From the classroom...

Poetry Month!

Since 1999 Canada has celebrated national poetry month in April – along with the challenge to write a poem every day for the entire month. I don’t know if I will stick to the daily poetic prescription but I will certainly try to read one every day. My children love to hear poems read aloud and I often use them in the classroom, but I don’t read them nearly as much for my own enjoyment as I did as a lit student in university so many years ago. And yet poems are such a natural fit for busy modern life: often short, rich in visual language and metaphor, vehicles for slang, dialect, dialogue… Why don’t we reach for them more?


Slick, fast, red stick shift
Races wound up like a spring,
Corners tight and low.

I’m cheating just a little – I have stacks of poem scraps from years of writing workshops, literature classes and my teacher education year… so it’s a bit of a head start.

(Warning: nerdy etymology alert…). I love that the word poem comes from a Greek root word meaning “created” – the essence of something made to convey human experiences vividly and with great imagination… Words are chosen just for their shape and sound – the way they feel as they are spoken or the way they look on a printed page.

Dadaist poems are some of the easiest and most fun to write… Words clipped from magazines are terrific for the mixed font and colour options. Find ten verbs, eight nouns and as many pronouns/prepositions as you need. Pull them out of a hat one at a time and see what happens!

Smooth red rhythm of
His rock and roll
Sewing machine
Snips away…

Slow motion clown parade
Mixes underwater jazz colours
Into a happy facade of
Blowing bubbles and
Gleaming chrome…

Here’s to improving our world – leaving it different and leaving it better. We are all creators in this great big world – it is what we were created to be! With a little encouragement we all can find our voice.

And finally: a little poem for starting over…
Each day (especially in Spring!) is a reminder to get up out of bed and give it another try.

Under the bed
Bedraggled, burdened,
Dented and denied
Creeps out by
Whisker, by
Finger and
Climbs the walls’
Dusty ladders to
Meet the newly
Lighted day.



4 thoughts on “Poetry Month!

  1. Pingback: Building Literacy… | martinistyle

  2. Pingback: “Draw a Bird” Day | martinistyle

  3. Pingback: Circles | martinistyle

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