Thursday, November 19, 2020

Winter poems

Yesterday we read some winter poems and then tried our hand at some poetry. It...did not go well. The children wrote poems, it's true, but they were...not great. So today we read more winter poetry and talked at length about the literary devices various poets employed to write a little magic into their poetry. We brainstormed symbols of winter and practiced describing things using all of our senses. And then the children wrote poems and things went a lot smoother!

Zoë wrote a poem to the tune of Frere Jacques:

I Love Winter

I love winter, I love winter!
Yes, I do! Yes, I do!
I like building snowmen.
I like sledding down hills.
Yes, I do! Yes, I do!

I love winter, I love winter!
Yes, I do! Yes, I do!
I like reading inside
Huddled in my blanket.
Yes, I do! Yes, I do!

Benjamin began a poem with this evocative line:

Snow, the centerpiece of winter...

But then his poem kind of crashed. He's got some fine ideas but...it needs some reworking...

Our Christmas tree
I disagree
The bugs have fled
Santa's red in his bed
The nutcracker show
I blow the snow
The leaves are gone
On the dawn
The minty taste
Snowy waste.


Which...I mean...we've been working at telling a narrative or painting a picture with our words. And I guess we'll just continue to work on that. He has, as I mentioned above, several good ideas going on, but they need some...refining.

His last poem is called Snowmen:

Carrot nose
Eyes of coal
Stick arms
Hat on top its snowy head
Fat and round

Miriam wrote this one:

When I woke up this morning
The windows were glazed over

With shiny syrupy ice flakes
A white blinding stardust cover.

When I get out of my bed
The biting cold starts to hover

I open the front door
I see the first snow of winter

When I look at the snowdrifts
They remind me of that trip to Dover

The tall white cliffside
Snow towering over.

My friends throwing balls of snow
The Ice king's rewarding cover

The small bird shakes the snow off
And gently starts to hover

The sleigh bells jingling gaily
The laughing of merry lovers.


Her narrative could use some tweaking as well, but I think today's draft was much better than yesterday's! She also tried her hand at some German poetry:

Mein Haus im gefrorenen
Winterwald

Meine Familie kommt vorbei
Und sagt dann bis bald.

Mein frostiges
Winterwunderland.


And this one:

Mit Marshmallow, Schokolade Heiße
Betrunken von kleinen Heißen.

Which I can actually translate for you:

With marshmallows, chocolate hot
Is drunk by little Heisses.*

*
or "hot little ones"

The play on words really only works in German, of course, since Heiss means hot, and the word order doesn't quite work in German since it should really be more like:

Mit Marshmallow, heiße Schokolade
Betrunken von heißen Kleinen.


It's largely translated from one of the couplets she wrote yesterday:

Hot choc'late with marshmallows
Drunk by small fellows

Which just goes to show that translating poetry is tricky, but rewarding.

Rachel wrote this:

Cuddled in a blanket, scalding mug in hands
A crackling, comforting presence happiness demands.
Flames like flittering feathers take me to foreign lands
Flipping at the pages in my story book
Warm, content, and snug in my soft little nook.
The sound of the logs shifting breaks my merry spell
And though the spell's been broken, I know that all is well.

And I initially set about trying to copy the rhyme scheme of Robert Frost's Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening but instead ended up with this free-verse poem:

When it Snows in the South, Or: The Sky is Falling

The first hint of snow
Brings a flurry of activity.
Entire cities freeze up and cower,
Waiting for the sky to fall.

The children rush around
Collecting coats, scavenging for mittens.
They dress in improvised layers
And wait for the sky to fall.

Then heaven's ceiling shatters,
Raining tinkling shards of glass
Upon the awe-struck world below.
The sky is falling! The sky is falling!

We rush outside, play hard in the cold,
Gathering memories like manna.
We know we don't have long
Before the fallen sky melts.

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