Sunday, April 1, 2012

And so it begins...

     Happy National Poetry Month!  I am hesitantly creating this blog as a venue to share with you my National Poetry Month Commitment.  I intend to write a new poem every day this month using a different poetry form.  I have been following blogs for a few years, but this is my first attempt at writing one.  I have gained inspiration from the citizens of Kidlitosphere Central.  Check out their website to learn more about this creative group of people dedicated to children's literature.  I also have been motivated by my experience in Ed DeCaria's March Madness Poetry Tournament over at  (There is still time to vote in the Semifinals...go there now to read some fabulous, fresh poetry!)  I am especially grateful to Greg Pincus who listed so many poetry forms in his current entry called "The Poetry Games." I will be using this poem as a source for many of my poems this month!  His poem is also a great April 1st burst to kick off this exciting month.  I share it here, without permission.  Greg, if I am out of line, let me know and I will pull your poem down.  (Did I mention that I'm new at this; no disrespect intended!)

The Poetry Games
by Greg Pincus

This year the arena is packed to the rafters
With fans cheering loudly for favorite word crafters.
We all have our heroes. We call out their names.
We root and we hoot at the Poetry Games.

Our friends tell us stories of tourneys gone by
When last second sonnets would make the crowds cry.
When two well-versed poets both wrote clerihew…
When strong double dactyls defeated haiku.

Now, this year we listen and hear poets score
With assonance, consonance, slant rhyme and more.
We sigh for a stanza that sends our souls soaring.
We hide as the similes fall like rain pouring.

Crowd favorites emerge from the tales that they tell
In free verse, in ballad, and in villanelle.
A triolet sends one opponent to doom.
Another one drops to a perfect pantoum.

Soon only two stand. We all watch them fight on.
Nobody leaves as they write until dawn.
Then they lay down their pens in this battle of brains…
And a winner is named! Pandemonium reigns!

These Games are a fiction, though here’s what is real:
The power of poems to make us all feel.
Poetry speaks of the world as we know it,
So celebrate words, and go cheer for a poet.

     One of the first poetry forms Greg mentioned is clerihew.  After some quick research (thank you,!)  I learned that a clerihew is a four lined poem invented in the late 1920s by Edmund Clerihew Bentley.  It is typically biographical and whimsical, often poking fun at a famous person.  While I am nowhere close to being famous, many of you don't know me yet, so as a means of introduction, I will attempt a clerihew about me.

by Melinda Harvey

My fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Harvey
makes 5th graders from 3rd grade larvae
Though she may cause many tensions
It's true that she has good intentions!

   Well, one down, 29 to go!  If my intentions stay true, I will see you here again tomorrow with a new poem form.  In the meantime, you can try a clerihew.  Kenn Nesbitt offers a great tutorial at  If you don't have plans for this month, consider joining me on this National Poetry Month challenge.  I would love to see what forms you play with!  Leave your attempt in the comments! 


  1. Ahhh... you would choose those words for your first poem of this blog!! Well done friend! I look forward to reading more. So I will follow and sometimes even give it a try:

    Your next door neighbors
    might join in the labors
    of speaking in rhyme
    but it may take us more time!

  2. What fun! I like the wordplay in this one...and especially the phrase "3rd grade larvae." Congratulations to you on your new blog...I hope that you have a great time exploring these new forms and joining the friendly blogosphere. It was great to see you (and meet your daughter) in Edible Book Land tonight! a.

  3. This sounds like great fun! I introduced my children to the "Poetry Farm" last week to begin thinking about poetry for our upcoming unit with a promise to visit each morning. I may have to add "Thinking in Rhyme" to our places to visit each day! :)

    Last year I tried a poem a day
    Only made 6, I'm embarrassed to say
    You are quite an inspiration
    'Cause poetry sometimes causes perspiration


  4. Congratulations on a wonderful start at blogging, Melinda! I, too, enjoyed your description of your 4th grade teacher journey!!! Having taught gr. 5 and gr. 3, I "hear" you! I will look forward to your poem a day this month and hopefully will try some of them myself. I will let you know how it goes. Have you heard of the Zeno form created by J. Patrick Lewis? I read about it on a blog, so maybe you can google it. Or perhaps I have it bookmarked!

  5. Thank you all for stopping by and for your kind words! Rachelle and Kristen, I am wowed by your talents...get in the ring with me!