Friday, May 22, 2015

Bits of Poetry on Friday

It's Poetry Friday - like you didn't know!
And all things poetical are being hosted at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme by Matt Forrest Esenwine.  Go there for more links to some super poetry and poetry related posts!  And while you are there, congratulate Matt on signing a book contract for Flashlight Night!

Wow!  The end of the school year is careening towards us!  The one thing I really don't miss about teaching, is the packing of the room at the end of the year!  The one thing I loved about teaching was working with kids, especially in reading and writing.  Now I get to do the reading and writing and no packing or unpacking!  I read and write with a number of second graders on Mondays, and enjoy this time, helping out even if only once a week for an hour and a half.  Sometimes I read with students and sometimes we work on writing (my favorite!).

I've had the privilege of working with one second grader a few times, and always at writing time.  While there, we focus on getting her ideas down on paper.  Her positive attitude is amazing, and I am impressed with the way she uses language.

I told her that I wrote, too, and that I would write a poem about her, for her.  She didn't look like she believed me... and it took me until now to actually get to it!  But then I actually ended up writing more than one.  My two poems may be found after hers, at the end of this page.

Here, first, are the first two poems Emma's ever written., presented here with her permission (any spelling corrections, per her approval).  Her first one is written from a pencil's point of view.  She explained that if the writer didn't like to write, the pencil would get to stay sharp!  Great point of view!
(Click on the images to make them larger.)


And the second poem she's ever written...
I don't know, I just have this hunch that she would like sprinkles on her ice cream and cupcakes...
I know I'm thinking about them now!  Do I have any sprinkles?

\l\////\\/ /// //\\/ ///\\l\// I// \/\\\/ /// \\l\//
// /l I\\/l/\ \\/ /// \\l\// I// \/\\\/l/\\\ l\//\\l\

My conversation/interview with the writer after she read them to me:

     Me:  "You are very good at this!"

Emma: "These are the only two poems I've ever written."
     Me: "Well, you should keep writing them."

Emma: "It's the only kind of writing I like."
     Me: "I love writing poems, too."
Emma: "You do?"
     Me: "Yes, I do. Remember, I said I would write a poem about you? I guess, now I have to do it!"
     Me:  "May I put your poems on my website?"
Emma:  "Yes."
     Me:   "A lot of people will be reading them.  Make sure it is okay with your mother."
Emma:  "Okay.  But I think she will like it that they are on there." 

And here are both poems for Emma, by me.  The first one kind of goes with her pencil poem, and the second is not a sprinkles poem, but it is a cheery one LIKE having sprinkles on your ice cream!

The Writer

Emma thought she could not write;
She thought she had no thought.
Then she stopped and thought a bit
About what she'd been taught.

"You are a writer, Emma, dear,
You have some good ideas;
Just write them down and don't give up -
Ignore your writing fears."

So Emma started writing down
Some things she'd tucked away;
She tried out words and shuffled them,
Enjoying her wordplay.

Pretty soon she had a poem,
A story and a song;
The words had been inside her head
Just waiting, all along!

And now there is no stopping her
As word from pencil flows,
Emma must keep writing
Till she's written all she knows.

The more she learns the more she writes -
I doubt she'll ever stop,
For writers have to write their thoughts
Or else they just might pop!

©Donna JT Smith, 2015

Poem #2:

If Emma, Then

Emma wears white polka dots
    like little stars so bright,
She wears a flower in her hair,
    a butterfly’s delight;
Her smile can raise a rainbow
    if the rain falls down at night,
And when she laughs the grumpies
    quickly scatter out of sight!
A lion or a tiger would
    give up their kingly might
If Emma would just pat their heads
    and say they shouldn’t fight;
The octopus would free a fish
    in grip so very tight
If Emma whispered to her that
    she needs to do what’s right.
(Of course, what’s right in Emma’s mind
    is not to take a bite!)
If Emma simply had her way
    I’m sure she would invite
The thunder to cease rumbles,
    and tornadoes to sit tight;
Miss Emma would eliminate
    all quarrels, tears or fright,
Then all on earth, as Emma,
    would be sweet and quite polite!

by Donna JT Smith, 2015

I hope you enjoyed the poems!  Please do leave comments.  We'd both love to know your thoughts on our poems!


  1. This is beautiful. I don't know which poem I liked the best! You and Emma will always a bond that will be cherished for years go come. You are awesome to share your talents with children!

    1. Thanks! It's been fun working with all the kids.

  2. I imagine that Emma won't soon forget you and her first poems published, Donna! And to have two wonderful poems written about her is also very special! Tell her congratulations. I've never thought that a pencil might want someone "not" to use it so it could keep sharp! It's a unique and clever point of view. Thanks for all!

    1. I told her today when I gave her color printed copies of all four. Thanks for dropping by, Linda. Good to see you back!

  3. So lovely to see the spark of creativity being born in Emma, and nurtured by you, Donna. Emma definitely has a poet's sensibility and love of wordplay, and will undoubtedly go far in her writing. And Donna, who wouldn't be thrilled to be the subject of not one, but two delightful poems!

    1. I will have to stop by and see how her poetry is coming along next year! Thanks for your kind words, Michelle!

  4. Beautiful Donna and Emma. You have developed a special bond through poetry. Emma, I love both your poems, but especially the pencil one, because it shows such a clever imagination.

    1. I think the pencil one is my favorite, too! Thanks for dropping by and reading today, Sally.

  5. Hooray for Emma! (And hooray for you, sparking this young writer to a life filled with words!)

    1. And she has a wonderful teacher that recognizes her potential and takes advantage of all the opportunities to further not only her growth and confidence, but all students! It's been a great year, and I'm looking forward to seeing the next batch of kids come through.

  6. Sounds like a lovely, supportive relationship between the two of you. I'm sure Emma will go on to write many more great poems, and she's lucky to have such an awesome teacher!

    1. I hope she goes on to write many, many more poems and stories!

  7. If Donna, then
    "Yesss! Emma write forever!"

    Love that title, love the sprinkles of emotion--shyness, discomfort, effort, courage.

    1. Yes! And in Maine we could make that slogan rhyme..."Emmah, write forevah!"

  8. Cheers to you two poets! I do hope Emma takes your nudge to keep writing, even if it dulls her pencils.

    1. Thanks for stopping by today Robyn. I may take Keri's suggestion and get her a mechanical pencil, as I did for a homeschooler I'm working with. No need to worry about sharpened pencils then! Hmmm. Maybe a new "point of view" in the making?

  9. What a fun activity! So nice of you to encourage her writing like that, and to write your own poem in response. She's so lucky to have you helping her!

    1. It's always fun working with second graders and their teachers!

  10. She's started with a bang! Perhaps Emma needs an erasable pen so her pencil can stay sharp, or a mechanical pencil. :-) A cheery and fun start to this dreary/rainy Tuesday. Thanks!

    1. I think I have just the mechanical pen for the job! Great idea! Thanks!


Drop some breadcrumbs! Let me know you were here!