April 12, 2016

Friday, April 15, 2011

National Poetry Month Issue 14/15

It's hard to believe National Poetry Month is halfway over. All month, I've been featuring poets from my home state, Maryland.

(Many of them have work in the new anthology, Life in Me Like Grass on Fire: Love Poems, published by the Maryland Writers Association.)

Can I brag a little bit? Children's author and Poetry Friday blogger Heidi Mordhorst plays for Maryland's poetry home-team.

Another local powerhouse: Mike Clark -- publisher of the Maryland art and literary journal Little Patuxent Review -- who is also a fine poet.

It must be the snuffly smells of spring that inspired Heidi and Mike today. Both sent in pet poems.

In Heidi's poem, there's a little bit of wishful thinking.

Griffin's Stomach Rumbles
by Heidi Mordhorst

In hunger
my furred tail flicks
my muscled hindquarters
set themselves tightly back
ready to spring

In hunger
my wide wings beat
my keen eye climbs
the sky, scans the ground
ready to strike

On how to hunt
only my talons and claws agree

Heidi Mordhorst, 2010
all rights reserved
Posted with permission of the author 

Mike Clark's adorable and chubby little pug is the subject of his poem. 

Rainbow Dog
by Mike Clark

My sad faced pug
with a tongue
that laps his face,
and an under-bite
that surrenders
any chance
at good looks
gets a rainbow
of colors on his
sandy colored coat
to show that Nature
loves the least looking
of us.

Posted with permission of the author.

Student poems from my "Animals are like Feelings" simile workshop is posted here.

You can try that with students, or...

Elementary School Poetry Prompt:
Read today's model poems again. In order to write them, the poets had to put aside how they feel about their fur-friends and just observe.

Heidi noticed that her cat dreams of being a bird of prey. Mike noticed that his so-ugly-he's-cute Pug isn't just a mess, he's a living rainbow.

In both poems, the pet becomes something much grander. What grand thing -- a bird of prey, a rainbow -- does your pet remind you of or wish it could be?

An extension -- read PF Blogger Laura Purdie Salas' Stampede: Poems to Celebrate the Wild Side of School with your students. It's a wonderful collection of animal simile poems.

Today's Poetry Friday host is Diane at Random Noodling. She's got the neon "Welcome" sign out just for you!


Heidi Mordhorst said...

Nice framing--and Mike's Rainbow Dog poem reminds me strongly of "Pied Beauty", cast in a more modest, homely register.

Thanks, Laura! Hee hee--my word verif is "pairp," for pair of pets, I think!

BookChook said...

I just love your ideas to help kids use the poems as a prompt! I'm always looking for ways to promote writing to kids and their parents.

And like Heidi, I loved Pied Beauty too. And the Windhover. Okay, stopping before I complete the vast list!

Author Amok said...

I'll pass your comments along to Mike. He'll be pleased with the comparison to "Pied Beauty."

Mary Lee said...

Hooray for the Maryland Poetry Home-Team, and Hooray for their "coach"!!