CONNECT WITH YOUR GRANDCHILDREN: LESSON #11

CONNECT WITH YOUR GRANDCHILDREN: LESSON #11

A Story by Mike Keenan

CONNECT WITH YOUR GRANDCHILDREN: LESSON #11

 

May 15, 2020

 

Hi William,

 

I have been watching “The Last Dance,” about Michel Jordan. He is the best basketball player of all time. He had an incredible, tenacious will to win that was far greater than that of anyone he competed against. The better his opponent, the harder he played.


I remember when I was your age watching a similar athlete, Rocket Richard, play hockey for Montreal. I loved to watch him in warmups. Every shot was labelled on the net. I swear, even though I was high up in the cheapest seats, I could see fire in his eyes. That’s the way I played football. It wasn’t much fun to play against me. I could be quite nasty! Anyway, the point is this, something that I drummed into Kelly & Karyn when they were children, if you are going to do something, do it well. Give it your best shot. End of pep talk. By the way

 

 

THOUGHT OF THE DAY:


"The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart." - Helen Keller

 

WORD OF THE DAY

timorous

Please add to your list, define & place in a good sentence to illustrate its meaning.

 

Definition:      (adjective) Full of apprehensiveness; timid.

Synonyms:      trepid, fearful

Usage: The timorous child huddled alone in the corner while the rest of his classmates played in the schoolyard.

 

RESEARCH QUESTIONS

 

Who “floated like a butterfly, stung like a bee?”

 

The Thousand Islands are located in what body of water?

 

Heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali

 

St. Lawrence River

 

HAIKU OF THE DAY

 

drifting fog

an acquaintance

I'd rather not meet

 

He uses what is called “personification” taking something abstract and making it human.

 

fog=acquaintance

 

Do you like?

 

 

Okay, today we are putting it all together. Your turn to write a prose poem! Remember - it’s all about imagery (similes & metaphors), personification, allusion, onomatopoeia, etc., etc. Amy Lowell wrote a prose poem about a bath; I wrote one about music.

 

Write a prose poem about anything that strikes you - Theo, soccer, boredom, anything. Try to use 100 + words. In your poem you should be trying to convey something to the reader like the last five words in my poem.

 

Start by writing down a title. Write this at the top: “A PROSE POEM ABOUT - Now start writing.

 

Don’t think too hard. Just keep writing and ideas will flow. The key is to keep writing. Don’t worry about mistakes or corrections. Just write. After you have written several lines, something will start to unfold and appear. Believe me. Trust that this will happen. Be playful. See what it is that emerges. I will ask you to stop in twelve minutes.

 

That’s about 12 minutes. William, stop writing. Okay, take everything that you have written below  “A PROSE POEM ABOUT”  and show me your first draft with mistakes and no corrections. First drafts are always terrible. But they can be polished like a sparkling gem.

 

Okay let’s see what you have.

 

 

 

After your first draft, you can eliminate anything that doesn’t fit in with your theme - mine is “It’s great to be alive!” Do you have a theme or main idea? So eliminate parts that you do not need. Show me the result.

 

 

Also - Go through your first draft and look at every verb that you used. Can you replace each with something much stronger, more vivid?  Like Amy Lowell in “Bath.” Can you imply images (metaphors) like she did? Take a few minutes.

 

Ex- “He shouted at the coach.” vs “He roared at the coach.” Implication/metaphor that he sounds like a lion.

 

Okay, let’s see the result. Send to me.

 

A PROSE POEM ABOUT THEO

We all sit as he sings at the table. Joyful, creative, free. No subject goes unsaid, he floats upon them all, touching and comforting each and every one. We all sit to enjoy the meal, but Theo, despite his tummy aching with terrible pangs of hunger, ignores the pain, and falls into a new version of "Johnny", which we all enjoy. He sings, floating through the air, without a care in the world, flying, bouncing upon the comforting and soft lyrics of the music. He sings on, even after all of us have left, sings, alone, in his own world of subconciousness within the rhythm and the beat, even when the music lacks both. Sings, when we have all gone out to do many meddling chores and tasks. Sings, even after he has fallen into a bare sleep, full of dreams of being on the stage with hundreds of spectators. Sings.

 

Okay, I underlined the verbs. First, let me say that your repetition of “sings” is terrific. Very effective. Would you change any verbs?

 

I like your changes. You have some good images. Now look at your nouns and pronouns. Can you make them stronger? Take a few minutes.

 

Now look at your sentence order. Does it make sense? Do you need to move any sentences around? Do you have a powerful start and finish? (yes you do.)

 

Yes, I know, poetry is hard work.

 

A PROSE POEM ABOUT THEO

 

Theo sings at the table. Joyful, creative, free. No subject unsaid, he floats upon them all, and despite his tummy aching with pangs of hunger, ignores the pain, and falls into a new version of "Johnny." He sings, floating through the air, without a care in the world, soaring, bouncing upon the comforting, soft musical lyrics. He sings on, even after we have left, sings alone, in his own subconciousness within the rhythm and the beat.  Sings, when we have left to do meddling chores and tasks. Sings, even after he has fallen into a bare sleep, full of dreams - on the stage with hundreds of adoring spectators. Sings.

 

 

 

 

Okay, let’s see the finished, polished product.

 

© 2022 Mike Keenan


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Added on March 16, 2022
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Author

Mike Keenan
Mike Keenan

Kanata, Ontario, Canada



About
A retired English/Phys-Ed-teacher-Librarian, I write primarily poetry, humour and travel, published in many newspapers & magazines. For poetry feedback, please read my 'Poetry Evaluations' and 'Poetry.. more..

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