Healthy Body, Mind, and Soul Habits #5
Creativity is an important part of mental health. Did you know April is National Poetry Month here in the US? Here’s some of the fun my kids have had with poetry over the last few years.
Have you ever hear of a diamante poem? Their diamond shape is distinctive, and they have an interesting form.
The first thing you need are a pair of nouns that contrast. Winter and spring, for example. Or root and corn (see below).
Diamante poems are seven lines long. The first and seventh lines have only one word each. The second and sixth have two. The third and fifth have three. The fourth has four. This creates the diamond shape.
As each line contains a specific number of words, it also contains a specific type.
-ing verb -ing verb -ing verb
noun noun noun noun
-ing verb -ing verb -ing verb
The first step is to choose two nouns that contrast in some way. The rest of the poem describes them.
The first two adjectives describe the first noun; the three verbs ending in -ing in Line 3 also describe the first noun.
The middle line, Line 4, is where our transition occurs. The first two verbs are related to the first noun, while the second two are related to the final noun. The verbs in Line 5 and the adjectives in Line 6 describe the final noun of Line 7.
There you have it! A diamante.
See more of my kids’ diamante poems and artwork here.
And check out these they put together with the Diamante Creator app my older son developed. He’d like to come out with a new-and-improved version soon.
Or check them all out here, with fun photos.
This is poetry even I can be good at. It has simple rules that make sense to me. Iambic pentameter is fun to say… iambic pentameter… iambic TETrameter… but just too much. I understand the rhythm; I guess I want an end point. If you want to give it a go, I’d love to read what you come up with. It worked for Shakespeare. He could create beauty and drama, and pack some humor, into rigid form and make if flow.
Y’all know I’m no Shakespeare. And if you didn’t know it before, you now know that sometimes I like rabbit trails. SO, back on course we go!
Moving on to another form of poetry with set rules, and limited length. Haiku!
Again I say, FUN! And challenging in a manageable way. How can I paint a picture in 17 syllables?
Maybe that’s the crux of it for me. When I think diamante, it’s a fun little canvas with bold, broad strokes. Haiku? Another small canvas, with subtler lines. Iambic pentameter is a large, gild-edged tome; I can’t fill that. Couplets… meh. Free verse? Well, for me, that’s been the opening for unbridled wallowing. AND, back on task, Melinda!
17 syllables in 3 lines
Here is an example I absolutely love, from my middle son, when he was nine:
Mice eat lots of cheese.
Cats eat lots of cheese-filled mice.
Dogs chase cats away.
Just Plain Fun
So, before you go, you really need to click over and check out some more fun stuff from my son Joel. Two years ago, when he was eight, we had a fun home-school lesson on alliteration, onomatopoeia (I may NEVER learn to spell that correctly without spell check!), and rhyme. He wrote some just, plain fun poems and illustrated them on the computer:
The Importance of Creativity
Okay, so this was a fun, cute look at one way to be creative. There are so many! As varied as our personalities. Some people write poetry, or write other stuff, like me. Some paint, make music, sculpt, dance, sew, take pictures, bake. Some design buildings and some build them. Some plant. Some understand the elegant intricacy of machines and engineer them, or keep them running. So much creativity is hands-dirty work.
We were created in God’s image. God… the Creator.
So, yes, I’ll be coming back to this subject. Too many of us don’t leave enough time in our busyness to just enjoy creating. I’m guilty of letting it slide as a waste of time when there are so many other things that need doing.
Making time is one critical factor. As is, changing the way we look at the mundane in our lives. Maybe some of those things aren’t so mundane after all, as we join our Creator in bringing something into being, using the resources and tools and minds with which He has blessed us.
I hope you enjoyed reading this post, and my kids’ fun poetry. There was joy in the creation, theirs and mine.
I’d love to read your little diamantes and haiku, or ambitious (in my eyes) iambic pentameter. A couplet or two? If you’d like to share some words in honor of National Poetry Month, hit me with what you’ve got.
Feeling proud of some other creation? Feel free to share a link, and check out some of these beautifully gifted people intentionally using their talents and glorifying God!
Healthy Body, Mind, and Soul Habits #1: If Not Today, SOON
Healthy Body, Mind, and Soul Habits #2: Lies We Believe
Healthy Body, Mind, and Soul Habits #3: How important is sleep?
Healthy Body, Mind, and Soul Habits #4: Ten Tips for Better Sleep
Healthy Body, Mind, and Soul Habits #5: National Poetry Month