Since 1996, April has been designated National Poetry Month by the American Academy of Poets, celebrating the importance of poetry to our nation’s history and culture, as well as to the literary world.
April is just an ideal poetry time, as so many beautiful verses have been written about nature, especially during the time of rebirth and renewal that is spring.
As this month most often falls on the same month as Easter, here are three easy ways to put a little poetry into your spring or Easter decorating with some poetry-themed egg designs.
These little ideas will give kids a chance to explore poetry and its imagery, and to possibly write something original of their own…on eggs (real or plastic).
A Simple Haiku
A Japanese haiku is a perfect poem for a spring basket, as traditionally the small seventeen-word poems (three lines of five, seven, five) are often about nature.
Simply think of an original haiku and write it down first on paper. It can be about Easter, spring, nature, or really anything that inspires you. Don’t write it on the egg first. You don’t want to mess up the egg while composing your verse. Use another small piece of paper as a guide and lightly draw three lines on your egg. This will give you a guide to help keep the lines straight. Now, write down the simple poem on the lines in pencil and go over it with a fine-tip marker.
Once completely dry, erase the pencil lines. You can some simple images in marker like a tree, blossoms, or birds to go with it.
If you know anyone good with Japanese calligraphy like shodo, these look beautiful in this type of lettering. If you have a good computer translator, you can look at that as well.
A Poem Painting
Here is a very simple idea with endless possibilities. Paint a simple image on an egg conjured up by a favorite poem. This is great for kids as a practice in both keeping things simple and in how beautiful words can paint a vivid picture.
For example, William Wordsworth was inspired to write “I Wandered Lonely As a Cloud” after simply seeing some daffodils on a walk with his sister. He showed us what he saw in words:
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
That’s simple enough. Get out some acrylic or similar craft paints and paint a daffodil. If you have any book lovers in the family (and I hope everyone does), have them try to guess a familiar poem just by looking at the image.
A Black Out Poem
This one is a little more modern poem style that many teachers use in their classrooms. Create an original poem from an old book page by “blacking out” all but a few words to create a new poem. It looks a bit like a redacted government paper, only cooler.
My 13-year-old did this project in her class last year. She loved it so much that she made several of them.
To do this with an egg, use a decoupage method.
Cut a strip of an old magazine page big enough to wrap around an egg. Glue it in place and smooth it out to get rid of as many wrinkles as you can. You likely won’t get all of them, so don’t worry.
Look around it and see if you can discover about nine or ten words that might make up a little one-sentence poem. If nothing else, you could find words that compliment each other like a free-form “beat poem.” Circle these words lightly.
The rest of the words you can black out with a felt tip marker. Of course, you don’t have to use only black marker. Get some spring colors in there as well. Often with these poems, you will have a lot of space without words, so add little stickers or doodles to make the final egg “prettier” if you want. Cover the entire thing with decoupage glue to keep it in place.
Now you can fill a spring basket with a fun mix of words, color, and art.
Happy Poetry Month!