Homeschooling Kids Magazine

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Playing with Poetry
April is National Poetry Month! Poetry comes in many different styles. No matter what your taste is, there is a poem for you. Poetry can be serious and thoughtful, or humorous and fun. Poems often rhyme, but they don't have to. Poetry can be interesting to read, and enjoyable to write. Read the short poems on this page, and then write a poem of your own. Try to include one or more of the literary devices defined below in your poem.

April Rain Song
Let the rain kiss you.
Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops.
Let the rain sing you a lullaby.
The rain makes still pools on the sidewalk.
The rain makes running pools in the gutter.
The rain plays a little sleep-song on our roof at night-
And I love the rain.

-Langston Hughes

The fog comes
on little cat feet.
It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.
-Carl Sandburg

I think mice
Are rather nice.
Their tails are long,
Their faces small,
They haven't any
Chins at all.
Their ears are pink,
Their teeth are white,
They run about
The house at night.
They nibble things
They shouldn't touch
And no one seems
To like them much,
But I think mice
Are nice.
-Rose Fyleman

What is Pink?
What is pink? A rose is pink
By the fountain's brink.
What is red? A poppy's red
In its barley bed.
What is blue? The sky is blue
Where the clouds float through.
What is white? A swan is white
Sailing in the light.
What is yellow? Pears are yellow,
Rich and ripe and mellow.
What is green? The grass is green,
With small flowers between.
What is violet? Clouds are violet
In the summer twilight.
What is orange? Why, an orange,
Just an orange!
-Christina Rossetti
Can you find some examples of these literary devices in the poems above?
Alliteration - repetition of a consonant sound in a line of poetry ("sing a song of sixpence").
Imagery - descriptive word pictures that are appealing to the senses.
Metaphor - an implied comparison without using the words "like" or "as" (rosy cheeks).
Meter - a poem's recurring pattern of rhythm.
Onomatopoeia - words that imitate a natural sound (bang, boom, tinkle, pitter patter).
Personification - giving human qualities to non-human things (referring to a ship as "she").
Rhyme - repetition of similar sounds, often at the ends of lines but may also be within a line of verse.
Simile - a stated comparison of two things using the words "like" or "as" (cheeks like roses).
Symbolism - use of an image or object to represent an idea or something else larger than itself.
Tone - the characteristic emotion or attitude in a poem.
NOTE: There are no right or wrong answers; just see what you can find.