The Playfulness of Poetry

April is National Poetry Month. As we consider online learning opportunities, I’ve been thinking about how we might get our students to play with words through poetry!

Ask students to write a poem by choosing one of the following constraints:

  • two words per line
  • fifteen words
  • three-syllable words
  • only verbs
  • words that do not include the letter ‘a’
  • one word on the first line, then two on the second, then three, etc.

Rather than dictate which constraint your students should use, let them choose from a list like the one above. (You may decide to change the constraints based on the grade level you teach.)

As an example, I have included my latest creation. I gave myself the constraint of two words per line and began each stanza with the same two words: These Days.

These Days by Karen Filewych

These days
I am
at home
self-isolating
working here
writing here
waiting for 
the world 
to return
to normal
or a
semblance of.

These days
I am
walking daily
with Jak
through puddles
and muck
and grit
happily though
despite needing
daily doggie
baths upon
arriving home.
 
These days
my walks
have become
my only
ventures out
during this
world pandemic
not expected
days home
yet needed
to keep
everyone safe.

These days
will help
me appreciate
regular life
hugging family
meeting friends
shaking hands
working together
with teachers
with students
in the
same room.
 
These days
will end
we’ll be
stronger happier
more generous
likely more
appreciative too
relishing in
a sense
of normal
a return
to routine.
 
These unusual
unprecedented days:
life lessons
if we
let them…
these days.

(Thanks to the The Writer magazine for inspiration this week…)

One thought on The Playfulness of Poetry

  1. Perfect post for the start to National Poetry Month, Karen! These lines really resonated with me:

    These unusual
    unprecedented days:
    life lessons
    if we
    let them…
    these days.

    Tannis

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