April 21, 2011

Poetry Club Reading

Hannah Jane spent the school year  (a term used VERY loosely here) participating in Poetry Club with several other home school kids at her dear friends' home.  Generally, I think of our "clubs" as mostly social clubs where they get exposure to different ideas, but maybe don't actually learn all that much in a permanent sense.  But this club was different.  Hannah Jane learned so much about poetry, which was the objective, but also a ton about being herself, being a friend, and being confident.  I'm pretty sure everything she learned there is because the host family is the most nurturing, confident, loving and lovable group of people I've ever encountered my entire life.  And around them they have built this little group of equally kind and amazing people who are raising equally kind and amazing kids.  Are getting my point here?  Seriously fabulous group of kids and moms.  I'm sure the dads are all fabulous too, but I've not had the pleasure of meeting most of them.

Anyway, through this activity I have watched Hannah Jane move from being willing only to draw a picture and then tell the poem without writing anything down because she was so worried about her spelling (can you spell perfectionist?) and knowing only that poems are these short things that should always rhyme, to writing a ton of pages worth of poetry, both for meetings and for leisure, and being able to name and explain so many varieties of poetry (including a few I had never heard of before) and suddenly being confident enough to share her creations with her friends.

All of this culminated in a public poetry reading at Citrus and Sage coffee and crepe shop yesterday.  She was totally excited.  The boys, who have not participated in poetry club at all, were more than happy to go and watch.  Hunter decided a long time ago that he really wants to be in poetry club next year, but I'm just not quite sure how that would work unless I stayed with him, and I'm not sure how that would work with Haven there to distract.  So...the jury's out on that one.  But after watching yesterday, he's even more convinced he must become  poet.

Each of the kids, ranging in age from 4 all the way to...13?  brought 2 or 3 original poems and some that they like by other poets (you know...the ones you may have heard of before) and took turns reading at the mic in the coffee shop.  At some point Hannah Jane had written a poem about her friend Eva and Miss Eva chose that poem to read as her by someone else poem.  Hannah Jane thought that solidified her as a serious writer.  I mean, how often does someone else read your work at a poetry reading?  LOL!

Being the camera nut that I am, I snagged pics and video of everyone involved.  But, out of respect for other people's privacy I put all of that in a separate video and am sharing the Christison only version here.   My poet, her adoring fans AKA brothers, and of course, a family photo!  Her poem is a little hard to hear over the clatter, but it reads as follows:

Rain like sweet honey falling from her soul with  loving care,
With her nightingale beside her, she has love for every creature there.

That was her shortest and was read with a sonnet about ice cream and an acrostic poem about a pot of tea.  The one in the video was her pick to go in the newspaper along side her friends' poems next week!  How fun is that?

Okay...enough chatter.  Here's my little poet!

I feel so blessed that our kids get these kinds of opportunities with this caliber of people around them. If fate leaves us in this valley, we're totally ready to hit poetry club year 2! If you home school elsewhere and don't have these sorts of activities, catch the inspiration and start a club like this in your area!

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