Welcome to week 2 of National Poetry Month!
Oh, how fun this series has been to write! It brought me back to earlier times in my life. In 8th and 9th grade, when I won awards for local poetry contests I’d entered – and yes, I actually forgot about that until we were moving last time and I found the certificates in an old box… Working on the yearbook in high school, and finding some of the articles I’d written, and references to pieces I’d written in our high school newspaper… Remembering that I’d wanted to go to college to study journalism, and be a “real writer” once upon a time (ok maybe that last one wasn’t really “once upon a time”…lol)…
And how so-very-timely that I’d be sharing my love of poetry during these unusual and stressful days. Perhaps some of you are finding yourselves at home, pulling out your hair trying to manage not only your own time but your kiddos’ time, without being able to get “out and about” for distraction or learning!
Have you ever thought of studying poetry with your kids? Reading it…and even writing it?!
Poetry-related activities for the family your teens will love!
Now, hold on – I know you’re already laughing somewhat cynically, anticipating your teen’s rolling eyes when you ask them if they want to read (or, heaven forbid, write!) “poetry” together (and you have to say it to yourself with that feeling of angst, despair and veiled disgust, too…).
But maybe we’re not giving them – and us – enough credit!
I found this book while I was perusing Amazon, and was instantly brought back to my teen years! “Back in the day,” I had picked this up from the library (where my sister and I had spent many-a-summer afternoons) because I was intrigued by the title. A relative of mine had recently introduced me to watermelon pickles, and that was the only reason for my mild curiosity.
During that summer–
Which may never have been at all;
But which has become more real
Than the one that was–
After reading that section the very first time, I was hooked. It completely related to my teen summers: eating copious amounts of that cold, fresh fruit with my sister and cousin and neighbor kids, and all the related activities and emotion. (And still – after all these years – it brings me back there again..)
I think we give poetry the short shrift… We get caught up in the “right way” to write: the rhyme and rhythm, sound and form, all the things we were taught in English class. But we forget that the most important element isn’t taught in class…can’t be taught at all. It’s what reaches out and grabs your heart, coming from the very heart of the poet him (or her!) self.
So why not take a stab at writing some poetry with your fam while we’re all cooped up inside?
- Take turns picking a topic and then have everyone write something.
- Do a timed poetry-write.
- Read or act out a favorite poem for the family, slam poetry style!
- Remind your kids that lyrics are considered a form of poetry. Ask them what a favorite song is of theirs and have them share the lyrics. Now YOU do the same!
- Go outside, write an abstract poem about something you see, then share it with everyone and see who can guess what it’s about first.
- If you really want to make the activity academic, try this book: How to Write Poetry (but make this your last choice…really!)
- Or this one: Imperfect: poems about mistakes: an anthology for middle schoolers
- Or this: A Maze Me: Poems for Girls
- Finally, here’s a list of age-appropriate poetry books from Bravewriter.
And in the meanwhile, here are my two contributions for the week… The general theme being memories that tug at my heart…
Caretaker of souls
Amidst the pots and pans,
Dust bunnies under the bed…rumpled laundry on the couch
They tell me I’m a caretaker of souls
But after dinner is done,
And the kids are bathed and ready for bed,
I turn to clean up the kitchen.
Cold, greasy pots and pans,
Crumbs under my feet
I certainly don’t feel like a caretaker of souls
Mostly just a caretaker
I hear a pitter-patter of little feet
And her hug envelopes my knees
Next thing I know, we’re giggling and snuggling on the couch
Kissing each other as we turn the pages of a book
Or my teen plops himself on a stool at the counter
Pulls his earbuds out, and asks me, well, about life
And then pulls back the curtain to his own
Just a bit…
How wonderful this all is…
A caretaker of souls?
I love it – I’m all in!
Are you a “word nerd” parent?
I hope you enjoy these short verses about parenting! If you’re looking for something creative for your own “parenting tool-kit”, I’ve got just the ticket! Grab your copy of “20 Inspiring Quotes for Your Teen.“ Covering topics from today’s frustrations to fears of their future, these quotes will share hope, bring a smile, and lighten the heart of a teen you love!
Books for Sale
My happy place!
Our happy place!
Sitting snuggly in my lap as I’m cross-legged on the floor
Enjoying story time together, and crafts
Picture books and discovering the world
Vivid colors and shapes on pages 12 inches square
Discovering favorite authors together
Exploring history through another’s eyes
Hours of “travel” seated on bean bags and overstuffed furniture
Hours of research at kiosks and on screens
The sign reads “Books for Sale”
But my memories aren’t
Read the entire series here:
April 15 – Poetry and a Lifestyle of Learning
April 22 – Poetry as the Grow and Go…
April 29 –
Are you “into verse?” Do you have a unique way of expressing some aspect of your life as a parent? Let’s be creative together – share something you’ll be doing in April to celebrate National Poetry Month! (And perhaps inspire us with an activity…)