Thursday, April 26, 2018

Poetry Friday: Metaphor

This week's Poetry Friday is hosted by Irene Latham's Live Your Poem blog. Be sure to stop by and check out all of the wonderful posts.

This week, I'm exploring the use of metaphor in poetry. Metaphor is defined as a figure of speech that makes a comparison by calling one thing something else.

Perfect for a Picnic
by Kimberly M. Hutmacher 

A baby blue sky
A bright golden sun
The perfect blanket
For afternoon fun! 
Copyright 2003 Poetry Play for Preschoolers

The above poem uses metaphor when it refers to the sun and sky as a blanket.

Nature's Jewelry
by Kimberly M. Hutmacher

Brilliant moon, sparkling stars
Radiant, pure, bright
Nature's precious diamonds
Lighting up the night.
Copyright 2018 Kimberly M. Hutmacher

In this example, the moon and stars are metaphorically referred to as diamonds.

Challenge: Since both of my examples were nature inspired, take a walk outside. Study your surroundings. Find something in nature that inspires you. Ask yourself what else it could be? Attempt to write a poem about it using metaphor.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Poetry Friday: Lune Poems

Welcome to Poetry Friday! This week’s round up is hosted by Tabatha Yeatts:The Opposite of Indifference blog. Be sure to check out all the great posts.

This week, I’m tackling the Lune form of poetry. The Lune also goes by the name American Haiku. It was originally created by Robert Kelly. Kelly didn’t feel the rules of the traditional Haiku worked well with the English language. His Lune consists of a 13-syllable, self-contained poem that has 5 syllables in the first line, 3 syllables in the second line and 5 syllables in the last line. Here is an example of a Kelly-Lune I came up with this afternoon:

Naked limbs shiver
Missing leaves
No cold winter coat

Copyright 2018 Kimberly M. Hutmacher

Lune rhymes with moon. Notice that in a Kelly-Lune, the poem takes the shape of a crescent moon. This is no accident. Also, the 13 syllables correspond to the 13 lunar months.

A variant of the Lune was created by Jack Collom. His form is also three lines, but his is word-based, not syllable based. His structure has 3 words in the first line, 5 words in the second line and 3 words in the last line.

The following are examples of Collom-Lunes created by my daughter, Madison.

Chocolate brown pond
Puffy marshmallow clouds on top
Comfy, cozy, toasty

Sweet frosty mountains
Running with chocolate syrup rivers
Cherry on peak

Take a journey
Into a beautiful, magical land
Imaginations run wild.

Copyright 2018 Madison Hutmacher

Challenge: Attempt to write both a Kelly-Lune and a Collom-Lune on the same topic.
Happy Poem-Making!

P.S. Earlier this week I posted a review of Laura Pudie Salas' new book, MEET MY FAMILY. If you haven't read it yet, I encourage you to click over. This book is a treasure.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Book Review: Meet My Family by Laura Purdie Salas

I just finished reading Meet My Family: Animal Babies and Their Families, a new picture book written by Laura Purdie Salas. Where does one begin? I think each of us at one time or another believes that our family is strange / weird / different. We believe that somehow we’re the only ones and that no one else can understand. Laura’s book blows that entire hypothesis out of the water. Every family is special in its own way, and this book celebrates all kinds of human families by relating them to animal families. We see animal babies being cared for by two parents, single parents, and same sex parents. Some animal families live in one place their entire lives and others move often. Some of their families stay together and some split apart. Some animal babies look just like their parents, and some look completely different. We see working animal parents and an animal baby who gets raised by a completely different species of animal. The final spread features several different kinds of human families. So instead of feeling shame / embarrassment / uneasiness, a reader walks away from this book wanting to celebrate their very own (maybe a little strange, but aren't they all :) ) special family. Laura’s beautiful words and Stephanie Fizer Coleman’s gorgeous illustrations combine for a wonderful, whimsical celebration of family diversity.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Onomatopoeia [Poetry Friday]

This week's Poetry Friday Round Up is hosted by The Poem Farm. Be sure to check out all the great posts. 

One of my favorite poetry tools is Onomatopoeia. Onomatopoeia is the use of of words or phrases that imitate sounds. And, since Onomatopoeia is so fun to say, I think it's the perfect name for this useful tool.

Sounds of Summer 
by Kimberly M. Hutmacher

Daddy mows the grass.
Sister blows a bubble.
Mother throws the ball.
Brother is in trouble!
Copyright 2007 Babybug Magazine

The italicized words help us hear the sound of the lawn mower, the popping of bubbles, the ball whistling through the air, and the sound of the resulting crash.

I believe the following poem is really a celebration of sounds.

by Joyce Armor

If I should list my favorite words,
They'd sound a lot like this:

Rumble, crash, snort, jangle, thump,
Roar, fizzle, splat, moo, hiss.

Then there's grunt, toot, cuckoo,
Thunder, wheeze, bang, mush,

Rattle, splash, rip, ding-dong, and--
My parents' favorite: Hush!

Challenge: Write a poem that celebrates some of your favorite sound words.

Happy Poetry Month and Happy Poem-Making!

Monday, April 2, 2018

What's New?

I don't know what it's like in your neck of the woods, but around here, March came in like a lion and went out like a snowman. We received several inches of snow on Easter Day. I think it might have been Mother Nature's April Fool's Day prank :)

March Submissions

March was busy and fruitful for me. My submissions included: two series nonfiction packets/proposals to two different book publishers, two poems to two different magazines, a 'love project' picture book to two different publishers, a story for consideration in an upcoming Chicken Soup for the Soul anthology, and another article was submitted and accepted with Children's Book Insider. 

Goals For April

One of the poems I submitted last month received a positive rejection. One of my goals for April is to get it submitted to another magazine. I've been assigned another project with an educational publisher I worked with previously. This time I'll be writing specs for lesson plans. I want to write and submit two new poems to magazines. I want to get a picture book I've been working on sent off, and I want to get a first draft completed of a new picture book idea that I've been thinking about and taking ideas/notes on. I also want to send another proposal packet to another series nonfiction publisher.

If you're a subscriber to Children's Book Insider, be sure to check out my interview with Laura Purdie Salas in the April issue. We discuss her new book, Making A Living Writing Books For Kids: Tips, Techniques, and Tales from a Working Children's Author. I cannot recommend this book enough. It is overflowing with useful and practical guidance for working writers. Check out the interview and the book, and if you want to comment with your own goals below, please feel free. I would love to hear about what you've been working on. Hope you have a great week, and I'll be back on Friday with a poetry post. Happy Poetry Month!