebrates the beauty of nature, but the format is easy to comprehend and represents a fine beginning example of the model poem approach. The following examples of haiku verse celebrate the wonders of spring and fathers.

 

 

Spring

 

Budding leaves on trees,

Birds singing, flowers blooming,

A new year begins. 

 

Father

 

Always loving me.

Always there when I need him.

He can fix all things. 

 

 

 

Cinquain Verse

 

Almost a century past, a poet named Adelaide Crapsey learned that she was seriously ill.  She took healthy walks every day. As she walked, she composed five line poems about life, nature, and other things that she treasured. She invented cinquain verse that follows a pattern of five lines.

 

Line 1: One word for the title.

Line 2: Two words that describe the title.

Line 3: Three words that express action.

Line 4: Four words that express feelings. 

Line 5: One word that repeats the title or yields a synonym.

 

Faces

Beautiful, handsome

Smiling, frowning, crying

Expressing joy and sorrow

Masks

 

Rainbows

Prism colors

Stretching in the sky

Remembered loveliness and beauty

Rainbows

 

 

Personalized Poems

 

Personalized verse, also called acrostics, use the names of people or things important to child poets. The name or word is written on paper or in a journal, vertically, one letter per line. Next, descriptions of the person or subject, words beginning with each corresponding letter of the name or word are written on each line, horizontally, to complete the poem. The example was written in a homemade birthday card for a child’s mother, “Jerry Rowe.”

 

 

Joyous

 

Enthusiastic

 

Remembering Me (Always)

 

Radiant

 

Youthful 

 

 

 

Red, red roses

 

Outstanding

 

Wonderful

 

Elegant

 

 

 

I Am Poems

 

I Am Poems are simple to compose, but they are a terrific way for talented children to appreciate and celebrate their gifts. The formula or template can vary tremendously due to the fill-in-the-blanks prompts given. A sample poem follows. “Yo soy” is Spanish for “I am” and “abuelo” is the Spanish word for grandfather. 

 

I am (add your name).

I am (add three words that describe you).

I dream about (complete the sentence).

I see beauty in (complete the sentence).

I care about (complete the sentence).

I want (complete the sentence).

I hope (complete the sentence).

I am (add your name or nickname).

 

 

Yo soy Jose.

I am smart, athletic, and helpful.

I dream about discovering a vaccine for COVID-19.

I see beauty in our garden.

I care about my abuelo.

I want people to work together.

I hope I can play baseball this summer.

Yo soy Jose.

 

Parents and older children may want to examine an adult-level “I Am” poem that was written by Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales, a Chicano activist from Denver, Colorado in 1967. In his poem, “I Am Joaquin” (also known as “Yo Soy Joaquin”) Gonzales speaks to the historic triumphs and struggles of Mexicans and Mexican Americans. His “Yo Soy” poem takes this form of verse to great new heights of creativity and a high moral purpose. The epic poem may be found as “I Am Joaquin” on the Internet.

 

 

Imagine Me Poems

 

Imagine Me verse has no hard and fast rules save that the first line begins the words “Imagine Me” and the poet’s name. The remainder of the verse explores an imagined dream, adventure, or celebrated event in the life of the poet. Linda’s “Imagine Me” poem is one example.

 

Imagine Me, Linda

Playing the piano at Carnegie Hall.

Hours of practice!

Imagine me, soaring through a 

Beethoven composition,

Just breezing along,

Making no mistakes, 

Giving a flawless interpretation. 

Just perfect! Ah……

 

 

 

We can read poetry and recite poetry, but to live poetry is the symphony of life.

 

 

S. Frances Foote