Welcome back to another week of Kid’s Corner with me, Angelique! Get your notebooks and pencils ready, it’s time to do some poetry. Writing can be fun, silly, humorous, and emotional. Today we try our creative hand at Haikus, Limericks, Acrostic, Concrete or Visual, and Onomatopoeia poems. I was inspired to write this week’s blog after reading The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo, a National Book Award Winner for 2018. I read it and listened to the audiobook. Not only was the story powerful, but listening to it reminded me that during difficult times, writing can be very cathartic and a great way to express what we are feeling. Also, it allows others to connect with us and our experiences. After I read Acevedo’s book, which is written in spoken word, I was curious to explore and share other ways to write poetry. Have fun creating and writing your own poems!
Let’s start with Haikus...traditionally a Japanese poem, written in short phrases that consist of three lines. The first line has five syllables, the second line seven syllables, and the third line has five syllables. Haikus generally tend to be about nature and focus on the simplicity, intensity, and directness of being able to express yourself. Here is an example of a Haiku that I wrote:
Mountain winds shake me
Aspen tree leaves sing sweet songs
Nature is my balm
Next time you head out on a hike, a walk, or are just in nature, sit for moment and see if you feel inspired to write a Haiku on what you see and hear around you. Here is a Haiku poem written by Matsuo Bashō:
“The Old Pond”
An old silent pond
A frog jumps into the pond—
Splash! Silence again.
The structure of only being able to use lines of five, seven, and five syllables helps focus the writer on really bringing to life the words that describe nature and the feelings it brings out in all of us, as well as keeping it simple and using only words you really need. Try it; is it harder to feel creative or does it feel as though it helps you to pick very descriptive words?
Of all the different types of poems to write, I thought Limericks may end up being the most challenging, but they are a fun way for kids to play and learn rhyming words. Limericks also require a bit of structure similar to that of Haikus, but with a bit of a twist. A limerick has five lines (as opposed to three-line Haikus). The first, second and fifth lines all rhyme with each other, and the third and fourth lines rhyme with each other. Another example that you may remember from when you were little is Hickory Dickory Dock:
Hickory, dickory, dock
The mouse ran up the clock
The clock struck one,
And down he run,
Hickory, dickory, dock!
If you take a look at lines one, two, and five you will hear how they rhyme (dock, clock and dock). Now look at and listen to lines three and four (one and run), they also rhyme. Ok, now I think we are ready to give it a try. Here is my attempt at writing a limerick; notice when you say it out loud, it follows a similar tune such as Hickory Dickory Dock. Feel free to get silly, that’s the best part about rhyming!
1. We went for a hike in the sun
2. Mountain adventures are full of fun
3. It was a surprise to see the snow
4. Before we knew it we were moving so slow
5. When along came a storm, we had to run
Now we move on to Acrostic poems which are about taking someone’s name (such as your own) or a word and adding a sentence to each letter. Make sure that the first word of each sentence begins with the first letter of the word you chose. Take a look at the word “read” below: notice how I have Ready for R, Excited for E, Anticipating for A, and Dancing for D! I love doing this for friend’s names–I write it out vertically and then choose a positive word for each letter of their name to describe them. See an example of what you could do for a friend’s name below. It’s a great way to make someone feel good and be creative.
Ready to dive into a good book
Excited for a new adventure into unknown worlds
Anticipating a mystery, a thriller, or a story that makes me laugh out loud
Dancing in the rain with joy, shouting out, “Here I am!”
Here is the example of writing an acrostic poem using a name:
Concrete or Visual poems: This type of poem is one of my favorite and fun ways to write poetry–it’s such a visual engaging piece of art and way to be creative. Concrete or visual poems are written in a shape that conveys the message of the poem. An example would be writing a poem about a fish or the ocean and the words are written in the shape of one of those things you are writing about. Take a look at my concrete poem about the mountains and hand, take another look do you see the shape? Isn’t that fun, now it’s your turn to try…
Onomatopoeia poems use descriptive words that make sounds to tell the story, such as “crash, bang, pop, whoosh!” Listening to these poems make them really come alive for the reader and you can almost see the action happening right there in front of you.
Riding my bike, the pedals are tough but changing gears, I hear the crank crank and then it’s smooth sailing,
The wind whooshes past me as I gain momentum, faster and faster…
All of a sudden a dog runs out in front and I hit the brakes, they squeak as I come to a stop!
I let out a long sigh and get going once again, enjoying the ride feeling relaxed, feeling free on my bike.
They can be short or long, as long as you get those descriptive words in there. It reminds me of the Batman and Robin shows I used to watch as a kid where the words would pop on the screen when there was an action scene happening. I thought that was so cool along with the music, it just pulled me in.
After trying my hand at each of these different poems, I thought this would be a fun game to do with family or friends. We could each contribute to the poem and after everyone had a turn it would be funny to read it aloud to see what came out.
If you need any inspiration, there are quite a few fun books out there to help. Take some time to check out a few of the poetry books from the Library to try your hand at writing one of the poems shared above. Share with us one of your poems on Instagram or Facebook and we will feature it in our next Kid’s Corner Blog.