As we continued down our Emily Dickinson trail, we read the introduction in Poetry for Young People: Emily Dickinson and followed some of the suggestions there. This series of books is really a charming introduction to poetry. Sweet illustrations keep even the little ones engaged. Unfamiliar words are defined for the children unobtrusively on the page. .There is just enough biography to set the poems in context and some gentle instruction on poetic devices.
We clapped iambic meter. Then, the children tried their hands at creating poems of their own patterned after Emily’s poems. The parameters were:
· the poems have stanzas of four lines,
· lines one and three have eight syllables
· lines two and four have six syllables
· the last word in line two rhymes with the last word in line four.
An example that follows this pattern is
The bee is not afraid of me,
I know the butterfly,
The pretty people in the woods
Receive me cordially.
The brooks laugh louder when I come,
The breezes madder play.
Wherefore, mine eyes, thy silver mists?
Wherefore, O summer’s day?