Poetry Out Loud

Inspired by the Academy of American Poets’ “Dear Poet” project, my students and I took a chance by reading and recording our own work to celebrate the last day of National Poetry Month.  It was a wonderful way to share all of our hard work.

“Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance.” – Carl Sandburg

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Dear Poet

Hi Class!  Today is the day to craft your letter to the poet of your choosing and then email it.

Here are the instructions for how to complete this assignment:

Have at least two of your peers read over your letter before emailing to ensure there are no grammatical or spelling errors.

Your letter must contain your name, the name of the poet you’re writing to, and our school name and address (see this sample letter template)

The formal address to include in your letter is Academy of American Poets, 75 Maiden Lane, Suite 901, New York, NY 10038

You may choose to type your letter directly in the email or attach it as a pdf.

Send your letter to dearpoet@poets.org

“CC” me on your email to ensure you get credit (mirandakeskes@hartlandschools.us)

Complete this assignment by Sunday night (April 26th)

Happy writing!

 

Crafting a Letter to a Poet

Daily Prompt

WN #37: Sadness

Freewrite for five minutes about what makes you cry.

Now that you’ve watched eight poets read their work, it’s time to select the one you were most intrigued by.

Let’s figure out who you want to write to and get into groups based on that. From there, you can discuss the poem and start to determine what you might like to say to the poet.  Can you identify the poet’s voice?  What lines spoke to you and why?  Do you share any similarities with the poet?  What questions do you have?

As a class, let’s determine what these letters should look like, including what to avoid.

Tomorrow we’ll be in the lab so you can type your letters and email them to the poets.

Here are the specific guidelines:

Have at least two of your peers read over your letter before emailing to ensure there are no grammatical or spelling errors.

Your letter must contain your name, the name of the poet you’re writing to, and our school name and address (see this sample letter template)

The formal address to include in your letter is Academy of American Poets, 75 Maiden Lane, Suite 901, New York, NY 10038

You may choose to type your letter directly in the email or attach it as a pdf.

Send your letter to dearpoet@poets.org

“CC” me on your email to ensure you get credit (mirandakeskes@hartlandschools.us)

Complete this assignment by Sunday night (April 26th)

If there’s time today, you can feel free to play around with any of the poetic styles we learned about this week.

 

 

 

Cinquains

Daily Prompt

WN #36: Disgust

Freewrite for five minutes about what disgusts you.

Completing our viewing of contemporary poets, we’re going to watch two new poets read one of their poems to us.   After each poet reads, you’ll be writing down your initial reactions.


Today, you’re going to try your hand at writing a cinquain.  Can you guess how many lines it is?

Here’s the format:

5 lines

Most common rhyme schemes: ababb,abaab or abccb.

Pretty straightforward, and you can play around with the rhyme scheme.  Take, for example, Edgar Allen Poe’s cinquain, “To Helen:”

Helen, thy beauty is to me
  Like those Nicean barks of yore,
That gently, o’er a perfumed sea,
  The weary, way-worn wanderer bore
  To his own native shore.

As always, have fun writing!

 

The mother of all poems: the SONNET

Daily Prompt

WN #35: Laughter

Freewrite for five minutes about what makes you laugh.

Continuing yesterday’s lesson, we’re going to watch three new poets read one of their poems to us.   After each poet reads, you’ll be writing down your initial reactions.

 


Today, you’re going to try your hand at writing a sonnet, arguably the most popular form of poetry in the world.  There are several types, but we’re going to focus on the ever-popular Shakespearean sonnet.

Here’s a handout to help guide you through the process.

And for those who really want a challenge, trying writing a villanelle.  Talk about highly structured!

Have fun!

 

 

Limericks and a Crash Course in rhythm, meter, and rhyme

Daily Prompt

WN #34: Fear

Freewrite for five minutes about what you fear.

To start class, we’re going to watch three different poets read one of their poems to us.   After each poet reads, you’ll be writing down your initial reactions.

You’ll watch five more poets read this week.  On Friday, you will conducting a formal email to one of them sharing your response to their work.  Select the poet who resonates most with you and let them know why.

In May, selected student letters will be published on the Academy of American Poets website and a lucky few will receive a direct response from the poet.


This week’s focus in on highly structured poetry.  To help you write one, we’re going to discuss how rhythm, meter, and rhyme affect a poem.

Now, try your hand at writing a highly structured poem called a limerick.

The general structure is this:

5 lines (1st, 2nd, and 5th are longer, 3rd and 4th are shorter)

Rhythm: anapestic

Ryhme Scheme: aabba

Often humorous and bawdy (but don’t have to be)

Here’s one I wrote.

It’s not easy.  Take a stab at it.  If you like it, post it on your blog!