Personal Touches

One of the most touching layouts in my wedding scrapbook is a double page design filled with original poems written by family and friends. Granted, several of my family members are professional writers and a good chunk of my friends have careers in journalism, but you don’t have to be schooled in the world of prose in order to add a personal touch to a scrapbook page.

Heck, you don’t even have to be proficient in rhyming in order to pen a poem that will make an impact on someone’s life. One of the easiest ways to spice up an ordinary scrapbook layout is to add colorful words in the form of a narrative poem. Ballads are the most well-known type of narrative poems. Their classic stanza form and use of repetition make them popular with people of all ages. To write a narrative poem all you need to do is recount an event, and then share it using traditional storytelling techniques, making sure you have a clear beginning, middle and end.

For those who lack time to pen a long poem, consider experimenting with haiku. The ancient form of Japanese poetry features just 17 syllables divided among three lines. The first line contains 5 syllables, the second line has 7 syllables, and the third line includes 5 syllables. While most haiku-type poems typically use nature as their inspiration, you can select any topic and place it into the simple format. Avid scrapbooker Rosie O’Donnell once revealed on her now defunct daytime talk show that she wrote one haiku a day and added it to individual layouts in her children’s memory books.

When it comes to including poems in a scrapbook layout, my personal favorite are acrostic types. The prose is formed by writing a word or phrase vertically on a page, for instance, a name, like Justin. You would then use the individual letters in the name to inspire a line describing your subject. For example, the “J” in Justin could yield the following: “Just the person I want to see when I am having a bad day.” Acrostic poems are so easy to write, you could even get your kids to help come up with whimsical or touching lines.

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.