On Poetry

Poetry is the language of visual images – the creation of moving pictures with specific details and examples. Poetry is folk art. It is a way to pass on stories and thoughts. Poetry is entertainment. It’s fun!

Writing poetry is a reasonable, doable goal for students. For many years, I teamed with fourth grade teacher and friend Kathy Randolph. Her students created a gallery of water color paintings. Then they wrote a poem to pair with their artwork.

There are many ways to build a poem. For example, we can use a seesaw structure such as fortunately – unfortunately or once I – now I. We could take a verb and offer a definition (see the work of Sara Holbrook).

Float is a way to stay

relaxed and still,

a quiet motion

in the ocean,

lake or swimming pool.

A great way to stay cool

without the splashes

or meter dashes.

No competition in mind,

and you will find

sheer delight!

Perhaps a  craft

such as a raft

to float serenely

among sunbeams

and dream and dream!

Poems about world views, a take on an issue, summarizing an event, telling a story, creating an imagined perspective from a biome’s point of view, or simply acting out a word with words – there is no limit to poetry. Of course, reading the work of myriad poets – both rhymed free verse poems – may spark a topic, a format, or style.  Anything is possible. Just take up your pen and write!





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