jayellebee's Blog

April 1, 2012

National Poetry Month?

Filed under: Musings — Joanne @ 7:56 pm

     Freshman English at Cal was a struggle, especially the section on poetry.  I kept wondering, if the prof is right and that’s what the poem really means, why didn’t the poet simply say so?  Today, when I write, I work up a sweat seeking just the right words to convey my meaning.  Clear and straight-forward, that’s how I write and who I strive to be.

     This is not to say I don’t like poetry.  Ogden Nash is my hero.  I know some of Dr. Seuss’s rhymes by heart.  I even find Robert Frost enjoyable.  But celebrate National Poetry Month?  Me?  Not likely.  The truth is, Joanne ain’t got no couth.

     At least, that’s what I thought until a new friend, Susan Taylor Brown, sent me the link to her latest blog post.   She wrote: 

     “For National Poetry month I’m posting an original poem a day along with a
mini lesson to help teachers teach poetry. I’m hoping folks will share
their own poems in the comments.
Also hoping people will help spread the word to teachers and home schoolers.”

     So, here I am, spreading the word.  I encourage you to visit Susan at www.susantaylorbrown.com/blog and read her thoughts on using prompts to teach reluctant writers about poetry.  (You’ll be impressed who her reluctant students are.)  In this exercise, Susan offers a variety of words from which to choose and suggests we think about how one of those words fits into the world of our five senses. An experienced teacher, she then shows how she crafted a free form poem (I think that’s the term) from the result. 

     Just to prove I can be brave when properly motivated, here’s the poem Susan’s prompt dredged out of me.  Please, be kind.  Don’t comment on my work, instead add your own poem in the comment section.  Really!  It’s just word play, and it’s great fun. 


Wonder looks so bright I shield my eyes, but can’t turn away.

Wonder feels so prickly, I flex my brain to make the pins-and-needles go away.

Wonder sounds like church bells carried on the breeze from far away.

Wonder smells like an early morning snowfall– all the dirt and clutter hidden away.

Wonder tastes new and distinct after all the familiar recipes are filed away.

Is it any wonder, when push comes to shove, we find a way?


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