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National Poetry Day

The Poets
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Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.51

     challenging words:    billowy, choker, cinquain, forthcoming, melodic, middle-aged, puka, sneaker-sandals, tie-dyed, convention, redhead, spontaneous, bouquet, haiku, countryside, clean-shaven
     content words:    National Poetry Day, Lydia Laroche, Kathy Jean Landrum, Cooper Merrick, Emily Jackson, Solemn Mr
The Poets

By Brenda B. Covert
1     Three poets met at a poets' convention on National Poetry Day. Little place cards with their names inscribed in calligraphy revealed their assigned table. It was astonishing to see how different they were.
2     The first poet was a middle-aged woman with long red hair, which was obviously dyed. She wore a billowy, white poet's blouse and a blue ribbon choker. Her pale blue skirt was floor length. She wore silver sandals and a silver toe ring. Around her wrist was a silver charm bracelet from which hearts and flowers dangled. She looked as if she should be perched in a windowsill overlooking the English countryside with a pad of paper in her lap. Her place card gave her name as Lydia Laroche, although her birth certificate disclosed the name of Kathy Jean Landrum.
3     The second poet was tall and thin, in his 20s, and dressed in black. His dark hair hung low over brooding eyes. He was clean-shaven and had a small mouth that couldn't possibly smile. He looked as if he were expecting the world to come to an end at any moment. His gaze rested on the redhead critically before he turned to study several other poets who were seated close by. They were chattering animatedly, and it seemed to pain him to listen to them. He turned to stare at his place card. The handwritten calligraphy made his name, Cooper Merrick, seem too pretty.
4     The third poet had the dew of youth in her eyes. She approached the table wearing jeans and a tie-dyed T-shirt swirled with yellow, green, blue, and purple. Blue sneaker-sandals adorned her feet, and when she smiled, shiny braces were revealed. She pulled her chair out and sat down between the other two poets.
5     The youth admired her name on the fancy place card. Then she peered at the place cards of the other poets while fingering the puka shell necklace she wore. Next, she studied the large centerpiece. When no words of welcome were forthcoming, she decided to break the silence.
6     "So," she said in a determined-to-be-noticed voice, "how would you describe these flowers?"
7     Lydia seemed startled, but she quickly rose to the occasion.
8     "Like love, whose radiant beauty fills the room
9     As blossoms' sweet aroma, pleasing hues."
10     Cooper almost smirked. "With severed stems, vivid faces slowly droop, never more to feel the sun's warmth on their heads."
11     Emily Jackson raised her eyebrows and addressed Ms. Laroche first. "You write romantic English sonnets, don't you?" She smiled at the surprised look in Lydia's eyes, and then turned to face Mr. Merrick. "You're into doom and gloom free verse."
12     Lydia pursed her lips, eyes gleaming. "All right, young lady, let's hear your poetic description of the centerpiece."
13     Cooper leaned forward on one elbow, ready to upstage Lydia with his vast knowledge of poetry. "Go ahead, Emily, and show us what you can do with a few words strung together."

Paragraphs 14 to 40:
For the complete story with questions: click here for printable

National Poetry Day Math Printable
     National Poetry Day Math Problems

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