This is my playground for poetry written for children with ideas and inspiration for writing your own poems. Come on in. Sit for a spell, have a cup of words to swirl around and make your own cup of poetry. I'm so glad you are here. I hope you'll find the Kingdom of Poetry a fun place to be.
Friday, December 1, 2017
HAPPY POETRY FRIDAY
I've been taking a beginning drawing class at the local junior college and the term is almost over. For our final project the instructor arrived with three lunch bags, labeled--nouns, verbs and settings. We were to pull a slip from each bag and use those prompts for our final rendering. I've used this same method for poetry prompts so it was fun to get prompts for drawing. But...
The nouns were all pop culture icons. I think the instructor was trying to find something appealing to the young teenage college students. My noun was Snoop Dogg! I really didn't want to draw the rapper, so I figured I'd just go with the DOG, a word I find more fun and certainly fits more with children's poetry.
Being a poet who tries to write with strong lines, I teased my instructor about including gerunds in his verbs. Sure enough the verb I pulled included a gerund. The slip of paper I ended with was, "eating peanut butter from the jar."
Finally, my setting slip was "drive thru."
How would you draw a dog eating peanut butter at a drive thru? My mind immediately went to a drive in theater since my father managed several of them and I worked in the drive in all through college. But then Harry Potter slipped in to save me. Do you remember him driving thru the wall at platform 9 3/4?
Here is a rough draft sketch of what I'm working on. My next step is to render the drawing on quality paper and add color. At that step I'll be able to fine tune the wall, the shading and the dog's features and put a glob of peanut butter on that lolling tongue. What color shall I make the dog? (Hang with me, I'll get to the poetry.)
My silly dog
is a crazy nutter.
He likes to eat
my peanut butter.
Do you know the word nutter? It is British slang for someone who is crazy and does nutty things.
Do you know why I used "to eat" instead of the "eating" from the slip to write my poem? It is all a case of meter and gerunds and infinitives. Remember gerunds are those "ing" verbs and infinitives are the "to" verbs. They are extremely useful in poetry.
Most poems are written in an iambic foot. If you try to scan a poem (notice the accented and unaccented syllables,) always try iambic first because it is the meter most often used. The iambic foot is unaccented, accented--the accent is on the second syllable. using an iambic foot means lines will end on a strong accent. A trochee is the opposite of an iambic foot. It is accented, unaccented. Any two syllable verb ending in "ing," a gerund, will be a trochee. So, when using verbs to write poetry for children if you want iambic, use an infinitive. If you want a throchee, use a gerund. The exception is when using forced meter. (Poets love to break the rules!)
See, I told you I'd get back to poetry. That was a bit heavy, let's celebrate your getting through that heavy lesson. Let's have a party!
We're having another virtual party in two weeks on Dec. 15 at Matt Forrest Esenwine's place, Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme. You are invited to drop in and stay for the whole day (or maybe the night--I virtually slept on the fireplace hearth one year at David's place.) I'm going to write a small poem about my ugly Christmas sweater. Matt calls the party a shindig. It started on David L. Harrison's blog a few years ago. Matt, David and I decided that perhaps it might be fun to move the party around from venue to venue…so this year, it’s moving from David’s place to Matt's little home on the web. Perhaps we'll have snow.
Finally, the Poetry Friday Round Up is over at Mary Lee Hahn's blog, A Year of Reading. Thanks for hosting us, Mary Lee.
You can find more great children's poetry here.
Oh, for your poetry challenge, pick any noun, verb and a setting and see what you can come up with for a poem. Have fun writing whatever you do.
Thanks for your patience.