“Poetry is language at its most distilled and most powerful.”
Rita Dove, U.S. Poet Laureate from 1993 to 1995

Poetry can be joyous or heartbreaking, full of wonder or even anger. It helps us express thoughts and emotions that can’t be contained by prose, the ordinary language people use for speaking and writing.

Your challenge this week is to write some poetry, or find a poem that speaks to you.

Possible supplies

  • Paper and something to write with
  • Old newspaper and markers
  • Poems to read aloud

Different kinds of poems to try out

Blackout Poetry

This kind of poetry is make by taking an old newspaper, magazine, or even a book that is falling apart, and blacking out words until you are left with a poem.

Here is are examples made by teens at the Council Tree Library during National Poetry Month a few years ago.


A Haiku is a poem that has three lines. The first line has 5 syllables, the second line has 7 syllables, and the third line has 5 syllables. They are often about nature, but don’t need to be.

Concrete Poetry

This type of poetry uses the size, shape, and placement of the words in the poem to help convey the emotion. Often the shape of the poem creates the shape of whatever the poem is about. One of the most famous examples of a concrete poem is Lewis Carroll’s “The Mouse’s Tail” from The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland.

Photo from Wikimedia Commons, “Alice in Wonderland Chapter 3”

Book Spine Poetry

Stack up a bunch of books, and let the titles write a poem. Here are some examples made by Poudre Libraries staff this past April:

Recommended poetry books and anthologies

Our Seasons by Grace Lin (OverDrive)

Limelight by Solli Raphael (hoopla)

Hello Ocean by Pam Muñoz Ryan (hoopla)

Good Masters, Sweet Ladies by Laura Amy Schiltz (OverDrive)

Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein (hoopla)

The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander (OverDrive)
You can also watch the award-winning author reading aloud from “The Undefeated” on YouTube.

Don’t forget to share your favorite poems, or poetry you have written, using the hashtag #PoudreLibraries.