Friday, May 27, 2011

in print for the first time!

Welcome all visitors, new and seasoned! I'm looking forward to rounding up your poetry posts throughout the day, and I'm delighted also to share poems by 2nd graders from Mr. Gamard's class at Wyngate Elementary School here in Bethesda. Before I arrived, Mr. Gamard had laid the foundations for some very productive poetry work.

On Wednesday I spent 75 minutes sharing
"Honeysuckle Hunting" and talking about how poetry tools like alliteration, personification and onomatopoeia are powerful--but how they work best in a poem about something that really matters to the poet. The children then drafted new poems. There was "Can I?" and "How should I?" and "Are we supposed to?" -- to which I always answer, "You are the boss of your poem."

On Thursday my aim was to highlight the freedom poets can exercise in arranging their poems on the page to help readers read it "right." I brought in
"Botanical Jazz" printed across four left-justified lines (contrary to its appearance in the book), and after reading it aloud twice without showing it, I asked the children to cut and paste the words of the poem on lines, creating line breaks and stanzas. This turned out to be both challenging and instructive, and the kids enjoyed trying out the different readings commanded by their varying versions while comparing their own arrangements with each others' and with mine. More on this exercise next week....

Then they went back to work with their drafts, to reconsider arrangements on the page, word choice and pacing--or just to elaborate their illustrations. They were rather excited to think of their work being published on the World-Wide Web, and so without further ado (Okay, a little further ado: as always, I'm not able to preserve all the indents, so apologies to young writers who intended a little more variety in the shape of their poems)....THE POEMS!

by Peter D.

Creeping crawling sneaking. Stealing

Living in dark holes.

Always staying out of sight.
Always sneaking food at night.
Jumping out of sight when the
cat comes.

Brown, black, gray, white mice!

What am I eating?
by Danielle P.

The reds are
like SHINY red apples.

The oranges are
like JUICY tangerines.

The yellows are
like SOUR lemons.

The greens are

like BITTER grapes.

now I’m
eating SKITTLES!!!!!!

by Cooper M.

I take my pencil and draw a circle.
Then a straight line down the bottom of the
circle. Then one line going to the right.
Then I draw one line
going diagonal and…
wow! You’ve got a troop. But make more!

The Night Is Like A Cat
by Kit F.

The night is like a big black cat

the moon is like his eye

with a gleaming glow of mischief sailing

across the sky.

The night is like a prowling cat

watching all the stars

which are like the mice

that make their home in ours.

Now you know that

the night is like a cat.

by Ryan G.

the football flies through the air
click clank
the players crash together
he catches the ball
he kicked the field goal everyone is out of
their seats
It’s good!
the Redskins win!

Jeanne F.

I saw a monkey,
I saw a monkey! It
climbed on a tree. It climbed
a branch so high so far.

It pretended it was
on monkey bars! Now look
what I found I saw
it’s eating a banana.

It is so high it might
soon touch the sky.
Now please come and look
Please, Please, Please
I said please too many times
can you please come?


the Forest
by Jack M.

Deep in the forest where the deer

deep in the forest where the chipmunks
chirp “chirp, chirp,”

deep in the forest by the pond if
you listen you can hear “deep deep”
“deep deep,”

then, boom!
The hunters are coming!
quick, time to go home!

The Night Poem
by Hannah T.

A creepy sound in my bed that
goes “squeak, squeak” and a scary noise
in the moon like an owl going “who, who.”

The moon sets up when the sun
goes down and the same thing
happens around and around.

The night is like a big black

The noises in the night may
give you a slight fright.

Anything can happen in the
night, anything can happen here,
anything can happen there.

Right and left, here and
there night can freak you anywhere.

Peaceful dream relaxes your thoughts.

Within the night the stars
will shine and let it be good night
for bed time.

by Elana R.

They taste so
Extremely good.
Skittles taste like
Ripe fruit
Perfectly ripe fruit.
Suck, suck till the flavor comes out.
Never swallow
them whole

Skittles, Skittles,
such powerful taste

Suck and suck
and before you know it they’ll be gone for today.

by Jack O.

There’s lots of knights
fights for lots of gold
look over there!...
at the monsters with lots of gold
you just have to touch the monsters’
hair and you get the gold
but some have a rule 3 pieces each
then you get the glimmering gold
now to the next monster

ice cream
by David G.

Slurp! Slurp! Slurp!
Licking ice cream.

Drip! Drip! Drip!
Aaaaa! Ice cream melting.

Crunch! Crunch! Crunch!
Eating the cone.


by Collin K.

Throwing balls 50 miles per hour
hitting people in the feet
ducking at fastballs
diving for catches
slides, monkey bars, swings
all around you
bright sun, light blue skies, white clouds
what a great day for dodgeball
we finally got him out
we win

Look for Honeysuckles
by Olivia B.

Sniff smell the
honeysuckles. There on the
sweet honeysuckle tree.
I love it I see it.
They’re sweet they’re tasty
they’re amazing. They taste like
sweet juicy honey. Honey, honey,
the sweet of a honeysuckle
Hmmm when I taste it
first it looks gross.
When I taste again
I love it. Wait Stop!
We should save more for

Dreaming Dogs
by Jordan F.

Dogs dogs, Dreaming day and night.
Dogs dogs, They never have a

Dogs dogs, Their minds are so
Dogs dogs, They always play all
day with owners.

Dreaming about having a dog
is the best dream.

by Conor C-I.

Furry balls of fluff and happiness.

Meow! The call for friends, family.

Cats are like balls of fluff scurrying about.

Purrrr! A happy cat's call, a calm cat's call

Dragon Hunting
by Luke D.

We search all day but we may not find
it, the great chinese dragon we search day and

I hear it swooshing through the grass
I see two glowing eyes I must say, there we finally
found it

David sneaks behind it and catches him
in a net

thanks to us americans have finally
found the first dragon

And now for contributions from the KidLitosphere:

*April Halprin Wayland was in early with notes on teaching revision at
Teaching Authors.

*Charles Ghigna has an artist poetraits (poem portraits) over at
The Bald Ego. This week's artist is Mary Cassatt.

*Tabatha has genetic poetry at
The Opposite of Indifference.

*Sally weighs in from Japan on friendship at
Paper Tigers.

*Mary Lee is winding down her school year with Annie Dillard at
A Year of Reading.

*Carol is doing the same with last-day-of-school poems at
Carol's Corner.

*Julie has a little rittle (or a liddle riddle) at the excitingly redesigned
Drift Record.

*Toby shares one of her Wind Voices at
The Writer's Armchair.

*Jama serves up a helping of bilingual rice pudding at
Alphabet Soup.

*Ruth connects with Shakespeare across the centuries at
There Is No Such Thing As a Godforsaken Town.

*Diane comes to us threefold as usual: with X J Kennedy at
Random Noodling, with fireflies at Kurious Kitty, and a word from John Fowles at Kurious K's Kwotes.

*David does the henhouse hop at

Your host will return around 2:00 to continue the round-up, ....and here I am.

*Dori has yet another end-of-school poem at Do
ri Reads--why does my last day still feel rather far away?

*Robyn has a birthday post for Bob Dylan at her

*Elaine shares a fax from the Seven Dwarves to Snow White at
Wild Rose Reader! And another fairy tale poem at Blue Rose Girls.

*Steven has a beachcomber poem inspired by his daughter at
Crackles of Speech.

*Laura has student poems about food--always a fine inspiration--at
Author Amok.

*Blythe continues to explore allusion with her own
Lost World poem.

*Sheri has a
forest walk poem from Kristine O'Connell George at her blog today.

*Barbara marks Memorial Day with a William Stafford poem at
The Write Sisters.

*Carol offers a snippet of Sondheim at
Rasco from RIF.

*Shelley has another installation of
Dust Bowl Poems to share.

*Janet Squires reviews A Child's Introduction to Poetry at
All About the Books.

*Ms. Mac has first graders' animal poems at
Check It Out.

*Lastly, I'm terribly sorry but I accidentally deleted one of the later comments without even registering its provenance--if you're missing, do please let me know!

Happy holiday weekend, everyone! And many thanks to the poets and parents of Mr. Gamard's class....


  1. "You are the boss of your poem."

    What a wonderful statement to help empower young poets and help them set free the poetry butterflies they hold inside!

    I'm doing a weekly series of artist poetraits
    (poem portraits) over at The BALD EGO Blog.
    This week's artist is Mary Cassatt.

  2. Your students are the bosses of very imaginative, surprising, and fun poems, Heidi! Thanks for sharing them with us.

    I've got genetic poetry today:

  3. Hi Heidi; It's Friday night here in Japan but because of the time difference, I might just be the first one to leave my link for Poetry Friday! Here's my link for my PaperTigers poetry post:

  4. Happy last friday of May! I've got some prose poetry by Annie Dillard (selections from Pilgrim at Tinker Creek) and thoughts on the end of the school year.

    I'll come back and read the student poetry tomorrow, I promise!

  5. "You are the boss of your poem!" I'm going to save those words for next year. I loved reading the second graders' poems- such a variety of topics and voices! kids jump into poetry in ways that never ceases to amaze me! Thanks for sharing them. This is our last day of school and I'm in with a terrific beginning of summer poem.

  6. Heidi, the 75 minutes you spent preparing your students are the best part of this post, because their writing is so free, so simple and elegant. Skittles and Drawing and the part of the Night poem where "anything can happen here" -- Hannah speaks my thoughts about your method of teaching poetry.

    Today I share one of my Wind Voices poems at The Writer's Armchair. Thanks for hosting today.

  7. What a wonderful collection of poems. It was fun seeing what matters to them: monkeys, ice cream, football, Skittles!

    Today I'm serving up Jorge Argueta's Rice Pudding, two bowls, two languages:

    Thanks for hosting today, Heidi. Enjoy the weekend. :)

  8. I have some Shakespeare today, here. Thanks for hosting!

  9. Thanks for sharing the kids' work. Who knew second grade could be so productive!

    At Random Noodling I have X.J. Kennedy.

    Kurious Kitty gets ready for firefly season, and, Kurious K's Kwotes' P.F. quote is by John Fowles. (I think some time soon, I'll have a your boss quote to share!)

  10. today i'm taking a nonsense hop around the hen house

    favorite live from the 2nd grade poems:
    Dogs dogs, Their minds are so

    i may end up thinking that line every time i see dogs running wild from now on.

  11. What a fun group of poems. Thanks for sharing. And I, too, love the statement that "You are the boss of your poem."

    I have an end of the school year poem at

    Thanks for hosting.

  12. Heidi, thanks for sharing these wonderful, wildly imaginative poems! I've been playing with words for chipmunk sounds in my head this week, so Jack M's chipmunks who chirp, chirp, chirp in the forest made me smile. Today I'm "watching the river flow" with Bob Dylan, in honor of his 70th birthday this week:

  13. Heidi,

    Interesting post! I enjoyed reading the children's poems. I loved sharing and writing poetry with my second graders when I was teaching in an elementary school.


    At Wild Rose Reader, I have an original fairy tale poem written in the form of a FAX from the Seven Dwarfs to Snow White.

  14. I'm back! At Blue Rose Girls, I have another original fairy tale poem titled "The Evil Queen Speaks to Her Magic Mirror."

  15. Hi, Heidi. I'm sharing student poems today too! My lesson on food poems asks kids to think beyond how a food tastes. It's what a food evokes -- people, places, emotions -- that truly feeds us. My post has a link to a youtube clip of the model poem, Sandra Cisneros' "Good Hot Dogs."

  16. No poetry on my blog this Friday morning, but the kids' poems here are lovely! I love Peter D.'s cheese stealing mouse and Jeanne F's "I said please too many times."

    "You are the boss of your poem" is also great advice, and a lovely way of expressing it!

  17. "You are the boss of your poem" seems like such a tiny thing to say, but it completes the circuit so the juice flows and the light goes on and shows us what matters.

    Thank you for hosting today.

    I'm still thinking about allusion--and how it is can render things obscure. I offer a Lost World poem with its provenance of imagery.

  18. Thank you for sharing these wonderful poems written by your students. They are filled with amazing energy!

    Today I am sharing a poem by Kristine O'Connell George:
    Thanks for hosting!

  19. What great advice - You are the boss of your own poem!

    At I'm sharing a poem by William Stafford in honor of Memorial Day.

  20. Thank you for sharing the children's poems...I have already read each one twice, what expression!

    And thank you for hosting today. I have shared a snippet from Stephen Sondheim after recently attending another production of a revue I love, Side by Side by Sondheim.

    I hope all enjoy a restful and reflective Memorial Day weekend.

  21. Those wonderful kids' poems remind me of Rose,Rose, Where Did You Get That Red, a fine book.

    My poems on a family under stress are at "Rain: A Dust Bowl Story,"

  22. Thanks for hosting. Love the children's work.

    My selection is "A Child's Introduction to Poetry" written by Michael Driscoll and illustrated by Meredith Hamilton.

  23. Thanks for hosting, Heidi - and for helping prepare our next generation of poets!

    Over at The Drift Record I have a couple of riddles, including one of my own.

  24. I lover the second grade poems especially "Action". I am in with first grade poems:

  25. What a joyful and enchanting mix of poems! Many congrats and thank you to these young poets. I smiled all of the way through and wished I'd written some of these lines...

    I'm in late, though the post was up early. We were in Canada!

    Today I have a poem about frog eggs...

    Thank you for hosting!



Thanks for joining in the wild rumpus!