From seventh grade through to the first half of eighth, A-Age-13 has been studying poetry using Grammar of Poetry by Matt Whitling. This is an excellent curriculum that teaches writing poetry through imitation. There are many writing assignments throughout the curriculum where the student, after being taught a specific trope, writes their own in the same style. Even though I have read poetry aloud to her since she could talk, A-Age-13 maintains that she hates poetry and was horrified to learn she was to write her own. Her first attempts were … interesting. Some kids have rhyme in their blood. I have a younger daughter who is constantly composing little rhymes and songs without any encouragement or expectation from me. Not so for A-Age-13. She fought against every word. She struggled to feel the rhythm or make sense of the words. But somewhere along the road, she finally accepted the requirement and resignedly wrote what was asked of her, even though she still hated it (so she says). The lesson on alliteration explained that earlier English poetry didn’t rely on rhyme, but alliteration. The assignment was to write a 30 line poem in a similar alliterative style to a passage from Beowulf. This task seemed impossible at first. But when A-Age-13 decided to break up the poem into 5 stanzas, beginning each stanza with a sense (taste, touch, sight, etc.), the task was still huge but perhaps possible. It didn’t quite reach 30 lines, and whether it imitates the style of Beowulf or not, I think this is the best poem she has written, especially because of the subject matter she chose. Not all the lines are great, but for someone so resistant to writing poetry, I’m so stinking proud of her!
Here it is for your enjoyment and edification.
The sound of silence is sweet to the ear,
Yet music surrounds the hall of the soul,
From the depths can be heard
Screams and screeches, a cacophony of noises,
And on the surface sacred symphony’s play soothing melodies to calm the soul.
The taste of sin tempts the tastebuds,
But down the path to tragedy leads,
The trustworthy Savior on the tree took our place,
A terrible price paid for our eternity
Triumphant and transcendent, by God’s right-hand He stands.
The fragrance of flowers fills the soul,
As healing from scars left by satan’s foul stench,
The faithful friend our burdens He bore,
With a fatal price, He died
For us, yet now for us, He lives.
The touch of the Father’s saving grace,
Who sent His Son the perfect life to live,
For our salvation, He died,
The fearfully faithful Father,
Gave up His son for love of us.
The sight of the sovereign God our Lord,
Surround the soul with joy,
Through the Savior, we see His glory,
Through His grace, He gives us eternity,
Glory to God in the Highest.