“Did anyone bring a sandwich for lunch today?” Nelson poet Jane Byers asked the South Nelson Grade 4/5 class on Thursday morning.
“What’s sandwich? How did that word start? For a piece of bread with something in between? Think about that: what’s that word all about?”
According to Byers, that’s where she starts when she sits down to write a poem, like the ones published in her collection Steeling Effects. She then invited the students to try for themselves.
“Think of a word like apple or cake or pizza. Now I want you to think about all the things you know about that word that you’ve written down — and no checking the Internet or anything like that. I want you write down all the things that are in your brain about that word.”
The students then got to work, while she went from desk to desk checking on their progress.