Kitchen Sink Poetry

So excited to kick off the Party with a post that speaks for all the Bliss Habits from homeschooling guru  and Merrymaker Jamie McMillin. You may remember her guest post How to Help Your Kids Find their Passion. She is back today with a post that will inspire anyone interested in injecting a little bliss into their life!

Jamie has also been generous to include a copy of her book Legendary Learning as a give away for the party. Tune in at the end of the post to see how you can win this marvelous prize! Take it away Jamie!


Just above my kitchen sink, and below the windowsill, are three dishwater-splattered bits of poetry, taped to the wall. One is a passage from Shakespeare’s “AMidsummer Night’s Dream” (“Lovers and madmen have such seething brains . . .”).One is from Walt Whitman (“Oh give me the splendid silent sun . . .”) and the other is “The Kraken” by Lord Alfred Tennyson (“Below the thunders of the upper deep . . .”).

I’ve been hanging poetry here for years, changing them out with the seasons or sometimes every month. My kids always look forward to a fresh display of poems to read while washing dishes. It gives them something whimsical to think about, to recite out loud, and sometimes memorize.

For me, the poems help me get outside myself and think about something bigger and better. It is so true that if we want to change anything about ourselves, we have to first change the quality of our thoughts. Sometimes it’s so hard to think joyful or serene thoughts when a never-ending-to-do list is spiraling through our heads. We may have the best of intentions, but real life and old habits are always there, waiting to take over when we lose heart.

That’s why we need reminders. Poems help us remember how vast, yet connected, this world really is. We can read about storms, shipwrecks, howling wolves, daffodils, lovers, journeys, owls and pussycats; and behind all those characters is a truth that the poet has found for us, if we take the time to see it. Those truths will find their way into your backbone and give you a sense of courage and perspective that you never knew before.

Why not let poet Mary Oliver help you remember joy? Or Maya Angelou teach you moxie? Or Emily Dickinson show you humility?

Let Shel Silverstein or Dr. Seuss or Lewis Carroll help you with whimsy (plus the kids will love it). Shakespeare and countless others can model creativity and romance.

The important thing is to choose poems YOU like. Everyone resonates with different styles. My favorite poems might drive you crazy. That’s OK. Just start searching for your first three poems. Find the ones that tickle you, print them out or copy out by hand, and hang them up!

Remember to change your poems regularly so they don’t get stale. Read them while your hands are busy scrubbing. Say them out loud. Listen to the words. Try to memorize a few of your favorite verses. You will see how a little bit of poetry can make all the difference in the quality of your thoughts.


Thank you Jamie. I just love this idea!

Now on to the giveaway!

Legendary Learning eBook by Jamie McMillin

Legendary Learning: The Famous Homeschoolers’ Guide to Self-Directed Excellence is a book for any parent who wants to think beyond test scores, college admission, and social conventions. Based on the same techniques used by Thomas Edison, Teddy Roosevelt, Agatha Christie, Louis Armstrong, and other famous homeschoolers, parents will be inspired to break free of boring, unleash their child’s unique creative genius, cultivate determination, and create an authentic atmosphere of learning.

How to win this fabulous giveaway!

1. Leave a comment about Jamie’s Kitchen Sink Poetry idea here on this post

Bonus Entries:

2. In a separate comment tell us why you’d like to win Jamie’s terrific book

3. Stop by the blog post “Using Mind Maps to Get Your Head Straight.” and leave a comment there.

4. Tweet the following:

I just entered to win@JamieMcMillin1 ‘s Legendary Learning ebook in the #BlissHabits Blogversary-apolooza

Do all four and you have four chances to win!
Winner will be selected at random from all entries received by 5:00pm Pacific time, Friday, May 18, 2012

This contest has closed! Congratulations to  Tania Dakka!

Check out the completer Blogversary-apolooza giveaway list and learn how you can double your chances!!

Good Luck!!

13 thoughts on “Kitchen Sink Poetry

  1. Sheila says:

    I like the idea of reciting poetry and picking out some to hang up while you work. I love poetry and will try this. Thank you

  2. I love the kitchen sink poetry idea. I already have a quote behind my coffee maker to inspire me. I also like the idea of changing/putting new ones up because we tend to stop paying attention after a while.

  3. I would love, love, love to win the book because I am a newbie in the homeschooling world. My daughter is almost 6 so we are just completing our first “official” year of homeschooling. I lean towards unschooling and this sounds like it would be a great resource. Thanks for the generous give-away!

  4. Alex says:

    I would love a copy of this book, as I am planning on homeschooling my son and looking for fun and fresh ideas to get and hold his attention and inspire his creativity.

  5. Efsun Alper says:

    I really like the idea of kitchen sink poetry. I love drifting off to fantastical places, but as you said, my mind hovers around to do lists instead. Before kids, I used to do theatrical monologues during chores all the time (I am/was an actor). I can do it again. Wonderful!

  6. Efsun Alper says:

    Thanks also for the giveaway. I have been very curious about homeschooling, since our daughter will be starting Kindergarten in the fall. We may not be able to homeschool her, but we are always interested in learning ways to keep her curiosity and love of learning alive.

  7. Regina says:

    I really like this Idea for introducing poetry into your life and it’s a nice way to decorate the kitchen cabinets:)

  8. Regina says:

    I would love to win this ebook. It sounds fascinating and I am always looking to improve my teaching of my children. Perhaps you’ve found the great theory of everything for education!

  9. And in my separate comment, I’d love to win her ebook since now I know more about it! I’m not a homeschooler in the strict sense of the word, but more of a supplementalschooler. We have a lot of education that doesn’t occur in the classroom and I try to teach my kids to love learning and to make it part of who they are. I’d love to see what Jami has to say about self direction! PLEASE! 😀

  10. Noelle says:

    The world can certainly use more poetry! And more frequent reminders of sublime. Your idea of Kitchen Sink Poetry is awesome.
    Oh…and I tweeted. Thanks for the giveaway.

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