Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Lesson Plans: Poetic License Assignment

Which to do, then? Post something here, or practice mandolin?

"Whatever you practice, you will get good at," I warn or promise my students and kids, depending on the tone to make the difference. Hmmm...

A compromise: here's a little quatrain, short and stout, that I've always thought would make a fine assignment for students of just about any age, by the charming second-generation New York School poet Ron Padgett, from his out-of-print book Toujours l'amour:
Poetic License

This license certifies
That Ron Padgett may tell whatever lies
His heart desires
Until it expires
The assignment would be, more or less, to write your own "Poetic License." No more than four lines, rhyming AABB, lines expandable ad libertam until the rhyme arrives (in manner of Ogden Nash, if slightly less graceful under pressure). "This license VERB / That YOUR NAME HERE may..." etc.

As this blog will no doubt soon show, I love quatrains, epigrams, short poems of almost all kinds. Hence my much-loved mandolin, that epigram of instruments. (As oud is the ghazal!)

More soon--


amiliz said...

I'm the Creative Writing teacher at a bilingual K-12 school in Mexico, and I too dislike not poetry but acrostics. Every so often a teacher will show me the "great idea" they saw for teaching poetry and it's always some form of acrostic. Kids do like it, and I guess it's okay for getting kids writing, but it doesn't encourage interesting ideas or inventive use of language like so many other assignments can.

chandella said...

well since u appreciate short poems heres one for u
'green leaves ,fresh leaves
swing in breeze
when every object tries to please
why oh! why this heart grieves
its spring in most parts of the world and the trees are getting new clothes for themselves ,green:fresh
i think if the teacher has some poetic sense or ability the teaching &learning process can be interesting for both the learner &the teacher
ps:it may not be a "blog practice (but innovation never hurts )can we have titles so we may locate the particular comment if we fail to visit the place on daily basis???

E. M. Selinger said...

If I can figure out a way to give the comments titles, Chandella, I'll do it. I'm new to all this blogging, though! Thanks for leaving the comment--


lesson plans said...

That's a cute poetry exercise. I bet kids have a lot of fun with that one.