Monday, June 29, 2015

Grand Theft Poetry

That writing summer institute from my last post, I'm going to keep talking about it. 

 Each morning we started with nibbles (breakfast) and scribbles (a writing prompt).  Seriously, there was sooooo much food at this thing.  This was our nibble on the final day:  kolaches from Hruska's.  Still warm.  They're like Danishes but without the glaze, just a fluffy, flaky, squishy roll with jam in the middle.  Or cream cheese.  Or both.  I may or may not have gone to this bakery several times since institute ended to buy more of them.  And it only ended last week.

But anyways, we start each day with a nibble and a scribble.  The scribble on our last day was an activity that I am definitely stealing next year for my classroom:  Grand Theft Poetry.  It's like a more structured version of found poetry.  Start by giving all of your students a poetry book (thank you public library).  Open up to a random page in your book, write down a random line, and pass your book to the right.  Continue doing this until you have amassed a good list of stolen lines.  Then revise for seven minutes or so, taking words out, rearranging lines, adding things, playing around with line breaks.  Viola.  Instant poem.
I love this activity for a number of teacherly reasons that I won't get into at the moment because that's not the point of this post.  Instead, I will share the poem that came out of this scribble.  I'm rather proud of it.  It's certainly not perfect, but I like the way it came out. 

Let Me Be Not Mad

I may be mad,
for I am sick of love.
Love is the same at different times to different people,
a timepiece out of sync.
Love is a new heaven begun,
a new hell to endure.

Into the dangerous world I leapt,
full of folly,

I think we are all mad.

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