February 12, 2010
I was lucky this week. Got to be the parent volunteer helping host a terrific poet and poetry instructor, Andrew Green of Potato Hill Poetry, for workshops in the third grade at my daughter’s school. We gave Andrew an ambitious schedule, five back-to-back sessions to discuss interpreting poetry and lead a writing exercise. He rolled with it and did a fabulous job inspiring the kids to become “detective poets,” discovering what a poem is “up to” by reading it slowly, rereading it and listening to the sounds within, and exploring elements like imagery and rhyme scheme. Andrew shared some of his poems, as well as works by Eve Merriam, William Carlos Williams, Jack Prelutsky, Tomie dePaola, Lloyd Schwartz, Eloise Greenfield, and Naomi Shihab Nye. Great to hear these poems coming to life, aloud, in the classroom!
Not surprisingly, the poems the kids themselves wrote were amazing—uncensored and honest, full of great sensory details. From describing a morning moment, to thinking about where poems might hide, these third-graders did a fabulous job getting into the poetic frame of mind (maybe all kids live there, and it’s only adults that struggle to make that shift?).
For Poetry Friday, I’m sharing one of Andrew Green’s poems, entitled “Days,” which seems to capture the spirit of discovery he brought to the classroom workshops. I’m also posting one of the poems he shared with the third-graders, on the lasting nature of a poem, Eloise Greenfield’s “Things,” from her fabulous collection Honey, I Love, a great collection for Valentine’s weekend:
By Andrew Green
(There should actually be a longer break before that final line; curse you, blog formatting. So when you reread it, please add that pause.)
By Eloise Greenfield
Went to the corner
Walked in the store
Bought me some candy
Ain’t got it no more
Ain’t got it no more
A little background on Potato Hill Poetry: For more than 10 years, Andrew has conducted poetry and writing workshops for students, as well as workshops and inservice presentations for teachers across the country. Based in Natick, MA, Potato Hill also offers creative-writing camps for kids.
This week’s Poetry Friday roundup is being hosted this week by Lee Wind at I’m Here. I’m Queer. What the Hell Do I Read? Go check it out!
Image above from fotolia.