Introduction to Poetry
I ask them to take a poem
and hold it up to the light
like a color slide
or press an ear against its hive.
I say drop a mouse into a poem
and watch him probe his way out,
or walk inside the poem's room
and feel the walls for a light switch.
I want them to waterski
across the surface of a poem
waving at the author's name on the shore.
But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it.
They begin beating it with a hose
to find out what it really means.
...And then we examined it. But not too closely. We looked at the first thirty and I enjoyed "Did I Miss Anything", "The Partial Explanation", and "The Distances", to name a few. Check them out. I often feel daunted by poetry and this website helps me find access to it as well. This is also why I have the kids write "found poetry", which is simply poetry created from words that someone else has written. Again, because I don't consider myself a poet myself, I find creating poetry difficult...but if you give me words to work with, I can come up with something. It's why someone created magnetic poetry for the fridge--that little bit of inspiration. I equated it to Legos (I have to get creative to reach the kids): Even if you all have the same set, what you do with them is quite different. Check out this site to see what others have made up--although I warn you, I have no control over any of the content, so I'm not responsible if any of it is questionable. Some of it's quite lovely. Here's one I came up with that comes from the Amazon.com review for Reading Lolita in Tehran. I promise nothing in terms of quality, but I'll give it a shot:
The Book Group
An inspired blend
A moving testament
with the ability to change and inspire people's lives
Azar Nafisi invited seven of her best female students to attend a weekly study of
great Western literature
banned by the government
forced to meet in secret
They met to talk
and burst into color
These books "were not a luxury but a necessity."
Try one yourself!