Posted by: nancyisanders | July 25, 2011

Summer Reads: Children’s Poetry

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Writing Poetry

by Nikki Moustaki

Moustaki recommends that we keep multiple journals if we want to write poetry. One reason is to keep journals handy so that wherever we are, if the poet’s must strikes us, we can jot down our poetic inspirations.

Another reason she recommends this is to keep journals for different topics. One about fears, one about daily activities, one about humor, and so on.

So I decided to start a second poetry journal, mostly to keep one handy out in the family room where I’m sitting and playing a lot with our new kittens, Sandman and Pitterpat.

We’re trying to enjoy playing with Sandman and Pitterpat together. But we’re also trying to give them one-on-one time with us each on their own.

So today we put Pitterpat back on our bedroom and she settled down for a nap on a fuzzy blanket on our bed.

Then we kept Sandman out in the family room with us. He sat on my lap for about an hour, playing with a little ribbon and his stuffed pink piggie. He got sleepier and sleepier until he finally konked out, purring all the time. After he slept a little bit on my lap, he crawled off and stretched out on a fuzzy red blanket by my side, where he’s been sleeping ever since.

And while he’s been sleeping and cuddling and purring, I have been jotting down ideas in my journal for poems. It’s fun to have this journal! I write down little snippets of word phrases that go together, short lists of rhyming words, and brainstorming ideas for children’s poetry. One of the poems actually gelled. It’s short, but so are many of Jack Prelutsky’s in his book I’m reading, SOMETHING BIG HAS BEEN HERE. Here’s my poem.

The couch is a mountain for kittens to climb,
and under the chair is a cave.
The plant is a jungle with long swinging vines.
The tub is an ocean with waves.

I’m having fun with my journals…do you have any writing journals you’re writing in this summer?

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