Friday, December 9, 2011


As much as I love reading and writing prose, I'm not nearly as much a fan of poetry.  It may have something to do with my only real exposure to the genre being my sophomore high school English teacher, who was a rabid Emily Dickinson fan.  Seriously.  She dressed up.

Anyway, with her leading the charge, we parsed and analyzed poems within mere inches of our lives.  Some days it was touch and go.  I should also add that much of this analysis had to happen while on a charter bus to and from Arizona because the poetry unit landed square in the middle of Fiesta Bowl season, and assignment due dates waited for no band member.

It got ugly.

Because I'm trying to master my own Poetry PTSD and don't want to pass it along to my kids, M1 and I spent several days this week playing with poems.  The first thing that I did was print off these poetic/literary device cards.  Yay for DOING something from Pinterest!  Then I determined what kinds of poems that M1 and I were going to look at this week. was a major help to me in that regard.  Some of the 'poetry' made me kinda go, "Ka-wha...???" but some of them I found to be helpful.

First, M1 and I talked about alliteration and imagery.  We discussed how poems typically describe things, not narrate.  We talked a little bit about rhyme and a little bit about rhythm, and then I pulled out an acrostic poem sheet.  I asked M1 if he could make his own poem and use alliteration in it somewhere.  Obligingly, he wrote this:

Glowing brightly with white light,
Hapless me they give a fright
Opening doors closer to me and 
Slamming them with a bang,
Toppling towering toys with glee.
Safely I go back to my bed (to wake up next morning with that ghost in my head).

He may also have been proud of his use of onomatopoeia, which was another term we touched upon.

After he finished his acrostic poem, I brought out a page about haiku, which we did together.  I asked him to try to keep it about nature, and he chose clouds as his subject.

The sky is clouded.
They are sinister and dark.
Rain is on the way.

The following day, we reviewed the definitions and added 'idiom' and 'personification' to his literary device vocabulary.  Then he wrote a cinquain.  I asked him to try to personify something with his poem, and he happily wrote this:

Funny, happy,
Likes falling over.
Cold hands, warm heart.

For the final day of our poetry unit (he was having way too much fun at this point, and I'd saved what I considered the best for last), I pulled out the limerick.  He had a little bit of trouble at first because of the rhythm, but once we got it down (and with a little bit of help from another web site), he made his own limerick.  I quite like it myself.

There once was a Corgi named Bump
Who liked to sit in a lump.
He jumped to his feet
For a piece of meat
And fell to the floor with a thump.

With that, our poetry unit ended.  He had fun.  He doesn't hate poetry.  WIN!

1 comment:

Beth said...

Creative Mommy for the WIN!!