The Poetry of Summer

Hello to all of you out there enjoying summer! Have you noticed how quickly the calendar pages have been turning lately? It’s hard to believe that school will be starting shortly in some parts of the country.

Here in Bozeman, Montana, the children still have nearly a month left before heading back to school. There’s plenty of time to quietly absorb the rhythm of long summer days and warm summer nights.

I’ve been super busy with a project for most of the summer but it will be completed this coming weekend and I’m hoping to be able to slip into the slower pace of summer and let it take on a cadence of it’s own.

I got to thinking about the rhythm and cadence of summer and realized that it could be compared to a poem. The soft breezes combing through the strands of a wind chimes, the shadows in the backyard growing longer in the late afternoon.

The quick fluttering of bird wings at the feeder and the splashing of kids in the pool all weave into the movement and texture of summer.

Towards the end of each school year at Hawthorne School, the fifth grade classrooms had a Poetry Fest. Each child brought a poetry book that he had worked on over a period of several weeks.

The books contained carefully copied poems of well-known poets and not-so-well-known poets as examples of different poetry styles. In addition, each child’s book contained some original poems she had crafted and carefully illustrated.

The Poetry Fest allowed kids the opportunity to play with words and put them into rhyming stanzas. Or not. The variety and creativity of the kid-written poems was marvelous. And listening to the children recite their poems was a treat.

As a nod to the students’ poetry and as a celebration of the beauty of summer, I’ve put together a little ditty of my own.

Summer Is Too Short

I looked at the calendar today
And quickly jumped back in dismay.

For August now merrily sits
Where June just recently alit.

Was the calendar messed up at the printer?
We are moving too quickly towards winter!

Or maybe there’s a little Time-Jester,
Who sneaks in my house just to pester.

I bet he slyly waits till I’m busy
Then turn pages so fast that I’m dizzy!

But whatever the reason might be,
I raise my voice in this heartfelt plea:

Mr. Time, please don’t fly by so fast,
I just really want my summer to last!

Well, it may not be the best example of summer poetry, but it’s what came to my mind. How about you and your child? Are you ready to sit down and put together some summer poetry of your own?

Writing a few verses of poetry can be a fun exercise for your child. It can be good practice with rhyming words, with building phrases into a rhythm and with getting an idea to flow through the use of words.

Need some inspiration to get you going? (Other than my ditty above??) Here’s a link to a great poetry site for kids, Ken Nesbitt’s poetry4kids.com. You can start with Ken’s “Dreaming of Summer” poem and then explore his site for more entertaining poetry.

Another site with a nice little selection of summer poems is mommymanders.com.  Click here to read some fun poetry.

If these two sites aren’t enough to get you inspired, simply do a search for “poems about summer for kids”. You’ll have more than enough poems to get your family composing verse!

Well, I guess that’s it for today. I think I’ll go write down a bunch of rhyming words, stir them around in my head and see what comes out! Hope you and your children find some time this week to get your creative juices flowing and compose some fun summer poetry.

Cathie

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