My student, Juliette, also impressed the Maryland State Arts Council with her Echphrastic poem that was featured last month on the My Learning Springboard’s website. They want to publish it along with the write-up of my Echphrastic Poetry Workshop in a collection showcasing their poets’ work and students’ poems. The book is currently a “work in progress.”
In the meantime, Juliette is not resting on her laurels. She has gone on to win yet another poetry competition–this one sponsored by the Easton Public Library in Easton, MD. Her poem, “The Vandal” is a wonderful example of the importance of ”word play” in creative writing. Juliette plays with her idea of what “the reader” and “the analyzer” do with poems and figurative language–they are vandals seeking “more/Than the intricate simplicity/Of innocent words.”
By Juliette, Grade 7
The words are taken captive
As the reader tries to see them with more meaning
Than their simple beauty
The reader turns into the horrific vandal
Separating family and friends
As he analyzes, vandalizes
The author never intended the words
To be crowded with similes and symbols,
Or stifled by metaphorical meanings
But the reader cannot fathom
That more than one sentence
Was written with artless joy
Because the reader,
Want to see more
Than the intricate simplicity
Of innocent words.
I often tell my students that poetry is the “bare bones” of good writing because the “play with words” involves the craft of selecting the fewest, yet the most precise words to captivate audiences. Juliette may be doing just that because she was also selected to read an essay that she wrote for the unveiling of the new Frederick Douglass statue in Easton, MD on June 18th, 2011.
At My Learning Springboard, poets and writers help students to explore new and creative styles of writing. We focus on helping students to develop their voice, ideas, sentence fluency, word choice, organization, conventions, and presentation. We help students to express themselves creatively, to use descriptive language, and to become incredible storytellers.