Friday, May 24, 2013

Popcorn and Poetry Night

Yesterday, I helped the kids host their first Popcorn and Poetry Night.  The guest list was limited to our immediate family and local grandparents.  Perhaps next year, we will expand it to include some friends, but for for the first year, we kept it low key!  ("Family only" means it's ok if we make fools of ourselves!  But, no one did.)

Here are the invitations.  
In the interest of time, I created them and the boys colored them.  Hopefully they'll be writing their own invitations for future events.  
Aaron, Dominic, and Ruth all memorized several short poems this past year so it was hard to choose what they would recite for the event.  We finally decided that everyone would learn one new poem and part of a Psalm.  Then each child could also recite a couple of the "old" poems learned some time in the past year.    

Here was the program of events...

New Poems:

The Little Turtle, by Vachel Lindsay (Ruth)
Sunflakes, by Frank Asch (Dominic)
The Sea's Treasures, by Daphne Lister (Aaron)

Recitations by guests

Psalm 24 (Ruth, Aaron, Dominic)

Poems from the past year:

As I Was Going Up the Stair, anonymous (Ruth)
Infant Innocence, by A.E. Housman (Ruth)

The New Colossus, by Emma Lazarus (Aaron) 
The Goops, by Gelett Burgess (Aaron)

Bed in Summer, Robert Louis Stevenson (Dominic)
How Doth the Little Crocodile, by Lewis Carrol (Dominic)


In case you're interested: most of the poems came from The New Oxford Treasury of Children's Poems. The Goops we got from First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind, Level 2, the text for Bed in Summer and The New Colossus we got online. (Aaron only recited the last bit, the part that's on the Statue of Liberty.)  


The evening was a success!  The photos of the evening were not so great.  I don't who the kids hired as their photographer, but they've got to go with a different outfit in the future.  Ok, I admit, it was me.  But it was difficult to listen and appreciate poetry while taking artful photos at the same time.  I've included the best of the worst here... and I edited them with a little "vintage" glow to mask some of the poor quality.  

We divided up Psalm 24 into three parts and they recited it as a "team."  

Both Russ and my Dad wrote original poems for the occasion!  They were the best poems of all.  My mom and I also recited, but there are no pictures for proof.  We're planning another poetry night for next Fall, so perhaps then we'll get some pics of the ladies.  

The popcorn was delicious, but next time I think I won't bring it out until after the recitations!  It's a little tricky to be eloquent with kernels in your teeth.  And it's hard to focus on the reciter when the reciters-in-waiting are sneaking popcorn on the side!  

Because I loved it so much, I leave you with Russ' original poem:

My Family: An attempt at humor and profound thinking 

Once upon a time a Dad loved two boys
He dealt with the angst and he cherished the joys
He wrestled and tickled and bought lots of toys
(And mother, dear mother, put up with the noise)
But then something happened, I think you might know
Two girls joined the crowd and it made quite a show.
I'll sum it all up with a brief blow by blow...
Dominic, Aaron, Ruthie and Clare
Construction trucks, soccer balls, dollies to share
Marble tracks, Legos, and barrettes for her hair
Books and more books flying ev-er-y-where
And speaking of books, in our house you can look
And you'll find a book hidden in every nook
Fill up every book shelf by hook or by crook!
Well, back to this family of mine
Did I mention the mother is one of a kind?
And her parents, not bad, I can say I don't mind...
Now back to the kids and oh what a delight
To snuggle and huggle with all of my might
So much love in this family my heart knows it is right.
So when the naysayers say "surely you'll stop.
More kids and the earth is most surely to pop,
Or the ozone will weaken or the ice caps go plop."
After fighting temptation to think terribly mean
And resisting a chuckle at those who go green
I will look in the eyes of my children and wife
And thank God for every minute of life!

* When I emailed Russ to see if I could include his poem here he wrote back, "Of course! I'm proud of it.  Not because it's "good"  but because I am proud of my family and love you all above anything."  (please excuse me *sniff* while I wipe a tear from my eye)  Isn't he the greatest!

* Don't fret.  He loves my parents more than the poem lets on!

* And don't stew over "going green" or not.  We appreciate, and participate in, ecological conservation activities, and are helping to preserve God's green earth by adding responsible caretakers to its numbers :) 


Wasn't it Simon and Garfunkel that said, "I've got my books and my poetry to protect me" ????  In light of my book collecting skills and our family's foray into recitations, we have naught to fear!  

Here's to the weekend!


  1. Aaah! I love this! Can maybe we please do this as a larger group as well?? So neat! And I just love Ruth's voice! Russ is so sweet.

    1. Mary, I'd love to do another poetry event. Let's chat! (Ruth is so funny with poems, she LOVES to learn them and gets VERY possessive once she's got one down. It's HER poem, and she get a little grouchy if someone else tries to recite it!)

  2. Ohhhhhhh!!!! Love, love, love! And your husband's poem- swoon. :)

  3. How fun!!! And your husband's poem is perfect! Love it!

  4. T, I love this! Russ's poem made me cry. We are loving poetry memorization over here, too. I echo Mary - If you guys do a large group thing, please let us know! We'd love to join:)

  5. Do my comments get ignored on purpose?

    1. hehe! no, just keeping you in suspense! I'll let you know when we have a poetry event... start your planning now, because I'll expect something spectacular!!

    2. YAY!! well whatever we do will not top Russ:) That was the best! I am already excited about this,T!!


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