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!