Sunday, November 21, 2010

Captive in a Book? Read Poem #236

A Reading Birthday
Photo by Amy LV

Students - this poem is written in rhyming couplets, meaning that each pair of lines rhymes.  Each line in this poem has eight beats, except for line three which has seven.  How do I know this?  I know this because I am constantly tapping out beats with my fingers, listening for the rhythms in my lines.  Sometimes I change a whole line or set of lines because the beats do not sound right.  The seven-beat line in this poem still sounded good to me, so I kept it even though it was the only one.

If you want to try writing a poem with a specific meter, go for it.  Count out the beats as you go, and after you are finished, count them out again.  See if any lines are way off.  Sometimes I notice that one line is super-long, and I break it into two.  It is a wonderful thing to be in charge of your own poem.  You can make and break the lines however you wish!

Teachers and parents - as we work to help children love reading and increase their agency over learning,  Alfie Kohn's article from ENGLISH JOURNAL provides us some thoughtful insights.  Read "How to Create Nonreaders" for inspiration and good thought.

(Please click on COMMENTS below to share a thought.)


  1. Thanks, Amy! We're all happy to be captive here in your poems! This one should be anthologized everywhere!

  2. Hi Amy! I feel like this in the summer when I can really escape into a book. During the school year I long to be held captive....hope that you are well!

  3. Dear Amy,

    My name is Beth. I am in second grade at Pinehurst Elementary. My teacher is Mrs. Evancho. She reads us your poems. I love your poems so much that I write my own poems now too. Than you for writing such great poems.

    Love, Beth

  4. Charles, Thank you...I am happy to be captive in yours! (As you know!)
    Lori, Yes, those summer days reel us right into books. We are really well, excited for Thanksgiving. I hope your family has a wonderful one! A.
    Dear Beth, Thank you so much for your note and kind compliment. Mrs. Evancho is a wonderful teacher, and I am tickled pink that you are writing your own poems. One of my big hopes at The Poem Farm is that young writers like you will get out your own pencils and paper and make worlds out of words! If you ever wish to share one of your poems with me, my e-mail address is amy at amylv dot com. I would love to read your work. Your note made my day - thank you and happy Thanksgiving! Your Friend, Amy ps - Please give Mrs. Evancho a hug from me. :)

  5. A happy captive! I love it! Perfect!