Michele Regenold, Writing for Kids from the Boondocks

A blog about writing for children and the quest for publication.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Playing with poetry

Poetry is not my thing, though I am known to write the occasional limerick (like a four-stanza one I read at my sister's wedding). Nevertheless, in the spirit of experimentation, and despite the fact that I really wanted a nap, I attended Julie Larios's seminar called "How to Play Like a Kid With Poetry."

She had some really interesting things to say about poetry. For one thing, she said that "poetry's job is to slow us down and make us think how strange language is." She also said that "the essential component of poetry is sound."

So as a reader/listener of poetry, I should go first for sound, then for sense. She said that no one who privileges sense over sound is going to appreciate poetry.

She also urged us to rethink the idea that poetry is about deep feeling.

Well, then, if I don't have to go excavating for some deeper meaning, like I was taught in my intro to literary analysis class at Grinnell College, where I learned to despise poetry because it made no sense, maybe I'll be a little more open to it.

Once at an SCBWI meeting in central Iowa, we all went around the room sharing our favorite words. Most people said things like love and peace. When my turn came around, I said, "Pickle."

I love the sound of the word. The "puh" sound plus the "ickle" just tickles me for some reason. Plus I love the taste of dill pickles.

1 Comments:

At 9:30 AM, Blogger Katy Evans-Bush said...

Hi Michele, it sounds like the seminar totally got through to you! People saying love and peace were not responding to the sounds of the words atall atall atall...

I forget who, someone once said that the most beautiful word in English is "cellar door." (I know: it's two words.)

And, although meaning is very important(!!), most poets would agree that the main sign of poetic talent in a young person is that they are drunk on the words themselves, their sounds and textures and possibilities.

all the best,

Katy

 

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