You may not realize it but April is National Poetry Month. Which means it’s the perfect month for this particular challenge: WRITE A POEM. If you are like me you don’t spend a lot of time thinking about poetry. I probably haven’t written a poem since I was in school…possibly grade school. The good news is that this time I don’t have to present it in front of a class. The bad new is that I’ll be sharing it on a blog but at least I don’t have to make eye contact.
I’ve always been a prose person. Give me a novel any day. As an English major I read plenty of poems and as a Youth Services Librarian I’ve purchased my share of kid’s poetry books. But, if I’m honest, I can’t say that I’m a big poetry fan. I think that says more about me than about poetry. I’m relatively sure that appreciating poetry requires more thinking than I’m inclined to apply to a free time activity. It’s probably no surprise that my favorite book of poems hasn’t changed since I was in grade school: Shel Silverstein’s classic, Where the Sidewalk Ends. I only own three books of poems and they are all by Shel Silverstein. I’m going to assume that everyone is familiar with the poems of Shel Silverstein. If not, please at least google him and read a couple. Or better yet, check one of his books at your local library. They’ve held up very well. Plus, his accompanying illustrations improve on the text, just as they should. Maybe that’s why I’m stuck in the poetry of my youth…I need pictures.
I will spare you the agony of reading a traditional poem crafted by me. However, I am a fan of the six word memoir. The story goes that when asked if he could write a complete story in six words, Ernest Hemingway offered, “For Sale: baby shoes, never worn.” Using that as inspiration, in 2008, Smith magazine invited writers, famous and not, to write their own Six Word Memoirs–some were funny, some were sad. The best have been compiled into books if you are inclined to seek them out. If you haven’t ever tried your hand at describing your life using only six words, you should. It’s actually kind of addictive once you get started.
Last weekend we had to say goodbye to our fourteen-year-old basset hound, Luke. He was a great dog and beloved member of our family. In his honor, my six word memoir:
Lucky to have loved my Luke.
This might not technically count as writing a poem, but as I’ve said before, this is my blog and I can do what I want. Plus, my dog just died so I think I get a pass.
Before you go…whether you are a poetry person or not, I invite you to join me and write your own six word memoir this week. Your life story in six words: funny, sad, touching or clever. I will be writing and posting a different one of my own each day on the Before You Grow Up Challenge Facebook page. Post yours in the comments here or on the FB page. I dare you to stop at just one. Actually, I beg you to write at least one!