Luke and I spent the better part of our Sunday morning reading poetry to each other. Really! It was so sweet. It sounds kind of absurd, doesn’t it? Reading poetry? An 8-year old boy and his mama? I do have a little trick – it’s not much of anything more than just leaving certain books laying out on the coffee table in the room we call “our library.” Every so often I just pull a few different books from the shelves and see what the kids pick up. The kids really don’t know I do this – but I do. Sneaky…
Back many many years I was the gifted and talented coordinator for a middle school in Boulder, Co. There I hired a local poet, Kenneth Koch, to help lead a poetry workshop for any kids in the school who wanted to attend. The school library filled up with little poets. Some of the kids, I was afraid, would be distracting and disrespectful but Kenneth had a way of showing them how to bring out emotions, thoughts, and ideas in words. It ended up being a huge hit with everyone! He was not only a master of his craft and a gifted teacher, but he also wrote what I consider to be THE book on teaching kids about poetry.
My copy of the book is pretty tattered and highlighted and marked up. Lots of lovely bits of wisdom there. If you are perhaps a homeschooling mama or just want to get help guide your kids toward reading and/or writing poetry, Wishes Lies and Dreams is a perfect guide. Here’s what the NY Times had to say when it was published in 1973.
So, that was Luke and me. Then last night Maddie sat down and started memorizing poems. It’s actually something I “make” the kids do if they happen to “forget” to do one of their chores. I wondered if maybe she is planning on “forgetting” to do one of her chores and is gearing up for the inevitable Hmmm?