A Poem for Joshua

A couple of days ago I went through a book with a student of mine named Joshua. He's pretty good at English. He's 9, he likes reading, and he likes telling me about the stories he's reading. From what I've heard from Joshua he has an excellent English teacher at his school in China, a chap from England. I asked Joshua about writing, and he asked if I wanted him to write a three paragraph essay. Lol. No, I don't want him to write a three paragraph essay, I want him to be able to write anything he wants. I asked if he wanted to work on how to write a story and he offered to write some poetry. That works.


Joshua wrote a poem based on using the letters of his name for the beginning of individual lines. That's called an acrostic poem, I looked it up. He wrote the poem on a piece of paper, instead of the screen, and read it to me.

- - - - - - -

July is my birthday
On my desk is an elephant
Sunshine and shine
Haha, I am happy
Upside down, Andy is my friend
Andy is my friend

- - - - - - -

We had about 2 minutes left in class so I figured I would give writing a poem a shot. Here's what came out.

- - - - - - -

Time upon time,
grown and regrown,
passing from the unknown
into life
and back again.

Experienced as joy,
and fear,
and love,
and hate.

Life is but,
a discovery of fate.

- - - - - - -

I find poetry interesting, but neither do I do much of it, or study a lot of it. I like freestyle, although that might just be because I haven't put much effort into any other form. I have often thought that at some point I will, but I haven't. Robert Louis Stevenson emphasized the importance of poetic skill for writing prose, because the flow and feel of the words is part of the art. Something I agree with, and think that I might fail at.

Students often surprise me in what they're interested in, and whenever it's anything ranging from prose to poetry, "Haha, I am happy."

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You can find more of what I'm doing at http://www.JeffreyAlexanderMartin.com

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