It’s no secret that I’m a “hit and miss poet”. While I’d like to believe that my expository writing has improved since I started writing on a regular basis via this blog 7 years ago (I’ll let you pass judgement on the quality of my writing), I find that prose and other literary forms escape my realm of competence. Sure, I can turn out a decent poem or two if given enough time to consider meter, verse, and similes that don’t harken back to my grade school days. In fact, I feel that I wrote a rather decent cinquain inspired by this image today.
What luminous delights are these
that flit and slide across the screen
they flicker forth new life and tease
of new found exploration’s sheen
glowing dreams for us to glean
On the other hand, more often than not my poems are much more pedestrian. Consider the following “silly” short poem I pieced together for this image of a shower curtain covered in fish.
swim, swim, swim
scrub, scrub, scrub
wash your hair
in the tub, tub, tub
rinse, rinse, rinse
dry, dry, dry
bath time with fishes
for you and I, I, I
The purpose for sharing my poetry isn’t to fish for compliments or beg forgiveness from making it public. The idea is to encourage sharing and exploration. Which is why I put together the Poetry for People project. Taking some basic ideas borrowed from the Common Core Standards for ELA, I wanted to help encourage teachers and students to start sharing their work openly in small doses. The “College and Career Readiness” standards for Writing at the 6-12 level make it clear that we need to have our secondary students sharing, publishing, and collaborating with others on a regular basis via the internet. That doesn’t mean sharing long-winded finished products like research papers or persuasive essays is the norm, it also means sharing short little bursts of creative exploration. Consider the standards I cherry-picked below:
- Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
- Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.
- Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences.
What does this have to do with you then? I’d love for you and your students to come explore the type of open sharing, collaboration, and regular creative expression each day in April with the Poetry for People site! It takes all of 5 minutes to participate each day, and I’d love to have you and your students practicing “routine writing” over very short time frames all April long in celebration of National Poetry Month! Just follow the link below, or click on the image to visit the site, follow all of the poems via Twitter, or just grab some visual poetry prompts for use in your classroom. There’s no formal setup or registration, just write when you can, as often as you’d like. Oh, and if you really get into it, consider sharing an image for others to write poems with!