Wednesday, February 24, 2010

An Old Movie, A New Poem

Crows on the Playground (for my students) This is dramatic irony. We know what she does not— the crow, the horrid hop, claws on the jungle gym. She is dazed, pale of complexion. Fetching in her green suit, But facing the wrong direction. We see the murderous bunch converge in hibbeldy-hobbeldy disarray while she worries that cigarette away. Then one errant raven grabs her eye, and all irony ends. She flees for the steps and yes, this will be on your test. The ACT, too. Hey— What's that behind you?

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Literary Haiku

Following is part of my final exam in English III. My students had to match the literary work with its description, which I wrote in haiku form. See if you can do it!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Acrostic Poem


Always looking for
A seat in the back of the
Room. Quiet. Not afraid
Of being forgotten. Shy, even.
Nervous where more than three are gathered.

But alone,
Reading, thinking, I am
Almighty, alchemical,
Magical, maybe, turning
Even these words into gold.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Another List Poem

Things That Are Yellow

Big Bird is yellow.
So is lemon pie;
A stray cat’s eye

The nine ball is white
With a yellow stripe
Ditto the yellow light

That bathes my street at night.
The sunshine at 4 P.M.
In July is yellow

The crazy lady’s wallpaper
That made her go nuts
And worried so her fellow--
It wasn’t beige or scarlet;
It was yellow.

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Hardest 26 Words You'll Ever Write

Another great writing assignment is a "Thoughtful Alphabet." A thoughtful alphabet is exactly 26 words long. I bet if you look hard, you'll be able to figure out the parameters of this assignment. (I stole this idea from Edward Gorey, whose work is always worth a search.)

Thoughtful Alphabet #1

Always Be Creative.
Don't Ever Fade.
Greet Homeless Individuals.
Justify Kids' Laughter.
Make No Open Prohibitions.
Rest Sundays.
Turn Under Visions While eXacerbating Your Zeal.

I assigned this to my eighth graders one year, and my favorite response began "Aaron Brame Can Destroy Everybody Fastly." He got an A.

Write a List Poem

Writing a list poem is the easiest way to jump-start your creativity and get yourself writing poetry. To complete one, just create a category and make a list that completes that category. Possible ideas are "Things That Are Yellow" or "Items in My Backpack." Below is one of my own poems, entitled "Sounds That Drive Me Crazy."

Sounds That Drive Me Crazy

My neighbor's truck growling
on a Saturday, 9 A.M.
The front door squeaking shut,
the T.V. too loud in the den.

Bottles clinking on the dryer
the clock ticking on the wall.
Back-to-school sale commercials
reminding me it's almost fall.

The cat scratching under the bed
the urgent ringing of my phone
The empty sound of a silent house
when I come home, all alone.