It is National Poetry Month, and I have begun work with 1st and 2nd graders at schools in Scandia, Minnesota and St. Paul. Or I should say that I get to follow these young students on their poetry exploration.
Poet Julia Klatt Singer (http://oeuvremagazine.org/words/poetry/julia-klatt-singer/?3991b560) led the children in a discussion about what poetry is. Even as a “responsible adult” in this residency, I am still unsure of how I would add to this discussion. I am at least humbled relative to what my input could be compared to the thoughts these kids from St. Paul's French immersion school, L'Etoile du Nord, and Scandia Elementary.
This is a chance for kids to learn from esteemed artists like Julia. It is a chance for the kids from St. Paul and Scandia to learn from each other. It is a chance for me and my colleagues to learn from these kids.
I am trying hard to not come to a clear and definite definition of poetry, but, as one 1st grader from L'Etoile du Nord put in—in a usage of English that is definitely influenced by the language constructions of French convention, “(Poems) can create you to have different emotions.”
She is right. They are also good if they are easy to dance to, but she has it right.