Poetry Teatime: Golden

Poetry Teatime

Hi Julie~

I wanted to share with you about a “golden” Poetry Tea Time we had recently. We’ve been including Poetry Tea in our school days off and on for the last couple of years.

A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I combined a business trip that he had out of state with some time away for our anniversary. Our boys stayed with friends for several days. Of course, the first days trying to get back into a routine can be bumpy. On this Tuesday morning, I was doing some “catch-up” reading that was kind of dragging on, and as I was about to pick up another book, our youngest son said, “Mom, let’s just do something fun.” Hmmm. I was torn between what “fun” might look like and what a lagging, boring day was looking like.

A couple of weeks earlier, after looking through the Poetry Tea Pinterest page for inspiration, I had checked a couple of books out from the library that looked “fun”. We had not yet gotten to them. A flash of inspiration grabbed me (and your voice reminded me that Inspiration is not a lengthy visitor). I went to the stack and pulled out the one that had sparkled a little more than the others to me. At first it was met with groans — not another book to read! But after some encouragement and an intro to the idea of the book, we snuggled in together and I began to read from “Mirror, Mirror” by Marilyn Singer. (I thought to myself that if they weren’t totally loving it after the first couple of poems, I would put it away and we’d take a break outside!)

They loved it. We read it from cover to cover.

When we finished the book, I suggested that we try to see if we could each write a poem in the same reverse style. The boys thought it would be way too hard. I suggested that we put a time limit on it and if it wasn’t “happening”, we’d call it done. So we found a quiet space and got to work for 20 minutes. (It actually took longer, but once they started and had some ideas rolling, they wanted more time to finish!!)

Below, I am including what they wrote, and in the spirit of learning together, also what I wrote: (The poems are untitled)

by Joshua age 14

The river flows on
All calm
And peaceful like.
The birds are chirping,
The sky is clear.
Not a single worry, though,
In the world.
My only soda!
I dropped it!
Now it’s gone,
My liquid friend
Floating down
The river (sigh).

(Now the same poem written from bottom to top.)

The river (sigh)
Floating down
My liquid friend,
Now it’s gone.
I dropped it,
My only soda
In the world!
Not a single worry, though.
The sky is clear!
The birds are chirping!
And peaceful like,
All calm,
The river flows on.

by Samuel age 8

goes WooHoo!
Bad goes Uh Oh

(And now in reverse)

Uh oh goes Bad
WooHoo goes

by Mom

All golden,
leaves floated to the ground,
fluttering and swirling,
graceful like
a butterfly.

(And from the bottom to the top)

A butterfly,
graceful, like
fluttering and swirling
leaves, floated to the ground
all golden.

What fun!

So then, after the poetry, in celebration of their efforts, we did an impromptu Poetry Tea. I drove the 3 miles to the bakery in town and picked out our favorite treats while the boys set the table and made some hot chocolate. But what really made this tea time so “golden” was this: that night when their dad returned home, the first things they said to him were, “Hey Dad – you wanna see the cool poems we wrote today?”



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