Happy Poetry Friday! (Wondering what Poetry Friday is? Click here.)
Each year Jone MacCulloch’s students at Silver Star School in Washington state send out poetry postcards during National Poetry Month. I had signed up back in March and promptly forgot about it. April was busy, to say in the least, and I was out of the country for part of it. So it was such a nice surprise to find this gem of a poem hiding in the pile of junk mail and bills when we got back from our trip!
I love a combination of poetry and information! Elsie’s poem starts out with a strong simile and proceeds to tell me some cool things about the lodges of the Mandan Indians. I looked these lodges up online to learn more. That’s the beauty of poetry around content. You don’t have to tell a reader everything–just enough to make the reader curious!
Another thing I love about Elsie’s poem is that it really focuses on one particular quality of these homes: their protectiveness. Pretty much everything in the poem supports the idea that these earthen lodges were havens of safety, of security. She didn’t write a report and tell me a million things. Instead, she focused on one aspect of them and used great specifics to draw me in. Wonderful job, Elsie–thank you! And thank you, Ms. Mac, for organizing this event again. Getting a poem in my mailbox is like ordering a salad and getting served a cupcake!
Also, I know it’s the end of Teacher Appreciation Week, but I just finally got a chance to read Lee Bennett Hopkins’ recent anthology, School People (Wordsong, 2018). It is wonderful! And you’ll recognize most of the poets’ names, as many of them are active online in the children’s poetry (and Poetry Friday) community. Here’s one of my favorites, by the wonderful Joan Bransfield Graham:
You have so many talents.
You do everything with flair.
Any minute I’m expecting…
you will rise up in the air.
You stretch my world much wider.
Your stories lift me high.
They spark imagination–
I feel I, too, can fly.
–Joan Bransfield Graham, all rights reserved
Isn’t that lovely? That’s still how teachers and stories affect me.
And for lots more wonderful poetry, don’t miss the Poetry Friday Roundup with Jama Rattigan at Alphabet Soup!