Poetry Tuesday

Poem Study: Summer in the South

Let’s read a poem and study it together!

edit summer in south sunset-2488635_1920 copy

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!

edit summer pretty-woman-1509956_1920 (1)

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

Poetry Tuesday

Poem Study: The Owl and the Pussycat

Let’s read a poem and study it together!

edward-lear-1823642.png
Edward Lear’s Illustration of The Owl and the Pussycat

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. Circle or color-code the words that rhyme!

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

Since we read one of Edward Lear’s limericks in the Poetry Activity, I thought it would be fun to read another one of his famous poems!

The Owl and the Pussycat

The Owl and the Pussy-Cat went to sea
    In a beautiful pea-green boat;
They took some honey, and plenty of money
Wrapped up in a five-pound note.
The Owl looked up to the moon above,
And sang to a small guitar,
“O lovely Pussy! O Pussy, my love!
What a beautiful Pussy you are,—
You are,
What a beautiful pussy you are!”

Pussy said to the Owl, “You elegant fowl!”
    How wonderful sweet you sing!
Oh, let us be married,— too long we have tarried,—
But what shall we do for a ring?”
They sailed away for a year and a day
To the land where the Bong-tree grows,
And there in a wood a piggy-wig stood
With a ring in the end of his nose,—
His nose,
With a ring in the end of his nose.

“Dear Pig, are you willing to sell for one willing
    Your ring?” Said the piggy, “I will.”
So they took it away, and were married next day
By the turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined upon mince and slices of quince,
    Which they ate with a runcible spoon,
And hand in hand on the edge of the sand
They danced by the light of the moon,—
The moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.

~Edward Lear (1812-1888)

 

Hungry for more? Check out this week’s…

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

Advanced Poetry Lesson: Limericks, Week 2

Poetry Tuesday

Advanced Poetry Lesson: Limericks, Week 2

Let’s write some poetry!

Edward_Lear_More_Nonsense_06
Edward Lear’s Young Lady in White

The next two Tuesdays we’ll put on our creative caps and write some Limericks!

A. Introduction to Limericks
What’s a limerick? They sound a little like this …

Let’s all try to write a new limerick.
I bet you can all learn it really quick!
Just try to engage
As you read down this page
And soon you’ll be writing them— pretty slick!

B. About Limericks
Here are some facts about limericks:

  1. A limerick has 5 lines.
  2. Limericks rhyme:
    The last words of lines 1, 2, and 5 rhyme
    The last words of lines 3 and 4 rhyme
  3. They have set syllables:
    Lines 1, 2, and 5 have 7-9 syllables
    Lines 3 and 4 have 5-7 syllables
  4. Fun fact: There’s a town in Ireland named Limerick that probably has nothing to do with the poems
  5. They’re usually kind of silly and often start with “There once was a…”
  6. Edward Lear made them popular in his book: A Book of Nonsense

C. Limerick Examples

There was a young lady in white,
Who looked out at the depths of the night;
But the birds of the air,
Filled her heart with despair,
And oppressed that young lady in white.
~Edward Lear

There was an old person of Brill,
Who purchased a shirt with a frill;
But they said, ‘Don’t you wish,
You mayn’t look like a fish,
You obsequious ol person of Brill?’
~Edward Lear

Hickory dickory dock.
The mouse ran up the clock.
The clock struck one,
And down he run.
Hickory dickory dock.
    ~Unknown

There was an Old Man with a beard,
Who said, “It is just as I feared!–
Two Owls and a Hen,
Four Larks and a Wren,
Have all built their nests in my beard!”
~Edward Lear

D. Write your own Limerick
Feel ready to write your own limerick? Great! Follow the guidelines above and see what you can create! 

Happy with your poem? Remember to 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): Limerick fill-in-the-blank

Poem Study The Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Lear

Poetry Tuesday

Poem Study: The Arrow and the Song

Let’s read a poem and study it together!

edit arrow archer-2345211_1920

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. Circle or color-code the words that rhyme!

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


The Arrow and the Song

I shot an arrow into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For, so swiftly it flew, the sight
Could not follow it in its flight.

I breathed a song into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For who has sight so keen and strong
That it can follow the flight of song?

Long, long afterward, in an oak
I found the arrow, still unbroken;
And the song, from beginning to end,
I found again in the heart of a friend.

~Henry W. Longfellow

 

Hungry for more? Check out this week’s…

Poetry Activity (for kids, adults, and everyone in between): Analyzing Poems

Advanced Poetry Lesson: Limericks (Week 1 of 2)

Poetry Tuesday

Advanced Poetry Lesson: Limericks

Let’s write some poetry!

Edward_Lear_More_Nonsense_03
Edward Lear’s illustration of his Young Person in Green

 

The next two Tuesdays we’ll put on our creative caps and write some Limericks!

A. Introduction to Limericks
What’s a limerick? They sound a little like this …

Let’s all try to write a new limerick.
I bet you can all learn it really quick!
Just try to engage
As you read down this page
And soon you’ll be writing them— pretty slick!

B. About Limericks
Here are some facts about limericks:

  1. A limerick has 5 lines.
  2. Limericks rhyme:
    The last words of lines 1, 2, and 5 rhyme
    The last words of lines 3 and 4 rhyme
  3. They have set syllables:
    Lines 1, 2, and 5 have 7-9 syllables
    Lines 3 and 4 have 5-7 syllables
  4. Fun fact: There’s a town in Ireland named Limerick that probably has nothing to do with the poems
  5. They’re usually kind of silly and often start with “There once was a…”
  6. Edward Lear made them popular in his book: A Book of Nonsense

C. Limerick Examples

There was a young person in green,
Who seldom was fit to be seen;
She wore a long shawl,
Over bonnet and all,
Which enveloped that person in green.
    ~Edward Lear

There was an Old Man with a beard,
Who said, “It is just as I feared!–
Two Owls and a Hen,
Four Larks and a Wren,
Have all built their nests in my beard!”
~Edward Lear

Hickory dickory dock.
The mouse ran up the clock.
The clock struck one,
And down he run.
Hickory dickory dock.
    ~Unknown

There once was a kind man named Terry,
Who’s manner was jolly and merry.
He made lots of bread
Then sat down and said,
“Oh dear, I’ve forgotten to marry!”
~My children (with a little help)

D. Write your own Limerick
Feel ready to write your own limerick? Great! Follow the guidelines above and see what you can concoct! 

Happy with your poem? Remember to 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): Analyzing Poems

Poem Study:  The Arrow and the Song by Henry W. Longfellow

Poetry Tuesday

Poem Study: The Sun Has Set, or Bed in Summer

Let’s read a poem and study it together!

sunset
©Hannah Spuler, 2018

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. Circle or color-code the words that rhyme!

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

 

The Sun Has Set

The sun has set, and the long grass now
Waves dreamily in the evening wind;
And the wild bird has flown from that old gray stone
In some warm nook a couch to find.

In all the lonely landscape round
I see no light and hear no sound,
Except the wind that far away
Come sighing o’er the healthy sea.

~Emily Jane Brontë

 

Bed in Summer

In winter I get up at night
And dress by yellow candle-light.
In summer, quite the other way,
I have to go to bed by day.

I have to go to bed and see
The birds still hopping on the tree,
Or hear the grown-up people’s feet
Still going past me in the street.

And does it not seem hard to you,
When all the sky is clear and blue,
And I should like so much to play,
To have to go to bed by day?

~Robert Louis Stevenson

 

Hungry for more? Check out this week’s…

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

Advanced Poetry Lesson: Ballads