I saw the first poem below on the cover of the weekend entertainment section of our newspaper, and then I saw who wrote it: Seth Durrant, age 8, of San Francisco. The Chronicle did a huge feature on children’s poetry in honor of National Poetry Month, and all of the posted poems are winners. I couldn’t resist sharing two great ones about writing, for today’s Poetry Friday.
What Do I Write With?
Do I write with a bloody dagger?
I could write with the atoms of the air.
I can write with a touch of a hand.
I can write with lightning.
I can write with the power of sunlight.
I can write with the water of a sponge.
I can write with an oyster’s pearl.
I can write with God’s hand.
I can write with life.
I can write with my pumping heart.
But what do I erase with?
–Seth Durrant, 8, San Francisco
THE MAGIC OF THE PENCIL
What does writing mean to you
With words that gulp and swallow?
A story web is a thin thread
Your heart can always follow.
For words of pencil, not of mouth
Emote all of humanity.
And when a man speaks from his pen,
He’s still thought to have his sanity.
Yet when that man speaks this in tongue
It becomes an empty stencil
He should have spoken all those words
With the magic of the pencil.
–Charlotte Constantin, 10, San Rafael
Looking at how kids view the writing process is both enlightening and humbling, to me. It makes me feel like I’ve forgotten so much, lost touch with a certain clarity of viewing the world. At the same time, it’s inspiring–I can remember that sense of play, of the joy of just picking up a pencil and writing or drawing (and often both!). Check out both of these fabulous poems and many more on SFGate.com. And if you just can’t get enough, here’s a link to more poems by Bay Area kids.