Why Read, Write & Teach Poetry?

Promenade (La Promenade)

“A good poem is a delight to read because it sparks the imagination and elicits a response from the reader–a chuckle, a groan, a sigh, an epiphany. The conciseness of poetry, especially when combined with an engaging rhyme and meter, can make just about any topic memorable.”

Listen to Heidi Roemer–author of many poetry picture books and more than 400 poems published in various children’s magazines–talk about poetry, the importance of reading it, writing it, and teaching it to young children.

Get inspired, and start creating your own “Child’s Garden of Verses.” 

And don’t forget to mix a bit of mystery in. Steer clear of the–often encouraged–“quantifiable process of demystification.”  It’s okay to leave poems unsolved.

Image: Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Promenade (La Promenade), c. 1906. Oil on canvas, Overall: 64 3/4 x 50 15/16 in. (164.5 x 129.4 cm). BF571. Public Domain.

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“Don’t panic…”

“Don’t panic, because everything is probably all right, and if it’s not, panicking will make it worse.”

— From “The One Memory of Flora Banks” by Emily Barr

An exhilarating read, equally enjoyed by both my sixteen-year-old daughter and my–going on forty five–self.

“live a thousand summers”

Summer in the Air

Time is so strange and life is twice as strange
You’re only you, here, now — the present you
Some people turn sad awfully young
Old people never were children
You do things and don’t watch
Shadows running around in the air
Why not let nature show you a few things?
But you got to look at grapes as well as watermelons
Cutting grass and pulling weeds can be a way of life, son
You’ve time to seek and find. No person ever died that had a family
This fine first cool white snow would never melt,
But live a thousand summers

The title and lines are from Ray Bradbury’s “Dandelion Wine” — a book for all times. 

“The words were summer on the tongue.  The wine was summer caught and stoppered.”

“Neighbors bring…”

“Neighbors bring food with death and flowers with sickness and little things in between. Boo was our neighbor. He gave us two soap dolls, a broken watch and chain, a pair of good-luck pennies, and our lives. But neighbors give in return. We never put back into the tree what we took out of it: we had given him nothing, and it made me sad.”

Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird