Friday, November 1, 2013

Children's Poetry Blog Hop

 Today I'm carrying the torch for the Poetry Blog Hop that's been spreading across the blogsphere. First up is a poem by your's truly. Although I teach poetry to kids in a young writer's group at the library, and I enjoy writing poetry myself, all of my poems are decidedly not children's poetry. So I did some digging, and I found a poem I write in the seventh grade. So here's a blast from the past, something that is clearly a children's poem.

Something Under My Bed! by Jess Stork

I tried to tell my brother,
there is nothing under his bed.

But he kept insisting if I left,
the next day,
I'd find him dead.

“There's something under my bed with scales and slime,”
he claimed.
“It could jump out and grab me,
'cause there's nothing to keep it contained.”

I repeated the facts again and again,
I was getting irritated,
and losing my grip on Zen.

He pleaded me to beat up the monster under there,
a few black eyes,
and to pull out some of it's hair.

So I gave up trying to reason,
and peered underneath,
I found some old pizza,
and my grandpa's extra, false teeth.

And just when I was giving up,
on finding his scary monster,
I spotted a shadow,
and out popped his hamster.

The next part of the blog hop is listing three questions that we wish we were asked during an interview, along with the answers.

  1. Who were some of your favorite poets when you were younger?

I was a Shel Silverstien fan as child. At the End of the Sidewalk had just come out when I was in the end of grad school, and I thought it was amazing that someone could write something that was a poem, and was funny at the same time.

  1. Why do you think poetry, and other fiction are important to the classroom?

I can still remember sitting on bean bag chairs after lunch, and falling into a story. I miss silent reading, especially nowadays, during work. I've heard from a lot of the students and other teachers that silent reading is happening less and less in the classrooms. I think we shouldn't underestimate the power of choice in reading, how much sitting and focusing on one storyline for an extended period of time can be beneficial. I remember when my teachers would read aloud poems during class, not necessarily for comprehension or discussion of themes that might be on the state tests, but for the sheer beautiful sound of poetry.

  1. Do you type your poems or handwrite them?

For awhile, I used to type my poems on an old typewriter I owned. There's something about the clacking of the keys that makes the poem feel more real. But normally, I write my poems, line by line in a journal, because they come to me in snatches like a flock of birds, rather than all together.

To finish up this post, I'm going to pass on this Children's Poetry Blog Post to Jaye Robin Brown over at .


  1. Seventh grade you was so cute!! I loved grandpa's extra teeth.

  2. Getting mine ready to post! Thanks for the tag. Love the surprise ending!

  3. "I think we shouldn't underestimate the power of choice in reading." Seconded. I LOVE poetry, but I think it's best written by hand. It's so organic and handwriting leaves so much more room for possibility. I mean, how about writing a poem in a circle, or shrinking, etc. Guess I'm just a visual person that way.