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Unexpected poetry momentsI'm not afraid to say that I dislike most poetry. The kind I...

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linda-allen | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted April 8, 2008 at 7:16 AM via web

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Unexpected poetry moments

I'm not afraid to say that I dislike most poetry. The kind I like best is the kind that "sounds" like a person talking, that is not flowery and high falutin'. The best poetry comes unexpectedly.

When my niece Monica was four years old, I was sitting in the car with her waiting for my sister (her mom) to finish business at her bank. The bank is located in front of factory, and big billows of steam pour out of towering chimneys all day. Monica kept looking at those towers, and when her mom returned, she said, "I know where clouds come from. That is a cloud-making machine." How poetic to turn something ugly into something pretty.

Do you have any unintended poetry moments?

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kwoo1213 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted April 9, 2008 at 3:01 PM (Answer #2)

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My children spout poetry almost every day :-).  I have a 7 year old and 5 year old and they are perceptive, intelligent little guys (I'm not biased, you know LOL).  They constantly surprise me with their innocent and unusual observations about nature, situations, and people.  It is amazing how the eyes of a child are so different from those of an adult.  The next time I incorporate a poetry workshop into one of my courses, I'm going to remember to tell them to try to remember how they looked at life as a child.  Some of the best descriptions come through the words of children!

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ask996 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted April 13, 2010 at 7:36 PM (Answer #3)

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The other day, an unmotivated student of mine was goofing off on an assignment--meaning he was intentionally putting answers that could in no way connect to the meaning he was supposed to be constructing. In doing so, however, he unintentionally came up with something both revealing and poetic--Hidden landmines in childhood’s playground.

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kiwi | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted April 15, 2010 at 8:44 PM (Answer #4)

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My most recent spontaneous poetry was in a note from a parent in my English class, sent to excuse his non- regulation footwear:

Please excuse Drew's shoes,

his regular ones are too wet to wear.

Drew and I had lots of fun looking at rhyme and alliteration. his mom created a great lesson without even knowing! 

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slchanmo1885 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted April 16, 2010 at 2:49 PM (Answer #5)

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I love to do "found poetry" with my students. Have them listen to people's conversations, grabbing snippets of sentences, phrases, or words, and link them together into a poem. Once you get them started on Found Poetry, its hard to stop! Poetry is everywhere, in everything. You can steal phrases and words from signs, spoken conversation, radio and tv audio, music lyrics, etc. This kind of poetry is a great introduction to experimental writing and its so much fun! And its also really entertaining to see what students come up with. 

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted April 16, 2010 at 5:53 PM (Answer #6)

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Children are, indeed, much more poetic in their thoughts, perhaps because they are so spontaneous.  The old game of finding shapes in clouds yet provides similies and metaphors at short notice.

But, one memorable remark was by a young boy in the midst of several adults looking down into a verdant and fertile valley in Italy that closely resembled the Napa Valley in California:  "Now, Mom, that's a postcard!"

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slchanmo1885 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted April 17, 2010 at 7:53 AM (Answer #7)

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Even the way children talk is often very poetic. I remember a nice warm day when all our windows were open and I could hear another class outside leaving their classroom. One child was yelling back to the class "Turtles go to music! Turtles go to music! Its time! Its time! Turtles, Music!" I though it sounded just like a poem or song. (Apparently, that class had different groups and one was called the Turtles.) It was so cute. 

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masaqua | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 18, 2010 at 9:18 AM (Answer #8)

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poetry provokes our iner desirez demands they just serve as though of good sense in a constructive way it is continuous learning procees but pleaseant way madiha batool ma english pakistan
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brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted April 19, 2010 at 3:19 PM (Answer #9)

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Gotta love the poetry of young children.  A long time ago when I was serving a practicum in an elementary school.  We had just given a spelling test and one of the tests came back without a single answer on it, just blank numbers and the following poem, which I have remembered to this day:

Roses are Red,

Violets are blued,

I didn't study,

I'm so screwed.

Not bad for a fourth grader, huh?

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mstultz72 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted April 20, 2010 at 2:32 PM (Answer #10)

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Poetic language, particularly metaphor, is one of two driving forces of literature, in my opinion.  The other is irony, but that takes longer to develop.

If children can make metaphors, they begin the building blocks of seeing the meaning and workings behind and between things.  Analogies are very important in meaning making.

After this come the building blocks of making analogies, deconstruction, contexts, personas, inferences, connotations, metacognition, subtext, and so on...

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engtchr5 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted April 29, 2010 at 5:21 AM (Answer #11)

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Most of my students really like haiku, but some think it's pointless and an exercise in futility.

The other day, one of my brighter female students spouted this off in response to discussion of a haiku:

"Haikus can be fun,
but sometimes they don't make sense.
Refrigerator."

It kept me laughing for hours.

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clairewait | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted May 14, 2010 at 5:59 AM (Answer #12)

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Poetic language, particularly metaphor, is one of two driving forces of literature, in my opinion.  The other is irony, but that takes longer to develop.

If children can make metaphors, they begin the building blocks of seeing the meaning and workings behind and between things.  Analogies are very important in meaning making.

After this come the building blocks of making analogies, deconstruction, contexts, personas, inferences, connotations, metacognition, subtext, and so on...

I think it could be safely argued that metaphor and irony are two of the driving forces in understanding LIFE.

It's pretty typical in a semester that one or more of my students groans and says, "Oh great, another metaphor for life by Mrs. Wait..." but I always know I've hooked them by the end of the year when they are making their own.

I like to think that Jesus' example of talking in parables throughout the gospels was really a message to teachers that the world at large is and forever will be mostly ignorant.  Therefore, it is the job of only the select few to enlighten them on a level they can understand.  Thank you Jesus, for metaphors.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 25, 2010 at 3:01 AM (Answer #13)

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I agree with other editors in finding my children a constant source of inspiration. They truly view the world in an amazing way and how they use their level of language to express their viewpoint is fascinating. The only question is how to we regain something of that lost wonder now we are hardbitten and cynical adults!

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