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

Poetry Tuesday

Advanced Poetry Lesson: Ballads Week 2

Let’s write some poetry!

This Tuesday and last we’ve been learning about Ballads!

woman-2887280_1920 (1)

A. Introduction to Ballads
Ballads are regular, repetitive, and musical. Most songs you hear on the radio would be considered a ballad of one kind or another.

B. What is a Ballad?

  1. It often has four lines per group, or stanza. (The example below actually has 6 lines per stanza, and that’s okay too)
  2. The 1st and 3rd line in each stanza has four accents, or stresses
  3. The 2nd and 4th lines have either 3 stresses or 4 stresses, but it needs to be the same throughout the whole poem. (see example below)
  4. Ballads rhyme. Often the 1st and 3rd lines rhyme and the 2nd and 4th lines rhyme. (This is called an ABAB pattern). This is flexible, but again, the pattern needs to be the same throughout the whole poem!
  5. Repetition is important in a ballad. Sometimes a poet will make the last line of each stanza the same.
  6. Ballads often tell some kind of story, often a story about how someone died.
  7. Example of stresses: (Read the capital letters in the lines below a little louder than the other letters.)

The SUN was SHINing ON the SEA
See how there are 4 stresses?
SHINing with ALL its MIGHT
And then 3? 

C. Ballad Example

Bridal Ballad

The ring is on my hand,
And the wreath is on my brow;
Satins and jewels grand
Are all at my command,
And I am happy now.

And my lord he loves me well;
But, when first he breathed his vow,
I felt my bosom swell—
For the words rang as a knell,
And the voice seemed his who fell
In the battle down the dell,
And who is happy now.

But he spoke to re-assure me,
And he kissed my pallid brow,
While a reverie came o’er me,
And to the church-yard bore me,
And I sighed to him before me
(Thinking him dead D’Elormie),
“Oh, I am happy now!”

And thus the words were spoken,
And this the plighted vow;
And, though my faith be broken,
And, though my heart be broken,
Here is a ring, as token
That I am happy now!—
Behold the golden token
That proves me happy now!

Would God I could awaken!
For I dream I know not how,
And my soul is sorely shaken
Lest an evil step be taken,—
Lest the dead who is forsaken
May not be happy now.

~Edgar Allen Poe

D. Write your ballad!
Are you ready to write your ballad? Great! Come up with your story and write it in verse form, following the guidelines above. If you’re happy with it, 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): Acrostic Poem

Poem Study:  The Sun Has Set by Emily Jane Brontë, or Bed in Summer by Robert Louis Stevenson

Poetry Tuesday

Poem Study: Bear in There

Let’s read a poem and study it together!

edit polar-bear-404314_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 underline the alliterations!

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


Bear in There

There’s a polar bear
In our Frigidaire–
He likes it ’cause it’s cold in there.
With his seat in the meat
And his face in the fish
And his big hairy paws
In the buttery dish,
He’s nibbling the noodles,
He’s munching the rice,
He’s slurping the soda,
He’s licking the ice.
And he lets out a roar
If you open the door.
And it gives me a scare
To know he’s in there–
That polary bear
In our Fridgitydaire.

by Shel Silverstein

Hungry for more? Check out this week’s…

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

Advanced Poetry Lesson: Ballads, (Week 1 of 2)

Poetry Tuesday

Advanced Poetry Lesson: Ballads

Let’s write some poetry!

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

walrus and the carpenter
Lewis Carroll’s Walrus and the Carpenter

A. Introduction to Ballads
I love ballads. When I learned about ballads for the first time, I had already been writing them for years without knowing it. They’re regular, repetitive, and musical. Most songs you hear on the radio would be considered a ballad of one kind or another.

     Fun fact: Did you know that rap is actually a contemporary ballad?

B. What is a Ballad?

  1. It often has four lines per group, or stanza. (The example below actually has 6 lines per stanza, and that’s okay too)
  2. The 1st and 3rd line in each stanza has four accents, or stresses
  3. The 2nd and 4th lines have either 3 stresses or 4 stresses, but it needs to be the same throughout the whole poem. (see example below)
  4. Ballads rhyme. Often the 1st and 3rd lines rhyme and the 2nd and 4th lines rhyme. (This is called an ABAB pattern). This is flexible, but again, the pattern needs to be the same throughout the whole poem!
  5. Repetition is important in a ballad. Sometimes a poet will make the last line of each stanza the same.
  6. Ballads often tell some kind of story, often a story about how someone died.
  7. Example of stresses: (Read the capital letters in the lines below a little louder than the other letters.)

The SUN was SHINing ON the SEA
See how there are 4 stresses?
SHINing with ALL its MIGHT
And then 3? 

C. Ballad Example

Walrus and the Carpenter
(lines 1-18), from
Through the Looking Glass

The sun was shining on the sea,
Shining with all his might:
He did his very best to make
The billows smooth and bright —
And this was odd, because it was
 The middle of the night.

The moon was shining sulkily,
Because she thought the sun
Had got no business to be there
After the day was done —
“It’s very rude of him,” she said,
“To come and spoil the fun.”

The sea was wet as wet could be,
The sands were dry as dry.
You could not see a cloud, because
No cloud was in the sky:
No birds were flying overhead —
There were no birds to fly.

~
Lewis Carroll 

D. Write your ballad!
Are you ready to write your ballad? Great! Come up with your story and write it in verse form, following the guidelines above. If you’re happy with it, 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): Alliteration Poem

Poem Study: Bear in There, by Shel Silverstein

Poetry Tuesday

Poem Study: The Brook

Let’s read a poem and study it together!

the brook scenic-787617_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. (Learn about rhyme here!)
  6. Read more about the author’s life
  7. Share with someone you love <3


The Brook
(excerpt)

I chatter, chatter, as I flow
To join the brimming river;
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on forever.

I wind about, and in and out,
With here a blossom sailing,
And here and there a lusty trout,
And here and there a grayling,

And here and there a foamy flake
Upon me, as I travel
With many a silvery waterbreak
Above the golden gravel,

And draw them all along, and flow
To join the brimming river
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on for ever.

I slip, I slide, I gloom, I glance,
Among my skimming swallows;
I make the netted sunbeams dance
Against my sandy shallows.

I murmur under moon and stars
In brambly wildernesses;
I linger by my shingly bars;
I loiter round my cresses.

And out again I curve and flow
To join the brimming river;
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on forever.

By Alfred Lord Tennyson


Hungry for more? Check out this week’s…

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

Advanced Poetry Lesson: Odes, Week 2

Poetry Tuesday

Advanced Poetry Lesson: Odes, Week 2

Let’s write some poetry!

This week and last, we’ve been learning about Odes!

tuna in the market

A. Introduction to Odes:
An ode is a poem that celebrates or appreciates something or someone.

For example…
John Keats wrote an Ode to a Nightingale.
Pablo Neruda wrote an Ode To Sadness.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote an Ode about France.
There is an Ode to Silence, by Edna St. Vincent Millay.
William Wordsworth wrote an Ode to Duty.
There’s even an Ode To My Socks by 
Pablo Neruda, who’s known for writing odes to unusual subjects.

Here’s part of an ode written by Pablo Neruda about a large fish in the market:

Ode to a Large Tuna in the Market
(Translated by Robin Robertson)

“Surrounded
by the earth’s green froth
—these lettuces,
bunches of carrots—
only you
lived through
the sea’s truth, survived
the unknown, the
unfathomable
darkness, the depths
of the sea,
the great
abyss,
le grand abîme,
only you:
varnished
black-pitched
witness
to that deepest night.”


B. All About Odes

  1. An ode is about loving, appreciating, or celebrating someone or something
  2. An ode is full of emotion, strong images, and descriptive words
  3. An ode can rhyme
  4. An ode is usually quite serious but it can be silly if the ode is more of a joke

C. Reading Odes
As you read the following excerpts, ask yourself:
~What is the poet celebrating or admiring?
~Does the poem rhyme?
~Does it have strong imagery?

The (Brooklyn) Bridge
(excerpt)

How many dawns, chill from his rippling rest
The seagull’s wings shall dip and pivot him,
Shedding white rings of tumult, building high
Over the chained bay waters Liberty—

Then, with inviolate curve, forsake our eyes
As apparitional as sails that cross
Some page of figures to be filed away;
—Till elevators drop us from our day…
~Hart Crane

The Fire of Driftwood
(excerpt) 
We sat within the farmhouse old,
Whose windows, looking o’er the bay,
Gave to the sea-breeze damp and cold,
An easy entrance, night and day.

Not far away we saw the port,
The strange, old-fashioned, silent town,
The lighthouse, the dismantled fort,
The wooden houses, quaint and brown.

We sat and talked until the night,
Descending, filled the little room;
Our faces faded from the sight,
Our voices only broke the gloom.
~Henry W. Longfellow

D. Writing An Ode
Your turn to write an ode!

~Think of something or someone that you love and want to celebrate!
~Try writing a short one to start (5 lines or so) and then grow it to 7 or 10 as you have more to say.
~If you’re a more experienced writer, see if you can make it 15-30 lines!
~If you like rhyming, go for it, but remember that not every ode has to rhyme.

E. Advanced: More About Odes:
For the purposes of this quick, fun, introduction, I’ve only talked about odes in general, but if you’re interested, look into the specific kinds of odes:
Pindaric
Horatian
Irregular

There are also different  ode parts:
The strophe
The antistrophe
The epode

Pleased with your ode? 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): Fill-in-the-blank poem

Poem Study: The Brook, by Alfred Lord Tennyson