When we are children, our stories come from a time of completely different vistas and viewpoints. The sentence poems in this journal were written from the perspective and with the language of children—students taking us back to the hard, embarrassing stories of youth. They are called “sentence poems” because the idea is to tell the story as a child does—all in one breath!
Sometimes simple, sometimes complex, but almost always, concrete poetry puts shape and face to our emotions... ...and don’t dare think a circle is just a simple shape.
These poems begin exactly as you would imagine—as LISTS! List poems are also known as catalog poems , and a most famous example is Walt Whitman’s “I Hear America Singing” (in fact later this season, I will feature 11th and 12th grade poems modeled after that poem which was part of the American Literature fare). In this case, 9th grade students took collections of ideas and turned them into poems. As a result, we end up with titles such as “Things to do While Trying to Fall Asleep” “Never Run with Scissors” “Things to do When You’re Bored” a“Things I should not have done” “Things a child tells their mom” “Home” “Things my Mom Tells Me in the Car” And lines such as “Don’t sit on your sister” “try your hand at mime” “throw a bubble wrap soiree” “Don’t tie up your sister” “AHH, IT’S A BEE!” “Never never never ever die before I do!” You have to discover these lists of life and learning! Well worth the time and smiles!
Generally—and in the original Japanese haiku—this poem evokes the emotion, the power, the delicacy, the touch of nature. However, in today’s assignment, we do not necessarily stay in that subject area. Enjoy the nature, but also the sports and war and personal notes of these very short three-lined poems of a very precise syllabication: five syllables in line one, seven syllables in line two, and five again in the last. (Cover Art by Tia Reilly.)
Randomicity poems were created by answering a variety of random questions and then morphing, arranging, editing, and rearranging the answers into poetry. Very fun and very random.
I Hear the sledges with the bells - Silver bells! What a world of merriment their melody foretells! How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle, In the icy air of night! While the stars that oversprinkle All the heavens, seem to twinkle With a crystalline deli