Poetry Friday: National Poetry Month Coda

May 2, 2014 — 5 Comments

On the Studio 360 website, the following photo of a poem written by a 1st grader is posted as the best poem to celebrate National Poetry Month 2014. I would agree that there is something universally appealing about this child’s observations that were created with considerable attention to the way words sound…

first_grade_poem_embed

 

We did the soft wind.
We danst slowly. We swrld
Aroned. We danst soft.
We lisin to the mozik.
We danst to the mozik. 
We made personal space. 

The poem by this 1st grader is strikingly similar to Gwendolyn Brook’s short poem. She also pays considerable attention to the way words sound:

 

THE POOL PLAYERS.
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.

My students have always commented on the inferences that Brooks creates in her eight lines of verse in characterizing the seven pool players. They write about the pool players’ attitudes and their fatalistic approach to life. My students also comment on what is missing in drawing their conclusions. They are satisfied with providing interpretations in the “spaces” of the poem, filling in their own ideas what is not explicit. They agree with T.S. Eliot’s statement: “poetry communicates before it is understood.”

The unnamed 1st grade poet of the poem above communicates the slow, swirling, soft relationship between music and dance in seven short statements on six lines of verse. What does it matter if the reader may never understand if the personal space for the poet is made because of the room needed for the dance or the space made personal by the dance ? In filling in the “space” of the 1st grader’s poem, I like to think that line was probably added because of a teacher’s repeated plea to a room of dancing 6 year- olds:

“PERSONAL SPACE! Remember…PERSONAL SPACE!!”

Poetry Friday is hosted this week at http://www.katyaczaja.com/posts/kenning-poetry/

Go visit!

5 responses to Poetry Friday: National Poetry Month Coda

  1. 

    The echo of the teacher’s words was my first thought when I read that line, too!

  2. 

    Young kids can write amazing poems, can’t they? I love this–thanks for sharing!

  3. 

    Tee Hee! I heard the teacher’s voice, too!!

    Love your comparison between the 1st grader’s poem and The Pool Players.

  4. 

    That first grader’s poem is utterly charming. Thanks for sharing it and the graphic with us!

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  1. Kenning Poetry | Write. Sketch. Repeat. — Katya Czaja - May 2, 2014

    […] Bennett at Used Books in Class celebrates the end of National Poetry […]

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