Thursday, January 27, 2011

Snow poetry

The drive to work was absolutely beautiful this morning.  The trees were loaded with snow and the stark white against the very dark gray or black of bare branches was awesome - especially since the sun was shining.

All that winter beauty reminded me of a haiku I once read:

How many million / flakes will it take to make a / snow day tomorrow?

Or how about this one?

Icicles dangle / begging to be broken off / for a short sword fight.

Both of these haiku, sticking to the traditional lines of 5 syllables, 7 syllables and 5 syllables, were written by Bob Raczka, and can be found in his book, Guyku : a year of haiku for boys.   Raczka and his partner in rhyme, illustrator Pete H. Reynolds, have a website for all the guys - and gals - who appreciate short verse.  Write your own haiku, guyku or galku, about snow and ice or about school or winter or waiting for spring - or anything at all!! Haiku is fun and simple.  Write one today.  There's no school.

One of my favorite winter poems is "The Cremation of Sam McGee" by Robert Service, the story of a prospector who freezes along the shores of a frozen lake.  Before he dies Sam McGee begs his buddy to cremate him so that finally, Sam will be warm again.  The friend tries to fulfill Sam's dying request.  Service's rhyme and rhthmn makes this a clever poem that is haunting as well.  You can find the poem in the book Scary stories illustrated by Barry Moser.  "The Cremation of Sam McGee" is a poem that begs to be read out loud.

Douglas Florian, Jack Prelutsky, Robert Frost, Jane Yolen, all these authors have written poems about winter, its beauty, its problems, how much fun snow and ice can be.  Check the sidebar for some other poetry about the coldest season of the year.

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