April 30th, 2009


National Poetry Month -- Haiku 30

Today I got to talk to my daughter's 2nd grade class about reading poetry aloud.
Because tomorrow, they're hosting a Poetry Reading (capital P, capital R) in the library -- the culmination of National Poetry Month.

Small One tells me she's reading her Free Verse (which still sounds like Fwee Vewse, even though she's in speech therapy) and her Diamante (which I guess is about Dumbledore and He Who Must Not Be Named).

I really think I'd rather go this poetry reading than see The Rolling Stones.
For real.

So, we talked about speaking loudly, slowly, clearly.
And about how you can look at the top of your audience members' heads and it'll seem like you're making eye contact.
And about how important it is to really know the piece you're reading and, at the same time, to remember that your audience doesn't know it at all.

Then, some of these smart, funny, rascally, eight-year-olds volunteered to practice and they brought down the house.
We all nodded and laughed and mm-hmmed at appropriate times and then sent up a roar of finger-snapping at the end.
And this was just the rehearsal.
I've got to go set my alarm right now...

But first, I have to say, as we close out National Poetry Month and put April to bed for another year, I love poetry.
I love it for children and I love it for beauty and I love it for grief.
I love it for meaning and for humor and for relief.
I love it for it's roundness in a linear and chronological life and for it's sensuality in a technological age.
I love poetry.

And, specifically, right now, I really love haiku.
I'll admit that I set out to write one haiku a day this month because haiku are short and I figured I could handle it.
Really. I admit it.

But I didn't realize how much more than that the practice would become.

So, here's the deal.
I cannot stop.

I am not making any promises right this minute because, instead, I want to see what I feel like doing.
But I will say that even though April's over, my haikuing days aren't.

Thank you for joining me this month.

Haiku 30

cat, do you need oil,
wailing like an old screen door?
in or out, my friend?

-- Liz Garton Scanlon