Saturday, February 22, 2014

Whitman Poetry Contest for Students

Walt Whitman Birthplace is holding their 28th annual poetry contest. Students in grades 3-12 are invited to submit poems up to two pages long postmarked by March 14th. The Walt Whitman Birthplace site says:
Contest: Write a poem about singing


O to make the most jubilant song!
Full of music—full of manhood, womanhood, infancy!
Full of common employments—full of grain and trees.
O for the voices of animals—O for the swiftness and balance of fishes!
O for the dropping of raindrops in a song!
O for the sunshine and motion of waves in a song!
O the joy of my spirit—it is uncaged—it darts like lightning!
It is not enough to have this globe or a certain time,
I will have thousands of globes and all time.
-- Walt Whitman

In order to write this poem, you will need to think of the things of this world that make you joyful. Look and listen to those around you. Like Whitman, consider the many people, places, activities, etc. in your everyday life.

Use Whitman’s technique of detailed descriptions and use of the senses to compose your poem. Include some or all of your senses: see, smell, taste, touch, hear. Remember to use images, similes and metaphors to show us your ideas. Your poem should employ a longer line, like those of Whitman. Search for unusual words and craft them into poetics of sounds, repeating letters for alliteration and vowels for assonance. Try to avoid end rhymes, although slant or internal rhymes may be used.

With this swirl of involvement and observation, your writing will capture a world in itself.

Good luck!
Poetry Contest
Carolyn Diglio, Education Coordinator
Walt Whitman Birthplace Association
246 Old Walt Whitman Road
Huntington Station, NY 11746-4148

Visit the Walt Whitman Birthplace Association website for additional information and instructions.


LInda Baie said...

Thanks Tabatha-will pass this on to colleagues!

Becky Shillington said...

Thanks for this info., Tabatha! What a great opportunity for kids!