Thursday, November 12, 2015

Poetry in the House

Rediscovered this basket of books which includes several poetry collections (and about twenty Penguin miniatures, a former obsession of mine).
A few weeks ago, my son had to write a free verse poem about the first day of school.  His first draft was very strong, and I enjoyed conferencing with him and pushing him (a bit) to choose some even more specific images and stronger words to capture the day.  He seemed to enjoy the process of writing the poem and took great pleasure in reading it aloud and hearing his words strung together.  Poetry is a really good thing.  I had almost forgotten.  Seed planted. 

Yesterday, Modern Mrs. Darcy posted about poetry -- describing a new ritual of reading poetry before bed and sharing some of her favorite poetry collections.  As I read it, I thought about how I needed more poetry in my life and about how I thought my kids would embrace and appreciate more exposure to poetry.  Seed watered.

This evening, my middle guy wanted to snuggle on the couch tonight and watch a show.  Trying to avoid Teen Titans Go, I checked out the HBO Kids OnDemand offerings and found something titled Classical: Poetry.*  The show has celebrities (and a couple of actual poets) reading classic poems aloud as animated images related to the poems cross the screen.  Robert Frost, William Carlos Williams, Shakespeare, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Langston Hughes, Gertrude Stein, and more ...

Classical: Poetry also includes segments where children are interviewed about poetry.  There was one boy with a British accent who was very confident and articulate in his discussion of poetry.  My older son said, "That kid is loaded."  I said, "Oh, does his accent make you think he is rich?"  (I was assuming he did not think the kid was drunk.)  "No," he said, "I think he was loaded with all these poetry ideas by the adults making this show."  That made me chuckle, though I assumed he was just a precocious kid.

My middle guy cuddled up and alternated between listening to the poems and asking a million questions about them.  As the show ended, he said, "This show is very pleasant."  And it was.  There is something about just listening to poetry.  Seed growing.

They were both asking about Shakespeare afterwards so I showed them my Norton Shakespeare and my Norton Anthology of Poetry.  I also found a basket of little books (several of which were poetry collections) that I had sort of forgotten about.  We brought them up from the basement.

Maybe seeing these books will remind me to water that poetry seed.  We'll see what grows.

Any tips on sharing poetry with your family?  I'd love to hear them.

*Classical: Poetry might just be the OnDemand title, not the actual name of the show.

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