Updated: Apr 22
I am not one to celebrate every “holiday” or scheduled observance. However, National Poetry Month is one event that I get excited about. It is a time to celebrate poets, professional or amateur, and their craft.
Poetry is a literary art; a form of creative writing that can be written, spoken, performed. It is usually written in verse; lines and stanzas, not in continuous forms such as in prose or essays. Poems are one of the artistic ways to express and evoke thoughts and emotions. Some poets use the popular and traditional method of melodic, rhyming stanzas when writing but it also uses other literary devices such as similes, alliteration and metaphors. There are many different types of poems:
Acrostic-a poem where the first letters of each line spell out a word or phrase vertically that acts as the theme or message of the poem.
Haiku- an ancient form of Japanese poetry containing 17 syllables shared between three lines arranged in a pattern of 5-7-5. The first line has 5 syllables, the second line 7, and the last has another 5 syllables. The original Japanese haiku was measured in sounds, or "breaths," not English syllables. The 5-7-5 approach was a rough approximation. Many traditional Japanese and English-language haikus are much shorter than the 5-7-5 format of the West.
Cinquain-also known as a quintain or quintet, is a poem or stanza composed of five lines. Each line has a certain number of syllables (not words). There are 22 syllables distributed among the five lines in a 2, 4, 6, 8, and 2 pattern.
As a child, poetry was one of my favorite genres to read. I would write poetry and stories in my free time. I’ve been instilling a love of reading and poetry in my scholars for years. Langston Hughes and Nikki Giovanni are two of my all-time favorite poets. My oldest son is named after Langston Hughes!
Read two of my favorite poems below.
By Langston Hughes
Hold fast to dreams For if dreams die Life is a broken-winged bird That cannot fly. Hold fast to dreams For when dreams go Life is a barren field Frozen with snow.
By: Nikki Giovanni
Some people forget that love is tucking you in and kissing you 'Good night' no matter how young or old you are Some people don't remember that love is listening and laughing and asking questions no matter what your age Few recognize that love is commitment, responsibility no fun at all unless Love is You and me
This month, I invite you to read a poem or write a poem to share with others. Encourage your scholars, family, friends to read and write poetry this month as well. Below is a list of my favorite children’s poetry books. I am also including some resources on different types of poems you can have your scholars write.
Learn About Famous Poets and Styles of Poetry
Our Favorite Poetry Books
At the end of the month, feel free to join our Flipgrid video discussion to share your original poem or favorite poem. Send us a message with your name and email address to be added to the Poetry Flipgrid Group where you will hear from other poetry lovers and aspiring poets.
Happy reading and writing!