13 Ways…

In isolation, the world has both sped up and wound down. It asks us to look at things differently, how we socialize, how we shop, how we communicate. Perhaps we have time to examine our lives more carefully.

In celebration of National Poetry Month, and as a challenge to slow down and settle into mindfulness, why not try to write a 13 Ways to Look at Something Poem.

Stretch your imagination.


Begin by reading Wallace Stevens’ poem, “13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird” where he tackled the challenge of coming up with 13 different ways to describe one object. While the language may be difficult for younger readers, the concept is accessible to all.

It simply involves finding an object and thinking of 13 or more different ways of looking at it! This enhances thinking skills while strengthening creativity.

The process is easy! Select an object. Select a spot to write and observe that object closely. Dream. Think. Be.

Brainstorm. Write down all of the ways you can think of to ‘see’ this object. A marshmallow might become a miniature trampoline, a candle a campfire.

Share your list. Choose the strongest 4 ideas and write a stanza to go with each.

Read, print, illustrate and photograph. Maybe even select a topic such as 13 ways to look an a grandmother or an uncle, create a card and send it!

Above all, I hope you discover another way to create and enjoy the written word!

Below is a poem written by grade 6 student Charlie Yin. He used a candle for inspiration.


4 Ways to Look at a Candle…

As a campfire that keeps you warm in all cases.

Like the middle of a volcano burbling with lava bubbles.

Like a sauna, so hot that all the coldness is zapped out of your body.

So warm it’s like sand, burning your feet on a beach day.


It’s like an unlimited flare, hot, red and glowing.

It glows like a lantern then blows towards the sky like fireworks.

A signal reminding people to come and help you,

When you are in danger.


It’s very useful and handy.

An everyday thing kept in drawers and pockets.

You can watch how it melts and dream of ice cream.

Then let it light your way to the refrigerator.



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