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Posts Tagged ‘metaphor’

Poetry Friday is with Carol at Carol’s Corner.

My writing group has decided to explore a book on writing poetry this summer. We chose The Practice of Poetry edited by Robin Behn and Chase Twichell.

I have been thumbing through and randomly choosing an exercise to try. On pages 51-53, Susan Mitchell’s exercise is titled “Experience Falls Through Language Like Water Through a Sieve.”

We write poems about what we can’t articulate, but feel pressured to say, which is why poems use language in unusual ways…And often, metaphor and simile may be a poet’s only means for capturing experience in its rich complexity.
Susan Mitchell in The Practice of Poetry, pages 51-52

She explains that when we use metaphor, we often write ahead of our understanding. When I write poems, I connect to a deeper part of myself, one who I don’t know as well, one who reveals more of myself to me.

In this exercise, I read one of the suggested poems Milkweed by Philip Levine and decided to use its form to inform my own.

Remember how
we sat in a field of clover
picking handfuls of white bursts
tying stem to stem
to make crowns, bracelets,
necklaces. We’d promenade
among the pine trees
overlooking Purple Creek,
curtsy,
loop our arms,
do-see-do
through those carefree
days of summer
that meant nothing
to anyone, even us.

Yesterday I walked my dog
through a field of clover.
While he stopped to sniff
and leave his scent, I watched
the clustering blossoms
sway and bow
to the coming
of a summer shower.

–Margaret Simon, after Philip Levine, all rights reserved

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Slice of Life Day 4.  Join the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.

Slice of Life Day 4. Join the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.

Today must be “Opposite Day.” While yesterday I posted a joyful Mardi Gras celebration video, today I am sitting in bed with a glass of tea, a decongestant that hasn’t started working yet, watching the cold rain mixed with sleet come down. If we didn’t already have the day off for Mardi Gras, I would have called in sick or the superintendant would have cancelled school due to icy bridges. The bayou is steaming. The flowers are drooping and saying, “Hey, what gives?”

While I was driving to New Orleans on Sunday, the clouds were billowing, a warning of this day to come, I suppose. As I watched the clouds, I was struck by a metaphor of a bridal gown. Who knows why. I looked up some bridal gown terms and wrote a poem. Laura Shovan has been doing a poetry writing challenge at her blog, Author Amok. She posts Pantone colors every day, and we are invited to write a poem and submit it to her. This has been great practice for me. Her colors for today include Stormy Weather, how appropriate.

Partly Cloudy

The bride was dressed in billowing waves,
blue-grey Chantilly lace layered
over a white-topped empire waist.
Her scalloped neckline accented by rays
of sunlight peering through a cathedral train.
Her attendants, those high Mississippi kites,
flew with utmost grace
announcing her imminent arrival.

–Margaret Simon

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We are still writing poems in my classroom even though April is over and May is here. This week we worked on poems for our mothers. If you are a mother of one of my students, stop reading now and save it for after Mother’s Day. You don’t want to spoil the surprise.

love you purplestI love the beautiful picture book, I Love You the Purplest by Barbara M. Joosse. The watercolor images by Mary Whyte are amazing. The story is sweet about a mother going fishing with her two boys. The boys want to know which one she loves best, and the mother cleverly answers, “Julian, I love you the bluest. I love you the color of a dragon fly at the tip of its wing.” The other boy, Max, she loves the reddest, the color of the sky before it blazes into night.

After reading the book to my students, we talked about colors and what they can symbolize. Each student selected a color and made a list of possible things to use in a poem. There are some great resources for this lesson on Writing Fix. You can find a list of color metaphors as well as a printable form.

Specifically for the Mother’s Day poem, I asked the students to write about their mothers. They wrote some great poems. They typed and printed and painted a background for their poems on a canvas board. I think many mothers will be brought to tears by these gifts of love.

Emily purplest

Rhyan pinkest

Momma,
I love you the pinkest
The color of a baby girl’s blanket
A freshly bloomed rose
The color of a small little piggy
And brand new point shoes
The color of breast cancer awareness
An October birthstone
The perfect pink for you ………
The color of your three little girly ballerinas
–Rhyan, 6th grade

Tobie greenest

I love you, Mom, the Greenest.
An emerald when a miner pulls it freshly out of the wall,
Leprechauns running around their pot of gold,
The grass when freshly mowed,
Lettuce from the sky,
The four-leaf clover on the ground,
The pickle on your burger,
The leaves you feel when you feel a tree.
I love you, Mom, the greenest.
–Tobie, 2nd grade

Matthew orangest

Mom, I love you the orangest.
I love you like the blazing sunset,
like the fire in my eyes,
like a melted orange ice pop,
dripping down my fingers.
I love you as orange as the way
your red hair used to look.
Mom, I love you the orangest.
Matthew, 3rd grade

For more Mother’s Day poems, go to our kidblog site. My students love comments.

Poetry Friday is hosted this week by Elizabeth Steinglass.

Poetry Friday is hosted this week by Elizabeth Steinglass.

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