In honor of National Poetry Month, which is coming up in April, I offer this recommendation for a mother-daughter book club meeting. Instead of everyone reading a book to discuss, you can designate a meeting dedicated to poetry.
Everyone can choose their own poets to read, and here are some ideas for you to start with:
- Emily Dickinson—multiple collections of her poems, many of which are about flowers and nature
- Robert Louis Stevenson—who wrote A Child’s Garden of Verse, which was popular with both children and their parents when it came out.
- Shel Silverstein—best known for Where the Sidewalk Ends, but other collections are worth a read too.
- Jack Prelutsky—author of more than 50 poetry collections, including the laugh-out-loud It’s Raining Pigs and Noodles, and A Pizza the Size of the Sun.
- Alan Katz—a former writer for the Rosie O’Donnell Show, whose new collection is titled Oops!
You can also have everyone try their hand at writing a poem or two to read aloud at your next meeting. Any form will do: haiku, limericks, free verse, sonnets, tanka, odes…the list offers lots of flexibility.
One of the most interesting assignments I’ve ever had for book club was a poetry month. Everyone in the family got into it. My husband, two daughters and I made a trip to the library together and checked out different books of poetry. At dinner every night, we would each read aloud a poem from one of the books that had special appeal to us. Sometimes they were thoughtful, sometimes they were funny, but they all made us think about something differently.
And writing the poems wasn’t as difficult as we thought when we first got the assignment. In fact, it was probably more challenging for the adults than the kids, who get practice writing poetry in school. And it was a blast to read what we had written out loud at the meeting.
For more ideas, check out the Scholastic, Inc. website, which lists activities appropriate for different age groups.