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Celebrate National Poetry Month by writing poems of your own
CORRECTION: The Poetry Power Workshop is April 29, from 10 a.m. to noon. An earlier version of this article had the wrong time.
CEDAR RAPIDS — In celebration of April as National Poetry Month, the Cedar Rapids Public Library will host a Poetry Power Workshop for third through sixth-graders at the Downtown Library on April 29 from 10 a.m. to noon.
Activities will include bubble gum poetry, equity poetry, movement poetry and nature poetry. The workshop will end with a read-aloud portion of participant’s original poetry or favorite poems.
Registration is required online at events.crlibrary.org/events.
Retired Cedar Rapids Franklin Middle School teacher Deb Siebenga will lead the workshop and shared some activities to help young poets get started. She started with this poem by her father:
What is Poetry by Jack W. Hardcastle
What is poetry? I’ll be darned if I know
Is it words put together in groupings so,
That there is rhythm and there is a beat,
And the words kind of flow off your tongue
It’s so neat:
To read, or write it or just sit and listen
To sounds and the silence…..between them, they glisten,
When poets read poetry with emotions and feeling
Words become pictures and thoughts so appealing ….
So what is poetry? Who really knows?
Just words in packages, tied up in bows?
It’s much more than that without a doubt
It’s man’s inner self, trying to get out.
Deb’s poetry tips
Poetry is your very own voice.
Poetry doesn’t have to rhyme.
Poetry can be funny or serious.
Poems can be very short and meaningful.
Poetry is meant to be shared aloud.
Poetry is creating a piece of art with words.
Poetry can be your gift to family members or others.
Poetry can help you process life.
Poetry allows you to play with words.
Poetry can inspire others.
Artwork and poetry are a wonderful combination. Experiment with being inspired by art and writing poetry or your own painting or drawing in combination with your own poetry. Both are wonderful experiences.
Experiment with chalk poetry by writing outside on your driveway! Inspire your neighborhood to be kind and happy with both art and short poems.
Try some haiku poetry. It’s a Japanese form of poetry that follows a pattern of five syllables, seven syllables and five syllables. Try writing a poem about nature — flowers blooming or a rainstorm.
Add some song and movement to your life with poetry with friends and family. “I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly” is a great example to get you up, singing and moving.
Write a poem for a special family member. Mother’s Day is right around the corner!
Poetry is everywhere once you start looking! You will find it in children’s books, greeting cards, and especially songs.
Submit Your Poem to the Kids Gazette!
Submit your poetry for a chance to be featured in the Kids Gazette! With the help of an adult, email your poem to Kids Gazette editor Grace King at firstname.lastname@example.org. Include your name, age and grade and a photo of yourself!
Looking for more inspiration?
Borrow these recently published poetry books for kids from the library:
- “The Undefeated,” by Kwame Alexander (2019)
- “Legacy: Women Poets of the Harlem Renaissance,” by Nikki Grimes (2021)
- “The 1619 Project: Born on the Water,” by Nikole Hannah-Jones (2021)
- “The Dirt Book: Poems About Animals That Live Beneath Our Feet,” by David L. Harrison (2021)
- “The Last Straw: Kids vs. Plastics,” by Susan Hood (2021)
- “Before We Stood Tall: From Small Seed to Mighty Tree,” by Jessica Kulekjian (2021)
- “The One Thing You'd Save,” by Linda Sue Park (2021)
- “At the Height of the Moon: A Book of Bedtime Poetry and Art,” edited by Annette Roeder, Alison Baverstock, and Matt Cunningham (2021)
- “Take Off Your Brave: The World Through the Eyes of a Preschool Poet,” by Nadim Shamma (2022)
- “Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright! An Animal Poem for Each Day of the Year,” edited by Fiona Waters (2021)