Have you written a question poem? What questions do you have about them? Can you compose a poem made entirely of questions?
I figured my students, who tend to have a million questions every day–both in person and virtually–would be experts at this poetry form. To inspire and mentor them, I offered them Yellow Weed by Lilian Moore along with a guiding sheet (in lieu of face-to-face instruction) encouraging them to brainstorm possible questions, to include sensory details and imagery, and to thoughtfully arrange the questions they came up with.
And their early drafts show promise. I’m still wishing for more detail, more elaboration, more figurative language, but these 8 and 9 year olds poets are becoming more and more confident writers.
And then I ended up writing my own question poem about a yellow weed–one that I like to describe as a wildflower. Wild mustard is not native to these parts, but it grows as if it is. Wild mustard in the spring–with a little water and sunshine–grows lush and tall and is a riot of yellow!
Here’s my question poem–and I might have cheated since I ended with a sentence rather than a question.
Who plants you by the side of the road?
Is it the wind as it picks up your wispy seeds and slings them wide?
How do you grow tall, so far over my head?
Do rain and sun grab hands and circle you with hope?
Where do you go when the sun is too hot, the ground too dry?
Can you melt back into the soil like an abandoned ice cream cone?
What keeps you coming back?
Do bees and butterflies remember your generosity and return to visit?
Why do I love you?
Tall yellow blossoms wave and sway
reminding me that after the dark and gray of winter, light and warmth will come.
What question poem will you write?