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Poppy Fields
Lucy Lombardi

There’s something about wildflowers that puts us Californians in a frenzy. We cram in cars for hours and drive for hundreds of miles to walk amongst them and capture them in a two-by-two-inch square. So much so that towns are declaring a “poppy apocalypse” because we just can’t help ourselves when it comes to a super bloom...

There’s something about wildflowers that puts us Californians in a frenzy. We cram in cars for hours and drive for hundreds of miles to walk amongst them and capture them in a two-by-two-inch square. So much so that towns are declaring a “poppy apocalypse” because we just can’t help ourselves when it comes to a super bloom.

But as poppies and selfies create a “Flowergeddon,” it’s important to remember that there are other ways of capturing beauty in a way that lasts. The month of April is not only famous for its flowers, but it also happens to be National Poetry Month. And poetry presents a perfect partner to the poppy, or any other flower.  Wordsworth, for example, writes of the daffodil: “Ten thousand saw I at a glance,/Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.” It’s fun to imagine the lemon-yellow heads of springtime daffodils bobbing in the crisp air, dancing to the song of a slight breeze.

What I love best about teaching poetry is that students bring their individual perspectives and their own way of capturing what they see, feel, and experience. A poem is a type of selfie, really, and one that asks the speaker to interact with the world using words rather than a press of the thumb onto a screen. And -- bonus! -- poetry is easy to incorporate into daily life.

Use the opportunity of our local blooms to inspire your kids to see the world through the lens of poetry. Try one tomorrow as you enter the Crane parking lot and take in the happy orange poppies that line our drive. A haiku is a treat for all ages and is an easy place to start, and writing one can be a family affair! Work together to snap up that moment using flowers as your inspiration and poetry as your canvas.

Let’s celebrate both wildflowers and poetry this month with our kids. Hike local trails, such as Rattlesnake Canyon Trail in Santa Barbara or Franklin Trail in Carpinteria. Or simply go for a stroll on the Douglas Family Preserve with your dog. All are sure to offer picturesque views, bountiful flowers, and perfect opportunities for poetic revelations.

Lucy Lombardi
Upper School English Teacher

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