Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Give poetry a try!

I've often had people tell me that they don't like poetry.  Baloney!  They just haven't found a poem that they enjoy... yet.  

There are so many types of poetry, from nursery rhymes to limericks, from haiku to sonnets. Poems can be funny, sad, inspiring, touching, wild, crazy or intellectual.  Some poems rhyme, some don't.

Why not read a poem a day for a month?   Or try your hand at writing one?  It's not as difficult as you think.  Choose a theme, like spring, and write random thoughts that the theme brings to mind.  Or, try rewriting a familiar nursery rhyme.  "Mary had a little lamb...."  Now, make up something new and unusual that happened to Mary and her lamb.  Or, write a word vertically, and create a poem using the letters.  Here's an example, using the word "April."

A bright blue sky,
Pretty spring flowers,
Raising arms high,
In joyous delight,
Laughingly sigh.

That poem won't win any awards, but it was fun to write, and only took a minute or two.

Have each person choose a favorite poem to share with the family at mealtime, or before bedtime. There are so many books that contain wonderful poetry collections.  Browse through the adult and the children's poetry sections at the library, and check out a few books that appeal to you.  

For someone who enjoys nature, and the simple things in life, try some poetry by Robert Frost.  If you think being silly is great, and you love to laugh, Shel Silverstein may be the poet you most enjoy.  If you're a romantic at heart, Elizabeth Barrett Browning may touch the right chord.  

To learn more about poets and poetry, visit the web site of The Academy of American Poets. and/or the web site of The Poetry Foundation.

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