Posts Tagged ‘Pablo Neruda’

Poetry Friday round-up is with Bridget at wee words for wee ones.

Pablo Neruda was the master at writing odes, skinny poems of praise that would go on and on, metaphor after metaphor, describing the most ordinary thing. With my student Chloe, we read Neruda’s Ode to My Socks. We discussed metaphor. Then I asked her to write a skinny ode about something she cares about. Gymnastics came to mind right away. She made the connection between the uneven bars and a tree, and off she went.

Ode to the Uneven Bars

A high twig
it holds me. I’m
a feather. 
on air
that bring
me higher,
my hands
are explorers
that discovered
a path
to the
world of

I hold up
my invisible
that reach
from island
to island.
My hands
are telescopes
that help me
see the world.
My arms 
around trees,
my hands
out of
going everywhere.
they fly
higher than
the trees
that wait
for me.

Chloe, 5th grade
2018 Summer Youth Olympics
Sandro Halank, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0

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Find more celebration posts at Ruth’s blog.

Jacob’s lovely painting for #More for AKR

Today, I am celebrating Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s birthday. This beacon of lovely died earlier this year, but she has left behind a legacy of kindness that is spreading like the fan of her yellow umbrella. Kirby Larson started a Facebook group. People from every state in the country have joined to celebrate today and do More. Amy’s lovely book I Wish You More has inspired a movement that will be felt globally today on her birthday.

I have been crocheting chemo bags out of fun colorful yarn. Students from my school have donated items to add to these kits. We will be delivering them to a local hospital for kids going through chemo.

I was inspired by Keri to buy a Peter Reynolds poster featuring one of Amy’s quotes. The posters will benefit the AKR Yellow Umbrella Foundation.

Here we are at the end of National Poetry Month, and I am wishing for more.  We made it to the letter O for Odes.  I read aloud a few of Pablo Naruda’s Ode to Common Things.  He was the master.  I love the way his odes read like a stream of consciousness.  I joined my students in writing odes.  And of course, I felt it appropriate to write an Ode to Poetry.

I’ve listen
to your song,
your rhyme,
rhythm–the tap,
tap, tap
of your dancing pen.

Oh poetry,
born of Pablo,
and Emily.
You hypnotize me.

A single line
can make my heart swell.
I can hear my own voice
echoing in your rivers.
Together we roam
the world,
hand in hand
finding flowers,
and geese
along the way.

I jump
into your arms,
oh, poetry.
Let me rock
on your squeaky swing,
holding onto
every word.
Pronouncing each syllable
with perfect pitch.

” On 4/29 at 4:20 PM, text someone I love you. This is what I would like for my birthday each year.” AKR

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The master of the ode is Pablo Neruda. Today, being the letter O in my ABC series of poetry, I pulled out Odes to Common Things. This is a lovely book, full of wandering odes and fine drawings of ordinary things from spoons to oranges and even socks. I love to read these odes aloud. To listen to the sound of the language as well as relish the metaphor.

From Ode to the orange

the world was made
in your likeness
and image:
the sun was made round, surrounded
by peels of flame,
and night strewed its engine and its path
with your blossoms.”

To write my own ode, I only had to look for what I love and adore in the ordinary day. And it had to be mint. I brew tea every day with mint. I crave Thin Mint cookies and Dark Chocolate Mint M&Ms. I grow a pot of mint, and I recall the mint flavor of tzatziki on my trip to Greece. Italics indicate lines from Neruda.

Give us this day
fresh from the garden
overflowing wandering flower,
your scent
waters my mouth,
makes tea
taste of heaven
sent by Greek Gods
churned in the waters
of the Aegean Sea.
I relish your comfort,
by my side.
The scent of wandering spring
singing your song,
Glory to God; Alleluia for mint
wrapped in dark chocolate
dropped in M&Ms,
green spring
brings to life
my taste buds
and my love
of herbal scents,
refreshes my wandering mind,
tames this wild spirit,
hallows the good earth.

Today is Poem in your Pocket Day. Find a poem. Share a poem today. pocket_logo2

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Slice of Life Tuesday

Slice of Life Tuesday

In this wonderful world of blogging, I discover new and exciting writers. This weekend on a visit to Barnes and Noble, I picked up a copy of Gone Fishing by Tamera Will Wissinger. This is the kind of book I wish I had written. Gone Fishing is a verse novel, but not only that; it teaches different poetry forms and literary devices along the way, an elementary writing teacher’s dream text. I also enjoy Tamera’s posts on Poetry Friday at her blog, The Writer’s Whimsey. I used this book to introduce the ode by reading “For the Love of Harold, Best of the Worms.” The illustrations by Matthew Cordell are adorable, too.


From Amy Ludwig VanDerwater at Poem Farm, I am inspired to sketch into poetry. Amy is a much better sketcher than I, but I reminded my students that it’s not about the product, it’s about the thinking time when you are sketching.

And the last source of inspiration for writing odes came from the master himself, Pablo Neruda. I splurged and bought a hard bound copy of Odes to Common Things. I read aloud a number of his odes. From “Ode to a pair of socks:”

    My feet were
    two woolen
    in those outrageous socks,
    two gangly,
    navy-blue sharks
    on a golden thread,
    two giant blackbirds,
    two cannons:
    were my feet

My students loved hearing the rambling praise of something so ordinary. They laughed and called out,”How can he write all that about a pair of socks!”

So, inspired by Tamera, Amy, and Pablo, we sketched and wrote odes. I finally found a way to write about my ankle. I had tendonitis from November to April. I am now able to dance again and go on long walks, so I give praise to my ankle.

foot sketch 2

I never thought before
about the importance of an ankle
joint until pain came,
swelling, annoying,
limping, awkward
twisted shift in stride.
Turning talocrural-
where foot and leg unite,
back and forth fulcrum
functioning fine until
it didn’t.
My ankle wanted to be noticed,
announcing its presence
to gain some appreciation
in my world.
Here I am, said ankle to me,
the most complicated,
intricate joint
in your entire body,
thank me, why don’t you?
See how I dorsiflex
and articulate,
turn the a, b, c,
but can you make it to Z, hah!
Not without me!

Oh, gentle joint,
I love how you roll,
how you stretch and adjust;
you are a fine friend.
I will carry you tenderly,
massage you regularly,
soak you in Epsom salt,
and praise you
when I walk,
You are mine forever.
We are going places,
you and me.

To read some of students’ odes, go to our Slice of Life kidblog site.

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Join the Tuesday Slice of Life

In my classroom, things are winding down to the last day, and we are only on P in our journey through the ABCs of poetry.   Yesterday, we wrote skinny odes for the letter O.  The skinny ode lesson I used was from a master poetry teacher, the late Sandford Lyne.  Sandy was so good at front loading, getting us ready to write.  I often rush through this step.  But on Monday, I decided to take the full ride, no short cuts.  So I read a few Pablo Neruda odes along with some other models Sandy had given us.  Then I led a full brainstorm exercise.  The questions asked about everything from shape to taste with many other questions in between, 16 in all.  The kids grumbled about all the questions, but they worked.  We writers had plenty of ideas for writing our skinny odes. The trick when writing skinny odes is to fold the paper hotdog style down the center and not to write over the line.  This keeps your lines short or skinny.   I will feature my ode and one of my students, a third grade gifted writer.

Ode to a Student

O, how you look
with curiosity
at the pages
of your book,
studying, learning,
making crevices in your brain.
How can I reach in?
Will you listen to me?
Enter my room in
wonder, ready
to create, think,
question, answer,
be yourself.

Can we walk together?
Forge ahead,
make new inventions,
new ideas,
write new stories?
Together, not as parent
and child, but coach
and team.
Shout the cheer!
The world is ready
to hear you.
Be kind.
Discover horizons.
Make known
your potential.
Be the best
you can be!

Ode to a Canvas
by Kylon

White rectangle,
my hands stretch over it.
I stroke it with a dry brush,
light strokes
testing myself,
testing my painting skills.
Paint finally collides
creating sprouts of orange and red.
The rectangle’s blanketed now.
Paint everywhere,
a season on material.
Coats and layers,
swirls of yellow
leaves fly back and forth,
a fall masterpiece.

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