Last night, I gave ML a choice. Work on a poem for her school’s Poetry Celebration or clean her room. She chose to clean her room. Then shouted, “It’s opposite day.”
We turned the evening into a night of poetry. First, reading a few poems of ML’s choosing from the classic, A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein.
Next, we read Dogku by Andrew Clements and illustrated by Tim Bowers. A fun picture book about a stray dog looking for a home. Each page of text is a haiku. I read ML the author’s note at the end of the book. “Ever feel like there are so many words? And how could I ever put some together and make a poem? That’s when a haiku can seem like a lifeboat. A haiku is so simple — only 17 syllables, 5/7/5. And who can resist to write one? Not me.”
I’m always amazed at the things ML’s learned without my knowing it. When I asked “Do you know what syllables are? She sighed, “Of course, Ms. Vinal taught us.” Ms Vinal is the music teacher. What a great place to learn about syllables.
Finally, I asked, “Do you want to write a haiku?” She said, “No, you.” So I unleashed my inner poet. ML checked to make sure the first line was five syllables, the second seven syllables and the third five syllables. Two of my poems received checks. One received, “try again.” The two correctly formatted poems are below. Embarrassingly the one with too few syllables included ML’s name. I forgot it has three syllables, not two.
blue yellow green pink
my favorite flowers are
zinnias, rose, pansies
brush, brush brush your teeth
toothbrush up, down, all around
brush them very clean.
Yesterday, we received another picture book told through haiku: Hi, Koo! A Year of Seasons by Jon J. Muth. I told ML about it when she was picking out bedtime books. She was eager to read it. I looked in my bag and realized I left it at work. I need to go put it in my bag right now before I forget. While I’m doing that, sit down and try to write your own haiku. You’ll exercise a part of your brain many adults often forget to use.