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Oh Little Dipper

Little Dipper
Above the children’s houses,
Are you gonna
Scoop out the dreams
From their little heads
And share them
With God?

Are you gonna pour in
Patience and passion
So they can pursue them
From start
To glorious finish?

Oh Little Dipper,
Are you gonna dip yourself
In the lake nearby —
Fill the clouds
With nourishing rain,
So the children can see flowers
bloom and leaves appear,

So they can know
Without a doubt
That the universe’s purpose
Is life, filled
With beauty
And goodness
And wonder?

With symbols and signs,
A few well-placed
Points of light,

To hang above our houses
And guide us on
Journeys afar
And then back
Home again.

Review Request (Intensity): 
I appreciate moderate constructive criticism
Review Request (Direction): 
What did you think of my title?
How was my language use?
What did you think of the rhythm or pattern or pacing?
How was the beginning/ending of the poem?
Editing stage: 


I will admit this is not my type of poem in terms of theme, but it is certainly endearing and I can appreciate that. I hope this feedback is still useful even though the poem isn't in my comfort zone. I'll try to focus on the review request questions to give me guidance.

The title is perfect for harking back to traditional odes, this one being an ode to the Little Dipper and also gives a lullaby feel, perfect for the theme of humankind's' long relationship with watching and learning from the stars.

The ending of journeying afar, growing in the process, and coming back home different, but better, and safe and loved, is crucial to children's literature, (look at Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, etc). It's just as important a lesson for the child as it is for the parent reading to the child who dreads the day their babies will grow up. Christopher Clausen's "Home and Away in Children's Fiction" all about this topic (if it is a topic you are invested in) if you can get ahold of it. Here's an excerpt:

The "seems like a lullaby but important for the parents too" feeling I am getting also shows throughout the poem because we usually don't go all the way as to talking about the "universe's purpose" with little ones when they are at the age of needing a lullaby. We will teach them about the importance of being kind and patient and loving, but we wait for them to get older before we reveal that that's the reason we're here, to make the world a little better than when we arrived.

Since you've used all capitals at the beginning of each line like a lot of traditional forms, I will point out that you missed it on the line that starts with "bloom". I'm not sure if that was intentional or not.

I would also like to ask about "glorious finish". Do you mean the finish of the pursuit of patience and passion, or do you mean the end of life, or some other finish? And if so, why "glorious"?

Take care,

Advocates Coordinator

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Thanks, Kelsey! Yours was a really encouraging post. Thanks for taking the time, for leaving your comfort zone, to make the connection. That you thought it was "endearing" is a high and meaningful compliment to me. I enjoy writing things that both kids and adults can get something out of. Though like you said, some things go over kids' heads. I appreciate that you picked up both on the home theme and the stars as a guide theme. Like you described, stars have been such a big part of human history and our trajectory or understanding of life and where we're going. (I'll have to come back to the book you referenced. Thanks for sharing that!) I actually meant "glorious finish" in the sense of accomplishing a dream, but I really like the idea of a glorious finish to a life as well. Glorious is perhaps a word that's less in use these days. It captures for me something grand, beautiful, penultimate. Triumphant could have been another word choice, an appropriate synonym, though also not the most common these days. Lol. Your post helps me see that I'm accomplishing, at least in this poem, a little bit of what I'm setting out to accomplish. I look forward to checking out your stuff. Thanks again for your words! greg

author comment

With your explanation of accomplishing a dream, glorious sounds perfect. I get it now!


Advocates Coordinator

Critique, don't comment.

To see our learning resources, click the "Curated Resources" link under the Resources tab in the top menu bar.

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