Poetry is truly a unique art, and not necessarily a simple one. When crafting poetry, consider this advice that C.S. Lewis gave to new poets:
One of the first things we have to say to a beginner who has brought us his MS. is, “Avoid all epithets which are merely emotional. It is no use telling us that something was ‘mysterious’ or ‘loathsome’ or ‘awe-inspiring’ or ‘voluptuous.’ Do you think your readers will believe you just because you say so? You must go quite a different way to work. By direct description, by metaphor and simile, by secretly evoking powerful associations, by offering the right stimuli to our nerves (in the right degree and the right order), and by the very beat and vowel-melody and length and brevity of your sentences, you must bring it about that we, we readers, not you, exclaim ‘how mysterious!’ or ‘loathsome’ or whatever it is. Let me taste for myself, and you’ll have no need to tell me how I should react to the flavor.
Lewis’ advice to describe what you are communicating, rather than telling the reader how to feel, goes beyond just poetry and can be applied to all types of writing.
If you are interested in a poetry course, take a look at IEW’s Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization. “Introduce your students to the beauty of literature through the doorway of poetry. Enrich vocabulary while infusing reliably correct and sophisticated English language patterns into students' minds. How? By listening to and memorizing these classic poems and speeches, which are read with flair and finesse!” To learn more, visit IEW.com/LDP.
Congratulations to the student-authors who were published in this newsletter:
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Thank you to everyone who submitted his or her work to our poetry edition! We encourage you to keep writing and submit again!
After reading the poem “Months” by Sara Coleridge, the author wrote her own version of “Months” using Canadian climate.
January brings cold and ice,
Skating, sledding are so nice.
February brings games inside,
“UNO,” “Go-Fish,” or run and hide!
March brings rain that brings the mud,
Then Mom says, “Get in the tub!”
April brings the robin’s song
Digging for a worm so long.
May brings tulips, daffodils,
Violets which cover hills.
June brings frogs of green and black,
The blue herons are glad they’re back!
July is hot and brings no school,
It’s so cool in the pool.
August brings the campfires,
Roasting marshmallows till we’re tired.
Fresh September brings the breeze,
Coloured leaves float from the trees.
Cool October brings bright gourds,
Scampering squirrels find nuts to hoard.
Crisp November brings the frost,
Then the whirling leaves are tossed.
December brings us Christmas joys,
Presents, too, for girls and boys!
Spring in Its Full by Tommy Butler, age 10
When spring is in its full,
Oh, how the flowers blossom so,
The blue jay goes right by,
Its wings are spread to fly.
Oh, how the sun reflects its light
Upon the pools so clear and bright,
Oh, the birds’ singing fills me with delight
I look upon the pools so clear and bright.
Oh, my heart delights to know
How spring has sweetly blossomed so.
Autumn’s Treasures by Charley Kastl, age 12
Swirling leaves falling down
Wind whirling, frosty panes
Fireplaces crackling, freezing rains
Soft blankets piled high
Snuggled tight and pumpkin pie
Clove, cinnamon, nutmeg too
Campfire smells from our chimney flue
Hats, mittens, cozy hearts,
Cocoa steaming, fresh baked tarts
Birds flying south for winter’s stay
Squirrels busy packing their food away.
Bunnies burrow beneath the ground,
Warmer days cannot be found.
Now it’s time for nature’s rest,
With Autumn’s treasures we’ve been blessed.
The Beginning of the World by Malachi Williams, age 14
The dark abounds, a coal-black cover
But something’s happening here
Through the void God’s Spirit hovers
A dazzling light appears
Silence gone, a voice has spoken
The void trembles with its might
Something’s coming, darkness broken
By the words, “Let there be light!”
The seas are raging, gladly praising
Mountains seem to touch the sky
There’s no doubt, our God is working
Three days have gone by
By God’s words, at the horizon
A golden light, so strong and clear
God said,” This star shall be the sun -
And marks the first of years!”
Then He took the dust to form a man
And breathed life in his chest
God took his hand and smiled
“Son, you’re good, I’ll love your kind the best”
When the man had gone to sleep
God took a rib from Adam’s side
A partner for the man He made
And Adam got a bride
With stillness gone and darkness fading
God’s creation shall unfurl
Behold God’s glory by what He’s made
At the beginning of the world
The Colors of Music by Erica Strozier, age 15
As the song begins to play,
Many colors are in array.
From purples to golds and greens and blues,
Each note in the song takes on its own hue.
C is golden like the morning sun,
Warm and glowing, bright and fun.
Soft, dusty purple is E-flat,
Like a comforting blanket, draped over a cat.
A is a muted, peaceful light green,
Graceful and calm, subdued and serene.
A vivid scarlet red is D,
A luscious fresh-picked strawberry.
E is a lighthearted, cheery lime green,
Like soft, new grass at the dawn of spring.
F is calm, deep, and blue,
Just like a peaceful ocean view.
A cotton candy pink is G,
Spontaneously joyful, fluffy and sweet.
F-sharp, neon orange, bright,
A fiery sunset before the night.
B-flat is a soft, silvery blue,
The light of the moon, and the morning dew.
A pale mint green is the shrill note B,
The very first note of my favorite key.
A song is a rainbow of feelings and sound,
With each vibrant color in swirls all around.
Words Fail Me by Anna Leong, age 17
The shadow of the pen falls
The pen touches the paper
As ink flows out.
An indescribable expression.
Something so concrete,
A shadow clouds my mind as a thought enters.
Thoughts. feelings. emotions.
A multitude of ramblings,
So jumbled in my brain.
The ability to:
Enlighten your soul
Make your cheeks red
Get your hands all clammy
Mouth–all of a sudden mute.
They pack a punch
They skip a beat
They put a smile on a face
They break one’s heart
Words are power.
Try as I might,
Words fail me
There have been times
When ink did not flow
And thoughts just could not
I say to myself,
“How can this be?
Words, please come to me!”
Yet they remained–
What am I to do?
The indescribable expression.
Buried in the uttermost parts of my heart
For Otaku by Adrian Kresnak, age 17
A short piece, a coupling line
An acrostic with letters nine.
A question for you, simple and short:
“Are you a Christian?”
The answer came like a sport,
“I AM NOT.”
It’s okay, the author wrote back
While life is on life’s rolling track.
There frankly is left here the time
For “Are you a Christian?”
To be answered without rhyme.
“I AM NOT.”
Ma’am – or Sir – I ask you, please
To reconsider thus and these:
The Savior’s blood and painful death
To ask, “Are you a Christian?”
The Father’s grief when you had saith,
“I AM NOT.”
I mean not to offend, but I
Am worried for you — for you must die
And someday be asked by the Judge and Lamb,
“Are you a Christian?”
By then I hope to lead you to Him
So you can say,