Form Poetry for Children—and You!
Poems can be like hangry little children. They may need a little form to perk them up.
My earliest introduction to poetry was through form, in elementary school. Our language arts classes put together a book of form poems called Pegasus, after the mythical white winged horse who is the symbol for poetry. We wrote short forms, like tanka, senryu, and diamante, forms I still turn to when my poems get fussy.
Rainbow Crow, my picture book of poems for children, owes its existence to my friend Sally Clark, who wrote an ongoing series of form poems for a homeschool publisher. Each month Sally composed thirty form poems, and each month she brought them to our writers’ group for feedback. I felt like I was back in elementary school again — in the best way.
As Sally wrote about ants and pumpkins and dragons (oh my!), I wrote about crows. It had not been long since a crow stole my son’s pair of glasses, kicking off an obsession with these bad birds.
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