I have just returned from a trip to Mount Rainier, located in Washington, where every experience was fodder for a poem. From the majesty of sub-alpine wildflower meadows, chipmunks zipping across the road, the contrast between glacier melt and snow melt rivers, to the buzz of mosquitoes when you stop to gaze in wonder at the spectacle before you.
I could not venture anywhere without pen and notebook in pocket. And often, I stopped so many times on the trail to write that I just gave up and carried it in my hands. Descriptions, phrases, recording the sounds around me–what a writer’s treasure chest the mountain was.
If you are a writer, or you want to encourage your children’s literacy skills, take pen or pencil and notebooks on vacation. Pause to write. Record what you see and hear and smell.
Easy forms of poetry to try on the road include:
- Haiku: a 5 syllable line, a 7 syllable line, then a 5 syllable line. Traditionally these are about natural phenomenon, what better place to write them than in the great outdoors.
- List poems: these are exactly what they sound like–poems that consist of themed lists. One of my lists from the trip included the animals of Rainier. I also intend to list, and maybe write a poem about all the wildflowers I identified on the trip.
- Concrete poems: poems that have a physical shape. After our family’s Yellowstone trip a few years ago, I wrote a concrete poem about one of the trails we hiked that zigged and zagged like the trail.
New places, new scenery is just naturally inspiring. Have fun and record precious memories by writing poetry on your vacation.
Photo courtesy of http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=1259