Posts Tagged ‘anaphora’

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I love to go for a walk in the morning. Getting out of the house is my problem. First, I have coffee. Then I check email and these days, write a Slice and read some Slices. Comment. I get sucked in. Even with this problem of getting out of the door, once I’m out, I’m never sorry. Most days when I get back home, there’s a mad rush to get ready for school. Somewhere in this morning routine, I try to get in some writing. Sometimes the writing happens while I am walking. Notes app, microphone on.

My grandson Leo visited this past weekend. He is highly creative. He draws with amazing design, unlike most scribblings of a 4-year old. Last week we ran into my cousin Andrew, the architect, during Mardi Gras. I showed Andrew Leo’s drawings. My daughter started a shared album about a year ago, so I have them on my phone.

Andrew told me a story about his second grade teacher. He loved to build things, and his mother, my aunt, would throw out things like paper towel tubes, boxes, and magazines, etc.. But not Andrew’s teacher. She had a box of trash just for him. An Andrew box full of scraps to build with. He has never forgotten this and may be the artist he is today because of it.

Being Mamere I collected toilet paper tubes, gumballs, and a box. Early on Saturday morning (Leo woke up at 5:30 AM), I showed him the stuff. “You can make whatever you want.” I gave him a plastic container with glue and a paintbrush and left him alone. He created something. When his mother saw it, she noticed that he had even found a wad of cat hair to add to the top of one of the towers. I placed the sculpture in my new butterfly garden to hopefully attract insects and caterpillars.

Leo’s sculpture
Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Tanita at {fiction, instead of lies} for Roundup.

For Poetry Friday, it is the first Friday, so the Inklings (my writing group) have a new challenge. And it came from me. I asked my friends to toy with the use of anaphora (repetition) in a poem using the mentor text from Jericho Brown, Crossing. I wrote one last week that I ended up putting in the trash, so I didn’t have anything to share. Remember the walk I took? I spoke a poem into my Notes app that is my poem offering today.

To see other Inklings poems:

Linda @A Word Edgewise
Heidi @my juicy little universe
Molly @Nix the Comfort Zone
Catherine @Reading to the Core
Mary Lee Hahn @Another Year of Reading

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Poetry Friday round-up is with Sylvia today at Poetry for Children.

Rain is falling again.  That’s the way it is here in South Louisiana in the summer.

Rain and green.

Rain and steam.

Rain and gleam.

I could write a bayou poem about it always raining.  In my new book, Bayou Song, I have a few favorite poems.  Like children, it’s hard to pick a favorite, but today I am thinking about the poem There is always…

This poem uses anaphora, a repeated line. I think I stole it from Jane Yolen, but I can’t be sure.  One thing about writing poetry is poetry begets more poetry. For my next writing project, I hope to keep better tabs on where the inspiration comes from.

If you’d like a personalized copy of Bayou Song, I can mail it directly to you with payment using Paypal.  Email me at margaretsmn at gmail.

Bayou Song has had a beautiful blog tour so far.  Today the stop is with my friend and writing critique partner, Linda Mitchell.  Check it out. 

Friday, June 22:
Michelle Kogan

Tuesday, June 26:
Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core

Friday, June 29:
Ruth Hersey at There is no such thing as a God-forsaken town

Friday, July 6:
Kimberly Hutmacher at Kimberly Hutmacher Writes

Friday, July 13:
Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise

Tuesday, July 17:
Laura Shovan 

Tuesday, July 24
Amanda Potts at Persistence and Pedagogy

Friday, July 27:
Carol Varsalona at Beyond LiteracyLink

Monday, July 30
Linda Baie at Teacher Dance

Friday, Aug. 3
Dani Burtsfield at Doing the Work that Matters


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Poetry Friday round-up with Kimberley at Written Reflections

Poetry Friday round-up with Kimberley at Written Reflections

Inspired by Naomi Shihab Nye’s poem How Long Peace Takes from 19 Varieties of Gazelle, my students and I wrote our own How Long poems. The repeated line “As long as” followed by images works well to inspire poetry.  I wrote one about healing. I am slowly recovering from my tailbone injury. The bayou seems to appear often in my poems and as I am recovering, I have watched the bayou every day. Such a peaceful place to heal.

Peak through the old cypress to the brown bayou.

Peak through the old cypress to the brown bayou.

How Long Healing Takes

As long as reflections of tall trees on a winding bayou.

As long as the slow mowing of a field of grass.

As long as the the thread of soft yarn
winds its way into a baby’s blanket.

As long as the body insists
on being separate and human.

As long as instinct is ignored
and we just talk louder to each other.

As long as the cat
finds a box in the closet,
comfort in cardboard.
She hides all day invisible.

As long as the flowers in the vase
smile their peachy-orange smile
and say stay,
be well.
–Margaret Simon

And now for a few students’s poems.

How Long Patience Takes

As long as you rise at dawn

As long as the sun rises above
to shine upon us

As long as the teapot sings
a steamy song

As long as long as you make a wish
at 11:11

As long as you blow out you candles
on your special day

As long as you have

As long as you leave at dusk

–Emily, 5th grade

How Long Creativity Takes

As long as you’re reading
with a smile on your face
so deep in your book
you can’t hear anything

As long as you’re drawing
letting the pencil control you
light and dark lines
here and there

As long as you’re brainstorming
with ideas flowing out left and right
shouting them out like you don’t care
while you peacefully think of some more

As long as you’re writing
with a pen in your hand
as you think of a story
and poem at the same time

As long as you let your imagination flow
making dreams a reality
and never losing hope
and letting your mind run wild

As long as you never stop believing
believe in the impossible
step out your comfort zone
and live a creative life

–Erin, 4th grade

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Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for Tuesdays Slice of Life Challenge.

Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for Tuesdays Slice of Life Challenge.

Use this button created by Leigh Anne Eck to post your Digital Poetry this month.

Use this button created by Leigh Anne Eck to post your Digital Poetry this month.

My writing critique partner and blogging friend, Catherine Flynn, wrote her own version of Some Reasons to Write a Poem by Bob Raczka from the newly released Poetry Friday Anthology of Celebrations. I commented that her poem would make a great mentor text for student writers. Then, of course, I had to try it myself. And with images. I’ve combined my words and images in two videos. One I made with my new favorite toy, Nutshell. The other I used an old favorite app, Animoto. Animoto gave me more flexibility in using my images. But I like the quick creativity of the Nutshell. Whatever video application you use, try out making a poem movie. And share on Twitter using #digipoetry.

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It’s National Poetry Month and I am posting poems using forms, styles, and tools in alphabetical order. (For as long as it works. I may take some poetic license for this.) Jama has graciously gathered all the wonderful poetry blogs at her site, Jama’s Alphabet Soup.

One of my students named this month of writing “April ABCs.”

A is for anaphora. Have you heard of this before? I love it when my gifted kids say “I’ve never heard of that before.” A true teachable moment.

I have written a blog post for Caroline Starr Rose that speaks more about this writing technique, so stay tuned for the publication date for that post.

Anaphora is the repetition of a word or group of words at the beginning of successive phrases. Politicians use it for emphasis. “I Have a Dream” being the most famous. Poets use it to create memorable images and details. When writing with my students, I realized that anaphora can lead to powerful metaphor. If I teach this technique again, I think I would ask the students to include all the senses as well.

Henri-Francois Riesener

Henri-Francois Riesener

I am a Mother

I am the small gold locket you wear on your neck.
I am the scented perfume on your skin.
I am the taste of sweet milk on your tongue.
I am the curl of hair you place behind your ear.
I am the voice that sings a soft lullaby.
I am the warm tender finger wiping away a tear.
I am the earth under your feet, the heart that beats
in time with yours, reminding you each day
you are loved.
–Margaret Simon, all rights reserved

Poetry writing has a way of getting to the core. When the quiet student reads aloud, we realize he’s not only a poet inside, but a real thinking feeling human being. I’m afraid gifted kids, especially the boys, often become a subject of bullying. Sadly, I think K had experienced bullying, and he expressed it in his poem.

This is the quiet kid sitting in the corner.
This is the annoying kid sitting on the porch.
This is the little kid sitting on the lonely swing sets.
This is the lonely kid sitting at the table with no friends.
This is the unnoticeable kid sitting while being bullied.
This is the “weird” kid, a victim with memories and scars

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