In anticipation of National Poetry month in April. I created a Squidoo lens, Best Websites for Kids Poems, highlighting some of the best interactive websites I've found for helping kids write poetry, publish it online, and just enjoy it. Since writing about my "K-12 Top 12", visitors have added more than a dozen of their favorites to it, so everyone should be able to find something useful.
My daughter is now in middle school. But she still frequently falls asleep reading a volume of Shel Silverstein, so I HAD to include his website. Other authors include Bruse Lansky and Kathy Norris. ReadWriteThink has some excellent poetry writing interactives that are described here, and there are a few really helpful rhyming dictionaries listed. If you 're looking for still more poetry for children, mozy over to the Poetry section of LearningReviews.com.
Also in honor of National Poetry Month AND in honor of my mother, I'm posting a poem she wrote about her childhood memories in a small coal town in the Appalachian mountains of Pennslyvania.
I REMEMBER THE TRAIN
by Barbara Lamont Berlyak
that sat upon a hill
Two stories high with a porch in the back
that overlooked the glistening track.
That distant shrill would beckon me
and out to the porch I’d run
And wait ‘til I could see that big black
thunder in the sun.
The noise is getting louder now
The grinding of the wheels
I see her coming ‘round the bend
The porch and I both quiver then.
The dark black cloud is swirling
thrown into outer space
No thought of air pollution then
just grit upon my face.
And a warning from my mother
that the phantom rising tall
Would hurt my eyes if I looked up
As it began to fall.
Of course, I didn’t listen
I didn’t want to miss
A second of excitement
As I heard the engine hiss.
I could feel the floor vibrating
and the soot caress my face
And in some small way we were one
A single energy in space.
On occasion Mr. Engineer would wave
and flash a smile
And I would feel so special
for just a little while.
I would count the lettered cars
as they thundered down the track
Wonder where they were going
and if they ever would come back.
What was hidden on the other side
of those clanging, sliding doors
And would those loads of sparkling coal
be used to warm another girl or boy?
As long a train as it may be
rumbling through our little town
And like that cloud just overhead
my joy was tumbling down.
Because now I could see that little car
that is open on the end
Like a period ends a statement
that is all – the end!
I can’t help but wonder
now that I am grown
If in another little town
there stands a boy or girl
Who also shares my feelings
and is creating memories so dear
Even though for just a moment
falling soot may bring a tear.