Posts Tagged ‘skinny odes’

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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I bought a new set of gel pens and shared them with my students.  We had fun writing skinny odes (fold your paper in half and only write to the crease mark), and making zines.  My newest student Rylee, who is a bright first grader, wrote an ode to her dog.  She drew a picture of her dog on her journal page and for her zine decided to cut it out into four parts and glue it on different pages.  I don’t question the creativity of a first grader.

Ode to my Dog

Oh, how I love my dog.

He licks me.
He sits on my lap.

He plays with me.

He is the cutest
dog around.

My dog had to go
somewhere else.

–Rylee, 1st grade


Ode to the Glitter Pen

Oh, the glittery life
of an orange gel pen
dipped in sparkly gems.

You write like
glass across the page,

smooth as a soft
silky scarf.

Ink that glows and flows
like orange lip gloss,

lines that bring
sunshine to
this poem.

–Margaret Simon, draft, 2019


A page from my zine.



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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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SOL #13

SOL #13

Join the roundup with Laura Shovan at Author Amok.

Join the roundup with Laura Shovan at Author Amok.

Bayou morning photo by Margaret Simon

Bayou morning photo by Margaret Simon

I love touring the slicing community and finding ideas.  Greg Armamentos has inspired me once again. He posted about writing dueling poems with opposite words. He and his student teacher wrote about old and young here.

I spoke with Tyler, a 6th grader,  about his slice for the day. He didn’t know what to write. I challenged him to a duel. He suggested sun and moon. He took moon, and I took sun (which, btw, we have not seen in days.)

I’ve been missing you lately
hidden behind sheets
of stratonimbus clouds.
Where have you gone?
When I wake up each morning,
you wave to me
along the bayou waters
touching tree limbs
with gentle, warm kisses.

I look for you
send your glowing rays
out from the clouds
to light up a rainbow.

I find you
in the wild flowers blooming
golden in the grass
sending scents
of glory and love
like honeysuckle– the taste
of sweetness on my tongue.

My pale peach skin
longs for your tanning rays,
bringing health back to my cheeks
and energy to my walk.

Won’t you come home, bright star?
I miss you.

–Margaret Simon

Tyler’s response: The Moon (Click here to leave comments for Tyler)

On the ocean
your light shines.
Lighting the way
during the night.
Controlling tides
as you please.
You are a guardian, the
Man on the Moon.
I see you in the day,
but better at night.
You watch us
sleep and protect
us as you do so.
Stay the same
no matter what
they say.


From Creative Commons

From Creative Commons

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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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