Poetry Fun!

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Lynna Sutherland

Lynna believes that the gospel moves the homeschool mom from performance to possibility. She offers support for moms overwhelmed by homeschooling multiple ages and distracted by constant sibling conflict. Ditch what slows you down and look to Jesus. (Hebrews 12:1-2)

In our house, poetry tea time has landed on Wednesday afternoons.  If we can manage it, we make a quick trip to the library before lunch.  Today, when we finished lunch, everyone slowly trickled into the school room and all of the new books came out and were being read by children stretched out on the floor.  We almost didn’t manage an actual “tea time”!  This library haul included some fun new combinations of poetry material.


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First, I’ve joined a poetry workshop by Jenny White over at wHere Life is Real.  We’re each supposed to pick one poet to study for the first half of the workshop.  I decided to choose Edgar Allan Poe since there is actually an Edgar Allan Poe museum here in Richmond.  So, today at the library, I picked up a few Poe books …


I told the kids that these are for me (and that I got the juvenile biographies because I didn’t know how much time I’d have to read).  One has already been “stolen”.  Oh dear.  Whatever will I do?
That pretty yellow book is “Edgar Allan Poe’s Pie: Math Puzzlers in Classic Poems” by J. Patrick Lewis.

Science Verse

We also nabbed “Science Verse” by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith (Scieszka is also the author of “Math Curse” and many other fun books).
Bonus: It comes with a CD recording of the authors reading the poems and joking around, after the fashion of the Car Talk episodes on public radio!  (Brief video on our Instagram account.)
Both of these books used well-known poems as the forms for their math- or science-themed verses, so it’s given us a chance to read through some of the originals for comparison.  After all, parodies are always most enjoyable when the originals are familiar!

“Reverso” Poetry

We also checked out “Mirror Mirror” by Marilyn Singer (recommended by Mary @notbefore7 and interviewed here on www.poetryteatime.com).
Marilyn writes Reverso poems.  She writes a few words a line in one column, and then it the second column, she writes exactly the same lines, but in reverse order, like this:

Single Word Poems

We also grabbed “Lemonade and Other Poems Squeezed from a Single Word” by Bob Raczka.
As the title suggests, every poem is composed of words that can be made from the letters in the (single-word) title!  One of our favorites is this one:
How fun to be introduced to two entirely new forms of poetry!  I am somewhat attracted to the idea of trying my hand at composing Reverso and one-word poems, though I have a feeling it won’t be as easy as these poets make it seem!

Pirate Poetry!

And finally, just because it was emanating awesomeness, we got “Blackbeard the Pirate King” by J. Patrick Lewis (which, I just realized as I typed this, is the same author as Edgar Allan Poe’s Pie listed above!).  As I kid, I watched Blackbeard’s Ghost (which, as wonderfully silly as it can be, is a tincy-wincy bit based on actual history).  This book tells, in lyrical style, supplemented with little fact-blurbs, what we actually know to be true of Edward Teach (or Thatch or Tach) who became the character of legend: Blackbeard the Pirate!
If you check out and like any of these books, please leave a comment below to share.  Or, if you try a Reverso or one-word poem, please share the poem or a link with us.  Happy poetry-ing, friends!