Poetical Advice from Gust KindergartnersFrom Volume Four
Write great words. Don’t write messy. Have fun – Johanna
To make a great poem you have to write juicy words. You have to think about juicy words – Taryn
Make good pictures and good sparkle words – Obed
Write words. Have fun with it. Explore it. Love it so much. Don’t write sloppy – Alexia
Think in your head. Picture great words – Jeanette
Write great words. Write a lot of special stuff – Carolyn
Put some rhyming words like bear and hair. Write about things you know – Jasmine
To make a poem you need rhyming words like Mother Goose – Melissa
Don’t write boring words! – Manuel
No periods, neat letters, good words – Sergio
How do you write poems? You need letters. You need words. You need good ideas – Rigo
Write good words like shiny. You can do it! – Gabriel


Writing Poems and Making Magic

by Steve Replogle

(Please note: this essay was written for Volume Three: The World Is Made Of Thoughts. It references several poems from that volume, which can all be found and read here.)

“And now for my next trick...” the magician declares, reaching into a top hat and pulling out a rabbit, or a dove, or a firecracker. A poet is like a magician, performing tricks for a surprised and delighted audience. A magician may hide a trick in his or her sleeve. There are many tricks up a poet’s sleeve, and they can be found in this book.

When we think of poetry, we almost always think of rhymes. Dominique from Columbian Elementary School uses rhymes to express both humor and anxiety in her poem, “CSAP.” Machera, from Traylor Academy, captures the beauty of nighttime wonders with rhymes in her poem, “Shooting Star.”

Rhyming is not the only trick used by poets. There are many poems that use word patterns, repeated lines or phrases. Like rhymes, they give a poem a kind of structure. Sierra, from Cowell Elementary, uses word patterns to give shape to her poem, “Inside of Me.” Another useful trick of poetry is to write about the five senses. “Lo que me gusta, ” by Dennison’s Nayeli, is a poem that uses the five senses to great effect. A very enjoyable poetry trick is hard to spell but fun to say: onomatopoeia. That is when a poet uses or even makes up a word to represent a sound. Daelan from Centennial uses this trick in “I Love Bowling.” Fairmont’s Mateo uses it, too, in his poem, “Legos.”

Personification is another poetry trick. This is when a poet writes about an object as though it has human thoughts and feelings. Steck Elementary’s Alec explores this approach with his stirring poem, “I Am Lightning.”

There are many ways to write poetry, and many more tricks. There are haiku, lune, cinquain, and diamente poems. There are acrostic poems and there are shape poems. There are poems that are all jokes and poems that are all questions. There are poems that use similes and metaphors—and those are two tricks that are almost as good as rhymes, and sometimes even better.

All these kinds of poems can be found in our DPS poetry books. But what’s the best trick of them all?

Feel something deep in your heart, and then write it down. In other words, believe in magic—not the kind performed by a magician with a top hat, but the kind that is found in a dream or a wish. Believe in it, find it, feel it, and then write it down. Let your imagination take you away, and when you come back, write down what happened.

It will be a poem.