Thursday, February 06, 2014

Poetry Friday

This is my first time doing Poetry Friday, so be gentle with me. ;)

What is Poetry Friday? It is a weekly meme in which lovers and advocates of children's poetry share their own kids' poems, poems by major kids' poets, interviews, videos, and more. Here is a link to the hosting schedule:

Poetry Goddess Renée LaTulippe of No Water River is hosting this week's Poetry Friday and I'm participating. The reason why is because Renée developed a class called The Lyrical Language Lab: Punching Up Prose with Poetry and I was one of the lucky ones who was invited to be a beta tester!

While I've never trained as a poet, learning what little I know from high school English classes, I have sold a number of poems to Babybug and Ladybug magazines, so I know I don't completely stink. But by taking Renée's class, I can now pinpoint where I do stink, and can stop myself from stepping in any other stinky things.

We learned the basics (stress, rhyme, meter), the different forms of poetry, as well poetic prose, and how to write all those things. This is an interactive class with a Facebook forum where students can share their work and ask for help. Renée is attentive and kind, and, most importantly, vastly knowledgable. She answers all questions without making you feel like a fool for asking.

Taking this class was like putting on glasses for the first time (when I didn't realize I was "near-sighted"), and seeing everything sharply and clearly. No longer will I read a poem or any prose passage and not understand why it sings or sounds jarring. With the help of this class, you, too, will be able to truly appreciate (and yet be able to dissect) anything you read in regard to the way it sounds.

Having taught a small unit on poetry in my kids' homeschool language arts co-op, I can say with certainty that the experience would have been several times more meaningful if I had had Renée's course to guide me or had it for the kids to do on their own. So, in addition to highly recommending the course to writers, especially picture book writers, I also recommend it to homeschoolers.

To find out more about, and to sign up for, the course, click on this link: The Lyrical Language Lab: Punching Up Prose with Poetry.

Even more exciting, Renée is holding a GIVEAWAY so that one lucky person can take her course for free!!! To be entered in the drawing, head to her post for Poetry Friday.

My poem for Poetry Friday is something known as a Double Dactyl, which is a special type of light verse having a very specific form. I was inspired by a recent trip to China to write this:

The First and the Great

Uppity snubbity,

Emperor Qingshi was
Crazy ambitious in
Sending a call,

Getting all peasants to
Put down their plows and to
Put all their efforts in
Building a Wall.
The Great Wall of China, built by the First Emperor of China, Qingshi Huangdi
And so that you get your money's worth, I'm sharing a second poem. This is a Haiku that I wrote back in high school (circa 1979) when I fell hopelessly in love with astronomy and wanted to be an astrophysicist more than anything else.

Prominence (click on the title to see the scientific definition)

A flare of the sun
reaches out to pat the stars

Now, head over to Renee's blog, enter the giveaway, and check out other poems on this blog hop!

"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be." ~ Douglas Adams