Wither Mother’s Day and Father’s Day coming up in the next few months, it’s not too early to start work on a poem as a gift. If you are new to poetry, I have two recommendations. The first is reprinted from a post I wrote last year. The second is for a site I have recently discovered. If you haven’t considered giving a gift of poetry, please do. So personal a gift is sure to be treasured.
Books of Children’s Poetry
I like studying children’s poetry because I can focus on the structure, instead of the meaning, which is usually straight forward. Below are listed books that are a great introduction to a few different styles of poetry.
Rhyming poetry — A Child’s Calendar by John Updike
Free verse — Red Sings From the Treetops by Joyce Sidman
The website Shadow Poetry has everything a budding poet needs to get started. Under “Poetry Types” a plethora of traditional and new styles of poetry are listed in alphabetical order and are defined with examples. Want to write your mother a sonnet? Look it up here. Japanese poetry gets its own section.
Under “Handbook” all kinds of terms associated with figurative and poetic language are defined. When I browsed through “W”, I found “wrenched accent”. It means the “forced change in the normal accent of a syllable or syllables to make a word conform to the prevailing metrical” pattern. I’ve often come across this accent in rhyming children’s books and thought it was just called “bad poetry”. What’s worse, I’ve committed this crime myself. Now at least my crime has a name.
Remember to EDIT
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, no matter what you are writing, you should always go back and edit. No one writes their best in a first draft.
Have you ever given a literary gift? If so what was it?