Wednesday, April 20, 2016

National Poetry Month -- Hooray!

April can indeed be the cruelest month.  When it snows.  When you dress your son in six layers for a bitter cold baseball practice.  When you realize your moving of the winter coats into storage was premature or possibly delusional.  When glimpses of true spring and even hints of summer appear only to disappear in a puff of sinus headache haze.

And yet on those April days when the sun shines and you notice the trees blooming and realize the grass needs cut, the relief and hope are overwhelming.  Anything seems possible.  You have, after all, survived winter which, even if it not particularly cruel, was long as ever.

The highs and lows of April make it the ideal choice for National Poetry Month

Here a few ways we've celebrated National Poetry Month around here:
Starting the last week of March, our library offered these poetry coloring sheets.  I read the poem to my kindergartner and she illustrated it!

I plucked this poetry collection from a National Poetry Month display at the library, and my middle guy and I have been enjoying it every evening.  He is a very capable reader, but he does not love reading.  He still loves being read to though, and my goal with him is to just keep exposing him to stories (and now poems) that he enjoys.  He's read some of the poems to me as well, and that kind of reading aloud is good to practice.  He asked me to order our own copy of Judith Viorst's What Are You Glad About?  What Are You Mad About?  I'll say more about this collection in a later post, but I'll be very happy to have a copy for our home library!  It arrives tomorrow.

Finally, some of my favorite teacher friends from back in the day initiated an email poetry share.  The poem I chose to share, which seemed perfect for spring, was Edna St. Vincent Millay's "Afternoon on a Hill."  When I was linking to it, I came across a poem we always shared with our high school students when we read The Odyssey:  Millay's "An Ancient Gesture."  I had forgotten how perfect that poem is.  My friend, a wonderful poet herself, shared a poem even more suited to the hope of spring:  "From Blossoms" by Li-Young Lee.

Find some ways to celebrate poetry this month, okay? 

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