On Wednesday, I did my first Skype visit with a school, for their Book Fair and Literacy Night. My favorite part? When the kids came to the computer and asked me questions, things like: "What's your favorite Olympic sport?" and "Can you write a book in a day?" and "Are there really little green army men in your book?"
So much curiosity. So much energy. So much fun.
Which brings me to today's Poetry Friday selection.
Tuesday, March 2, is Dr. Seuss's birthday, and in elementary schools all over America, that means it's also Read Across America Day, a day to go wild and crazy about reading. There will be Green Eggs and Ham eating, Horton Hears a Who elephant trumpeting, Cat in the Hat jigs, and even some Hop on Pop Hopscotch.
And, if schools are savvy, lots and lots of poetry writing. There's something about the rhythm and wacky logic of Seuss's rhyming cadence that frees a writer of any age to get zany.
I'm sure you can find evidence of this poetic hurly-burly all over the Internet, but today, I'm pointing you to some third graders who got their Seuss on. Here are some snippets of their poems about unusual pets.
I like to take hairs out of heads.
And I keep them on all my pink beds.
Every day I feed him my teachers,
And all of my crazy cool creatures.
It floats in a bubble
The only thing it says is subtle.
I've wondered at times about how my work of writing books for kids and my recreational love of poetry fit together. But in reading this Poets.org article which mentioned Dr. Seuss, I came across Robert Frost's definition of poetry as "serious play."
OH. Right. Yes.
Too often for me, literature has divided itself into separate camps: The Serious Camp. And the Play Camp. (Translated: "literary" and "commercial" fiction.)
Sorry. I don't want to choose. I need/crave/desire both the profound and the playful. Poetry does it for me. Kids' books do it for me, too.
So go ahead. Get your Seuss on with me. Lots of ways to do that here. Or at the very least, open your life up to some "serious play." (Olympic snowboarder Shaun White's McTwist 1260 comes to mind.)
Poetry Friday is hosted today by Jone at Check It Out.