There is not a particle of life which does not bear poetry within it. ~ Gustave Flaubert
Anyone can be a poet! But how?
All you need is an inspiring thought and the words to give shape to that thought in the mind of a reader. If you have words and thoughts, you have what you need to create poetry.
Some poems rhyme. Others are made up of artistic arrangements of words. Some follow conventional grammar rules and others play by their own rules. Some follow traditional poetry forms such as sonnets, haikus, or couplets; others are free-form. You are the poet, so you get to decide.
Sometimes poetry is inspired by a question, like this poem by Oak Meadow fourth-grader Sarah Cook:
What if the world went black?
What if there was no light?
What if everyone was mean and cruel?
What if you couldn’t see right from wrong?
What if all this was true?
Sarah Cook, 4th grade
Submitted by Oak Meadow teacher Andrea Kilroy
A wonderful poem can arise in response to an assignment. This next poem was written as part of Oak Meadow Ancient Civilizations Lesson 13:
A Poem Paris Might Have Written to Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite
Brains, power, and beauty confronted me one day
(Aphrodite, Hera and Athena)
And my instructions they did say
I would rather have been eaten by a hyena!
I was to pick the best out of the three
I started with Hera and asked what I’d get
She said I’d get power and I’d be king of all countries
I considered her offer and started to sweat
I knew what she’d do to me if it was not her I picked
I quickly moved on to Athena who offered me what I really wanted
She would help me win any conflict
With visions of me not picking her I was haunted
I could not pick any of them without the others seeking me out
Sighing, I finally turned to Aphrodite
She didn’t me offer power and I was filled with doubt
She seemed, to me, to be a little too flighty
Then I heard her actual promise and knew what to do
I took the prize (a golden apple)
And through the air it flew
The three goddesses started to grapple
But the apple fell right in Aphrodite’s hand
Everyone stared at it, including me
The smile on Aphrodite’s face was grand
The other ladies’ expressions made me want to flee
However, I was not worried
For I got the most beautiful woman in the world
Aphrodite went over to me quite hurried
She chanted a spell, and poof! Away we swirled!
Aphrodite promised to help me win
Helen of Sparta, the most beautiful girl
Who wasn’t too fat and wasn’t too thin
Immediately I thought, well, let’s give it a whirl
After all, what could go wrong?
Allison Masthay, 6th grade
Submitted by Oak Meadow teacher Jessica Zehngut
Look all around for inspiration. You may find it in the most unlikely places!
Write from your heart and let the words flow.
Then share your poem with us in the comments below.
Anyone can be a poet. Just try it!