Lullabies and rhymes heard in childhood provided our first experiences of poetry. Think back. Can you recall a song, a book, or poem you heard countless times, or a favorite bedtime story? Poet Naomi Shihab Ney says, “the mother speaking to the child is also a poem.”
My good friend Jane Dorn has kept separate journals for each of her grandchildren over the years to record their memorable words and clever phrases—those precious early associations we love to hear but quickly forget if not written down.
Poet Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge, in her book poemcrazy: freeing your life with words says she too records her own children’s sayings in her journal.
But as children grow, someone—a teacher, sibling, parent, even a stranger—may criticize early attempts. That’s when many put down their pencils and abandon poetry.