I was invited yesterday to write a poem for a textbook company who will be publishing a new literature textbook for students ages 6-11. I can send in two poems and the company will pick the one they like the best. I want to write a poem that they will want to publish and a poem that students will like. I’ve not written for publication in a textbook before. I’ve also not written a poem specifically for children ages 6-11. Would you be willing to give me some comments to help me write the best poem possible?
Here are the requirements from the editor: The poem needs to be about a world traveler, 12-16 lines long. The unit theme is: Getting from Here to There. The questions this unit of study is exploring is: What kinds of experiences can lead to new discoveries?
My poem drafts are below. Which one is most interesting to you? Do you think I should take out any words, add in any details? Are the ideas clear? What would make the poems better? Let me know your thoughts!
The poems were single spaced when I wrote them, but when I try and paste the words in, they always come up double spaced. I have to learn how to fix that, but want to post this now because the poems are due Wednesday.
I look forward to hearing from any of you who wish to share your thoughts and suggestions.
Bag packed door open, I’m
headed out into another world.
Across the sea I fly to climb
mountains whose heads are wrapped
with mist, and walk through palace
ruins of chiseled stone where once
great kings sat. I swim through
turquoise water, eat foods with coconut
and spice. In this world, monkeys
wait at crosswalks for the light to turn.
They ride the train, the bus. Wind
ripples through the trees, alive. Waves
of new worlds surge under my feet
and turn. Roll out a new map! I need
to learn to read the world again.
In Other Worlds
Map spread on the table, I dream of worlds
I have not seen, the streets my feet will touch
in far off lands where buildings are made
of bamboo, stone or mud. Across continents
I pull my finger—over mountains, down
coastlines, up peninsulas and volcanoes,
imagining windows opening to granite
pinnacles, hillsides blossom-blushed.
When I arrive, the streets are alive
with teeming traffic—cats in motion,
sheep, cars pushing at every side. Dogs curl
into corners beside carpet stalls and copper.
Hands hold out glasses of tea. “Come visit!”
a smiling face beckons. I enter the door.
I sit. So many stories, so many worlds
opening their arms. I drink in this life, and listen.