Author: Kenn Nesbitt

Kenn Nesbitt, former U.S. Children's Poet Laureate, is celebrated for blending humor and heart in his poetry for children. Known for books such as "My Cat Knows Karate" and "Revenge of the Lunch Ladies," he captivates young readers globally.

Create Your Own Poetic Puppet Show

Have you ever dreamed of having a pet? Maybe a fluffy puppy, a colorful parrot, or even a sneaky little monkey? Well, guess what? Today, we’re going to bring those dreams to life… sort of! We’re not just talking about any pets; we’re diving into the world of imaginary animal friends through our very own Poetic Puppet Show!

Poetic Puppet Show

What’s a Poetic Puppet Show?

A Poetic Puppet Show is where we mix the magic of poetry with the fun of puppetry. We’ll use poems about different sorts of pets and animals to inspire us to create our own puppet pals. It’s like becoming the director of a mini-theater, where your handmade animal puppets are the stars!

Step 1: Meet Our Animal Friends

First, let’s get inspired! Here are several poems about kids with unusual pets. As you read each of these poems, think about what kind of pet you would most like to have. Or, if you already have a pet or a few different kinds of pets, think about which kind of animal is your favorite.

If you would like to work together with a few classmates as a team, here are some poems with lots of different pets. Each of you could make a different puppet and then perform the show together.

Step 2: Gather Your Materials

To create your puppet show, you’ll need a few craft materials:

  • Socks or paper bags (these will be your puppets)
  • Markers, crayons, or paint
  • Yarn (for hair or whiskers)
  • Googly eyes (if you have them, but you can also draw eyes)
  • Any other craft supplies you can find (feathers, beads, fabric scraps, glue sticks)

Step 3: Make Your Puppet Pals

Poetic Puppet Show

Now, let’s make our puppets! Pick an animal from the poem you chose and start crafting. Does your pet have fur, feathers, or scales? What color are they? Remember, there’s no right or wrong way to make your puppet. It’s all about having fun and being creative!

Step 4: Get Ready for the Show

With your puppets ready, it’s time to get ready for your show. If possible, you should memorize your poem so that you don’t have to read it from a piece of paper and can focus on your performance.

I find that the easiest way to memorize a poem is to print it out, and read it out loud at least 10 times. You will find that each time you read it, you will remember a little more, until you eventually have the whole poem memorized. Most of the poems here on Poetry4kids also have an audio recording that you can listen to, to hear how I recite them. Listening to me read it several times may help you commit the poem to memory.

For more tips on creating a great performance, check out this short article on How to Recite a Poem Like an Expert.

Step 5: Perform Your Puppet Show

Poetic Puppet Show

Finally, gather your family, friends, or classmates and perform your Poetic Puppet Show. As you tell the story by reciting the poem, use your puppets to act it out, maybe even using funny voices for each character!

Bonus Fun: Puppet Show Decor

Poetic Puppet Show

Make your show even more special by creating a simple stage. Use a cardboard box as your theater and decorate it with markers or paint. You can also make simple props like trees, houses, or a pet store sign to set the scene.

Why It’s Super Cool

Creating your Poetic Puppet Show is not just about crafting and performing; it’s about letting your imagination run wild. You get to be an artist, a writer, a director, and an actor all at once. Plus, you’ll learn how much fun it is to bring stories to life with your own two hands (and maybe a sock or two).

So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get started on our animal adventures and see where our creativity takes us. Who knew poetry could be this much fun?

Kenn Nesbitt
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Leap into Laughter with “A Festival for Frogs”

It’s a momentous week here at Poetry4kids.com, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to share some wonderful news with you directly from my desk. Just in time for National Poetry Month, my latest book, A Festival for Frogs, is making its way into the world today in hardcover, paperback, and ebook. I’ve poured my heart, soul, and a good dose of humor into this collection, and I can’t wait for you to read it!

A Festival for Frogs by Kenn Nesbitt

From My Pen to Your Funny Bone

For those of you who’ve been following my “Funny Poems for Kids” book series, beginning with The Armpit of Doom and The Biggest Burp Ever and continuing through to My Dog Likes to Disco and The Elephant Repairman, you know that each book brings even more hilarity.

With seventy  new funny poems and more than fifty playful illustrations from the incredibly talented Rafael Domingos, A Festival for Frogs will keep you laughing from beginning to end. You’ll read about ninja kittens, missing math teachers, dozing dragons, sneezing teddy bears, and many more super silly subjects.

This collection was a joy to create. I managed to crack myself up over and over while writing it, and I hope reading it does the same for you. Imagine baseball-playing puppies, an alien with a sweet tooth, and, of course, frogs hosting their own festival. Each poem is an invitation to giggle, think, and let your imagination leap.

Kind Words from Fellow Poets

I’m humbled and delighted by the encouragement and praise A Festival for Frogs has received from my colleagues:

Sue Hardy-Dawson, author of Where Zebras Go, calls it a “riotous collection, full of joy, witty humour, and clever wordplay.”

The amazing Chris Harris, author of I’m Just No Good at Rhyming and My Head Has a Bellyache, says, “Hilarious from beginning to end! Why are you reading this dumb quote instead of buying the book?! It’s hysterical!!”

David Lubar, author of My Rotten Life: Nathan Abercrombie, Accidental Zombie and scads of other funny books, places my work in the company of legends like Shel Silverstein and Jack Prelutsky, and calls it “delightful in every way,” which is incredibly flattering.

And then there’s Colin West, author of The Big Book of Nonsense and many other hilarious poetry collections, whose limerick about me, well, has me chuckling every time I read it:

There once was a poet called Kenn
Who picked up his magical penn,
And wrote funny rhymes
Not just a few times,
But agenn and agenn and agenn.

Not to be outdone, UK National Poetry Day Ambassador Liz Brownlee had this to say:

It’s no rumour there is humour
in the poems in these pages –
they are funny, they are punny
And frogtastic for all ages!

And singer/songwriter and poet Eric Ode, author of Stop that Poem!, calls A Festival for Frogs “a carnival of clever couplets, and a celebration of silly stanzas.”  Says Ode, “Such a perfectly titled collection! Nobody throws a party like Nesbitt!”

Ready, Set, Go!

A Festival for Frogs is available now. Just hop on over to Amazon to pick it up in paperback, hardcover, and Kindle ebook editions. If you have a different ebook reader, such as a Nook or Kobo, I have also made the ebook available in several more DRM-free formats in the shop on my membership site and even thrown in a 40% discount for all Poetry4kids members (though you don’t have to be a member to purchase the ebook there).

If you prefer to purchase books from your local bookseller, it will be available more widely in just a couple of weeks. No matter your preferred format or where you like to shop, I’ve got you covered.

Why This Book?

A Festival for Frogs is my invitation to you to explore the quirkier side of life through poetry. It’s crafted to spark laughter, foster imagination, and maybe even inspire you or your young ones to pen a poem or two. Whether you’re a parent, teacher, or a young reader, there’s something in this collection for you.

Join the Festivities

Now that release day is here, I invite you to stay connected with me here on Poetry4Kids.com. Your enthusiasm, support, and love for poetry make all of this possible. A Festival for Frogs is more than a book. It’s a teleportation device that will transport you instantly to the outer reaches of my overactive imagination. And it’s a non-stop tickle machine that will have you giggling from the moment you pick it up. I’m excited for you to read it, and I hope it brings as much joy to you as it has to me.

Here’s to many more laughs and poems,

Kenn

New Book! A Festival for Frogs

I’m thrilled to announce my newest book, A Festival for Frogs—a collection of 70 funny poems that will whisk you away on a whimsical journey filled with laughter, surprises, and the pure joy of words.

A Festival for Frogs by Kenn Nesbitt

Following of my previous hilarious collections, including The Armpit of Doom, My Cat Knows Karate, and The Biggest Burp Ever, this new installment continues the tradition of tickling funny bones and sparking imaginations. A Festival for Frogs is not just a book; it’s an invitation to revel in the playful, the peculiar, and the profoundly funny aspects of our world.

What’s Hopping Inside?

Prepare to meet ninja kittens on stealthy adventures, dozing dragons guarding treasures in their dreams, missing math teachers, purple unicorns, and a myriad of other characters in a festival that’s as riotous as it is heartwarming. Each poem is a doorway to a world where wit meets wisdom, and where every reader—regardless of age—is welcome to join the festivities.

Praises That Make My Heart Leap

The journey of A Festival for Frogs from a spark of inspiration to a book you can hold in your hands has been incredible, made even more special by words of encouragement from fellow authors and poets:

  • Chris Harris challenges, “Why are you reading this dumb quote instead of buying the book?! It’s hysterical!!”
  • David Lubar places it in the “great tradition of poets like Shel Silverstein and Jack Prelutsky.”
  • Sue Hardy-Dawson calls it a “riotous collection, full of joy, witty humour, and clever wordplay.”
  • And Liz Brownlee says it is, “Funny, punny, and frogtastic for all ages.”

With endorsements from such talented voices, I feel incredibly grateful and excited for you to dive into the pages of A Festival for Frogs.

Join the Frogtastic Festivities!

A Festival for Frogs will be available on March 26, 2024 in paperback, hardcover, and Kindle ebook editions, ready to hop into your hearts and homes. The Kindle edition is available for pre-order now. Whether you’re a long-time fan or new to my world of whimsical verse, this collection is for you, your family, and anyone who believes in the magic of laughter and the power of poetry to make reading fun.

So, let’s celebrate this release together. Grab your copy, find your favorite reading nook, and let’s make some ribbiting memories with each turn of the page.

Thank you for your continued support and enthusiasm. Your smiles are my inspiration, and your laughter is my reward. Here’s to many more adventures together in the wonderful world of poetry!

How to Write an Alphabet Poem

How to Write an Alphabet Poem by Kenn Nesbitt

Today, we’re embarking on a journey into the world of “alphabet poems.” If you’ve enjoyed creating acrostic poems, where the first letters of each line spell out a word or phrase, you’re going to love alphabet poems!

In alphabet poems, each line starts with a different letter of the alphabet, following the order from A to Z. It’s like weaving a magical tapestry with words, where every letter is a new stroke of your imagination. Imagine combining the fun of acrostics with the thrill of exploring the entire alphabet! So, let’s get our pencils ready and explore every letter in a new and exciting way with alphabet poems!

What is an Alphabet Poem?

An alphabet poem is a playful and creative way to use the ABCs in poetry. Just like in acrostic poems, where the first letters of each line spell out a word, in alphabet poems, each line starts with the letters of the alphabet, in order.

Starting with A and ending with Z, each line of the poem begins with the next letter in the alphabet. This creates a fun challenge: you get to think of a word or idea that starts with each letter. It’s like a puzzle where each piece is a letter that helps to build a beautiful picture with your words.

For example, if you’re writing about nature, your poem might start with A for ‘Autumn leaves,’ then B for ‘Breezes blowing,’ and so on. The challenge is to connect each line in a way that tells a story or paints a picture, making your way from A to Z.

Alphabet poems are not just fun; they’re a great way to learn new words and think about how to fit ideas together in creative ways. Ready to give it a try? Let’s find out more about why writing alphabet poems is not only enjoyable but also a great exercise for your brain!

How to Write Your Own Alphabet Poem

Writing an alphabet poem is like going on a treasure hunt with letters! Here’s how you can create your very own:

1. Choose a Theme: Start by picking a theme you love – it could be animals, your family, outer space, or even your favorite hobby. This theme will guide your poem from A to Z.

2. Start with A and Continue Through Z: Begin your poem with a word or idea that starts with A. For example, ‘A is for Apples, red and bright.’ Then move on to B, like ‘B is for Berries, sweet and light,’ and keep going through the alphabet.

3. Be Creative with Challenging Letters: Letters like Q, X, and Z can be tricky, but they’re also a chance to be extra creative! For Q, you could write ‘Quiet nights with twinkling stars.’ For X, think outside the box – ‘Xylophone tunes ringing clear’ or use words that start with an X sound, like ‘eXtraordinary day.’ And for ‘Z,’ try something like ‘Zebras racing in my dreams.’

4. Connect Your Lines: Try to make each line connect to the next in some way, either through rhyme, rhythm, or a continuing story or theme. This will make your poem flow nicely.

5. Have Fun and Experiment: The most important part is to have fun and play around with words and ideas. Alphabet poems are a great way to experiment with language and see where your imagination takes you.

Here’s an example of how the beginning of an alphabet poem with an animal theme might look:

A is for Ants, marching so small,
B is for Butterflies, fluttering tall,
C is for Cats, stretching their claws,
D is for Dogs, pointing their paws,

Or you might simply use words that start with each letter. Here’s the beginning of an alphabet poem with a nature theme:

Arctic snows are white and cold.
Beaches’ sands are warm and gold.
Caves are chambers underground.
Deserts have cactus all around.

Remember, there’s no right or wrong way to write an alphabet poem. They don’t even have to rhyme! It’s all about exploring words and having fun with the letters of the alphabet.

Time to Write!

Now that you’ve explored the exciting world of alphabet poems, it’s time to put pencil to paper and create your own. Remember, each letter in the alphabet is like a key, unlocking your imagination and creativity. As you write your alphabet poems, you’re not only having fun with words, but you’re also learning and growing as a writer.

Don’t worry if some letters seem hard at first. Every poet faces challenges, and it’s all part of the adventure. The most important thing is to enjoy the process and see where your creativity takes you.

So, keep playing with words, experimenting with ideas, and most of all, keep enjoying the wonderful journey of poetry. We can’t wait to see the amazing alphabet poems you create. Each one will be as unique and special as you are!

Happy writing, and may your alphabet adventures be filled with fun and discovery!

Kenn Nesbitt
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How to Write Nonsense Verse

How to Write Nonsense Verse by Kenn Nesbitt

Today, we’re going to dive into a super fun and silly type of poetry called “nonsense verse.” Have you ever heard a poem that made you giggle with its silly words and funny sounds? That’s what nonsense verse is all about!

Poets like Edward Lear and Lewis Carroll were masters of this playful poetry. They created poems that twist and turn language in the most delightful ways. Nonsense verse is like a playful dance of words, where anything is possible and everything is amusing. So, let’s jump into this wacky world and discover how to create our own nonsense verse!

What is Nonsense Verse?

Nonsense verse is a type of poetry that’s all about having fun with words and sounds. It doesn’t have to make sense in the way that other poems or stories do. In fact, the more playful and silly it is, the better!

In nonsense verse, poets use made-up words, silly phrases, and funny rhymes to create a world where the imagination can run wild. These poems often sound musical and have a rhythm that makes them fun to say out loud. They can include fantastical creatures, absurd situations, and lots of humor.

Nonsense verse has been brought to life by some incredibly imaginative poets. Here are a few snippets to tickle your funny bone:

Edward Lear, known for his quirky limericks, wrote poems like this:

On the top of the Crumpetty Tree
The Quangle Wangle sat,
But his face you could not see,
On account of his Beaver Hat.
For his Hat was a hundred and two feet wide,
With ribbons and bibbons on every side
And bells, and buttons, and loops, and lace,
So that nobody ever could see the face
Of the Quangle Wangle Quee.

It’s silly, it’s whimsical, and it makes you wonder about such a crazy creature!

Lewis Carroll gave us the famous “Jabberwocky” and many other nonsense poems in his book Through the Looking-Glass. Here’s a part of it:

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

Notice how these lines are filled with made-up words that sound fun and create a fantastical image in your mind? Nonsense verse allows poets to play with language in the most creative ways. It’s like opening a door to a world where anything can happen, and usually does!

How to Write Your Own Nonsense Verse

Now it’s your turn to write some silly, whimsical nonsense verse! Here are some tips to help you get started:

1. Invent Fun Words: Don’t worry if the words don’t exist; make them up! Think of sounds you like and play around with them. How about ‘flibberflabber’, ‘whizzlewomp’, or ‘gloopityglop’? Then just string them together in a poem, like this:

The flibberflabber from Whizzlewomp
was glooppityglopping along.
He dumbledrummed on his bizzlebomp
while singitysanging a song.

If you need help making up new nonsense words, I’ve got a whole lesson right here on how, when, and why to make up words!

2. Create Silly Characters or Situations: Maybe there’s a cat who loves to tap dance, or a moon that likes to eat cheese. The crazier, the better!

3. Use Rhyme and Rhythm: Try to make your lines rhyme in a funny way, and give your poem a bouncy rhythm. It makes your nonsense verse even more enjoyable to read aloud.

4. Let Your Imagination Run Wild: There are no rules. If you want a purple sky or a talking shoe, go for it! Nonsense verse is all about breaking the boundaries of the ordinary.

5. Have Fun with It: Remember, the goal is to have fun and be creative. Don’t worry about making sense. The more nonsensical, the better! That’s why it’s called nonsense verse.

Here’s a little example to inspire you:

In the town of Giggleswick,
Lived a jolly bumbleflick,
With ears of seven different hues,
And eighteen pairs of talking shoes.

Hop to It!

Now, grab your pen and let those wacky, wonderful ideas flow. Who knows what fantastic nonsense verse you’ll create! Remember, the most important part of this creative journey is to let your imagination soar and to have loads of fun.

Whether your poem is about a flying pancake or a whispering tree, every line you write is a celebration of your creativity. Nonsense verse isn’t just about writing; it’s about enjoying the wild and wonderful side of language and life.

So, keep inventing those zany words and wacky worlds. Share your poems with friends and family, and see how your laughter and joy spread. Every nonsense verse you write is a masterpiece of imagination, and the world is eager to hear your unique and silly voice.

Here’s to your fantastic adventures in the land of nonsense verse! Happy writing!

Kenn Nesbitt
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How to Write a Kenning Poem

What is a Kenning?

wave traveler

Imagine you are a secret agent, and instead of saying the name of something directly, you say it in a secret code; you describe it in a clever new way. That’s what a “kenning” does! A kenning is like a little riddle made of two words that describe something without using its name. For example, instead of “ocean,” you might say “whale-road.” Instead of “boat” you might say “wave-traveler.”  Sounds fun, right?

Origins of Kenning Poems

Viking

Kenning poems come from long ago, used by the Vikings and people in Northern Europe. Yes, even Vikings wrote poetry! These poems didn’t just tell a story; they made it exciting with these special word puzzles.

Creating Kennings

To create your own kennings, think about the attributes (qualities or features) and actions (things it does) of your chosen subject. Look for clues to describe your subject in a fun way.

  • Attributes: These are things that describe what your subject is like. If your subject is a tree, its attributes include branches, leaves, a trunk, it’s height, etc. So, you could create kennings like “branch-tower” or “leaf-waver.”
  • Actions: These are things that your subject does. If your subject is a dog, it might “bark,” “run,” or “wag its tail.” From these actions, you could think of kennings like “bark-maker” or “tail-wagger.”

By focusing on both what your subject is like and what it does, you can come up with a whole world of creative kennings. This makes your poem not just a bunch of words, but a lively picture painted with your imagination!

How to Write Your Kenning Poem

1. Choose a Topic: Pick something you like or find interesting. It could be an animal (a cat, a fish, a dinosaur, etc.) a place (your school, the beach, the moon, and so on), or even a person (an artist, a football player, a character from a book or movie, you get the idea).

2. Brainstorm Kennings: Think of descriptive and fun ways to talk about your topic without saying its name. If your topic is a “book,” you might think of “story-haven” or “page-palace.”

3. Put Your Kennings Together: Start putting these kennings into short lines to form a poem. Remember, there’s no need for it to rhyme, and your poem can have as many or as few kennings as you like!

4. Be Creative: The best part about kenning poems is how creative you can be. Mix and match words and see what interesting kennings you can come up with!

Example Kenning Poem

If I choose a cat as my topic, my kenning poem might look like this:

Whisker-painter
Purr-machine
Mouse-chaser
Night-explorer

Or, if I were writing about the ocean, I might create something like this:

Horizon-hugger
Fish-playground
Ship-road
Wave-shaper
Moon-mirror
Tide-cradle

This poem uses kennings to describe various aspects of the ocean, from its interaction with the moon and tides to its role as a habitat for marine life and a path for ships. It paints a picture of the ocean’s vast and dynamic nature.

Give it a Title

Once you are done writing your kenning poem, give it a title. If you want people to know ahead of time what your poem is about, try using the subject as the title. For example, you might simply call your poem “Cat” or “Ocean.”

On the other hand, if you want your poem to be more of a puzzle for readers to figure out, give it a title such as “What Am I?” or “Who Am I?” Then the kennings in your poem are clues to the mystery in the title’s question. Here’s an example. It’s up to you to figure out what this kenning poem is about.

What Am I?

Tentacle-twister
Ink-squirter
Reef-dancer
Camouflage-master
Shape-shifter
Ocean-wonder

Your Turn!

Now it’s your turn to become a kenning poet. Pick a topic, brainstorm your kennings, and put them into a poem. Have fun, and remember, there’s no wrong way to create your kenning poem! It’s all about using your imagination and having fun with words. Happy writing!

Kenn Nesbitt
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How to Write Lyric and Dramatic Poetry

What Is Lyric Poetry?

You’ve probably heard the word “lyric” before, meaning the words of a song. Today we’re going to be talking about another meaning of the same word. We’re going to talk about lyric poetry.

Because “lyric poetry” and “song lyrics” sound similar, it’s easy to mix them up, but they’re really two different things. Lyrics in a song are just the words that go with the music, whether they describe the singer’s feelings or not. But a “lyric poem” is a special kind of poetry where you express your feelings and thoughts, no music needed.

While some kinds of poems tell stories, or describe things, In a lyric poem, you share your emotions, moods, and feelings. Whether you’re super excited, kind of sad, maybe a bit angry, or even if you’re just marveling at the beauty of a sunset, lyric poems capture these moments and put them into words.

Because lyric poems express the poet’s emotions, they are usually written from the poet’s point, using words like “I” and “my” rather than talking about something or someone else. In other words, you might say, “I am feeling happy” rather than “Hannah’s feeling happy.” Got it?

Lyre

And, lastly, lyric poems are usually short and often rhyme because, in ancient times, they were meant to be sung and accompanied by a musical instrument, such as a lyre, a small instrument like a tiny harp. In fact, the word lyric comes from “lyre.” Pretty cool, right?

What About “Dramatic” Poetry?

Some lyric poems are also “dramatic poems.” A dramatic poem is a lyric poem that describes emotions about a situation in a way that’s very expressive, almost like you’re acting on a stage. They’re not just about your feelings; they’re meant to be read aloud, maybe even acted out before an audience.

In other words, all dramatic poems are lyric poems, but not all lyric poems are dramatic poems. Make sense?

A Few Fun Examples

In each of these lyric poems, the poet is expressing their emotions about something:

  • In the shape poem “Pizza, Pizza, I Love You” the poet shares their feelings of love with their favorite food.
  • In the poem “Zoom Gloom” the poet complains about how bored they are with remote learning.
  • And in “Whenever It’s December” the poet describes the joy of remembering the year past and looking forward to the new one.

Now, let’s get you writing your own lyric poem! Here are several ways to start…

Choose a Feeling

Think of a feeling you want to write about. It could be happiness, sadness, excitement, or even wonder. Write it down, and maybe add a detail or two, like this:

I’m angry! I’m angry! I just want to scream!

or

I’ve never been as happy as the way I’m feeling now.

Then continue your poem, telling the world what it is that you are angry or happy or excited about.

Pick a Moment

Or pick a moment that was filled with emotion, like the first time you played in the snow, or a particularly disgusting food you had to eat, and get started. But rather than describe it in the past, place yourself in the moment, as if it’s happening to you now. Maybe your poem begins like this:

I can’t believe I didn’t know,
I love, I love, I love the snow!

or maybe this:

This Brussels sprout that’s on my plate
is something that I truly hate.

Write About Something You Like or Don’t Like

If you can’t think of a moment or a feeling, maybe just think of something you like or don’t like. Love your Xbox? Write about that. Can’t wait for the end of the school year? Tell the world about it! Wish that your cat would stop attacking you? There’s even a lyric poem in that.

One of my favorite lyric poem that describes something the poet doesn’t like is “Homework! Oh, Homework!” by Jack Prelutsky, which begins like this:

Homework! Oh, Homework!
I hate you! You stink!
I wish I could wash you away in the sink,
if only a bomb
would explode you to bits.
Homework! Oh, homework!
You’re giving me fits.

Useful Tips for Writing Lyric Poetry

Now that you know how to get started writing a lyric poem, here are a few more tips to help you as you write:

Use Descriptive Words: To make your poem vivid, use descriptive words. For example, if you’re writing about you feel when you visit the beach, you can talk about the ‘sparkling blue waves’ or the ‘soaring white seagulls.’ These descriptions help your readers picture and feel what you’re saying.

Create Short Lines: Lyric poems usually have short lines and often rhyme, though they don’t have to. Instead of writing long sentences or paragraphs, try writing short lines with just a few words, and maybe rhyming just a bit. Look at the examples above to see what I mean.

Read Lyric Poems Written by Other Poets: The more lyric poems you read that were written by others, the more ideas and inspiration you will get. Reading lots of poems will show you many different ways to go about expressing your own emotions in poetry. (Just remember not to copy other poets’ words, but to use your own instead.)

Share Your Feelings: Don’t be shy about putting your feelings into words. After all, that is the whole point of lyric poems. If a walk in the woods made you feel peaceful, write about that peaceful feeling. If it excited you, let that excitement show in your words.

Read it Aloud: Once you’ve written your poem, read it out loud. Lyric poetry is about expressing emotion, and hearing the words can help you feel if the emotion is coming through.

And remember…

There’s No Right or Wrong: In poetry, your feelings and how you express them are always right.

Practice Makes Perfect: The more you write, the better you’ll get at expressing yourself.

Have Fun: Writing poetry is like painting with words. So enjoy the process of creating something new and expressive!

Kenn Nesbitt
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How to Write a Triolet

How to Write a Triolet

Have you ever wanted to try your hand at a type of poem with a unique pattern? Let’s dive into the magical world of the triolet (pronounced “tree-oh-lay”). The triolet is a short and fun poem that comes with its very own set of rules. Let’s explore how to write one!

What is a Triolet?

A triolet is an 8-line poem that has a specific rhyme scheme and repeats some of its lines.

It is a cool type of poem was invented in France a long, long time ago (way back in the 13th century!). Its name sort of sounds like “triple,” which makes sense because the poem repeats its first line three times.

People in France loved using the triolet for songs and short poems. Later on, this style of poem traveled to England, where famous poets like Robert Bridges and Thomas Hardy played with its fun pattern. They liked how it was short, but still had a special rhythm and repeating lines.

So, the triolet is a poem that’s been loved by many for hundreds of years, all because of its neat style!

The Rules

Like all poetic forms, triolets have their own set of rules. The most important rules

  • Rhyme Scheme: The triolet follows this rhyme pattern: ABaAabAB. The capital letters mean those lines are repeated. The lower case letters mean those lines rhyme with the upper case ones, but aren’t repeated lines. If you aren’t familiar with rhyme schemes, this lesson plan explains them.
  • Repetition: Lines 1, 4, and 7 are the same. Lines 2 and 8 are the same too!
  • Line Length: While there’s no strict rule for how long each line should be, it’s good to keep them similar in length. You can count the number of syllables or the number of feet to make sure your lines are the same length.
  • Rhythm: Just like the line length, triolets don’t have to have a certain rhythm. However, it’s best if all your lines have the same rhythm as one another.

Here’s an example triolet by the poet Laura Purdie Salas:

Bees of Winter

Winter bees beat wings of snow (A)
to form a storm—a blizzard swarm— (B)
when frosty Arctic breezes blow. (a)
Winter bees beat wings of snow, (A)
dancing high and diving low. (a)
The wind’s the stage where they perform. (b)
Winter bees beat wings of snow (A)
to form a storm–a blizzard swarm. (B)

—Copyright © Laura Purdie Salas. All Rights Reserved

See? Lines 1, 4, and 7 are identical, as are lines 2 and 8! In other words, the (A) and (B) lines are repeated. You’ll also notice that the (a) lines rhyme with the (A) lines, and the (b) line rhyme with the (B) lines. And, if you count them, you’ll see that all the lines in this poem are about the same length, each having seven or eight syllables.

Tips for Ideas

  • Nature: Just like our sample poem about bees in winter, nature can inspire countless poems. Think about the sun, rain, trees, or animals.
  • Emotions: How do you feel today? Happy, sad, excited, or maybe curious? Write about it!
  • Everyday Life: Something as simple as your breakfast, a game you played, or a chat with a friend can become a great poem.
  • Dreams & Fantasies: Dragons, mermaids, spaceships – let your imagination run wild!

Everyone, even the greatest poets, started with their first poem. Don’t worry if your triolet isn’t perfect on the first try. What’s important is to have fun and express yourself. Remember, poetry is a way to play with words, and there’s no right or wrong. So, grab a pen and paper, and let your creative spirit shine!

Worksheet

Kenn Nesbitt
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Interactive Livestreams for 2023-24

Kenn Nesbitt Online Virtual School Author Visit Zoom Meet Skype Teams

Throughout the school year, I visit many, many schools around the world virtually through Zoom, Meet, Teams, Skype, etc. In other words, I can visit your class or your school online whenever it’s convenient for you, for a fee.

However, if your class or school would like to visit with me, but you don’t have a budget for virtual field trips, I also provide webinars in conjunction with Streamable Learning, the leading provider of interactive livestreams in the K-12 market in the US and Canada. Through quality educational content and an easy-to-use platform, Streamable Learning aims to in introduce interactive livestreams as a valuable supplemental tool for classrooms and families seeking to inspire and educate their K-12 students.

During the 2023-24 school year, I will be doing more than a dozen online webinars, including interactive poetry-writing lessons and programs on famous children’s poets from Dr. Seuss to Shel Silverstein. Schools are invited to join any of these sessions for free as my guest.

Streamable Learning and Zoom

Streamable Learning LivestreamStreamable Learning offers a convenient, cost-effective, and comprehensive calendar of interactive livestreams delivered by subject matter experts and designed to supplement your existing and future lesson plans. To discover hundreds of engaging, educational programs, have a look a their Livestream Calendar.

I have been offering interactive poetry livestreams through Streamable Learning for several years now, and I hope you’ll be able to join me this year. You can register and participate in as many of these upcoming sessions as you like.

If you would like to attend one of my programs, please see the list of registration links shown below. When you click on the link, you will need to fill out just a few items and once you have finished the form, you will then receive an email with the livestream link. If you do not, please check your spam folder. It is possible that the livestream link will end up there. To join the program, you will need to download the Zoom app. You can download this free app at www.zoom.us/download and click on “Zoom Client for Meetings.” If you have any difficulty, contact efriedman@streamablelearning.com.

2023-24 Livestream Schedule

September 25, 2023

March 1, 2024

March 21, 2024

April 1, 2024

April 17, 2024

May 9, 2024

June 3, 2024

If you would prefer to arrange a private interactive videoconference for your class or school only, simply click here to schedule an online author visit. I look forward to seeing your students online!