My youngest niece called me a few weeks ago to recite a poem she had created as part of National Poetry Writing Month. She recited it to me from memory and told me she had written it as a gift for her mom.
She’s only 8, and I could hear in her voice the joy of wordsmithing. (Really, I could hear it!)
When you’re starting out as a young poet, the rhyme is the most important thing. You think of a rhyme, and then you work it into a sentence, and then you try to make that sentence relevant to whatever your poem is about. That’s why these early poems often sound forced and a little random, which is also what makes them so sweet and funny.
That’s also what makes them sound joyful too—because it’s fun to rhyme! And it’s fun to craft words in a way that takes a little extra work—because we know Mom will love it. And she’ll be impressed with how incredibly talented we are. (That’s the gift we get in return.)
With my niece’s permission, I present her first public poetry, in time for Mothers Day. And to mothers everywhere (especially my own), I present my thanks for your encouragement and nourishment of the joy of learning.