Poetry Friday: Poetry Is…Magniful, with Erik the Great

Poetry is magniful, by Erik the Great

Back in November, I featured the first installment of the “Poetry Is…” series. At the time, I wrote that I hoped the series would be an opportunity for us to connect with poetry readers and those who write just for the joy of it, and to see “poetry in action” and how it can affect people.

For this second installment, then, I went straight to the source of why we’re all here — kids! And I couldn’t think of a better kid to start with than the Kid himself…namely, fifth-grade book blogger Erik from ThisKidReviewsBooks.com. I met Erik last year through Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Book review series and was immediately impressed (and rather awed) by his dedication to and enthusiasm for not only books but the kidlit blogosphere in general. This kid is everywhere! He reads and comments on dozens of blogs. He enters all the fun writing contests. And he’s always upbeat and positive. How does he do it?

I don’t know. But I do know that Erik is a treasure, and I’m so pleased that he agreed to be the very first kid featured on No Water River. He’s a pioneer, too! And that means he’s also the very first kid to have his video permanently planted in the brand spankin’ new Poems by Kids video library page! Please give our young friend a warm welcome. Take it away, Erik!

Open Book

by Erik from ThisKidReviewsBooks.com

Poetry is (to me) MAGNIFUL.

I love made-up words. Words like stooky — meaning cool or awesome — created by Tom Angleberger of the Origami Yoda Series. I am introducing my new word — magniful. It is a combination of magnificent and wonderful. That is what poetry is to me. Magniful (and stooky!).

Good advice from Erik
Good advice from Erik

I know some kids (and adults) may not think of poetry as fun, but I have always enjoyed reading poetry. I also really like to write poetry. Even if it isn’t particularly good when it comes out, I think it is still fun to write it or think of it.

Things in everyday life make me think of poetry. For example, I remember when we were eating dinner at the best Greek restaurant in our area, there was a group of men having a meeting (I think they were some kind of club), and one guy stood up and said blah blah blah…the first person to come up with a poem using the word “Timbuktu”… blah blah blah (I’m saying blah because I didn’t hear that part…). So as I was eating my souvlaki, I came up with:

I surely missed you,
When you flew off to Timbuktu.
Did you miss me?
When I traveled to Italy?

OK, it’s not the greatest poem ever written, but I am actually a bit surprised I came up with that so quickly, and I think it is kind of fun to say. I wanted to tell the guys in the club, but my parents didn’t think I should interrupt their meeting.

Erik with Angleberger

I think poetry is everywhere, not just on posts on the Internet or on the pad of paper doomed to never leave your desk or in the poetry book you meant to read — but it is in the whole wide world. I think of poetry as kind of a world traveler that you should take everywhere.

Last week when we were eating dinner, I thought of this poem:

Table Manners

I am a mess, yes it is true.
When it comes to eating, I’m not like you.

I have horrible table manners, so they say.
You see, when I chew, everyone turns away.

I know you are thinking, you seem so polite and cool.
But the fact is when I eat, watch out for the drool.

I eat so quick, look out for the food that’s flying.
I spill my soup all over the place without even trying.

If you find yourself dining with me, you should BEWARE.
You may soon be trying to find a fast way out of there!

Hmm… it seems that I come up with a lot of poetry while I am eating. Or maybe it is just that food is a really good poetry starter.

There are all types of poetry, too, so you can always find something that you may want to try. Haiku is one type I really like, and it is fun to try to stick to the 5-7-5 syllable rule. I even tried to go a whole day talking in haiku, but gave up after about an hour. I like to think of haikus when I am outside.

Frost bites the cold ground.
Snow tops the green pine trees.
Winter: cold, but cute.

Of course, not the best haiku ever, but I got my inspiration just stepping outside, and that’s pretty cool.

I really like funny poems. Or at least ones with a punch line. Some great poets with wonderful funny poems are:

1)    Jack Prelutsky
2)    Shel Silverstein
3)    Renee LaTulippe 🙂   (Oh, the flattery of the young…! –RML)

Who’s your favorite funny poet?

Erik and Frog

In closing I will leave you with my latest new word, STUPENDIANT, and this poem I wrote just for this guest post!


Miss Smith wants us to write a poem and I’m not gonna get it done.
Doesn’t she realize writing poems is no fun!

A poem? A POEM! I can’t write a poem!
Poems are full of rhyming rules and I don’t even know ‘em!

OK, calm down, I’ll give it a shot.
At least she’ll know that’s all I got.

Apples are red, grapes are purple,
You are sweet and kind of nurple? murple? flurple?

ACK! This is so hard, what was she thinking?
This assignment is the worst and it’s totally stinking!

I need to find a way out of this. I know, I’ll fake my death!
Who am I kidding anyway? I’ll just take the “F”.

Open Book

About Erik
Erik is an eleven-year-old fifth grader who loves to read. He started his blog, This Kid Reviews Books when he was nine. Erik writes a monthly book review column for his local free newspaper. He has a black belt in TaeKwon Do, and in his spare time enjoys building things out of LEGOs. He hopes to be an inventor and a published author when he grows up.

You can visit Erik here:

Website/Blog: www.thiskidreviewsbooks.com
Twitter: @ThisKid_Erik
Facebook: ThisKidReviewsBooks

[heading style=”1″]Extension Activity: “Poetry Is…Magniful”[/heading]

  • Writing:
    • Erik mentions that poetry is everywhere — and proves it by writing the poem “Table Manners,” inspired by a family dinner at home. As you go about your day today, observe your routines and see if you can find a poem in your ordinary activities. Is there a haiku hiding in your cornflakes? Is there an ode in your school bus? Is there a free verse poem in dance class or soccer practice? Be sure to take a little notebook with you as you observe so you can jot down words that capture the five senses: sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch.
The magniful Tara at A Teaching Life is hosting Poetry Friday today! I hear she’s pretty stooky, too.

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Video location: Looks like the North Pole to me!

See more poems in my poetry video library.

All poems copyright © Erik / ThisKidReviewsBooks.com. All rights reserved.

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  1. The source indeed, Renée! Wow, not only is Erik multi-talented, prolific and generous, but dang he is such a good looking guy too! Loved this post and all the fun photos! I know I am going to be writing posts in the not too distant future – “I knew Erik when…..”. Thank you both!

  2. Ah, 5th grader, so close to my heart! (24 of 40 years at that gr. level!) A new NWR hit! Thanks for introducing me to the magniful, Erik. Love your addition of Poems by Kids for your video library page!

  3. oh my, I should be laughing, but tears are coming down…No, it wasn’t that bad , Erik 🙂 It was great! And you are GREAT! I am just so touched and amazed at what a bright, mature, talented, MAGNIFUL in every way kid you are! Yes, I will be joining Joanna in saying, ” I knew Erik when…”
    Thanks for featuring our “treasure,” Renee!

    1. WHAT?!!!!? You thought I was BAD?!!!!!!!!!?

      Oh. Sorry. Forget that upper part… *heh heh heh* Thank you! 🙂

  4. Erik
    I think you’re marvelicious!
    Renee always does fantastic interviews.
    She brought us a 3D full color portrait of you
    and I look forward to reading your reviews.
    You’ll be the Child Amazon of Reviewers!
    Jeanne Poland

  5. Magniful!!! Your poems are magniful! Your performance is magniful!! You are magniful! And, personally, if I was in charge of spell check, I would immediately add magniful to the list of spectacularly spelled words! Oh…and I love the word flurple!

  6. I agree with Joanna. One day we’re all going to say, “we knew Erik when…” Great poems and interview. Great to see and hear you in person too. Your mind is always open and working on ideas and I love that. Thanks for sharing Erik today Renee!

    1. Thanks! I’ll be able to say “I knew Patricia Tilton when I was a kid” after you’ve published your 100th book! 😀

  7. *thunderous applause*

    I’m a big Erik the Great fan; it was wonderful reading this post with his funny poems, and how much do I love that he gets a lot of inspiration from food and eating??!!

    Like everyone else, I’m constantly amazed and impressed by Erik’s talent, his smarts, his energy and imagination, and his blogging chops. He’s definitely magniful and the greatest. 🙂

    1. Actually, I think it’s that Greek restaurant… I came up with the rough draft for the sloppy eating there… Thanks! 😀

  8. Oh boy, Erik! You are such a talent! Your poem about writing a poem made me laugh out loud, it really did. Like everyone else, I think you’re magniful. How did you keep your teeth from chattering? I guess that’s part of being an amazing actor as well. Love the animated presentation. Good job, Erik! This is going to be a popular series, Renee’!

    1. Actually, it was raining… I was really nice and warm… But I was sitting on the edge of the seat… 😉 Thanks!

  9. Erik truly IS great! And magniful! What a gem…and he hits it spot on with his poem, “A Poem?!?” I know the feeling of being faced with an assignment I don’t want to do. With me it was always Geometry. =) Thanks, Renee, for sharing this young poet.

  10. What a delightful post — I loved Erik’s thoughts on poetry. I wish more kids had the view that poetry is magniful, because it definitely IS! I’m so glad my mum taught me to love poetry when I was a kid.

    Wonderful to see and HEAR Erik as well!

    Erik you are stupendibly magniful (stupendous and incredibly magnificent and wonderful!)

  11. Magniful all around, Erik (and Renee)! What a TREAT for us to get to know you a little better.

    Of course, I love the fondness for haiku – and found poems, too.

    “I think of poetry as kind of a world traveler that you should take everywhere.” – That is going above my computer with my other snippets of inspiration.

    Thanks for a terrific post!

  12. Am I too late?? I just wanted to repeat what Joanna said…. We are going to be saying “I knew Erik when….” What a magniful post and yes, Erik, you are magniful! It was so lovely to see and hear you, in all that lovely snow…lol. You are truly inspirational and what motivates many of us in our writing endeavours. Going far my friend. Thank you Renee for a gem of a post.

  13. Erik your poems are SPLENDIFOROUS! BRILLIFICENT! SUPAGICAL! And you’re so punny too!

    Thanks, Renee, for the opportunity to hear Erik the Great recite, and wonder if he was sitting out there in the PA woods, with P.Phyllis holding his cue cards!

  14. How great to “see” you Erik! I enjoyed all your poems. How DO You have time to write, read blogs, and attend school? I definitely think you’ll have a book out someday, if you don’t already!

  15. Thank you so much, Renee, for spotlighting the talented and ever-busy Erik! I love your blog and should come to visit more often.
    Erik…thank you so much for sharing your love for books and reading and writing. Your poems are fantastic…and I loved actually seeing and hearing you read this one. It was funny and clever and GREAT! Kudos on all of your accomplishments and on being brave enough to create new words…it will be young people like you who will hopefully create a new and better world.

  16. Nice to see young ones getting into poetry! Erik’s poem reminded me of the line from Roger Miller’s song, “Dang Me:”

    ‘Now roses are red, violets are purple,
    Sugar’s sweet, and so’s maple syrple”

    Goes to show anyone can rhyme anything with a little creativity!

  17. Erik – Thank you very much for sharing today! And Renee, thank you for having him! I always see what a generous commenter “ERIK- THIS KID REVIEWS BOOKS” is, and now I feel I know him a bit. Magniful reading. I like this new word…

  18. It’s so nice to see you as Renee’s guest! I enjoyed all of your poems. You were fabulistic! I want to be like you when I grew up! I know I will be seeing your books on the shelf someday. You are on your way!

  19. Erik, I am in awe of you now that I’ve learned so much about you and your amazing talents. I see a MacArthur Genius Grant in your future, young man (shhh….don’t tell my son I think you’ll win it before he does…LOL!), and I will proudly say that I knew you before you became famous! 🙂

  20. What a fantific post. Erik, it was great to see you in person and read/hear your poems. I agree with the others; you certainly are one smart and talented kid…You’re SMALENTED! :0)

  21. Thanks to everyone for giving Erik such a warm welcome, and to Erik for being such a gracious guest AND host in my absence. I know we both appreciate your support and enthusiasm!

    Erik, it’s been so fun working with you on this project. I hope you continue to write, write, write! You’re the best! 🙂

  22. Thanks for all those fun poems, Erik! I loved reading “I think poetry is everywhere…” because it is such a wonderful (I mean, magniful) thought. I’m going to keep thinking that as I ride the tramway into town, do the laundry, go grocery shopping, look out the window while I’m doing the dishes yet again… I’m sure that thought will make all of it more interesting.

  23. Hi, Erik! Your poems are fresh, funny and entertaining. I enjoyed reading them. How proud your parents must be of you! Your poems hug my heart and your made up words are delightful. You are right about finding poems everywhere. But it takes a poet to see and find them! And that you are. Congrats about the honor of being the first young poet in the kids video library. You deserve it! I pray you will continue to enjoy reading and writing poetry. I can’t wait to read where you will find your next poem. Just reach up and pull one out of the air. Or when you sneeze, one will be there!

  24. Hi Erik, I am a year late reading this post, so you may not ever read this. No matter, I still want whoever reads this to know I think you are a fantastical poet and writer of prose. You are years above your age in maturity, writing ability, and mastery of most everything you do. I know one day your first book will be worth a fortune, but I would never part with it. I have an original, a first edition and I will treasure it. Whether you become a poet laureate, a famous author, or rule the world I know you will be the best with humility, compassion, and generosity as this is how you are now. See you around the kid lit blogosphere, my friend..

    1. Thank you, the esteemed Marvicent (Marvelous + Magnificent) Miss Morris! This comment means a lot to me. I mean that. It places a smile on my lips and a joy in my heart. 🙂
      the non-esteemed Excellberant (Excellent + Exuberant) Earl Erik of Eris

      1. Erik, don’t kid yourself (haha a pun!), anyway *serious tone returns* don’t kid (I love that haha).. Okay, I can do this. Erik, don’t kid (I’m sorry, this really makes me laugh). *seriously serious tone*

        Erik, don’t kid yourself, you are esteemed!

  25. Erik! You are the coolest kid. I love your poems, especially your winter haiku.

    I can only imagine that speaking in haiku all day would have been very challenging, I’m impressed you made it an hour! 😀

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