Oak Meadow 2017 Poetry Extravaganza – Part III

Here in the Meadow, we celebrate student poetry throughout the month of April with our annual Poetry Extravaganza. We invited our enrolled students to submit their favorite original poems, and we’ll be sharing some of them here over the next few days. Enjoy!


Photo Credit: Park Family
(Oak Meadow)

The Nest In The Road
by Emma Agudelo
Oak Meadow Grade 10

Ghost of care dropped from above
Left crevice in tree or chimney vacant
Of cracked hairs of yester summer light
Batted by wind till as a globe they spin,
Snatching life from cars’ roaring tumult
Asphalt its sky, air the arm of Fate;
A hollow of youth, entertainment
Between whirling black and silver sheen
Joy a motion, emotion innate;
Tumbling as it’s wards overhead
Positions reversed, seasonal change;
The dance of a nest in the road.

“This poem was written for a poetry workshop with Mr. Yaeger, inspired by a prompt he gave to write about spring. I didn’t have any idea what I would write until two days before the workshop when I happened to glimpse an old bird’s nest rolling in the street as cars rushed past. It wasn’t exactly a beautiful moment, but I thought it an interesting one that I would like to share.”


Once I Knew Two Who Died
by Lucy Enge
Oak Meadow Grade 10
Once I knew two who died–
Both kind good people who left
At the same time of hour.
Chills went down deep
Into the fire with its high flame–
Down my back bent in sorrow–
To save my tears from running out.
I cared for both perhaps one more,
Life comes and leaves–
Without consent from the godly persons
Or even those who might be sinners.
Minding wanders to thoughts of heaven–
Do souls live in eternal rest?
Or are we gone from Earth forever?
Never to see the green and blue again.
Death mysterious as life–
I will question until my time.
Deep within my flaming soul,
I ponder all but do not seek–
The keys and parts of life.
“This poem was inspired by the works of Emily Dickinson and was for one of my Oak Meadow Literature and Composition II lessons.”


by Nurbanu Alptekin
Oak Meadow Grade 10

Photo Credit: Laura Nance
(Oak Meadow)

Did talking about how?
Lead to knowing about what?
Should I have asked where?
Should I have asked who?
Who might have taken her when
I was watching her snooze, why
would they take a little girl, who
knew nothing of life or what
to do, if she needed to know why
she wasn’t in bed when
dawn came, she asked about where
they were going and how
she got there, and where
she was at with who?
Where was I when she needed me most in a time of questioning why life was so cruel? Why?
“This was a poem I wrote for English class here at Oak Meadow. This type of poetry is called a sestina. What’s unique about it is that every stanza repeats the same six words in a different order at the end of each line. This poem isn’t about a real life experience (thank God). I frankly don’t know how I came to write this, it was a spur of the moment type of thing.”


Oak Meadow 2017 Poetry Extravaganza – Part I

At Oak Meadow, we celebrate student poetry during our annual Poetry Extravaganza. In April, we invited our enrolled students to submit their favorite original poems. We hope you will enjoy their poems as much as we do!


Photo Credit: Melissa Lewis
(Oak Meadow)

by Danica O’Donohoe
Oak Meadow Grade K
Sweet treats
Bake cake
Kids want to scream for ice cream
Yummy in my tummy!
Photo Credit: Tracey Watts
(Oak Meadow)

An Angel and a Bird
by Carlos Checa-Sacasa
Oak Meadow Grade 3
Once there was a bird
who heard a whisper in the air
the bird flew towards the voice
and saw an angel there
Feathers, flowers and light
it was quite a sight
An angel and a bird in flight
Photo Credit: Laura Kelly
(Oak Meadow)

Freddy Lives On
By Deanna Oakes
Oak Meadow, Grade 6
In front of the fire,
At the foot of the bed,
In the warm sun,
At the homestead,
Freddy is gone.
Freddy is gone, but his memory lives on.
He rode in the truck,
He played with his toys,
He snored real loud,
But he didn’t like noise.
Freddy’s memory lives on,
He will never truly be gone.
“Last year, my librarian’s friend was grieving the passing of her dog, who had recently passed away. Her friend was very sad, so Mrs. Hoffman, my librarian, asked me to write a poem in memory of Freddy, the dog. She told me a little about Freddy, and I used what I learned about him to write this poem. It was wonderful to gift this poem to her; she loved it.”

Oak Meadow 2015 Poetry Extravaganza – Part IV

Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance. ~ Carl Sandburg

Poetry is not just for students! Some of Oak Meadow’s faculty and staff write poetry on a regular basis. Here is a wonderful summertime poem from Oak Meadow staffer Ben Mitchell. Although it is only April, Ben says, “Remember, everyone, summer is coming!” Perhaps this poem will remind you of something to look forward to when the seasons change again.

Do You Ever
Do you ever lie on your back
in the damp grass
of August,
Stare into the universe,
the particles of debris
skipping across the ozone.
Once I saw three stars
in a perfect line
and for one, fine, splintered second, I could feel
the extraordinary intelligence-
every crooked twig,
each patch
of cow-chomped dandelion.
Ben Mitchell
Oak Meadow Director of Admission

Do you have a favorite memory that could become a thought-provoking poem? Sometimes the echo of an experience can be a gift to others or to one’s future self. What gift would you like to preserve in a poem?
We hope you will make a habit of reading and writing poetry throughout the year, sharing it with loved ones and anyone else who will listen!

Oak Meadow 2015 Poetry Extravaganza – Part III

The true poem rests between the words. ~ Vanna Bonta

We hope you have been enjoying the poetry that we have been sharing here In the Meadow in honor of National Poetry Month! Today’s poetry installation features a beauty of a poem as well as a work of visual art, both by Oak Meadow students.

Season of all Souls
by Brooke Doughty
The rain taps my windowpane,
faeries urging me out of foggy mind.
Winter is passed in the past,
Come forth.
dripping water washes away stillness,
a shower for these souls.
Free from earthy boundaries,
spin through the mist.
Rain as a waterfall falling upon me
Clearing winter from my body with a new breath.
The young leaves break from their buds –
children of the season.
Whispering the forest full of their joy and laughter.
Once again spring rain serves
as a clear sky,
where the mind and heart dance with the soul.
Brooke Doughty, 8th grade
Submitted by Oak Meadow teacher Lesley Arnold

In submitting this next piece, Oak Meadow teacher Julia West says, “I was so amazed by this project from Fiona Hall, a very talented artist. The assignment is to read parts of The Temple of Nature, a magnificent volume of poetry by Erasmus Darwin (Charles’ grandfather), and use it to inspire some either a poem, drawing, painting, etc. that addresses their understanding of natural selection.”
unnamed, by Fiona Hall

“unnamed” by Fiona Hall, 10th grade
Submitted by Oak Meadow teacher Julia West

Fiona describes her work: “The clearest depiction of evolution and natural selection in this image to me is the hand of an evolutionary ancestor of modern humans holding an infant, representing our evolutionary change over time. How all the creatures are clustered close together and intertwined represents the interrelation between all species, how we all started out in the same place as basically the same thing. Some of the animals depicted are now extinct showing how some die out whilst others continue develop and grow stronger. The butterfly is also a symbol to me (although its is kind of a stretch). I was thinking about the butterfly effect when I put it there, and how one extra beat of a butterflies wings can affect so much and change the course of history and evolution.”
We chose to include Fiona’s gorgeous piece because it was so beautifully inspired by poetry. As today’s opening quote reminds us, “the true poem rests between the words.” What does that mean? What do you feel between the words in these and other poems you’ve read?
More poetry to come tomorrow, the last day of our Poetry Extravaganza! Maybe you’ve written a poem this week, or maybe you’ve just thought about it. Keep writing and thinking!

Oak Meadow 2015 Poetry Extravaganza – Part II

 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.

Image thanks to Shirley Tanzella

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?
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?
What if?
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!

Oak Meadow 2015 Poetry Extravaganza – Part I

Poetry is art made of words. Oak Meadow students of all ages have the opportunity to explore poetry in their lessons. To celebrate National Poetry Month, Oak Meadow teachers selected some of their students’ best work to share. You will find it posted here “In the Meadow” over the next few days.
We hope this will inspire you — homeschoolers and parents and everyone reading this — to think about writing some poetry of your own. You can post your own contribution as a comment to add to our poetry celebration. Or just take a moment to read your poetry out loud to anyone who will listen — your parents, children, siblings, neighbors, friends, and pets (real or stuffed)!
Nature can be an endless source of inspiration for poetry. Oak Meadow second grader Tal Weitz wrote this beautiful rhyming poem about nature:
I listen to the sounds
of nature as I feel
that it had grinned.
I feel the soft
moonlight as I rest
within the wind.
Tal Weitz, 2nd grade
Submitted by Oak Meadow teacher Sarah Antel
Next is a poem by Oak Meadow student Penelope Sherck inspired by an Oak Meadow lesson. You can see a video of Penelope presenting her poem here. It is such a treat to see a poet’s own interpretation of their work!
The Earth Does Glow
Flowers bloom in meadows so sweet;The Earth Does Glow
Owls do caw in nights so sleek;
And mushrooms grow from here to there,
but only you and I know where.
The Earth does glow on nights like these;
The stars do shine as bright as day;
You and I now should see;
The Earth does everything
For you and me.
Penelope Sherck, 3rd grade
Submitted by Oak Meadow teacher Michelle Menegaz
We hope these poems will inspire you to write your own poetry and share it with us in writing, picture, or video. Tell us about your poem and what motivated you to write it. We hope you will give the world a chance to enjoy your poetry just as Tal and Penny have!