The Emporium Gazette
Issue 4 -- August 1999
by Bob Nailor
Hmm. I'd be willing to bet you had to think hard on that one, or else a nursery, jump/skip rope, or cliche rhyme came to mind
I wasn't looking for recitation of "Hey Diddle Diddle..." or "Sticks and stones..." or anything like that. I see the frown and can hear those eyebrows crashing together.
Most adults don't associate poetry composition and adolescents together; but think. When did you first hear a poem? Answer: Infant. When did you learn about poetry? Answer: Elementary school. When did you compose your first poem? Answer: Probably before age ten.
My point? Poetry is not only for adults, nor only by adults.
Fantastic imagery in only twelve words, the number of months in a year. This poem was written by Martha Bregin, a second-grader from Pine Knob Elementary School in Independence Township near Detroit, MI. Yes, you read correctly. Martha is only eight-years-old. She was in competition with thousands of other schoolchildren from kindergarten through twelth grade. Miss Bregin won the kindergarten through second-grade category of the River of Words International Poetry and Art Contest that is sponsored by International Rivers Network. IRN (www.irn.org) is a non-profit organization located in California dedicated to preserving the world's rivers. I'll also note that Martha Bregin accepted her award and performed a public reading at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. Impressive start for an eight-year-old lass. Her poem and those of the other category winners will be soon available in a book.
Do you have a son? A daughter? Talk with them. I was taken off-guard by my own son when I was discussing this article. Seems I have a "closet" poet in the family. He retrieved his little binder pad of poetry that he has composed over the years and started reciting. Yes, years! My son is nineteen and still amazes me.
Perhaps "closet" was a poor choice in words. I discovered during our conversation that he usually composes his poetry while in bed in the morning; as he said "with the sunlight coming through the window, it's really neat. It makes you think." So, here's a couple of poems that my son allowed me to use.
Before the Sun Comes Around
Early in the morning
Time goes by oh so fast
So, the next time you see a small child making a face, learning to ride a bike, or playing on the teeter-totter, just remember that you may be seeing the makings of a future great poet of the world.
If you would like to find out more about the River of Words International Poetry and Art Contest, please write to International Rivers Network, P.O. Box 4000-J, Berkeley, California 94704.
Bob Nailor is author of "The Secret Voice," an Amish-Christian story, "Pangaea, Eden Lost," an adventure story, "Three Steps: The Journeys of Ayrold," a Celtic fantasy, and "2012: Timeline Apocalypse," an end-of-time tale. He is also included in several anthologies and collections. Check his website at www.bobnailor.com
No portion of any article or other writing in this electronic publication may be copied, used or otherwise taken by any person or organization for any purpose or reason whatsoever without the express written permission of the Emporium Gazette.Contact Bob Nailor at Lore @ rolian.com
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