Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Poetry Prompting Poetry: Inspiring Introspection by Sharing Deep Thoughts

  Evoking introspection by sharing thought-provoking poems enables me to catalyze growth for young writers, in terms of both their writing skills and their self-understanding. Evidence of such growth often arrives in the form of poetic responses to my own poetry prompts, as illustrated below:

THE PROMPT: Write a similar poem about unfair assumptions you've made.
About Assumptions
by Susan L. Lipson 

I read your scowl as a snide comment
about me,
and prepared to throw the book at you,
but then you revealed the grief between your lines,
and I reread that scowl as a grimace of pain,
about you.
Guiltily, I snapped shut the book of judgment,
which wasn't mine to read.


by Caleb T., age 11

I’ve had some trouble putting it out of my mind.
Quiet, thin-eyed = older.
Loud, wide-eyed = younger.
In between = middle.
I hope that no one hears
And thinks that I judge too much
The perceptions of people’s ages.

Assumptions  facts.

ANOTHER PROMPT: Use the bold-lettered words as a framework for 
your own poem on the same theme, or reverse the objects and subjects,  
changing "you" to "I/me" to show the opposite view.

Old Blanket
by Susan L. Lipson

To you, I was an old blanket,
Covered in teddy bears and hearts,
Warmth from younger days.
But now you see me as threadbare,
Unappealing, too babyish,
Something for the storage chest.
To me, you were my best childhood friend.
But now I know you as the one who
Discarded me for a new comforter.


Former Commander 
by Ethan C., age 10

To me, you were my commander,
Helping me with everything I do, 
Memories of the younger days.
But now I see you as a comrade,
Less cool, more average, 
Somebody just to be friends with. 
To you, I was like a soldier,
But now you know me as a fighter 
Who rose the ranks and went beyond you.

         Both of these student poets wrote their poems after a deep discussion of the various implied meanings of the prompt poem. Their sweet expressions of insightful nostalgia warmed my heart as they read me their final drafts with pride. Thanks for reading. Please leave encouraging comments for Caleb and Ethan below!

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