my dear friend jane has a passion for poetry. she happens to be an elementary school librarian and she loves passing this passion on to her students. each year she hosts a “poetry café” in her library and yesterday i was an honored guest at this event. think white tablecloths. and flowers. and colorful hanging art. and bookshelves dressed up with bright carefully-chosen poems at student eye level.
but the main activity is the recitation of the poems. 4-6 students sit at each table with an adult and share their poem with the group. some are more prepared than others. some can rattle off a host of poems, some struggle with one. some need “cheat sheets”. some love being in the spotlight, others not so much…. some speak with wild abandon and expression and others mutter words that can barely be heard. some that do not shine in other areas take to poetry and discover a life-long interest (love this!!)
after the poems are finished, the students get a little gift. and we chat a bit. i tried to tell them how little bits of poems can stay in your brain, nesting there for a long time, sometimes for your whole life. some lines will hide in there and be re-discovered when the time is right. kind of a hard concept for them to get at this point, but i know it’s true for me and it will be true for them as well, whether or not they realize it.
|Jane and her sweet grand-daughter, Evie|
i can’t post some of the endearing photos of the kids actually sharing their poems, but i hope you can use your imagination and get the idea. below are some of the many poems that jane has collected for the kids, written out in her own unique, artistic style. what a gift!!