he knows a curious fact about

the half-melted sun, and yet

his fortune is to find

the bloom teasing inside the flame

which sheds light on young

pine trees at whose feet recline

boulders with grace.

This is a resulting sketch from an exercise in a poetry workshop given by my young poet friend. We were to choose at random from a bowl 10 slips of paper, each bearing a different word. Then we were to use all of the words to generate a sketch. There were amazing, varied sketches written by everybody there.  I think it might be a good way to encourage writing in children, and wonder if there are teachers in intermediate and secondary grades who use this, or a similar method, as a way to play intentionally with language and encourage kids to generate their own imagery and statements.

5 Responses to “WORD BOWL…”

  1. Marsha J. O'Brien Says:

    Very nice. I think it is a GREAT idea to encourage writing in children! If teachers aren’t using it, it could be a fun “game” for parents to encourage writing. Thanks for the idea –
    I’ll use it for sure. Could be a fun game for adults too, to see what comes out of an individual’s brain. I loved this one!

  2. lookingforbeauty Says:

    Like lovely mysterious haiku.
    Very evocative!

  3. Deborah Barlow Says:

    This exercise feels fresh, not forced. That’s an accomplishment in and of itself.

  4. James Steerforth Says:

    Word bowl! What a great idea.

    And what came out of your word bowl is original and graceful.

    The boulders reclining at the feet of pines is my favorite image.

    By the way, Kenneth Koch had lots of ideas on how to get children to write poetry in “Wishes, Lies and Dreams.”

  5. suburbanlife Says:

    Thanks James, for your suggestion to read Kenneth Koch’s book. Oh, dear, I am going to have a lot to read this year. But FUN!
    You and Deborah realize that much of any good that comes out from a person is most often a result of the input of wise “teachers”, and I have had much luck in having crossed paths with many of them. Thanks for both of your encouragement and kind comments.

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