10. Get inspired.
Think of an anecdote or personal trait that makes this person special to you and write it down.
Example: For the grandfather of a bar mitzvah boy who passed away very recently, the notes that could be written about him are as follows:
He was Irish, Catholic, not Jewish. He was so proud of the man David was becoming. He lived in Florida and made David feel safe in Florida by telling him that his home was really David’s Florida home so David never missed his Florida home. He was a baker, he used to make bread on the kitchen table without a bowl, he made a lake in the middle of the flour. There has to be something David remembers him making bread with the lake on the table. The candle will be lit by Grandpa’s brother, Uncle Frank and Aunt Marianne. This is the first family to meet without him.
With a little work you can turn it into this:
My grandfather whom I love so dear
He passed away recently, but I know he’s close
His was my second home in Florida, this I know
He told me how proud he was as he watched me grow
Grandpa was a baker and the bread he always made
With flour on the table, in the center he made a lake
This candle is to honor him, that has been my plan
Please come light it up with me, Uncle Frank and Aunt Marianne.
9. Make poems of 4 to 8 lines.
Too few will be difficult to get your message across and too many can bore your audience.
8. Try to keep each poem the same length.
You don’t want Grandma to be upset because she got 4 lines when Uncle Bill got 8.
7. If you are having trouble finding a word that rhymes with another word, you can choose a different word (such as choosing “excellent” instead of “good” or “sweet” instead of “nice”) or try going to http://www.rhymezone.com/
It’s a great online rhyming dictionary that is useful for those words that are difficult to rhyme.
6. Try to make the first line rhyme with the second line and the third line should rhyme with the fourth line.
It is an AABBCCDD pattern that makes it easy to read and find a rhyming word.
5. If you know who you want to call to light the candle, find a word that rhymes with their name.
With you as a family, I’m never alone … (and finish the line with) Come on, Uncle Bill and Aunt Joan.
4. An easy to use method is to find a last line that rhymes with the number it is in.
Grandma’s food always tastes like heaven
So go up to light candle number eleven.
3. There are some phrases that you can use for any poem, such as:
… I love you …
Come light candle number two.
“To my aunt and uncle, whom I really adore,
Please come up to light candle number four. “
Here’s an example of how you turn the notes you jot down into a poem. To Grandma & PopPop: Michael is their first and only grandson, he has slept there every Friday for the first 2 years of his life and still sleeps sometimes. They took him skiing for the first time when he was 4 years old, they take him to the movies, to play cards, whatever, they do it for him!
Turn it into:
There are two special people here that I love and adore.
I was introduced to skiing when I was four years old.
I’ve learned a lot from both of you about being a good friend.
Whether at the movies or playing cards, there are endless laughs
When I was little I stayed with them almost every Friday night.
Grandma & PopPop is number twelve, I would love your help to illuminate
2. If there is someone on the list that your family knows, but you don’t know that well, be sure to talk to their family and get an idea of who they are and why they are special.
For a very dear friend of Mom and Dad: JoAnn. Steven’s mother has known JoAnn since they were 6 years old and of course JoAnn has known Steven since birth. It helped the family a lot when mom and dad were getting divorced. She helped move them from Staten Island to New Jersey, she stayed there for 2 weeks to help them settle down. She is always there for mom, serious or funny … she is so much fun to be around her.
Turn it into:
This next candle is for a family friend who is always there for a solution.
She has known me since I was born and has known Mom since they were six years old.
From Staten Island to New Jersey, he helped us with our move.
Two weeks she kept us company, until we hit a beat
It’s always fun to be around, that’s why I’m such a fan
Please go up to sail eleven, Mommy’s dear friend, JoAnn.
1. When in doubt, see a professional who will write your poems for you and allow you to focus on all the other things you have to do when you become a bar or bat mitzvah. Visit me at http://www.thepoemlady.com Or email [email protected]. I will write candlelight poems based on the information you provide. I also help select the songs and make everything effortless. The poems are sweet and funny. You can even print them out and roll them up on parchment and hand them over to the candle lighters when they show up so they can take your personalized poem home with them.
Most importantly, just remember to have fun and enjoy your special day.