Poets choose to write about one small thing.
Poets choose juicy words that sound good together.
Poets choose where to put their words.
Poets create strong feelings.
I revised my poem selections this year because of a change in our curriculum, and we have a theme of "hands" going on. Here's the poem--which somehow I had missed in my long study of cummings's work--that we read in search of a strong feeling (I selected the bold-type section for kindergarten readers)...and oh, people, I have just made a wild discovery. See below.
Spring is like a perhaps hand || E. E. Cummings, 1894 - 1962
III Spring is like a perhaps hand (which comes carefully out of Nowhere)arranging a window,into which people look(while people stare arranging and changing placing carefully there a strange thing and a known thing here)and changing everything carefully spring is like a perhaps Hand in a window (carefully to and fro moving New and Old things,while people stare carefully moving a perhaps fraction of flower here placing an inch of air there)and without breaking anything.
Here is the discovery: in my haste to revise my poetry project booklet on Monday morning, I see that I left off the last line, "without breaking anything." I just never even saw this wondrous final finesse of spring's perhaps Hand!
I don't feel bad about selecting the second stanza only for younger kids, but I do feel foolish for missing that last line--and yet for the kids, it was that (entirely plausible) ending of the poem on "and" that created the strong feelings of surprise and amusement and wonder! In fact our response to the poem ended up being adding a word or phrase that seemed to follow this rather tricky abstract metaphor (which we concretized by acting it out. Partner 1 was the window first while Partner 2 was the the hand, and then we swapped roles.)
"Wonder" is one of the Po-Emotions included in Mary Lee's NPM Challenge, too, on April 20. Here was my response to the challenge.
Like the beat of your heart
wonder should be reflexive
all of a sudden daily you
should find yourself
pricked by a kind of desire
formless but strong
an itch of the mind
that you just must scratch
but it's not in your head
it wanders all over your body
your feet want to travel
your hands want to unravel
every sense wants in
on the wonder,
while your mind does the molding
stretching & straightening the circling
into a bee-line towards that
exclamatory dot of Got It
all rights reserved
I'll end with Hana's response to "April Rain Song" below, and after tomorrow, when "I am a poet too" concludes our week-long intensive, I'll be able to do my annual sharing of kindergarten poetry.
April Rain Song
Let the rain kiss you.
Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops.
Let the rain sing you a lullaby.
The rain makes still pools on the sidewalk.
The rain makes running pools in the gutter.
The rain plays a little sleep-song on our roof at night—
And I love the rain.
~ Langston Hughes
"If the rain kisses me I will
smile with the rain."
The roundup is flowing down at No Water River with Renee LaTulippe today--wonder your way over there!