How To Write A Poem

Father Goose Poetry Festival for Kids!

What’s a Poem?

A whisper,
a shout,
thoughts turned
inside out.

A laugh,
a sigh,
an echo
passing by.

A rhythm,
a rhyme,
a moment
caught in time.

A moon,
a star,
a glimpse
of who you are.


I like poems that make me LAUGH.
Sometimes I like poems that make me THINK.

I like poems that are SHORT and FUNNY.
Sometimes I like poems that are LONG and SERIOUS.

I like poems that RHYME.
Sometimes I like poems that have no rhymes.

Here are some different KINDS of poems.
Which kind would YOU like to write?

~ If-I-Were / If-You-Were ~

    • Father Goose created the If-I-Were and If-You-Were poems for kids. Each poem contains a little magic trick called the METAPHOR! A metaphor is a fancy way of saying COMPARISON!

    • Instructions:

    • COMPARE yourself to some THING (inanimate object), then COMPARE your friend to some THING else.  Notice that lines 2 and 4 rhyme. 

    • Here is an If-I-Were poem from by Charles Ghigna from LADYBUG magazine.

    • These poems make great Valentines!

      If I were a lonely lighthouse
      And you were a ship at sea,
      I'd shine my light through the night
      Till you returned to me.

      Here are two If-You-Were Poems from IF YOU WERE MY VALENTINE by Charles Ghigna.

      If you were a shining star
      And I were your midnight,
      I'd let you shine above me,
      You'd be my only light.

      If you were the pages of a book
      And I were reading you,
      I'd read as slow as I could go
      So I never would get through.

~ If-I-Had ~

    • Father Goose created the If-I-Had poem so you could use your wild imagination!

    • These poems also make great Valentines!

      If I had the sun on a string
      Like a giant yellow kite,
      I’d fly it over your house
      And chase away the night.

      If I had a sack of shooting stars
      Shining bold and bright,
      I’d give them all to you
      To wish on every night.

      If I had a jar of fireflies
      I would set them free
      To shine their light upon your face
      For everyone to see.

~ The Quatrain ~

    • A QUATRAIN is a group of 4 lines. That group is called a STANZA. The ballad stanza quatrain has a rhyme at the end of lines 2 and 4.

    • Here are poems that have QUATRAINS.


      Nature, it’s true,
      Is full of surprises.
      The sun doesn’t set—
      The horizon rises!


      Looks like grapes.
      Smells like roses.
      Springtime's gift
      To eyes and noses


      A poem is a busy bee
      Buzzing in your head.
      His hive is full of hidden thoughts
      Waiting to be said.

      His honey comes from your ideas
      That he makes into rhyme.
      He flies around looking for
      What goes on in your mind.

      When it's time to let him out
      To make some poetry,
      He gathers up your secret thoughts
      And then he sets them free.


      A poem is a little path
      That leads you through the trees.
      It takes you to the cliffs and shores,
      To anywhere you please.

      Follow it and trust your way
      With mind and heart as one,
      And when the journey's over,
      You'll find you've just begun.


      In the cold gray days of winter
      When the sky turns iron blue
      And the leafless trees stand silent
      With nothing left to do,

      There comes a cry across the land
      That carries seeds of spring,
      The echo of the distant hawk,
      The sun upon his wing.

~ Riddle Rhymes ~

    • Riddle Rhymes are fun to write! Each one contains a riddle. The answer to the riddle is at the end of the poem.

      Here are three Riddle Rhymes from the book RIDDLE RHYMES by Charles Ghigna.


      I fly above the tallest trees.
      I'm not a bird or plane.
      I have no wings or feathered things.
      I do not like the rain.

      I play among the passing clouds.
      I like to rise and sail.
      I am a friend who loves the wind.
      I'm big and have a tail.

      I like the gusty month of March.
      I soar way out of sight.
      My shape is like a diamond.
      I am a brand-new KITE.


      I shine forever free.
      I do not cost a cent.
      I need no bulb or battery.
      My light is permanent.

      You'll find me way up in the sky,
      When each new day's begun,
      But do not look me in the eye--
      I am the shining SUN.


      I am a free and open field
      That's never out of bounds,
      Where kites and planes and boomerangs
      Can do their ups and downs.

      I am the biggest yard of all,
      Where birds begin their play
      Of hide-n-seek among the clouds
      At each new break of day.

      I am the place called outer space,
      Where nothing is too high.
      I am the home of all the stars--
      I am the endless SKY.

~ Haiku ~

    • The Japanese haiku (pronounced "hi-koo") is one of the oldest and shortest forms of poetry. The entire poem consists of only 17 syllables in 3 lines of 5-7-5 syllables. Haiku poems usually contain brief descriptions of nature and have no rhymes.

      Here are three haiku from HAIKU: THE TRAVELERS OF ETERNITY by Charles Ghigna.


      The cricket calls to
      the meadow, each evening he
      hears his echo sing.


      Shadows bow to the
      setting sun, pray to the sky
      for blessings of light.


      Artist autumn comes,
      paints her blush across each tree,
      drops palette, and leaves.

~ Free Verse ~

    • Free Verse poems can have any number of lines and they do not have to RHYME.

      Here are four free verse poems from THE FATHER GOOSE TREASURY OF POETRY by Charles Ghigna.


      Covered in creamy
      birthday-cake frosting,
      the parked cars
      huddle beneath
      their streetlamp candles
      waiting for the North Wind
      to come make its wish
      for morning.


      Dawn breaks
      turns the night
      into drops
      of dew
      that drip
      from the tip
      of swaying
      of morning
      that dance
      in the glow
      of the sudden


      First step
      and he swallows
      the dry, delicious fear
      of walking on air.

      Body bent back
      into a bow,
      he falls into the arms
      of the screaming wind,
      his heart beating
      taps in his ears.

      and an angel wing
      pulls him from the thunder
      of a hundred
      mile an hour dream.

      He sits perched,
      a runaway cloud
      of contentment,
      a fearless eagle feather
      lost in the drift
      of an early afternoon.

      Knees bent, he pulls
      the taut reins of reality,
      ready-sets himself
      for one final, little lift,
      one last tiptoe of air
      before his flying feet
      must run their
      earth-bound way
      back home.


      (Art is Long, Life is Short)

      Like the sculptor
      who chips away
      at what is not
      the sculpture,
      your life
      is in your hands,
      the pure
      imperfect stone
      waiting for its
      daily touch,
      the gentle tap,
      the savored strike
      toward mass
      and space
      that form
      the perfect past,
      your tribute
      to the art
      of living.

*      *      *

Have fun READING and WRITING poems!

We look forward to reading YOURS!

*      *      *


      Let's build a poem
      made of rhyme
      with words like ladders
      we can climb,
      with words that like
      to take their time,

      words that hammer,
      words that nail,
      words that saw,
      words that sail,
      words that whisper,
      words that wail,

      words that open
      window     door,
      words that sing,
      words that soar,
      words that leave us
      wanting more.

      from THE FATHER GOOSE TREASURY OF POETRY by Charles Ghigna

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