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Poem picnics

Poem picnics with kids | RISING*SHINING

Lately, I've been finding little ways to bring more poetry into my life. It's a genre I haven't read much of and honestly it intimidates me. What does it mean? What am I suppose to think? Is that a metaphor? And if so, for what? But I'm hoping to change that. 

My efforts started with Treasury For All Seasons, which I bought when I was pregnant with Dashiell. The book is beautifully illustrated and has a collection of poems for each season and month as well as for special occasions. When I brought the book home I pictured occasionally pulling it off the shelf during family dinners to mark the seasons or perhaps opening the annual decorating of the Christmas tree with a poem (I love this one). I hope that over the years the book will grow worn and familiar and that the words will leave an impression on the boys and perhaps they won't feel so intimidated by poetry.

I can entice Dashiell to listen to poems with a "poem picnic" which is when we eat a snack from a cutting board upon a blanket spread on the floor and I read from Treasury For All Seasons. The other day we had a poem picnic on the floor of our front room and I read from the section about summer.

Dashiell doesn't engage with the words as much as he does when we read a story book but he does enjoy looking that the illustrations, pointing out what he recognizes and asking questions. During that reading I came across a lovely poem and I wanted to share it with you, I hope it brightens your Monday.

Natural History

The spider, dropping down from twig,
Unwinds a thread of her devising:
A thin, premeditated rig
To use in rising.

And all that journey down through space,
In cool descent, and loyal-hearted,
She builds a ladder to the place
From which she started.

Thus I, gone forth, as spiders do,
In spider's web a truth discerning,
Attach one silken strand to you
For my returning.

E. B. White

If you have favorite poems or books of poetry, whether for yourself or to read with children, I'd love to know!

Happy Monday!