Connections between poetry and writing for children

I’ve had a very productive three to four years writing and polishing my children’s stories. But I am missing writing poetry for…..adults! So I have started writing a hybrid form of poetry for adults and children alike. I am also writing poems around my children’s stories.

Let me explain. There is a child’s mind in most of us, although admittedly that has been harder for me to reach with the political despair. Still, many of us have a sense of wonder, especially in nature and for me in language. It’s pretty easy to be awestruck by the forests and ocean in the Pacific Northwest. But I also marvel at how breath-taking a turn of phrase or image can be, whether in a children’s book, a poem, and even in a scholarly work.

Children’s writer Jane Yolen once recommended that picture book writers write a story as a poem before  a story. I’m doing something else. I’m writing poems that might  turn into a children’s book or a poem for adults or both.  These are poems that are a bit quirky, where the perspective is askew….for after all, don’t young children see the world this way, rather than orderly and logical? As adults, we can frame life in the same way.  What I am essentially saying is that everything is phenomena….whether we are adults or children. Everything is a puzzle, an assortment of what ifs and perhaps, a puzzle that may not get solved but gives us an interesting path to follow.



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