Thursday, February 21, 2008

Poetry Thursday

Ella came home from school yesterday with an "extra" assignment of writing a poem, and she was thrilled. She chose pillbugs as the topic of her poem - the class now has terrariums with pillbugs living in them.

It's the type of poem where the first letter of each line spells out the subject. At first, she was struggling to rhyme each line, but once I told her that not all poems rhyme, things got easier. But she did ask a question that I wasn't sure how to answer. "If it doesn't rhyme, what makes it a poem?" I'll admit that I don't get poetry. I had to wrestle with reading and analyzing poems in college and grad school, and I just never clicked with the form, despite having some amazing teachers.

So after thinking for a few minutes, I told her poetry was using words to paint pictures; poems are songs without music. I think that description worked.

After finishing her pillbug poem, Ella decided to write a second, this time about the satellite that was shot down last night. Ella is obsessed with all things related to space, and the story about the satellite really got her attention. She was very upset that the militarty was planning to destroy it, even after I explained to her why they were doing it.

Here is Ella's poem about the satellite, sic all spelling errors.

Sroy satellite
At earths orbit
The army will blow you up
Ech and every pece of you might burn up
Like a diying star
Love is what I will all ways give you
I will all ways remember you
Till I diy I will remember you
Even past that

I was pretty impressed, spelling problems aside, with the poem. I especially the like line about the satellite burning up like a "diying" star.

Who knows, perhaps Ella will be a poetess astronaut.


Anonymous said...

That is a GREAT poem! Seriously, I don't think my students in middle school wrote anything half as good - must have been the hormones.

And poetry IS song without music, that was a perfect analogy - rhyme, meter, the flow and sound of the words themselves is as important as the meaning of the words. (why, yes, I WAS an english teacher)

Keeffer said...

you don't get poetry. mom doesn't get poetry. i don't get poetry.

it looks like ella's going to break that trend.

Anonymous said...

Oh, my lord. THAT is a beautiful thing. "Till I diy I will remember you/Even past that" MmmmHmmm... I think she gets it.