Today is feeling like a poetry sort of day, isn’t it? And you’re in luck because we have a terrific guest author for this Tuesday Quick-Write.
New York Times bestselling author Nikki Grimes is the recipient of the 2006 NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children. Her distinguished works include ALA Notable book What is Goodbye?, Coretta Scott King Award winner Bronx Masquerade, and Coretta Scott King Author Honor books Jazmin’s Notebook, Talkin’ About Bessie, Dark Sons, The Road to Paris, and Words with Wings. Creator of the popular Meet Danitra Brown, Ms. Grimes lives in Corona, California.
Nikki Grimes’ Poetry Writing Prompt
Step 1: Write a short paragraph about one of the following words: Bell, Shadow, Leaf, Lemon, Bullet.
Consider all aspects of the item each word represents—how it looks, sounds, feels, tastes; what it does; what you can do with it; how it affects you; what it is made of; where it is found. Does it have an age, a color, a smell? Bring all of your senses into play and try to describe this item to someone who has never encountered it before. The idea is to think about each word in a new, and animated way.
Step 2: Turn this paragraph into a poem. Use as many or as few, poetic techniques as you like: metaphor, simile, repetition, alliteration, assonance, rhyme, etc. Keep your lines simple. The idea is to think about words in a new way. This exercise can help you to keep your use of language fresh. Here are two examples to keep in mind:
Ball is a round, rubber word. Pen is a slim word,
It fits inside my palm. a tube of possibility.
I play with it outside, Poems and essays hide inside
bounce it on the sidewalk. or ride the river
When it hits the ground, of her ink.
it makes a smacking sound. Pen jots down things
My cupped hand waits for it that make you think.
to come back home. Pen is round.
Pen speaks, yet
makes no sound.
Note from Kate: We’d love to see how some of you did with this prompt – feel free to share your writing from today in the comments!