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.