Celebrating Teenage Poets
Poems are like jeans. Although it may take a while, eventually everyone can find the perfect fit. Just like jeans, I believe that poetry is for everyone. Those who don’t enjoy poetry just haven’t found the right poem.
Not only is poetry for everyone; everyone is a poet. I love celebrating even the smallest pieces of original poetry whether it is an intentional piece shared at an open mic night or a poetic utterance meant for no one to hear.
Poetry Friday is one way I celebrate poets weekly. The poetry posts are genuine, original, and personal. This week’s poetry link-up is hosted by Tabatha Yeatts at The Opposite of Indifference. Because all poets should be celebrated, I love The Best Teen Writing of 2013. Teenage poets have a lot of wonderful poems to share, too!
As I’ve been collecting good poems for my classroom’s daily poem of the day, I tore into The Best Teen Writing in search of awesome poems. I want my students to know that, despite their youth, they can be published authors.
They have words worth sharing.
They have a voice that needs to be heard.
Some of my favorite poems from the book include a fantastic sensory poem by Kira Pelowitz, a 17-year-old from New Mexico:
In the Summer
in the Summer, I write ripe poems;
I write honey and sun poems;
I write fermenting poems, I write mushroom poems;
I write sweet-scent dirt poems.
nothing is ripe here during the Summer,
but I don’t write char poems;
I don’t write dust poems;
I don’t write poems slick with sweat.
I write wind and sandstone poems instead;
I write poems where the wind makes the mountains a flute;
I write ribcage and hipbone poems;
I write poems that crumple below the weight of swollen stone-fruits.
I write moon poems that hide in oyster poems,
and palm poems full of oysters;
I write poems where I drink the moon
slick, and soft, and cool.
This poem makes a great mentor text with the repeating lines “I write” and “I don’t write.” I would use this formula as a quick write or to help beginning poets start. I also love how Kira uses a plethora of images, one on top of another, to heighten the imagery of the piece.
But primarily, I want my students to know that they are real poets just like the teens published in the book.