Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A "Poem" About Reading

We're in our second day of testing.  My job, as a test examiner is to walk around the room and monitor students taking the test. We cannot read or work on anything during test-taking time.  I'm working with eighth graders, and they've been doing a great job.  They are pretty much self-sufficient with very few questions. Yesterday was the longest day of testing so while they were working, my mind started to wander.  The first stanza of this "poem" came to me.  This morning as I walked around the room, a few more stanzas started coming together. 

I've never been good with meter. I don't know why, but I just can't seem to get it right. Maybe it's some blockage in my brain, or my country twang. So, I really would appreciate any suggestions you have for improvement.  I'm thinking that after I work on it some more, I might use this poem as a writing prompt to encourage students to write about their own favorite books. Thanks for your help!

The Book on My Shelf

When I was little
and tucked in my bed—
I’d listen to stories
that Grandpa read

about a young boy,
his silly Pooh Bear,
a Hundred Acre Woods,
and the adventures there.

Grandpa read those stories
again and again—
until Christopher Robin
became an old friend

It’s been a long while
since we’ve read together
but I’ll remember those
stories and Grandpa forever

It’s a book on my shelf
I got when I was three
A very special book—
my grandpa gave to me

-Linda Kulp


  1. I have to admit that I didn't even touch meter when I taught poetry to 8th graders. Isn't that terrible? I just didn't get it and I still don't. But I totally "get" your poem and I think it is wonderful.

  2. In a past life (pre-teacher), I was a newspaper reporter and during lunch, I would walk around our small city, looking for stories (eh, getting out of the office). I was writing a lot of songs then, and I found myself composing them as I walked, revamping and revising in beat to my step.
    Your post brought that back to me. Thanks!

  3. I don't think you missed a beat, Linda. This is great, and a nice memory too. I like that next to last verse with the enjambment/wrap around line. It makes a lovely move around the lines. Good luck in the contest: I send you positive thoughts!