Report from Honesdale PA: Skype with J Patrick Lewis

The Highlights Foundation set up this wonderful Skype Session For David Harrison’s
Workshop: “Poetry For the Delight of It” here in Honesdale, PA.
Patrick agreed to answer questions about Poetry and share some of his poems with us.

Lewis encouraged us to use many forms for our poems, as shown in: “The Shapes of our Singing”.
We left the 30 minute session with a hardbound copy of “If You Were A Chocolate Mustache” by J Patrick Lewis and illustrated by Matthew Cordell, a gift from Highlights.

Patrick read from a poem he wrote for Oct 1st, The International Day of the Elderly.
“So many things you anticipate, you won’t want to do when you’re old.”
“A rose is a gift to the air”
“Is sadness the reason for rainbows?”
And in a poem for Helen Keller, wrote the refrain: “I’m not alone; Ann Sullivan’s with me”

His most significant advice was to use:
“strong, personified action verbs”
(Delete the adjective-clutter)
As Mark Twain said: “If you catch an adjective, kill it”
Patrick quoted a phrase from a haiku to illustrate a personified verb:
“The bee staggers out of the peony”

We will prompt children to sing, create poetry and rhyme their little hearts off.
Lewis says “he’s a loner” but his poetry and scholarly techniques pluck our strings. We play along like an orchestra in a pod! It’s a setting sun symphony!

%d bloggers like this: