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Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Evidence that Fran can celebrate World Poetry Day seriously without one reference to dead frogs

To celebrate World Poetry Day on Wednesday, I thought I'd post something a bit more ... well ... poetic, than the usual drivel.  And offer you a challenge.


This is one of my favourite poetry exercises and I've used it with adults and schoolchildren.  You write about people/relationships by comparing them to various things to create extended metaphors.  


1. Think of a person/relationship you would like to write about.


2. Ask yourself the question: If this  person were an animal/piece of clothing/piece of technology/building, what kind would they be?  Why?  What are the similarities?  Make some notes.


3. Now form your main ideas into a short poem.  


Here are some of my own efforts. 






Animal

He gathers food for winter in dark places,
scurrying between cupboards to check progress,
dropping nuts and seeds in his agitation.
He glances backwards, quickly, 
sniffing the air for thieves.





Clothing

She is hairshirt.
The sweater with the scratchy label.
The skirt that clings and crackles.
The shoes that rub feet to weeping.



Technology

We blank out on each other,
snap error messages until we’re exhausted,
press each other’s wrong buttons.
Then we can’t get back to where we were.




Building

Just when I think I know where I am
I visit her, and she has built another skyscraper,
a tower that blocks out the light.
The dust on her lounge furniture
sticks in my throat.





Why not have a go yourself and post one as a comment?

8 comments:

  1. Shiny scarabs,
    crawling, hissing under pressure,
    the kind that will still dig through shit
    after the holocaust has struck.

    The animal is cockroaches; a paean to my workmates.

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    Replies
    1. That is a GOOD one. Love it. More than your workmates would.

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  2. The only thing close to poetry I can think of is:
    "I'm lucky I'm fishducky."
    Or, this one I wrote a few years ago:


    AN ODE TO BEING SEVENTY-THREE

    My legs are sore. I need a cane.
    My body has gone quite insane.
    My breasts were perky as a song.
    My bra size now is 40-Long.

    I cannot hear. I cannot see.
    I have to pee. Oh, woe is me!
    My body’s fat. My skin is thin.
    I do not like the shape I’m in.

    I cough–I cough until I choke.
    I’m going out to have a smoke.
    My bones are brittle, I fear my fate.
    I’m liable to disintegrate.

    My memory now seems to have gone.
    Who is that standing on my lawn?
    It’s my husband Bud–or is his name Paul?
    I thought he died–I can’t recall.

    The thermometer says it’s 63.
    I don’t know why it lies to me.
    I can’t stop sweating–watch me pour.
    My body says it’s 104.

    My joints creak and pop so bad
    I’m like a steel drum from Trinidad.
    Leg cramps woke me again last night.
    Why is my skin so loose and my muscles tight?

    My health is iffy. I may not thrive.
    But life is good–and I’m still alive!
    And yet I wonder more and more
    What I’ll be like at seventy-four!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Very funny! Love the '40-long' bra size line. Classic.

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  4. Nope, I still can't write a poem . But you can .

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  5. Gosh: homework! But I can't compete either.

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  6. Clothing

    Attractive enough to hold a place on the hook
    but when it's hot it clings
    when it's cold it offers little warmth
    not really my style or size since mid-life spread
    why can't I toss it out, why?

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    Replies
    1. I really like that. A lovely bitterness to it.

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