Teaching poetry to kids in less than 2 minutes per day and loving every second of it…
Day 4 – 31 Days of Poems for Kids:
Teaching kids the secret of ordinary is one of the most extraordinary gifts you can give to your children.
The secret begins with WORDS… and ends in a lifetime of delight.
Grab the kids and come along for a walk with words. Today, simply l-i-s-t-e-n and you’ll hear a universe of beauty with hardly any sound at all…
Find a moment. One moment. Just one. Everyone shhhhhhhh and listen.
Can you hear it? Can you? 18th century Japanese poet and painter Yosa Buson gives us an extraordinary moment that we may otherwise have overlooked:
On the temple bell
Settles–and is sleeping–
Read the poem aloud to your child, or have your child read the poem to you.
The first read will most likely be a real read with solid syllables and tone… resonant, much like a temple bell itself. But you’ll quickly discover that another read will focus more on the softness of the words Settles and sleeping. You may even find yourselves whispering.
You will feel yourself getting into this extraordinary moment, like magic.
The great surprise and contrast is the butterfly! What sound does the butterfly make as it settles on the bell? What sound does the temple bell make as the butterfly settles? What exactly is the sound of silence?
How about printing this post and having your children draw the butterfly settling or sleeping on the bell. Or find a bell… the tiniest bell or the biggest bell. Touch it lightly, like a butterfly might.
Here, the poet Buson offers us our own enhanced sensibilities of magnificent silence in this moment; an image in the slowest of motion. An extraordinary ordinary!
All that in one moment.
Talk to your children about the hundreds, thousands of beautiful moments that come and go in haste. We must be careful to recognize them. A baby settling in with a blanket. A brewing cup of tea. A snowflake on a mitten. A leaf falling from a tree. A leaping frog. The moment you hold someone’s hand. Just before the bell rings for recess. Think of your own moments.
Poetry is always ready to communicate these magnificent moments. Be ready, too. It’s all about the WORDS. The tiny details. The sounds… even if it’s silence.
The sharing. The reading. The talking. The smiling. The moments captured.
Take a walk with words today. Bring your kids along. Look for the beauty in the ordinary. It’s a gift!
LEARNING & LITERACY are all about the words – Written. Spoken & Felt.
If you enjoyed this poem and activity, you may enjoy:
Fog, by Carl Sandburg
from Five Haiku, by Paul Eluard
Love is, by Nikki Giovanni