The Arts for the Heart: Poetry

The whole world is full of unworked joy mines. Everywhere we go we find all sorts of happiness-producing material, if we only know how to extract it.” -Orison Swett Marsden


Continuing on with the series of posts about the arts and our hearts.

Next up is Poetry.

Afternoon Amusements by Johann Georg Meyer von Bremen


“The soldier fights for his native land
but the poet touches that land with the charm that makes it worth fighting for …
The statesman enlarges and orders liberty in the State,
but the poet fosters the love of liberty in the heart of the citizen.” 

                                                            –Newell Dwight Hillis


In thinking about poetry, here are some ideas that we try to incorporate into our home:

  • Reading poetry
  • Memorizing poetry
  • Writing poetry
  • Poetry Tea Time (or Fika as we call it.)


Here’s an entry that I wrote in my journal a couple weeks ago:

This afternoon, we had Fika. We haven’t done Fika very consistently for a while but I want to start being more consistent again. We kept it pretty low key since we aren’t studying any particular countries this month. The kids and I made chocolate zucchini muffins (practiced reading and following a recipe) and I also made a little fruit and vegetable tray with apple slices, carrot sticks, cucumber sticks, and cherry tomatoes. We had milk to drink.

I asked the kids to come prepared to share a few poems and also something that they have been reading/learning about lately. And they actually did! Even Roxanne had a few nursery rhymes that she wanted to recite to us. I shared some poems that I really like as well.

This experience reminded me that we really are moving forward and making progress. When we first started official homeschooling last fall, at our first few Fikas, I would ask the kids to bring a poem that they wanted to share. They would usually come up with something, but it was just quickly picked from a random poetry book or something. They didn’t really feel attached to that poem, it was more out of “assignment” than genuine desire and love.

But now that we have been making poetry a bigger part of our family culture, they have come to genuinely love it a lot more than they used to. They enjoyed sharing the poems that they each personally like and they listened quietly and respectfully (not always the case) while I read the poems that I have been collecting for myself because they speak to me personally.

After the eating portion of Fika, we went into the living room and all snuggled on the couch as I read and we looked at My Book of Delights (book 12). We read through the entire book and no one even complained (not usually the case) that it took a while. We were all just genuinely enjoying looking at the artwork and reading through the poems and short stories.


Our Morning Menus have been helping us a lot with memorizing poems together.  Since starting this in May we have memorized 3 poems together.  



April 3:

During Evelyn’s quiet one morning in April, she decided to write a poem.  Since she’s still learning how to write, she just came up with it in her head and drew pictures of the different parts. Then she walked around the schoolroom and memorized the poem that she wrote.


Mom was really impressed! This is my first poem.


I Want to be Like Jesus      By Evelyn Lopez

Jesus wants me to be kind,

To love, and share, and to care.

Because He knows when my life ends,

I will always be His little friend.


Evelyn made up another poem a few weeks later.  It’s about her crew (her lego guys).  haha.


The kids have memorized a handful of other poems as well over the past several months.


For even more about Poetry for warming the heart, this is a great resource.

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