Poetry Tuesday

Poem Study: Summer in the South

Let’s read a poem and study it together!

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Not sure how to study a poem? Here are some ideas! Choose one or all of these:

  1. Read aloud and enjoy the poem
  2. Neatly write out your favorite stanza for handwriting practice or…
  3. Copy and paste the poem into your word processor and print it out
  4. Draw a picture about the poem
  5. Underline words in the poem that describe what the author sees, feels, tastes, smells, or hears.

  6. Read more about the author’s life
  7. Share with someone you love <3

Summer in the South

The Oriole sings in the greening grove
As if he were half-way waiting,
The rosebuds peep from their hoods of green,
Timid, and hesitating.
The rain comes down in a torrent sweep
And the nights smell warm and piney,
The garden thrives, but the tender shoots
Are yellow-green and tiny.
Then a flash of sun on a waiting hill,
Streams laugh that erst were quiet,
The sky smiles down with a dazzling blue
And the woods run mad with riot.

~Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872 – 1906)

 

Hungry for more? Check out this week’s…

Poetry Activity (for kids, adults, and everyone in between): Five Senses Poem

Advanced Poetry Lesson: Sonnets (Week 1 of 2)

Poetry Tuesday

Advanced Poetry Lesson: Sonnets

Let’s write some poetry!

The next two Tuesdays we’ll be learning about sonnets!

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A. Introduction to Sonnets:
Why on earth would you want to write a sonnet?

I’m so glad you asked! It’s easy to hear the word “sonnet” and the phrase “iambic pentameter” and be thoroughly unimpressed. So here’s a list of why sonnets are a fantastic poetry form:

       Why sonnets?

  1. Because Shakespeare. Shakespeare wrote pages and pages of sonnets, all in this magical meter called iambic pentameter (which I’ll explain later). Shakespeare, who wrote bucket-loads of plays, knocking the socks off theater-goers in England in the 15-1600’s, is still entertaining us today even after his death (although I’ll keep my socks if-you-don’t-mind).
  2. Because writing sonnets will help us appreciate sonnets. There are countless sonnets out there to enjoy. They also connect us to poets of the past and help us recognize the nuances of their creativity.
  3. Sonnets are like a puzzle to solve. They are the poetry version of  a crossword puzzle or a word search, except that you get to express yourself as you try to find just the right words that fit.
  4. They’re fun! You’ll have to experience this one for yourself. So, are you ready to dive in?!

B. Sonnet Example

Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day
“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date;
Sometimes too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed;
And every fair from fair sometimes declines,
By chance or nature’s changing course untrimmed;
But they eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st;
Nor shall death brag thou wand’rest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to Time thou grow’st:
    So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
    So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.”
~William Shakespeare

C. About Sonnets

Note to Beginners: I recommend starting with “What is a sonnet” below. The goal is fun exposure to poetry and a chance to practice writing. Once you’ve got that first set down, try the next section!

As I explain all the parts of a sonnet, look at the example above to help you process.

What is a sonnet?

  1. Sonnet means “little song.”
  2. A sonnet has exactly 14 lines.
  3. For simplicity sake, we’ll divide our sonnet into four groups, or stanzas:
    1. Four lines
    2. Four lines
    3. Four lines and
    4. Two lines.
  4. The example below is actually in one big stanza, which is the way William Shakespeare wrote. (It’s actually called a Shakespearian Sonnet. Hmm, wonder where it got that name!) Since we’re beginners, breaking up the stanzas will make it easier.
  5. Sonnets have a rhyming scheme. Within each stanza…
    ~The 1st and 3rd lines rhyme and
    ~the 2nd and 4th rhyme.
    ~The last two lines in the whole sonnet also rhyme.
  6. This rhyme scheme is often expressed this way:
    1. ABAB
    2. CDCD
    3. EFEF
    4. GG

(Are you lost yet? If it’s really confusing, this Youtube video I found explains it pretty well.)

What is a sonnet (part 2)?

  1. Many sonnets are written in something called iambic pentameter.
  2. Iambic words have a short sound followed by a stressed one.
    For example:
    exIST, beLONG, preDICT, aWAY, aBOVE.
  3. A group of words can be iambic as well:
    the ONE, we PLAYED, you KNOW.
  4. From our example:
    “Rough WINDS do SHAKE…” and
    “SomeTIMES too HOT
  5. Pentameter means 10 syllables per line. Every single time.
  6. (What’s a syllable? A syllable is a whole sound within a word. The word “Cat” has one syllable. Apple has two: “Ap-ple”. “Pine-ap-ple” has three! You can usually tell how many syllables a word has by how many time your chin drops when you say it!)
  7. Look at this line and count to ten: Shall I com-pare thee to a sum-mer’s day?
  8. Try reading through the poem and counting the syllables! Each line has 10.


D. Write your sonnet
Do you feel ready to write your own sonnet? If you’re feeling overwhelmed, try four lines and then take a break. You can pick it back up after the break and write the next one!

Pleased with your poem? Share it on my Facebook page or in the comments!


Hungry for more? Check out this week’s…

Poetry Activity (for kids, adults, and everyone in between): Five Senses Poem

Poem Study:  Summer in the South by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Fun List Mondays

What are Three Smells You Like (And Two You Don’t)?

Fun List Monday, August 13

Ahhh, what is that heavenly smell? It must be the chicken I put in the crock pot, or the apple crisp in the oven. Maybe it’s freshly picked flowers or the breeze after a storm. What smells do you enjoy?

smells.jpg

Write a list with me! Every Monday I will post a fun list. Fill out your list and enjoy it by yourself, share it on my Facebook page, in the comments or on Twitter (with the hashtag #FunListMondays). Not convinced? Read about how lists encourage better writing here.

Like this activity? See other Fun List Mondays here.

Story Share Topic!

Story Share Topic: Laugh!

Ready for this week’s Story Share Topic?
Join in the fun! Write your story and send it in for a chance to have your story shared on the site!

This Week’s Story Share Topic:

mr. pineapple funny

Write a story that makes people laugh!

What does the character do that’s so funny? What does he/she say? Or perhaps the situation they’re in is funny and the character gets swept away in it!

To share: Send your story next Friday to Fridaystoryshare@gmail.com

FAQ: If you don’t want to share your story, can you still write one? Absolutely!
Do you have to write a story on this particular topic? Nope! Writing stories is a great creative writing exercise, no matter what the topic. The topic is a prompt to get you started!

Writing with little ones? Read this post about how to include young children in writing activities.

Furry Thursday

Furry Thursday, No. 7

Can you guess the animal based on the clues?
Smash up science and English parts of speech together with this guessing game!

adjectives: regal, proud, deafening, powerful, wild, intense, frightening, tan, hungry, dandy, fierce, territorial, playful
verbs: roar, pace, hunt, nap
nouns: king, mane
biomes: grasslands

Think you know which animal?
Click here for the answer!

Simplified definitions:
Adjective: a describing word, placed before a noun (or pronoun)
Noun: 
a person, place, thing, or idea
Verb: 
an action word
Biome:
the type of environment where living things make their homes, a habitat (ex: desert, rainforest, tundra)
herbivore:
plant-eater
carnivore:
meat-eater
omnivore:
eats both plants and meat

Furry Thursday chipmunk

Freewrite Wednesday

Freewrite Wednesday: Funny Things

Ready to free your writing? Let’s do a freewrite together!

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Write about something funny.

Help to get you started:
Has something funny happened to you? Have you ever done something funny? What kinds of things do you find funny? Out of ideas? Try writing “It would be funny if…” and make something up!

Set your timer for 10 minutes and write, write, write!
Have an especially meaningful freewrite? Share it in the comments or on my Facebook page.

About Freewrites: A freewrite is exactly what it sounds like: free! Use a freewrite to practice channeling thoughts from your mind to the paper. Never done a freewrite? Learn more in my Guide to Freewriting 

Poetry Tuesday

Poetry Tuesday! August 7

Hello! Welcome to Poetry Tuesday: the day we dip (or dive) into the lovely world of poetry!

Each Tuesday from June 19 to August 21, 2018, I’ll share a Poetry Activity, a Poem Study, plus an Advanced Poetry Lesson. Feel free to enjoy one, two, or all three of these fun resources! (Click on the title links)

Poetry Activity (for kids, adults, and everyone in between): Limerick fill-in-the-blank

Poem Study The Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Lear

Advanced Poetry Lesson: Limericks, Week 2

Poetry Tuesday