Introduction to Poetry
I ask them to take a poem
and hold it up to the light
like a color slide
or press an ear against its hive.
I say drop a mouse into a poem
and watch him probe his way out,
or walk inside the poem's room
and feel the walls for a light switch.
I want them to water ski
across the surface of a poem
waving at the author's name on the shore.
But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it.
They begin beating it with a hose
to find out what it really means.
~ Billy Collins
We are in the middle of our poetry unit in my second grade class. Before we begin writing poetry, we spend more than a week in a poetry scavenger hunt. Basically, the kids are learning about the elements of poetry and are reading and talking about poems. Then, the kids all write their own poetry collections and we make books out of them. For the back jacket author's picture, I have each student choose their favorite poetry book and I photograph them like this. Cute, hunh?