April 29, 2009

Poetry can be Fun

There was a wonderful story on yesterday's Morning Edition (NPR) that I encourage you to listen to.  In honor of National Poetry Month, Renee Montagne interviewed Kathy Jo Shapiro who has come up with another way to make poetry fun for kids.  She takes famous poems and parodies them by rewriting them for kids.  

All of us were laughing at Ms. Shapiro's take on Poe's Annabelle Lee ... turning it into Macaroni and Cheese.  The boys have heard Annabel Lee and liked it. They loved Macaroni and Cheese.  They asked if I would please, please buy the book.  Well, it will soon be an addition to our library ... if my boys beg me for a poetry book, you can bet I will get it for them.  

My Letter from the World
Kathy Jo Shapiro
With apologies to Emily Dickinson
("This is My Letter to the World")

This is my letter from the world
That once it wrote to me:
"Dear Friend," it spelled, in purple buds
Upon a lilac tree.

"Come look around." the letter said
on mountains topped by snow.
“For if you search for a hundred years
There’d still be more to know.

“Please play with me,” it wrote in waves
Beneath a bright blue sky,
Then signed itself, “Sincerely, World,”
Upon a butterfly.

Here is the original.

This is My Letter to the World
Emily Dickinson

This is my letter to the world,
That never wrote to me,
The simple news that Nature told,
With tender majesty.

Her message is committed
To hands I cannot see;
For love of her, sweet countrymen,
Judge tenderly of me!

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