Natural poets
Ashes ashes all say boom
Fall again again

Up slide down fun more
Chicken curry bananas
Yams again again

On top build up blue
More yellow way up block help
Whoa uh oh timber

Doing some reading about incorporating poetry into preschool and elementary art classes. The more I think about it the more I realize children are poetry in motion. They speak with repetition, with limited and quirky vocabulary, with different voices, with no-excess-fat, with fantasy and exaggeration. They love to name places and objects. They celebrate their mastery of language in all lower case, rhymed or not, with the rhythm of the sidewalk. Their words are magic whether they make sense or not.

don't step on the crack,
you'll break your mother's back.
you're welcome, you're welcome, you're welcome
thank you to the goat footed balloon man who whistles far and wee

Children circle around their meaning demanding our attention like tiny boa constrictors. We have to listen with an empty mind to find their strand, untangle, and respond.

I had to come in.
Why? Because
I bless you-ed all over.

Poetry is aural. It has to enter through the ears. When we read poetry aloud we are "imprinting on children, who will then carry poetry with them into adulthood," says J. Patrick Lewis.

Skype is such a gift for this remote grandma Grancy. Mr. Short Stack is so very excited about the slippery slide at the park. He shrieks, "Againagain!," the way his father requested another reading of The Little Red Caboose Saved the Train. Kids instinctively repeat to add emphasis.

What's that?
What's that?

Short Stack's uncle was famous for holding his toy tractor, then throwing it to the floor of the car about a million times on a family road trip to the Tetons and Yellowstone. [This was in the olden days when our National Parks were open.]

Rackoo rackoo
Uh ohhhhhh! 
Geddit geddit

"Againagain" should be in the dictionary. It will last longer than "buzzworthy" or "twerking".

Poetry goes in
Pictures come out
Smoke and mirrors all done

Hey, Teacher! My youngest students are counting buttons and smooth stones about as well as I count the syllables for haiku.

© 2013 Nancy L. Ruder

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