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  1. I've gone from no appreciation whatsoever to a kind of fledgling, neophyte, still-mostly-aspirational-but-occasionally-concrete starter-level appreciation. But I feel like I've stalled out in my progress and I'm not sure how or where to get going. My one real achievement is learning to hear and genuinely enjoy the sound elements of poetry - the rhythm and rhymes and word play and such. I started out firmly in the camp of "why bother putting things into poetry when prose is so much better anyway", but now I can at least appreciate how good sound is worth aiming for. (I still appreciate the stronger and more obvious sounds, though - not sure I'm up for catching the more subtle rhythms.) But I'm still pretty much at square one when it comes to appreciating the visual images; it's still way too much like deciphering the images instead of *feeling* the images; it still feels like the images are getting in the way of the meaning instead of being the substance of the meaning. Actually, I'm not sure I actually grasp all that much about how the rhythms and rhymes and such embody meaning, either, but I enjoy them for their own sake; and for my own sanity, I'm subscribing to the “appreciating poetry for being lovely is at least half of the point of poetry appreciation” school of thought. (I also subscribe to the “the sound of poetry is at least half the point” and “only analyze poems you already love” schools, too.) But I'd like to learn to appreciate the imagery side of poetry, too: to appreciate the lovely images of a poem as much as the lovely sound of it. And to generally increase my poetry reading ability and stamina. As far as it goes, I genuinely *like* nursery rhymes and humorous children's poetry (Lewis Carroll, Edward Lear, Shel Silverstein, Jack Prelutsky, T.S. Eliot's “Book of Practical Cats”, A.A. Milne in Winnie-the-Pooh). And I intellectually appreciate and mildly like non-humorous children's poetry (Robert Lewis Stevenson and the ones in children's anthologies). AKA I enjoy poems with lots of fun rhythms and sounds and wordplay, coupled with straightforward images; plus humor provides excellent motivation. But I haven't really progressed beyond that. There's been the occasional poems I've struggled with on and off because I was motivated to understand them (Tolkien's “Mythopoeia”, Kipling's “The Gods of the Copybook Headings”, some of Dante's “Inferno”), plus I try hard not to just skip poetry excerpts when they are quoted in prose stuff I'm reading (although sometimes I fail when the excerpts are on the longer side). (Interestingly, I just realized that on the “harder” poems I was motivated to understand despite the inherent detriment of their being poetry – I almost entirely ignored the sound. Whereas on the poems I'm reading *because* they are poetry, I pay far more attention to the sound than the images.) Anyway, I've thought about trying narrative poetry, because I like stories (and things with a point), and it might help improve my poetry stamina. But unless the language is really good (while the images are not-too-hard to comprehend), it's going to suffer from “this story would be so much better in prose” syndrome. Any recs for good narrative poems, especially those with a great sound to them? I've also thought about trying short poems of increasing difficulty, hopefully some that have a great sound and are in areas of interest. Any recs for good humorous or religious poems (esp sacramental Christianity; hymn recs welcome)? Or, really, any poems you absolutely love and want to sell me on? Other people's enthusiasm carries me pretty far (esp if the poem is short <shifty>). ~*~ Also, any thoughts or links or recs wrt “why poetry” are welcome. I have only the most fledgling intuitive sense of “why poetry.” It's enough to inspire me to press on, to take it on faith that poetry can convey things that are impossible to convey in prose, and that those things are worth the trouble of conveying - but I still have no idea what those things actually are. I've read a lot of “why poetry” stuff, and while I'm inspired by their writers' obvious passion for poetry, their reasons never resonate. It's like they have the worldview of a poetry-lover and I don't, and until I can somehow manage the paradigm shift, I'll never be able to understand their reasons. Especially since half the time they resort to poetry to try to explain their love of poetry ;). Understandable, given that poetry is apparently the best way to try to say the unsayable, but not as helpful as it could be to the aspires-to-understand-poetry set, lol. (It has occurred to me that my attempts to try to understand poetry apart from actually, you know, actually reading poetry, might amount to me seeking a royal road to poetry <shifty>.) I know I suffer from needing to know *why* I'm doing something, and my reasons for "why tackle poetry" are still a little too "because it's good for you (somehow, in general)". About all I have for intuitive, felt reasons is the inherent pleasure of strong, singsongy rhythms; this one, brief shining moment of poetry appreciation in high school where I had to answer a multiple choice question about the meaning of a line and it just struck me so hard how the line itself was so much fuller and more beautiful and made the test answer seem so ugly in comparison; and when I was filling out a response form for a religious retreat I was on and I didn't have the words to describe what the services were like - I had to resort to "It was really great", and that was just so *inadequate* that it made me wish I'd memorized poetry, so I'd have had the words to do justice to the experience. Those are enough to keep me plugging in an on-and-off sort of way, but not enough to persist in a disciplined sort of way.
  2. What will you do to celebrate? I am planning to put up a “poet tree” later this week. I’ll also take out my poem-a-day book and share a poem at lunch each day we’re home. I’ll aim for a poetry tea time each week. Last, I’m going to have each of my children pick a poem to memorize this month. Here are some links: National Poetry Month at Poets.org Poetry Tea Time Index post to poetry books I’ve reviewed over the years on my blog (shameless plug)
  3. My 12 year old son (just started 7th grade) is a super creative kid. He's very interested in poetry right now - writing it and reading it. He is working through WWS 1 this year for his writing curriculum, however, I'd like to feed this love of poetry. While I will research different poets for him to read and ponder, I'd like to find him a writing curriculum to help him understand the basics. In fact, he asked if I had "any books that could help him understand and write poetry better." In my googling, I've found a few curricula that help with poetry memorization, but we already do that. And that's really not what he's looking for. Any suggestions?
  4. I would like experience opinions on whether it matters with this series of lectures if it's the DVD version or the CD version and why you prefer one or the other. It seems that since it's a poetry course, then visuals aren't as important. Thanks!
  5. Touchpress The Sonnets by William Shakespeare DS is studying the sonnets this fall at the CC and I remembered seeing this link shared a while back. Scroll down to where the numbers are listed to watch each video. Re-sharing for those who might find it similarly helpful. I'm drooling over the ones read by Patrick Stewart (our favorite Star Trek captain) and David Tennant (our favorite Doctor!). :drool5: We have an old iPad that's not cooperating so we are watching the free ones on our laptops for now. There's an iPad/ iPhone app for those who want to try that (not free)!
  6. Greetings! Does anyone have a recommendation for a book to introduce poetry to a 5th grade boy? I've been remiss in the last couple of years to include poetry in our homeschooling. I'm looking for something fun and interesting. Your recommendations are greatly appreciated!
  7. My ELA phobic son happens to really like poetry. Can someone recommend a good book of poems for a sixth grader? Thanks!
  8. I know I have time with dd and am not looking to start today, but in maybe 2 years. I totally get reading classics and good literature and have a decent understanding of literary analysis and also think reading for the love of reading is important. I never really got poetry. I have read it through school including college. I have been looking through the Treadwell readers and the Elson readers which I will probably end up using some of along with other things. There is poetry throughout the readers. When you are going over poems for elementary age kids what do you do other than just read or have them memorize? I realize that discussing questions or maybe morals or lessons will be a part of it too, but what else do you do if anything? This is one of those holes I have in my education. What do you hope for your kids to get out of it?
  9. Hi -- We have happily and successfully used FLL & WWE (two years)/IEW (started last year). We saw MCT at his first conference in Valley Forge, but our oldest is just now at the right age to consider this curriculum. I have a lot of questions, but saw several threads about the same concerns so I will study those later, so for now I am only wondering: Can the MCT poetics (specifically Music Hemispheres & maybe Building Poems) stand alone? Regardless what we do with grammar/writing/language arts in general, we would like to introduce this sort of poetry instruction. If the MCT poetry stuff can be used independently of the other MCT things, that would be super! Thanks for any help with this!
  10. I vaguely recall, perhaps from a few years ago, that there was an online writer's (and as I recall free) website, a virtual village, set up to look like virtual buildings that one could "go to" for various things--poetry ideas perhaps in one spot, or discussion in another, and that also sent a daily or weekly, perhaps writing prompt. It was not meant for children, but in my recollection or dream, would be suitable for children. Does this sound familiar to anyone?
  11. besides reading lots of it? Shannon has been writing some poetry, and wants something to help her get better at it . . . any ideas?
  12. I'm looking for a good anthology of poetry. Either children's poetry or just classic poetry fit for children. We did A Children's Garden of Verses last year (Kinder) and Mother Goose the year before that (PreK). Both were well enjoyed.
  13. We've been using this since last fall and have really enjoyed it. link in sig block.
  14. Hello all, From now until Mother's Day, we're discounting our book of honest-poetry-for-mothers-of-small-children, "What it Is is Beautiful," down to $4.99 on our webstore. This book makes a wonderful gift for a young mother. It's not poetry about sunsets and flowers (mostly). It's about minivans and cracker-crumbs and secretly wishing your family was like the shiny families in commercials. Readers describe it like this: "Her poetry is not the kind of poetry that is hard to understand or tries to be too smart for its own good - instead, it's full of relatable language and common experiences to which every parent reading will be able to nod in agreement, or chuckle, or weep with gratitude that someone else has been through what you're going through." "Tender, funny, life-giving." "Her poems are so accessible and relatable, and they read like a shot of pure grace." Find out more, read samples, and order the book here.
  15. (Someone's been on thesaurus.com today!) I was wondering if anyone out there would like to discuss poetry with me? I have always found poetry challenging to understand. When I am able to find meaning, I wonder if I have found everything or if I am missing some essential element. I enjoy the discussions on this board so much, and I would love to hear various opinions on works of poetry. So....who might be interested? I was thinking we might try one poem a week. Does that sound good or should we start a poem on Sunday and another on Thursday (two a week)? I chose an Emily Dickinson to start. Hope to hear thoughts on the discussion ideas and the Dickinson. I heard a Fly buzz (465) by Emily Dickinson I heard a Fly buzz – when I died – The Stillness in the Room Was like the Stillness in the Air – Between the Heaves of Storm – The Eyes around – had wrung them dry – And Breaths were gathering firm For that last Onset – when the King Be witnessed – in the Room – I willed my Keepsakes – Signed away What portions of me be Assignable – and then it was There interposed a Fly – With Blue – uncertain stumbling Buzz – Between the light – and me – And then the Windows failed – and then I could not see to see –
  16. Thought maybe it could be helpful to someone else. http://4kidsathome.blogspot.com/2013/03/poetry-memory-work.html
  17. Hive -- My DS6 is an aspiring poet. Or slam poet. He likes to rhyme, in any case. ;) His poetry revolves primarily about the Civil War or the Revolutionary War. Paul Revere is a big hero, and he loves to read/recite The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere. I am currently reading him Shel Silverstein poems, which he tolerates because they rhyme. However, he has asked for some more dramatic poetry, hopefully involving the Civil or Revolutionary War, or ship wrecks, or similarly dramatic things. Can you recommend a collection that is remotely appropriate for a 6 year old? I know, this is a crazy, crazy request.
  18. Now that we are settled into Kindergarten a bit (with our 3 R’s) I’d like to start some memory work and some poetry well. I am at the VERY beginning with both of these and ANY advice would be welcome. :) I can’t remember if I read anything about memory work in The Well Trained Mind (we are not at home and didn’t bring my copy). I did do a quick search here and found these two resources: Living Memory, Andrew Campbell: http://www.lulu.com/us/en/shop/andrew-a-campbell/living-memory/paperback/product-4080865.html Linguistic Development Through Poetry Memorization: http://www.excellenceinwriting.com/pmb I’m unsure if either would be helpful for us, as we are just starting out. I’m looking for methods and good lists of age-appropriate poetry and memory work ideas. I have a few good Nursery Rhyme books and I think I have a book called, “Sing a Song of Popcorn” at home. I also have the Core Knowledge Books for Preschool and Kindergarten. I’m completely open to reading poetry just for fun, maybe doing a little activity of some sort….any resources, ideas here would be great. I think anything seasonal/holiday would be fun too. DS is an older Kindergartener (he just turned 6 last week). I waited to formally start him because we debated PS for so long and I wanted to keep him with his class. I might want to do the poetry and maybe memory work in the morning with my 3 year old (she loves this type of thing) as some sort of circle time. Any ideas of where I should begin poking my nose for information??? Thanks!! Edit to add: I forgot to ask: I'm also interested in knowing WHY memory work is important to you and your family, learning, school, etc. I'd like to gain a little perspective here...thanks!
  19. A popular curriculum asks my student to read 12 medieval lyric poems from the Norton Anthology of Western Literature which I do not have and will not buy. I am astonished that I cannot find ONE of these assigned poems on the internet. I am thinking that poems over 900 years old are probably in the public domain, but I have spent this afternoon trying to find them to no avail. For example, "Summer" by Judah (sp varies) Halevi, "Spring Song" by William IX, "The Art of Love" by Arnaut Daniel, "Love and Nobility" and"An Encounter" by Guido Cavalcanti, "Sonnet" by Dante Alighieri (he only wrote one??), "Alone in Martyrdom" by Christine de Pizan, and "A Hymn to St. Maximinus" by Hildegard of Bingen. I am about to say, "Read any two poems by any two of these writers, and we will call it a day." But I wonder, am I just unlucky today? Does anyone else know where to find medieval poetry online?
  20. Hello all, Peace Hill Press is proud to announce that "The Creative Writer, Level Two: Essential Ingredients" is now available for purchase on our website. Paperback version here PDF download here This is a middle-grades elective course, sharpening vital skills for crafting fiction and poetry--a gentle, imaginative introduction to the skills all creative writers need. Gives guidance for both teacher and student, building skills in writing poetry and fiction. The Creative Writer, Level Two guides you through an innovative, compelling series of exercises, each one designed to build your skill in the essential ingredients of fiction and poetry. Then, author Boris Fishman sets you free to create your own recipe for gripping fiction and spellbinding poetry. Use as a follow-up to The Creative Writer, Level One: Five Finger Exercises. Or begin with the second volume as a more advanced introduction to imaginative writing. Each volume contains directions and instructions for the developing writer, as well as detailed guidance for the mentor or teacher. See the introduction and Table of Contents here
  21. Has anyone used this for high school? I am wondering whether it is of appropriate level and how much of a credit it would likely support. Lee in New England
  22. I'm looking for a poetry study for one or two semesters for an 8th grade boy. We have never studied poetry before. I've thought about The Grammar of Poetry or The Art of Poetry by Christine Perrin. Has anyone used these or can you suggest other resources for middle school/early high school. Thanks! Laura
  23. Peace Hill Press is proud to offer our very first book of poetry: "What it Is is Beautiful: Honest Poems for Mothers of Small Children," by Sarah Dunning Park. Writing from the laundry-laden trenches, Sarah shares nineteen spot-on poems that capture the jumble of emotions inherent in motherhood: delight, guilt, resentment, and gratitude. Here's what some actual moms have said about it: "Sarah's poetry is poetry for 'the rest of us.' Reading her work is like talking to a friend--a friend that speaks lyrically and says things we're all thinking. Her poems make me smile and nod like an idiot--I'm pretty sure they were written for me." Tsh Oxenreider, creator of SimpleMom.net "These spare, evocative poems remind us that there are no easy answers in mothering--but that strength and comfort lie in asking the questions." Susan Wise Bauer "I keep a copy in my purse, for times when I need comfort, or a smile of recognition, or a handy small object with which to swat my child's hand away from the grocery store shelf of Chocolate-Frosted Sugar Bombs." Name Withheld, but She Knows Who She Is It's now available for the ridiculously low price of 6.99. That's, like, 54 cents per incredible poem. (We know you just spent too much on Mother's Day presents, so we're being kind to your wallet.) And if you buy it along with 14 dollars' worth of other products on the store, we'll discount it 50%! See samples, fall in love, and purchase it at: http://www.welltrainedmind.com/store/what-it-is-is-beautiful.html
  24. We are currently studying poetry, and I would love any recommendations for books with collections of poetry in them. We checked these out from the library and loved them: A Whiff of Pine, a Hint of Skunk by Deborah Ruddell Dark Emperor & Other Poems of the Night by Joyce Sidman today and today: haiku by Issa I plan to keep a running list and do this once a year, hoping to instill a love of different forms of poetry in my children. Do you have any favorites?
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