Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Summer Storm

I wrote this poem one day after a thunderstorm crashed through the neighborhood. It only lasted 15 or 20 minutes, but it was one of those drenching, dramatic storms that really get your attention.

This is the type of poem that kids could easily create, and it really challenges the use of active verbs (or gerunds, technically speaking). Speaking of gerunds, it might be interesting to try writing it in the present tense too: "Storm comes / Sun hides /" etc. It would be a good thing for children to recognize and analyze. Which form is stronger? With "-ing" endings or present tense endings? How does it change the feeling of the poem?

Also, notice the construction. The subject of each line is repeated in backward order in the second half of the poem. "Scurry, scramble" is the center point. So, have kids write 8-10 subjects, with simple verbs (or gerunds) following each, leading up to a pivotal point in the poem. Then, using the same subjects in reverse order, have the action diminish.

Oh, and another quick thought. Thank you to those of you who have suggested edits to my previous poems! I love the interaction, and I know that my work only can get stronger with good critique. So, thank you!

Summer Storm

Storm coming
Sun hiding
Birds skittering
Sky darkening
Wind gusting
Rain plinking
Lightning flashing
Gutter flooding
Thunder rumbling
Water pouring

Scurry, scramble! Get inside!

Water draining
Thunder quieting
Gutter trickilng
LIghtning fading
Rain dripping
Wind calming
Sky clearing
Sun peeking

1 comment:

  1. Love the subjects and gerunds--what a great activity for kids to think and write this way!

    What if you'd also continue the "ing" with the transition line:

    Scurrying! Scrambling! Getting (or running) inside!

    And again for the ending:

    After reading and re-reading, I think I like the active tense as it seems to be a stronger message to me. It'll be interesting to see what others think! Thanks for sharing all your great verses, Julie!