Writing and Reading Poetry Tonja L. Root, Ed. D. & Margie Tullos, M. Ed. Early Childhood & Reading Education Valdosta State University Valdosta, GA 31698
What is Poetry? • “…writing that formulates a concentrated imaginative awareness of experience in language chosen and arranged to create a specific emotional response through meaning, sound, and rhythm” • -Webster’s Dictionary
The Poet Says A poem is a part of me A part of me you do not see. You see my head. You see my hind. But you can’t see what’s in my mind.
So I must write that part of me The part of me you cannot see. I take some paper, A pencil or pen, To write what’s in my mind, and then . . .
You have a poem To read and . . . See! I’ve given you A part of me. Hadusiewicz, B.B. Poetry works. Cleveland: Modern Curriculum Press.
Inside a Poem It doesn’t always have to rhyme, but there’s the repeat of a beat, somewhere an inner chime that makes you want to tap your feet or swerve in a curve; a lilt, a leap, a lightening-split-- thunderstruck the consonants jut, while the vowels open wide as waves in the noon-blue sea.
You hear with your heals, your eyes feel what they never touched before: fins on a bird, feathers on a deer; taste all colors, inhale memory and tomorrow and always the tang is today. Merriam, E. (1967). An invitation to poetry. Menlo Park, CA: Addison-Wesley.
Vital Question If a poem doesn’t rhyme— How do you know It’s a poem? If it’s about sunsets and flowers, well okay. But some of them might be about termites, and rats, Cockroaches, earwigs, bedbugs and silverfish, Battalions of cooties, And are more like the exterminator’s report Than a poem. So how do you know it’s a poem If it doesn’t rhyme? --Jeremy Bloom (Korman)
Definition A poem. Rhyme salad, Chopped by the word processor, Garnished with pictures, Sprinkled with adjectives, Tossed by a poet-chef. Lettuce, onions, tomatoes, images— A poem. --Jeremy Bloom (Korman)
Rhymed Verse Forms • Children need to understand that not all poems rhyme. (But these do!) • The message of the poem is always more important than adhering to any of these poetic forms.
Poetry Anthologies on Poetry & Writing • Goldstein, B.S. (1992). Inner chimes. Honesdale, PA. • Hopkins, L.B. (1990). Good books, good times! New York: HarperCollins. • Hopkins, L.B. (1999). Book poems: Poems from National Children’s Book Week 1959-1998. New York: Children’s Book Council.
Guidelines for Sharing Poetry • Read or recite only poems that are personal favorites. • Rehearse poem: feel of words, rhythm, pauses, accent of words, phrases. • Collect favorite poems. • Keep poetry books in classroom. • Set up a listening center.
Guidelines for Sharing Poetry • Share poetry orally, not just silently. • Have students read & share poetry. • Encourage learning & sharing poetry with others--not memorization. • Have students voluntarily share personal meaning of poetry--not analysis of meaning or rhyme scheme.
Poetry may involve: *word images as powerful as images on a canvas *using language in unique ways *using space creatively *music and rhythm *ear-tickling sounds *an invitation
Poetic Devices • Comparison: Use of images, feelings & actions to other things using metaphors & similies. Alliteration
Comparisons People are like birds who are constantly getting their feathers ruffled. People are like alligators who find pleasure in evil cleverness. People are like bees who are always busy. People are like penguins. Who want to have fun. People are like platypuses -- unexplainable! Sixth grader Tompkins, G.E., & Hoskisson, K. (1995). Language Arts. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Merrill.
Poetic Devices (cont.) • Alliteration: Repetition of the same initial consonant sound in consecutive words. Alliteration Tradebooks
Alliteration My Alliteration Alphabet About Foods A Acting apples B Bouncing bananas C Campaigning cantaloupes D Dribbling doughnuts E Exercising eggplants F Flying fish G Galloping grapes H Hopping hamburgers I Interviewing ice cream
Alliteration • Steig, J., & Steig, W. (1992). Alpha beta chowder. New York: HarperCollins. • Gackenbach, D. (1986). Timid Timothy’s tongue twisters. New York: Holiday House.
Poetic Devices (cont.) • Onomatopoeia: Use of sound words to make writing more sensory & vivid.
Onomatopoeia • Merriam, E. (1972). Bam, zam, boom! New York: Walker. • Spier, P. (1971). Gobble, growl, grunt. New York: Scholastic.
Poetic Devices (cont.) • Repetition: Use of repetition of words & phrases. • Rhyme: Natural use of rhyme so it does not interfere with word play & creation of vivid images. Avoid equating rhyme with poetry.
Couplets *Written in two lines. *Last words in each line rhyme. • Dogs barkIn the park. • Nothing comes out of this bottle.Shake it and then a lot’ll. Triplets
Couplet Poems The sky is blue. Flowers are pink. I love you. But sometimes they stink. The light is bright The ocean is blue. but not at night. A Martian is, too. Stars glow at night. Don’t you dare They are small but bright. Scare a bear. First graders
I Like Poems *Pairs of couplets I like jelly on my bread. I like apples that are red. I like rocks and balls and bats. I like wearing funny hats.
Triplets Triplet *Written in three lines. *Last words in each line rhyme. • This is a pig.This is a wig.This is a pig with a wig. • There was a skunk.On top of my bunk.PHEW—EE! It stunk.
Triangle Triplet Make it a triangle triplet! Write each line of your triplet on one side of a triangle. (You could use the same idea for a quatrain and a square.)
Limericks *Believed to have originated in Limerick, Ireland *Popularized by Edward Lear (1812-88) *5 lines: aabba rhyming pattern *Various syllable patterns: 99669, 99559, 88558,… *Third and fourth lines are shorter
Limerick Poem Advice on writing a limerick: Write a limerick now. Say there was An old man of some place, what he does, Or perhaps what he doesn’t, Or isn’t or wasn’t. Want help with it? Give me a buzz. --David McCord
Limerick Poem There was an old man with a beard, Who said, “It is just as I feared! Two owls and a hen, Four larks and a wren, Have all built their nests in my beard!”
Clerihew Poetry *named for Edmund Clerihew Bentley who invented the form *4 lines that describe a person *1st line: the person’s name 2nd line: the last word rhymes with the last word in the first line 3rd and 4th lines: last words in these lines rhyme
Rhyming Poetry • Degen, B. (1983). Jamberry. New York: Harper and Row. • dePaola, T. (1884). Mice squeak, we speak. New York: Scholastic.
Formula Poetry • These provide a scaffold for beginning poets. • Although some seem more like prose, they help students begin to learn about poetic expression.
Formula Poetry • Hink-pinks: Short rhymes that either take the form of an answer to a riddle or describe something. Composed with two 1-syllable rhyming words.
Hink-pinks What do you call an astronaut? A sky guy. Ghost White fright Heller, L.G. (1981). Riddling: A playful way to explore language. Language Arts, 58, 669-674.
Formula Poetry • “I wish…” Poetry: Each line begins with, “I wish”. Each line is completed with a wish.
“I Wish” Poem I wish I had all the money in the world. I wish I had a cat. I wish it wouldn’t rain today.
Students can choose one wish and expand on it. I wish I had a cat, Orange and white, Who liked to sit on my lap and purr, Whenever I felt lonely. Expanded “I Wish” Poetry
“I wish…” Poems Our Wishes I wish I had a cat. I wish I was a star fallen down from Mars. I wish I were a teddy bear.Second graders I Wish I wish I were a teddy bear Who sat on a beautiful bed Who got a hug every night By a little girl or boy. Maybe tonight I’ll get my wish And wake up on a little girl’s bed And then I’ll be as happy as can be. Tompkins, G.E., & Hoskisson, K. (1995). Language Arts. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Merrill.
Formula Poetry • Color Poetry: Begin each line with a color. Repeat same color in each line or choose a different color. Tell what it is.
Color Poem Yellow is shiny galoshes splashing through mud puddles. Yellow is a street lamp beaming through a dark, black night. Yellow is the egg yolk bubbling in a frying pan... Yellow is the sunset and the warm summer breeze…Seventh grader Tompkins, G.E., & Hoskisson, K. (1995). Language Arts. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Merrill.
Purple is my moustache when I drink grape Kool-aid. Purple is a king’s robe made of velvet And covered with fur. Purple is … Color Poem
Color Poetry • Hubband, P. (1996). My crayons talk. New York: Henry Holt and Company. • O’Neill, M. (1961). Hailstones and halibut bones: Adventures in color. Garden City, NJ: Doubleday. • Zolotow, C. (1962). Mr. Rabbit and the lovely present. New York: Harper and Row.
Formula Poetry • Five-Senses Poetry: Write about a topic using each of the five senses. Poem is usually 5 lines long with 1 line for each sense. An ending comment is often added. OR Poem can explore one sense.
Looks like an expensive doll from Toys ‘R Us Smells like baby powder or something else Tastes like a sweet kiss Feels like a cuddly pillow Sounds like a broken police siren Our new baby! Five-Senses Poem
Five-Senses Poem Being Heartbroken Sounds like thunder Looks like a carrot going through a blender Tastes like sour milk Feels like a splinter in your finger Smells like a dead fish It must be horrible! Sixth grader Tompkins, G.E., & Hoskisson, K. (1995). Language Arts. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Merrill.
Formula Poetry • “If I were…” Poetry: • Write about what they would do & how they would feel. • Begin with “If I were” & tell what it would be like to be that thing. • Use personification in composing, explore ideas & feelings. • Consider world from different perspective.
“If I Were” Poem If I were a duck I’d like this rainy day I would quack and splash and swim and look for juicy wiggling worms Then waddle over to see my friends.