Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Poetry Unit: Week 1

Poetry is truth in its Sunday clothes.

Joseph Roux (1834-86), French priest, writer. Meditations of aParish Priest, pt. 1, no 76 (1886)

Poetry is one of the first forms of literature a young child comes in contact with a la Mother Goose. Pat a cake, and jump rope rhymes all become an essential part of children's lives. Poetry and its appreciation are very much in eye beholder. What appeals to one person, might not appeal to another. Usually children prefer rhyming poetry that is not overly complex.

For starters, lets go over some of the vocabulary associated with poetry.

  • Rhyme: similar in sound, or corresponding sounds.
  • Meter: the rhythmic structure of poetry

  • Limericks: 5 line rhythmic verse with a light and humorous feel. The first, second, and fifth lines rhyme and the third and fourth rhyme separately. The last line is the "punch line".
Example of a Limerick:

A flea and a fly in a flue
were caught, so what could they do?
Said the fly, "let us flee"
"let us fly" said the flea
so they flew through a flaw in the flue

Write your own Limerick:

There once was a pauper named Meg
Who accidentally broke her _________
She slipped on the __________
Not once but thrice.
Take no pity on her I ________

  • Free Verse: Usually lacks rhyme and rhythm

Winter Poem

Nikki Giovanni

once a snowflake fell

on my brow and i loved

it so much and i kissed

it and it was happy and called its cousins

and brothers and a web

of snow engulfed me then

i reached to love them all

and i squeezed them and they became

a spring rain and i stood perfectly

still and was a flower

  • Haiku: Japanese form of poetry, form is 17 syllables (5-7-5), usually with a nature theme. A Haiku must "paint" a mental image in the reader's mind.
The Rose by Donna Brock

The Red blossom bends
and drips its dew to the ground
like a tear it falls.

A Rainbow

Curving up, then down
Meeting blue sky, and green earth
Melding sun and rain

  • Light Verse: a catchall term for poetry with a more relaxed attitude
Far and few, far and few,
Are the lands where the Jumblies live;
Their heads are green, and their hands are blue
And they went to sea in a sieve.
  • Narrative: a poetic narration of an event or story, usually with a plot and action, attention to detail.
Example of a narrative:


Green and slimy
Contentedly croaked he
Sitting near the well.

Flying fast past
Beyond her grasp
A ball of gold down fell.

Weepfully cried she
An open inquiry,
"Help me get my ball!"

Suddenly sprung he
Rather righteously
Over the well wall.

Victorious returned he
So ecstatic was she;
"I shall give thee a kiss!"

Smooched she and dwell
Now two croakers near the well -
A frog and his princess.

  • Alliteration: is the repetition of the initial consonant. There should be at least two repetitions in a row.
Examples of Alliteration:

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers

Puny puma pit their skills against zebras.
Pretty Polly picked pears for preserves.
Handsome Harry hired hundreds of hippos for Hanukkah.
Angela Abigail Applewhite ate anchovies and artichokes.
Bertha Bartholomew blew big, blue bubbles.
Clever Clifford Cutter clumisily closed the closet clasps.
Floyd Flingle flipped flat flapjacks.

Write your own Alliterations:

Doodling Daughters ____________
Studious Students_____________
Prickly Pears________________
Hattie Henderson ____________
Ida Ivy Identified _____________

1 comment:

  1. I think I'm a poetry bum. My favorite kinds are Limericks and Haiku which probably says something about my maturity level - don't know :)

    Good post! This was like a free online lesson on the subject ... keep this up and you're going to have to start charging membership fees to read your blog :P


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