Poetry. I like to read it–once in a while. I like to recite it, especially when a line is just perfect for something I’m experiencing.

Until eighteen months ago, I didn’t like to write it.

But in the summer of 2015, I was in a writing seminar at Millersville University. As a part of that seminar, I wrote a couple poems. Feeble attempts, perhaps. But I enjoyed the experience. And when I returned to the classroom as an English teacher this fall, I was determined to have my students write some poetry with me.

But how do you teach poetry when you’re really no poet?

Enter Sara Holbrook’s excellent book, Practical Poetry. I used the exercises in the book to guide my class through a number of delightful poetry-writing experiences. Of course some of the poems they wrote were better than mine, which I didn’t mind at all.


As Holbrook suggests, I wrote a verb poem:


is a little chap,

has red curls and a sailor cap.

Rolls on the floor

and laughs till he cries,

a mischievous twinkle

in his eyes.

My kids wrote verb poems as well. Some were fun, but some were serious, like this one entitled “Cut.”

I also did Holbrook’s lesson on poems for two voices. The two voices I chose for my poem are marriage and singleness. Read it here: day7mylifeisgift2.

I’ll definitely return to Holbrook’s great book again when it’s time to teach poetry!