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Just 4 Kidz: A Poetry Primer
A Poetry Primer : Page 2 of 2

Exploring Haiku, Calligram, Acrostic, and Persona Poems

Just 4 Kidz: A Poetry Primer

By Molly Anderson-Childers

(continued from page 1)

Have You Seen This Missing Persona?

A persona poem is an interesting way to experiment with different poetic styles and voices. Persona poems allow your imagination to run wild! You can create a poem from the perspective of another person, an animal, an inanimate object, or even your favorite cartoon character!

Try this… Close your eyes. Imagine you are a tiger. Every detail is important… what do you see, smell, taste, fee, and hear? When you have formed a clear picture in your mind, write about it. I’m guessing you’ll find a poem hidden somewhere!

The Case of the Lost and Found Poems

Sometimes I lose a poem. This is sad, but when your house is full to bursting with journals and notebooks, it happens more often than I’d like to admit. I’m willing to bet that the same thing happens to all poets once in awhile, no matter how careful they are. Poems are tiny, slippery creatures, prone to disappearing at the first opportunity.

And sometimes, if I’m extremely lucky and observant, I can find a poem out in the world, just waiting for me to discover it. What is a found poem? Good question! I don’t mean copying someone else’s work — that’s plagiarism, and no self-respecting writer does it. No, I’m talking about finding poetry hidden in the random words you see every day. Grocery stores, coffee-shops, newspaper ads, dictionaries, phone books, and junk mail contain tiny bits of poems for the Poetic Detective who is willing to dig a little deeper to solve this tricky case.

Look around and find some interesting words, phrases and names. Re-arrange them, throw some out, add a few favorites from your Word-Pool, and soon a found poem will emerge like magic!

Creative Ways to Share Your Work

“Look around and find some interesting words, phrases and names. Re-arrange them, throw some out, add a few favorites from your Word-Pool, and soon a found poem will emerge like magic!”

Last month, we explored book-making as a way to combine poetry and visual art and share your work with others. Here are a few more marvelous ideas… enjoy! There is great satisfaction in knowing that your poems are out there in the wide world, having adventures of their own and giving the reader unexpected gifts.

  • Write or type your poems on sheets of construction paper. Decorate them wildly, then fold each piece into a paper airplane. Then, find a parent or adult friend to accompany you to a tall building on a busy street. Let your words loose upon an unsuspecting world as you pilot your poem-planes towards the pedestrians below!
  • Write some short poems on index cards, and put a message on the back of each one with your name and address, asking the person who finds the poem to send a postcard, telling how far it traveled. Place each card into a sandwich bag, attach each one to a helium balloon, and set them free in your backyard or a nearby park. This is fun to do alone or with a friend; it’s also a great activity for a party, or a writing workshop!
  • Write a haiku on ten postcards, and send them to random people in the phonebook.
  • Instead of a lemonade stand, sell cool, refreshing poems at a booth in your front yard!
  • If you have a school paper, share your poems with the editor and see if you can get published!
  • Make fliers full of your poetry and art, then hang them everywhere… stapled to bulletin boards and telephone poles, rolled up and stuffed into someone’s bike basket, or under a rock at the park.
  • Donate a book of poems and artwork to a local charity or non-profit organization. For example, if you like to write poetry about animals, donate your work to the humane society, or a local wildlife refuge.
  • Using wildly colorful chalk, decorate the sidewalks in your neighborhood with your original artwork and poetry!

© 2006 Molly J. Anderson-Childers. All rights reserved.

Please respect the creator's copyright by not duplicating this material on your Web site, blog, or print publication without the author's permission.

About the Author | More by Molly Anderson-Childers
Molly J. Anderson-Childers is a wildly creative soul living in Durango, CO. She is a writer, artist, and creative arts instructor. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Fort Lewis College with a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology, and successfully completed their Elementary Teacher Education Program. Her work has appeared in various publications, including The Durango Telegraph, Southwest Colorado Arts Perspective, Images, Voice Be Heard, The Four Corners Business Journal and On the Wings of Poetry. To contact Ms. Childers, please email her at: stealingplums[at]yahoo.com or send a snail mail to P.O. Box 4281, Durango, CO 81302-4281.

6/26/06