Marni Gillard    Storyteller, Storyteacher
    Bring Marni as a Poemteller

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Poem Telling

By Marni Gillard

What Is Poem Telling?
Poem: Unfolding Bud
Poem: How to Eat a Poem
A thought on poem-telling?
Bibliography:
1. NATURE, SEASONS, OBSERVATIONS
2. NOTICING OR PONDERING ON THE WORLD
3. STRICTLY NARRATIVES
4. Teacher Books

What is Poem Telling?

This aspect of storytelling has brought great joy to my life and balance to my story programs. I love to offer workshops for teachers, students of all ages and community groups on finding the poems in our lives and hearts. I both tell and read poems aloud, encourage word-play that eventually becomes whole poems and the poem-talk that helps us see the magic inside those gifts of words we call POEMS. I pass out printed poems or bring zillions of poetry anthologies so participants can browse and try their own hand at gem-finding and polishing.

Just as with stories poems help us see ourselves and the world a little clearer. When we return to one special poem again and again we uncover layers of meaning in the poem and get a chance to peel away a layer of the mask we have created for the world's sake. We get closer to our true Self, to our uniqueness, when we see it reflected in a poem and then read or tell the poem aloud with feeling.

Two poems I return to again and again are from Reflections on a Gift of Watermelon Pickle edited by Stephen Dunning, Edward Lueders and Hugh Smith and available from Scholastic Press. I love to share them with others as a reminder that poems are fun to and worth the trouble of putting into our story repertoires and our mouths.

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Unfolding Bud

by Naoshi Koriyama

One is amazed
By a water-lily bud
Unfolding
With each passing day,
Taking on a richer color
And new dimensions.

One is not amazed,
At a first glance,
By a poem,
Which is as tight-closed
As a tiny bud.

Yet one is surprised
To see the poem
Gradually unfolding,
Revealing its rich inner self,
As one reads it
Again
And over again.

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How to Eat a Poem

by Eve Merriam

Don't be polite.
Bite in.
Pick it up with your fingers and lick the juice that may run down your chin.
It is ready and ripe now, whenever you are.

You do not need a knife or fork or spoon or plate or napkin or tablecloth.

For there is not core
or stem
or rind
or pit
or seed
to throw away.

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A thought on poem-telling?

To tell a 4-liner or a 104-liner.. The secret? FIND the HEART of the poem and have FUN with rhythm, word-PLAY, and above all MEANING.

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Bibliography

  1. NATURE, SEASONS, OBSERVATIONS
  2. NOTICING OR PONDERING ON THE WORLD
  3. STRICTLY NARRATIVES
  4. Teacher Books

Here are some poem anthologies I have enjoyed:

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1. Related to: NATURE, SEASONS, OBSERVATIONS

Snow Toward Evening selected by Josette Frank, paintings by Thomas Locker, Dial Books 1990

Creatures of Earth, Sea & Sky written by Georgia Heard, drawings by Jennifer Owings Dewey, Boys Mills Press 1992

If the Owl Calls Again selected by Myra Cohn Livingston, woodcuts by Antonio Frasconi, Macmillan 1990

Talking like the Rain selected by X. J. and Dorothy Kennedy, illustrated by Jane Dyer, Little, Brown 1992

all the small poems written by Valerie Worth, pictures by Natalie Babbitt, Farrar, Straus and Giroux 1987

Listen to the Rain by Bill Martin Jr. & John Archambault, illustrated by James Endicott, DLM 1987

A Circle of Seasons written by Myra Cohn Livingston, paintings by Leonard Everett Fisher, Holiday House 1982

Earth Prayers Around the World edited by Elizabeth Roberts & Elias Amidon, HarperSanFrancisco 1991

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2. Related to: NOTICING OR PONDERING ON THE WORLD

*multicultural

Reflections on a Gift of Watermelon Pickle compiled by Dunning, Lueders & Smith, Scott Foresman 1966

Preposterous:Poems of Youth selected by Paul Janeczko, Orchard Books 1991

Always Wondering by Aileen Fisher, drawings by Joan Sandin, Harper/Collins 1991

A Sky Full of Poems by Eve Merriam, illustrated by Walter Gaffney-Kessell, Dell (Yearling) 1986

Jamboree by Eve Merriam, illustrated by Walter Gaffney-Kessell, Dell (Yearling) 1984

Hey World, Here I Am! by Jean Little, illustrated by Sue Truesdell, Trumpet Books 1986

If I Were in Charge of the World by Judith Viorst, illustrated by Lynne Cherry, Macmillan 1981

*A Fire in My Hands by Gary Soto, Scholastic 1990 (great question-answer process section)

*Bronzeville Boys and Girls by Gwendolyn Brooks, pictures by Ronni Solbert, Harper and Row 1956

*Honey I Love by Eloise Greenfield, pictures by Leo and Diane Dillon, Thomas Y Crowell 1978

Inner Chimes - Poems on Poetry selected bt Bobbye S. Goldstein, Boyds Mills Press 1992

*Make a Joyful Sound edited by Deborah Slier, illustrated by C. Van Wright & Y. Hu, Checkerboard Press 1991

The Book of Qualities words and pictures by J. Ruth Gendler, Harper and Row 1988

Whiskers and Rhymes written and illustrated by Arnold Lobel, Scholastic 1985

Extra Innings - baseball poems selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins, illustrated by Scott Medlock, HBJ 1993

Ring Out, Wild Bells - about holidays and seasons - selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins, HBJ 1992

*Selected Poems of Langston Hughes Vintage Classic Edition 1990

*Many Winters (1974) and Spirit Walker (1993) by Nancy Wood, paintings by Frank Howell, Doubleday

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3. STRICTLY NARRATIVES

The Narrative Voice: Poetry edited by Albert Kitzhaber & Stoddard Malarkey, Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1974

Best Tales of the Yukon by Robert Service, Running Press (Philadelphia) 1983 paperback edition

Yertle the Turtle and other Stories by Dr. Seuss, Random House 1986 paperback edition

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4. Teacher books
for THE PLAYFUL (and serious) TEACHING of POEM-TELLING

For the Good of the Earth and Sun - Georgia Heard, Heinemann (Porstmouth, NH) 1989

When You've Made it Your Own - Gregory Denman, Heinemann 1988 (by a storyteller)

Let's Do a Poem - Nancy Larrick, Delacourte, 1991

Pass the Poetry, Please! - Lee Bennett Hopkins, Harper (Trophy) 1972, 1987

Listening to the Bells - Florence Grossman, Boynton-Cook/Heinemann 1991

Lasting Impressions Shelley Harwayne - Heinemann 1992

The Place My Words are Looking For selected - Paul B. Janeczko, Bradbury 1990

Speaking of Poets: Interviews with Poets Who Write for Children - J. S. Copeland, NCTE, Urbana, IL 1993

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If you need any additional information, please feel free to contact Marni. Picture of Marni Gillard
Marni Gillard

833 Parkside Avenue
Schenectady, NY 12309 USA
(518) 381-9474

marni@marnigillard.com
www.marnigillard.com
All Materials Copyright 2004-2013 by Marni Gillard.
All Rights Reserved.



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