April 12, 2016

Monday, April 4, 2011

National Poetry Month Issue 4

Spring is a time to welcome simple gifts. After winter's blankness, I'm pleased to see the flash of red that means Brenda and Bob, our resident cardinal couple, have returned to nest in the backyard.

Today's featured Maryland poet is Mary Westcott. Her sonnet, "Slow Music," is featured in Life in Me like Grass on Fire. It is an ode to the simple gifts a pet cat offers.

Mary sent me her poem, "A Child's Wishes" for readers to share with elementary students. It's a list poem, but notice that the wishes are for simple things -- Sun, Moon, rain -- that we realize, by the end of the poem, are remarkable gifts we've already been given.

A Child's Wishes
by Mary L. Westcott

I'd wish for the sun
As my lamp, the clouds
To shade my fears,
The moon to climb
On when I need to stretch.
I'd like the rain to wet
The grass each day,
Slippery on my bare feet.
I'd like a butterfly
As a friend to walk beside
Me on the forest path.
She'd flutter like an eyelash,
A third eye, a witness
To the bright and beautiful

Posted with permission of the author.

Mary has been volunteering for 10 years at Maryvale Elementary School in Rockville, MD. She works with ESOL students on their reading and writing. Mary gets to teach the third graders poetry!

Early Elementary Writing Exercise
Let's structure this list poem for young writers. We'll use some of Mary's phrases as line starters for the children to fill in:

I'd wish for the sun as my...
the clouds to...
the moon to...
I'd like the rain to...
I'd like a butterfly as...
She'd flutter like a...
A witness to...

Happy National Poetry Month. I'll be back with another Maryland poet tomorrow.

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