Tuesday, November 19, 2013

              Tips for Teaching Students to Write Poetry

1)  Marinate kids in lots of poems. Students need two kinds of poetry: playful poems they “get” quickly, as well as deeper poems that haunt them.
2)  Write small. Poets take pleasure in naming the world.  Look for the odd, disturbing detail. 
3)  “The secret wish of poetry is to stop time.” (Charles Simic) Try to render the experience, not explain it.  Don’t say too much. 
4)  Try to create tension in the poem.
5)  Look for the mystery in your subject.
6)  See if you can end with your strongest line.
7)  Listen to suggestions, but learn to trust yourself.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

     How To Cook A Flower

                                    Stir seeds into well-drained soil.
                                    Fold in a half-cup live worms.
                                    Sprinkle in occasional rain
                                    until green shoots appear.
                                    Blend in sun mixed with shade.
                                    Add a dash of moonlight.
                                    Bake on low four to six weeks
                                    in the unhurried oven of summer.
                                    When the air starts smelling sweet
                                    it’s ready to be served—almost.

                                    Swirl in butterflies.
                                    Whip in bees.

                                                                    © Ralph Fletcher