I have congenital anosmia – it means that I was born without a sense of smell. As far as I know it isn’t connected to anything else – it’s just one of those things.
People are endlessly fascinated by this and I am happy to talk about it. It affects my life in very small ways – I have no idea what I smell like so sometimes I worry about being stinky! I couldn’t smell when my children had used their nappies, so I probably looked a bit strange checking their nappies every 5 minutes! I once walked into an empty classroom and wondered where everyone was – it turned out some strong smelling chemicals had been leaking and everyone had left the building.
But really, as far as unusual things go, not being able to smell is absolutely fine and it’s not something that has ever upset me. When I wrote this poem I imagined what else my nose might be able to do – it can’t smell but what if it had other powers? What would they look like?
The things that make us different make us unique and interesting. What special and awesome thing about you makes you, you? Write a poem about something unique to you.
Today marks both my birthday and the halfway point of my month of daily blog posts. So today I am not sharing one poem, I am sharing a whole book!
For those of you reading who don’t know, this is my first poetry collection for children ‘There’s a Poem in my Dungarees!’. If you’ve enjoyed reading my blog posts this month and would like to purchase a copy, please use the link below.
Our children have two very different parents when it comes to messy play!
Mud – do you love it or hate it? Much like Marmite, it divides opinion in this house. This poem is lots of fun to perform and children enjoy joining in with different actions – the bulging eyes are a big favourite!
Have a go at writing a poem with lots of actions which can be performed. Perhaps you’ll write about something which people have strong views about such as broccoli, cats vs dogs or folding the pages of books to mark your place…
When I wrote this poem I enjoyed thinking about how grown ups are often very contradictory – they tell children to say ‘please’ but do they always remember themselves? We try very hard as parents to remember to say ‘please’ and model good manners – and you can be sure that our five year old will tell us if we forget!
When I read this poem I love hearing the children laugh. Afterwards they always have LOTS of ideas for additional ‘bossy’ lines to add in, which they love to share.
Have a go at writing a poem about things grown-ups say – will you make your poem funny, serious or downright baffling? Adults say a lot of very strange things now I think about it…
I recently showed our son a picture of him holding his little sister for the first time. It was taken almost three years ago. He’s five now and when he looked at the photograph he casually said, “I was a king that day” and then carried on playing. My heart exploded with the beauty of his words.
I love poems about sibling relationships – especially the funny, ridiculous, hard, frustrating moments siblings experience, but capturing the more loving and caring side of those relationships can be tricky. As always, with children’s poetry, I think it comes down to how you capture the voice of a child within your poem.
An adult watching siblings play would write a very different poem from a child experiencing the play. That is why writing for children is so much fun – you get to summon your inner child. I was given the key line for this poem from a five year old – so I grabbed it, stole it and wrote with it in mind. Would I have thought of that if I had written the poem with an adult hat on? Perhaps not.
Have a go at writing a poem about children interacting, using your inner child’s voice to bring out the magic of childhood.
I have found myself uttering the phrase “I just need one more cup of tea” more often in recent years. Whether that has anything to do with the addition of two small, energetic humans joining our household is up for debate, but I would wager it does.
Our son’s frustration at my “one more cup of tea” was the inspiration behind this poem and he nodded along sagely when I first read it to him. His favourite part (and something which works well with poetry for children) is the repeated line at the end of each stanza, and how that alters slightly for the last line. He likes knowing what’s coming and the fact that he can remember and join in with that line.
Have a go at writing a poem where the last line of each stanza is the same. You could try changing the very last one slightly for effect. What about having a repeated line which changes tense from past to present to future as the poem goes on?
Today is a little bit different because instead of one of my poems, I am sharing writing from another author who has been in touch. I am delighted to share Sasha’s poem, ‘My Stick’, which was inspired by the ‘Treasure’ prompt from my Day 7 post.
One of the wonderful things I’ve noticed since reaching out to the writing community via Facebook and Twitter, is how wonderfully supportive they are of one another. It is certainly one of the happier parts of the internet and it is a pleasure to pass on some of that writing support to another poet today.
It can be really scary to share your writing with people, especially a stranger! So thank you to Sasha for getting in touch and for your fab poem:
I wrote this poem when our son misheard the word ‘earache’ and refused to believe me when I said it wasn’t ‘earwig’. Combined with his mispronunciation of the word ‘antibiotics’ it was a poem waiting to happen.
(It’s also true that my mum used to say that we should wear our hats to avoid earache – I have no idea if that is medically sound advice, or just something parents say – like watching too much television makes your eyes go square.)
Children often mispronounce words. Did you mispronounce any when you were younger? My little brother said ‘Heliplopter’ instead of ‘Helicopter’ which we like to remind him sometimes now he’s a grown up doing grown up things.
One of the things I love about writing children’s poetry is the fun that is to be found when playing with words and language. Children do this naturally as they are learning to speak. Have a go at writing a poem with some mispronounced or misused words and see what you can come up with.
Remember, you can always email me any poems – I’d love to see them and share them on here!