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Intro to Poetry Why Write it? What does it do?
What’s inside a poem? • Poetry includes certain things that make it different from prose. • Prose is any writing that is not poetry.
Images • When a poet tries to capture in words how something looks, tastes, smells, feels, or sounds, those descriptions are called images.
Images • “The hare limped trembling through the frozen grass. ” • John Keats
Imagery Expert • Meet Sandra Cisneros • Most famous for her book House on Mango Street and her Latin American themes.
Imagery Expert • Meet John Updike • Most famous for a series of books about a character, Rabbit. • Two of them won the Pulitzer Prize, which honors great American fiction, usually about the American life.
Now, Find the Images • “Good Hot Dogs for Kiki” by Sandra Cisneros • “September” by John Updike • What did you find? • Dash those hot dogs into buns and splash on all the good stuff • What did you find? • The days are polished with a morning haze
Word Music • Good poets pick their words very carefully. They are concerned as much about what the word means as how it sounds. Some word music imitates sounds, and some word music repeats them.
Word Music • “buccaneers of buzz” (referring to bees) • Emily Dickinson • “the silken, sad, uncertain rustling in our ears. ” • Edgar Allan Poe
Word Music Expert • Meet Patricia Hubbell • East Coast poet. • Has written many poems for kids.
Word Music Expert • Meet Walt Mason • Known as “Uncle Walt. ” • Known as a poet philosopher
Now, Find the Word Music • “Flittermice” by Patricia Hubbell • “Football” by Walt Mason • What did you find?
Beats that Repeat • Poems have rhythms you can see, hear, and feel. . . like a kid swinging on a swing. Beats in poetry are made up of silences and whams. We call a wham a “stress. ”
Beats that Repeat • • • We Real Cool THE POOL LAYERS. SEVEN AT THE GOLDEN SHOVEL • • We real cool. We Left school. We • • Lurk late. We Strike straight. We • • Sing sin. We Thin gin. We • • • Jazz June. We Die soon. Gwendolyn Brooks
Beats that Repeat Expert • Meet Robert Louis Stevenson • Most famous for Treasure Island The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. • Literary celebrity during his lifetime.
Beats that Repeat Expert • Meet Charles R. Smith, Jr. • Went to elementary school in Compton, CA. and now lives in upstate New York. • Loves his job combining photography, poetry, and sports.
Now, Find the Beats that Repeat • “Windy Nights” by Robert Louis Stevenson • “Allow Me to Introduce Myself” by Charles Smith, Jr. • What did you find?
Likenesses • Poets train themselves to see things in ways others don’t. They are always putting things together in unexpected ways.
Likenesses Thunder threatens Like a sound that rolls around In a mean dog’s throat --Martha Sherwood
Likenesses Expert • Meet Langston Hughes • Most famous for his innovation of jazz poetry. • Active member of Harlem Renaissance.
Likenesses Expert • Meet Christina Rossetti. • English poet most famous for her long poem, “Goblin Market. ”
Now, Find the Likenesses • “Dreams” by Langston Hughes • What did you find? • “The Horses of the Sea” by Christina Rossetti. • What did you find?
Word Play • Poets are word lovers. They love “rhymes, and chimes, and echoes. ” They also tend to invent new words, combine words in strange ways, and use puns and jokes. They play with words.
Word Play Sing me a song of teapots and trumpets: Trumpots and teapets And tippets and taps, Trippers and trappers and jelly bean wrappers and pigs in pajamas with zippers and snaps --N. M. Bodecker
Word Play Expert • Meet E. E. Cummings. • Wanted to be a poet as a kid and wrote poetry daily, from eight to 22! • Was once a prisoner of war!
Word Play Expert • Meet Jack Prelutsky. • Grew up a poor kid in the Bronx, NY. • Has written more than 50 poetry collections.
Why write poetry? 1. To make someone smile: Some poems are just for fun!
To Make Someone Smile Commas Do commas have mommas Who teach them to pause, Who comfort and calm them, And clean their sharp claws? Who tell them short stories Of uncommon commas And send them to bed In their comma pajamas? --Douglas Florian
To Make Someone Smile Find One: p 17 A Time to Talk, Robert Frost 37 Oranges, Gary Soto 77 If I Can Stop One Heart From Breaking, Dickinson 109 Legacy II, Leroy V. Quintana 108 The Courage That My Mother Had, Edna St. Vincent Millay 112 The Secret Heart, Robert P. Tristram Coffin 180 The Listeners, Walter de la Mare
Why write poetry? 2. To tell a story: The very first stories weren’t told in books, they were sung or spoken in verse. . . from memory. Some, called ballads, are long while other recent story poems are short.
To Tell a Story The Purist I give you now Professor Twist, A conscientious scientist. Trustees exclaimed, “He never bungles!” And sent him off to distant jungles. Camped on a tropic riverside, One day he missed his loving bride. She had, the guide informed him later, Been eaten by an alligator. Professor Twist could not but smile. “You mean, ” he said, “a crocodile. ” --Ogden Nash
Why write poetry? 3. To send a message: Poems often have a point; they leave us with something to think about.
To Send a Message The Golf Links The golf links lie so near the mill That almost every day The laboring children can look out And see the men at play. -- Sarah N. Cleghorn
Why write poetry? 4. To share feelings: Poets feel strongly and want the reader to experience that “feeling moment” with them. Poets express happiness, sadness, anger, fear, loneliness, etc.
To Share Feelings 4. To share feelings: Poets feel strongly and want the reader to experience that “feeling moment” with them. Poets express happiness, sadness, anger, fear, loneliness, etc.
Why write poetry? 5. To help you understand people: What makes Jimmy avoid other kids? How does it feel to be homeless? Poems can give us insight into why people make the choices they do.
Why write poetry? 6. To make people wonder: People love magic and mystery: ghosts, dragons, creatures. Sometimes, they weave a more ordinary magic: finding the wonder in an ordinary magnet, for example.
Reference You must determine your own opinions about what constitutes the best poetry. This presentation was developed with the ideas from Knock at a Star: A Child’s Introduction to Poetry by X. J. Kennedy and Dorothy M. Kennedy.