Clipped Verse: Children’s Poetry for a Windy Day

I first learned of clipped verse (sometimes called fragmented rhyme) back in 2007 when I was introduced to children’s author Verla Kay’s powerful historical non-fiction children’s book, Rough, Tough Charley. The book is about Charley Parkhurst, one of the most respected stagecoach drivers in the old West: six-horse stagecoach / bounds along / Charley reins up / flicks a thong / Ladies gossip / “Charley’s odd / Don’t like people / then they nod. It wasn’t until his death that people discovered he was a she: Hold your horses / Huge surprise . . . / He’s a woman in disguise.

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Paint Chip Poetry: 9-11

A few weeks back, I posted a Paint Chip Poetry exercise. It was so much fun, I thought I’d give it another try this week. The rules for Paint Chip Poetry are simple:

  • Choose a random selection of color swatches from your local hardware store or online.
  • Give yourself a time limit of ten or fifteen minutes.
  • Write a free verse poem using as many of the paint colors as possible in the time allotted.
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#pandemicpoetry: Haiku the Happy Stuff

The pandemic has brought with it much hardship and loss. So today, I want us to try to look past the darkness and write about something, anything, positive or hopeful that has come out of this trying year. Did you reconnect with nature? Did you take up hiking? Did you have lunch in your garden? Let’s write about that! Let’s haiku the happy stuff! (haiku is now a verb ;))

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How to write a “Where I’m from” Poem (with template)

The poem, Where I’m From by George Ella Lyons is powerful! It is a literary snapshot of the poet’s most memorable images of her childhood. Through her text, she takes the reader on a journey to show them who she was as a child and who she is today. Educators, activists, psychologist, and others have used Ms. Lyons’ poem as a writing exercise for all ages. Let’s have some fun with it!

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Celebrate World Poetry Day on March 21st

Many of us read, write, and teach poetry every day but did you know there is an official day to celebrate and support poets and poetry? As an initiative of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organizations (UNESCO), world poetry day is held every year on March 21st. I’ve made a list (with links) of some fun ways you can celebrate poetry with your family and friends. And don’t miss my contribution to the official day in the form of a poem that turned out to be quite yummy.

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How to Write a Found Poem: Thrift Shop Flowers

Found poetry is the literary version of a collage. The poems are made up of words taken from a printed document such as a newspaper article, a speech, a menu, junk mail, or even another poem (or in this case, a book on flowers from a thrift shop). The poet selects words from the document and rearranges them to create a poem.

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Paint Chip Poetry: Colorful Wordplay

For the last decade I’ve attended an annual writer’s retreat by the ocean in Northern California where I gather with friends for inspiration, laughs, and writing. Each year, a friend, author, and artist I admire hosts a Paint Chip Poetry session. We dig into a pile of paint chips (you know those paper strips of paint colors from the hardware store) and write a poem in ten minutes based on a given prompt and the names of the chosen colors (unseen until timer starts).

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Free Verse: The Birth of a Poem

There seems to be an influx of newborn babies right now, at least in my little corner of the world. I’ve enjoyed seeing the sweet little bundles of joy and their happy parents and grandparents on social media. So, I had the idea to write a poem about babies for this week’s post. Oh, the pressure of a poem! After many attempts, my focus shifted to the process of getting my thoughts down on paper. Giving birth to words is not nearly as exciting to celebrate, but the labor pains are real!

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