Thursday, April 14, 2011

Concrete Poems are Not Heavy

Happy Poem in Your Pocket Day!  Today is a special poem day, for today many people may have secret poems in their pockets.  The poem I have in my pocket today is Choices by Tess Gallagher.  Last year I carried Kindness by Naomi Shihab Nye.

If you don't have a poem in your pocket yet, you might want to find one and put it in there right now.  Then, throughout the can share it with people!

Concrete Poems

Students - I surprised myself this year by writing a whole soup of concrete poems.  A concrete poem is a poem whose meaning partially comes through its shape on the page.  I never had a particular interest in writing concrete poems, and most all of my concrete poems didn't start out as concrete at all. 

Writing a poem each day, however, I began to look at words and patterns differently.  Often after writing words on a page, I'd ask myself, " there anything I could do with the shape of this to make the meaning stronger?"  Then I'd play.  

Asking, "Hmmm...might this be concrete?" became a lens of revision I used often.  So sometimes my poems were revised simply for shape!

from October 2010

from August 2010

Here are a few more concrete poems from this past year.
When I'm Up

Students - you might want to try this too.  After you write a poem, ask yourself, "Would moving these words into a particular arrangement make this poem's meaning stronger?"  If you think it will, try playing and moving and dancing the words across your paper in different ways.  (Sometimes words will have their own minds and surprise you!)

Throughout April, I will continue to revisit last year's poems paired with short writing lessons for the school and home classroom. I welcome you to share your own poems in the comments or through e-mail at amy at amylv dot com.

This Month's Poetry Revisits and Lessons So Far

April 1 -   Poems about Poems
April 2 -   Imagery
April 6 -   Free Verse
April 9 -   Poems about Science
April 10 - Rhyming Couplets  
April 11 -  Riddle Poems 
April 12 -  List Poems 
April 13 -  Poems for Occasions
April 14 -  Today - Concrete Poems

Now...go put a poem in your pocket!  And remember, tomorrow is Poetry Friday.  There will be lots of poetry fun all around the KidLitosphere.

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  1. I used to love concrete poems but haven't played with them in years. You've inspired me to go back to play.

  2. Susan, Thank you for telling me that! You know, it's funny. They've were never my favorite kind of poem...but they're a lot of fun to play with. Sometimes it seems like the words just WANT to go that way! A.

  3. Excellent article. Very interesting to read. I really love to read such a nice article. Thanks! keep rocking. particularly stamped