The Daughter and I have been proceeding slowly through the Grammar of Poetry curriculum, a lesson per week or so through this school year. It’s supposed to be The Daughter’s curriculum, but as the teaching parent, who enjoys poetry but has not received this level of poetry instruction, we are more like classmates. I have the Teacher Guide, she has a Student Workbook, but we both do the exercises and work on poems after watching the short video lesson for each chapter.
Now as we near the end of our school year, we have both written quite a few poems and fragments of poems, some better than others. We both understand poetry much better and we’ve been known to scan the hymns printed in our church bulletin. Don’t tell! Of my artistic exertion, my favorite so far is the poem I wrote for Lessons 16 & 17 which covered the Anapest foot (a combination of three syllables, the first two unaccented, the third accented).
This lesson came up shortly after we traveled to Lynchburg to see #1 Son play Ultimate (frisbee) in the USA Ultimate Atlantic Coast College Regional Tournament. We weren’t sure how much he would get to play because he was recovering from a badly sprained ankle, a slight twist in his back and a bronchial cold, but we wanted to support the team. The intramural fields at Liberty University are situated halfway up a mountain. Gazing over the fields one can glimpse the Blue Ridge in the distance. It was a beautiful day, the sky was clear blue, and there was a persistent breeze. The play was fascinating! GMU masterfully moved the disc down the field and buried their opponents in match after match.
The example poem for the lesson was no less than The Destruction of Sennacherib by George Gordon, Lord Byron. The urgent, rushing rhythm of Anapest in this fantastic poem brought the zippy pace of Ultimate tournament play to mind, and my poem came together fairly quickly! It was actually really fun for me to put together two things I enjoy: poetry, and watching my son have a blast playing Ultimate!
Here is my Adventure in Anapest:
It was Ian’s big day and the Ultimate test.
He was wounded and coughing and needed some rest.
Still he badgered his coach to send him on the field,
His phenomenal talent with frisbee to wield.
Like the trumpets of Rome the team chants echoed far
From the mountains of Lynchburg to distant Ishtar
With their shirts gleaming white in the light from above
They defended their line, just occasional shoves.
Spinning high, diving low, the disc flew on the breeze
Running back he laid out, snatched it high o’er the green.
Rising up with a shout of primordial joy
he then hucked it down field for a point – that’s my boy!
Just in case you aren’t familiar with Ultimate Frisbee, here is a short set of videos produced by the Madison Bumblers briefly describing how to throw, objective of the game, and basic rules. And, my all-time favorite Ultimate Video, this one produced at GMU by a few of #1 Son’s teammates, GMU Trick Shot! Enjoy!
As always, a few photos:
Are you wondering if The Daughter wrote a poem in Anapestic Meter? Of course, she did! We have a future post planned in which she will share her own Adventure in Anapest!
We love The Grammar of Poetry! Find out more by watching this video: