Friday, September 5, 2008

Poetry Friday--State Poems

According to the Library of Congress there are only five states that have an official state poem! Why is that? I'll bet all 50 states have a bird, or a flower, or a song. Here in New Hampshire we have multiple state songs!

We even have a state tartan! Yes, an official tartan!
3:21 State Tartan. –
I. There shall be an official state tartan of New Hampshire. The sett for the New Hampshire tartan shall be as follows:
green 56; black 2; green 2; black 12; white 2; black 12; purple 2; black 2; purple 8; red 6; and purple 28.
II. The colors listed in paragraph I represent the following: purple represents the purple finch and the purple lilac, the state bird and the state flower; green represents the green of the forests; black represents the granite mountains; white represents the snow; and red represents all state heroes.

So I ask you, why not a state poem?

If I were a teacher, I'd assign my class to write a state poem. I'd start by introducing the kids to Robert Frost's volume of poems called New Hampshire. Just by looking through the contents page, one can get a glimpse of what was important to Frost to immortalize: "Wild Grapes;" "Dust of Snow;" "Gathering Leaves;" "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening." Or this short, but telling poem:

A plow, they say, to plow the snow.
They cannot mean to plant it, no--
Unless in bitterness to mock
At having cultivated rock.

Next I would get the kids to think about what's important to them about their home state, then brainstorm their ideas. Then we'd all work together to come up with the quintessential New Hampshire poem. Who knows, it could end up being NH's official state poem!


Note: This week's Poetry Friday Round-Up is at Wild Rose Reader. Check it out!

1 comment:

Sally said...

Well, since the first European man to settle in New Hampshire was a Scot, it seems quite appropriate that we have a tartan.