Blackout Poetry and More
One of my favorite things that I’ve seen at the girls’ school is the advent of blackout poetry and drawings.
What’s Blackout Poetry? Blackout poetry is when you take a published page and black out words to make a poem out of the words that are left behind. The effect is usually sort of ethereal with some wonderful pauses that you may not have thought of otherwise.
It’s also a great way to ease into poetry if you’re feeling a bit nervous. Or a great way to introduce kids into poetry and writing. Mini Me has some wonderful poems and blackout poems and she said I can share this one with you. It’s taken from VE Schwab’s The Near Witch, see photo above for the actual page with markings.
the / ghosts / from a story / a cold light / bleeds out of the sky / lost / in shades of gray / a whisper / a secret / of letting go
See? Evocative, eerie, and beautifully ‘written’. Twice. :D
[FYI Victor from VE Schwab’s Vengeful series also creates blackout poetry.]
Poetry is in the Heart (and Home)
Another fun poetry prompt? Writing about where we came from—this can be done even with our young ones where they use all their senses to come up with things that remind them about their childhood. Last month, I was listening to NPR’s interview with Kwame Alexander in which they talked about the poem “Where I’m From” by George Ella Lyon. In the poem, Lyon talks about the things that represent her childhood through a series of linked words and phrases. Kwame Alexander joined in with his own poem, as does the host of the show. They even had a call-out for submissions for listeners to share their own “Where I’m From” poems.
Lyon’s poem can be found here.
My favorite lines:
I’m from fudge and eyeglasses,
from Imogene and Alafair.
I’m from the know-it-alls and the pass-it-ons,
from perk up and pipe down
I thought it might be a fun project to do with the Bookworm Girls, but I’ll be honest and say I got no bites. I still think it’s worth introducing to your kids as a project. (Please note that Mini Me said they already did something similar at school a few years ago, and coincidentally is working on a “Where I’m From” poem this week. Ha!) I am going to push for Little Lion and I to do ours too because I want to work on one of my own and see how it compares to their childhood.
I picture these poetry-inspiring ideas as a different kind of ‘invitation to play’ for our kids. You know how many Instagrammars will show various craft supplies or play things that they leave in tantalizing areas for their kids to find? I’m inviting you to display a bit of an invitation to play with words for your kids. They just might find that spark in unearthing their own writer inside of them!
And please feel free to share their outcomes with me, either here on the comment section or via email. I’d love to read them all!