I love punctuation

There are all kinds of ways to use punctuation in a poem.

Some poets throw punctuation off the edge of a high cliff and watch it swim away (they don’t use any!).

Some poets use punctuation just like they would if they were writing a story.

Some poets think a punctuation mark is like a silent beat or two in the flow of the poem.

If you put a comma or a full stop on the end of the line you catch your breath there, just for a moment, before moving onto the next line.

You could also put a dash ( – ), a colon ( : ) or a semi colon ( ; ) on the end of the line. As you soak up how punctuation works in stories you can start experimenting with how it works in poems. This soaking up lasts all the way through school and beyond (I am still doing it!).

Punctuation is part of the musical tool kit of a poet. It can change the beat by adding little specks of silence.

Try reading your poem and reading the punctuation. Think of the poem as a river. Think of the reader as a boat on the river. The punctuation helps steer the boat as you want it to.

Punctuation can definitely make a poem easier to read but you don’t have to use it!

Try writing a poem with only five lines about what you had for breakfast. Try it with no punctuation. Now experiment with what you put on the line. Listen to how the punctuation stops the flow of the poem.

You can send me your punctuation experiment if you like: paulajoygreen@gmail.com. Include your name, age, year and name of school. You can include your teacher’s name and email if you like.   Have fun!

PS I might have ago at this experimenting and post what I do next week! I might also have a go at the memory poem and ask my mum for a memory.

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