Here is my first ever post as part of Poetry Friday.
A few short weeks ago I never thought I would be able to write any poetry, or least not something I’d show without severe embarrassment.
Last year I was totally tongue and brain tied in a workshop by the lovely Meredith Costain. During her workshop each participant came up with gorgeous poem after poem, made up one the spot, while I hid my piece of paper and tried to look invisible.
My friend Renee LaTulippe changed all that. Our love of writing picture books brought us together in the same online critique group. Late last year she asked us to be beta testers/ students for her course The Lyrical Language Lab.
This is some of what her course offers:
Though I already held Renee in high regard as a poetry expert, and like many others subscribe to her inspiring blog No Water River I was a little skeptical that I would be able to learn anything at all about poetry.
But she did it!
Renee took a bunch of uncultivated, uncultured, unpolished, poetry deprived, rhythmically challenged and lyrical lowbrows and whipped them into shape!
When I say whip, I mean softly coaxed, giving us the honest truth when we needed it but packaged in such sincerity and good will and with a firm belief that we could grasp the concepts of poetical language that even we started believing in it.
Poetry seemed so vague, uncontrollable and unidentifiable to me. And though I have read poetry, and many of my favorite picture books are in rhyme or have that sense of lyricism and rhythm, I never thought I could use that in my picture book texts.
Even after just a few lessons I was able to come up with a double dactyl and a short poem in trochee. These two poems here were just done as part of the daily homework assignments during the first five lessons.
For me one of the exciting things about this course is that all our assignments receive personal feedback from Renee as well as plenty of interaction with the other students.
Renee is launching her course .... today! As part of the launch she is giving away a scholarship to one lucky reader, so go over to her blog and check out the details. And here is the link to the course page itself.
About double dactyls (taken from the course):
The double dactyl is a form of light verse invented by Paul Pascal, Anthony Hecht, and John Hollander
Here is my child friendly double dactyl:
sniffled and snaffled for
something to munch.
Finding a truffle he
gobbled it down with a
And here is my child loving trochaic poem:
on the floor tiles
make me shake my head.
Dirty hand prints
on the fridge door
make me sigh instead.
Broken pot plants
on the table
make my eyes see red.
when I watch him
sleeping in his bed.
And here are those links again:
Renee LaTulippe Launch post and GIVEAWAY
The Lyrical Language Lab Course information
About Poetry Friday: (from Kidlitosphere Central) At the end of the week many children’s book aficionados and bloggers use their sites to contribute favorite poems or chat about something poetical in an event called Poetry Friday. The features can be for children or adults, can be original poems, reviews of poetry books, reviews of poetic picture books, links to poems at copyright protected sites, thoughts about poetry, and more.
This is the second year I am taking part in Susanna Leonard Hill's Holiday Writing Contest.
Not only does Susanna gather round a lovely community of children's writers to share their stories, she also gives out some pretty awesome prizes.
For this story, which had to be under 350 words, I have done something I have never done before. I wrote a poem.
The Contest: Write a children's story about a Holiday Mishap, mix-up, miscommunication, mistake, or potential disaster. Your story may be poetry or prose, silly or serious or sweet, religious or not, based on Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or whatever you celebrate, but is not to exceed 350 words not counting the title.
by Yvonne Mes
The train runs round and round the track.
The track runs round the tree.
The Angel watches from above
and under it lurks me.
Forget the gifts, I just don’t care.
And Santa Clause can scoot.
An Angel is just heavenly
and celestial to boot.
I want to comb her golden hair.
I need to touch her wings.
I long to pry her slippers off
and take her sparkly rings.
Her Halo dangling from my ear
will make me look a peach.
Her dress would fit my baby doll,
if only I could reach.
I hear the train a-chug-a-chug
go once more round the bend.
‘I know!’ I screech. ‘The train, the train!’
‘Last stop is tree top’s end.’
I ride the train on tinsel track
and whoosh past stars and bells.
The baubels are a coloured blur.
‘Beware’ the Angel yells.
The Angel waves to welcome me.
Or is that flap a ‘shoo’?
I reach for her, she leans right back
I swipe and grab her shoe.
What’s wrong with her why won’t she play
a game of mirth and glee?
I think of times in years gone by
she’s watched out over me.
“Vamoose, thy goose-brained fool”, she screams
and kicks me in the face!
I leap onto a branch and duck
but don’t give up the chase.
The tree now sways from side to side
then with a thud it falls.
It gleams, it glints, it all comes down,
The stars, the bells, the balls.
The train derailed from tinsel track.
The tracks stuck through the tree.
The Angels frowns from underneath
and sprawled across lies me.
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Children's Writer and Illustrator