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Mondays with Miss Mason–On Poetry

March 8, 2011

Note: this post is part of an ongoing series. For more information on Charlotte Mason and Mondays with Miss Mason, please read the first post.

For the record, I realize it is Tuesday.  I had another meeting of my CM group last night, and I thought I would share about the same topic–poetry.

From Ourselves, Chapter XII

Poetry.––Poetry is, perhaps, the most searching and intimate of our teachers. To know about such a poet and his works may be interesting, as it is to know about repoussé work; but in the latter case we must know how to use the tools before we get joy and service out of the art. Poetry, too, supplies us with tools for the modelling of our lives, and the use of these we must get at for ourselves. The line that strikes us as we read, that recurs, that we murmur over at odd moments––this is the line that influences our living, if it speak only––

“Of old, unhappy, far-off things,
And battles long ago.”

A couplet such as this, though it appear to carry no moral weight, instructs our conscience more effectually than many wise saws. As we ‘inwardly digest,’ reverence comes to us unawares, gentleness, a wistful tenderness towards the past, a sense of continuance, and of a part to play that shall not be loud and discordant, but of a piece with the whole. This is one of the ‘lessons never learned in schools’ which comes to each of us only as we discover it for ourselves.

Many have a favourite poet for a year or two, to be discarded for another and another. Some are happy enough to find the poet of their lifetime in Spenser, Wordsworth, Browning, for example; but, whether it be for a year or a life, let us mark as we read, let us learn and inwardly digest. Note how good this last word is. What we digest we assimilate, take into ourselves, so that it is part and parcel of us, and no longer separable.

At our meeting last night, a wonderful homeschooling mother and lover of books shared some of her favorite poetry resources.  Here are some of the volumes she recommended:

The Random House Book of Poetry for Children by Jack Prelutsky

Favorite Poems Old and New: Selected For Boys and Girls by Helen Ferris

The Singing World by Louis Untermeyer

Winter Poems by Barbara Rogasky

The Earth Is Painted Green: A Garden of Poems About Our Planet (nature poems) by Barbara Brenner

A Child’s Introduction to Poetry: Listen While You Learn About the Magic Words That Have Moved Mountains, Won Battles, and Made Us Laugh and Cry edited by Michael Driscoll

Hailstones and Halibut Bones by O’Neill and Wller

The Wing on a Flea – A Book About Shapes by Ed Emberley — poetry and math!

The Reason for a Flower (World of Nature), Chickens aren’t the Only Ones, Plants that Never Ever Bloom (science and poetry) by Ruth Heller

Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village by Schlitz (history and poetry)

She also recommended the Poetry for Young People collections which focus on individual poets with selections of their best poems for children with illustrations and brief biographical information.

Another recommendation was to find single poem books with illustrations, such as Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening illustrated by Susan Jeffers. Children can often memorize poems easily by reading them this way over and over.

What is your favorite poetry resource? How do you incorporate poetry to your learning schedule?

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One Comment leave one →
  1. March 9, 2011 4:51 pm

    Hailstones and Halibut Bones is one of my favorite poetry books! In our homeschool, I usually use Poetry for Young People and concentrate on one poet.

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