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Friday, April 22, 2016

NaPoWriMo 2016 Day 12: Table of Contents Poem

Napowrimo's challenge for day twelve is to write a poem based on the table of contents of a book, any book, on my shelf.  One example that I saw appeared to make the t of c serve as a list of subject headings for realities (parameters, events, identity) of one's own, or common, life/ves.  Let's try something like that. (self-edit: preceding sentence is unnecessarily wordy)

The book I take from my shelf is one about writing.  A Big Bite of the World, Children's Creative Writing, by Claudia Lewis, who, I believe, was the, or at least a,  kiddie-lit teacher from my grad school days  The book has sat on my shelf for years. Every once in awhile, I've taken it down and glanced through, seeking some gem of wisdom that I hadn't noticed before. It is so anecdotal,  I've had  'trouble seeing the trees for the woods.'  Or is it a matter of 'can't see the woods for the trees?' In either case, every time, I sigh and put it back; nothing catches my interest, nothing delights or informs.

I am preparing to teach a workshop for parents who want to help little children learn to write; I have successfully carried out a number of writing lessons with kindergarten and first graders, in classrooms in the past.  Perhaps taking a closer look at the table of contents of A Big Bite of the World might offer fresh insight.  Let me delve further, in hopes of finding out more useful tips and clues from the author, not to mention mining the t of c for today's poem.

Alas, afraid of infringing upon author's rights, I do not copy the table of contents here, but let me tell you, it is a rich one:  titles, headings, virtual word clouds (remember, this book was published in 1979!).  I feel like I've hit the jackpot.  And, after this exercise, I am eager to read the whole book again, this time finding useful tips and clues for that workshop!

What Children Mean
by Shirley Smith Franklin

What is this thing called creative writing?
Isn't it every form of expression,
created new as we open our mouths
put pen to paper, power up computers?
Children are naturally inventive,
their curious questions search for concepts,
playfully describe patterns of thought,
invoke movement and repetition,
while recording sound, color, action,
making poetry of their daily world.

Older adult reality perspective
dwells on repetition of characters,
repetition of situations,
repetition of experiences,
repetition of new beginnings.
Rich repetition of reflections,
discovers new self awareness,
engages new maturity, poetry
moving beyond half-magic worlds,
searching for a symbolic, final word.

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