Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Limerick, A Limerick, A Limerick!!

Here's another poetry form for April' "Poetry Month" ~ Have fun!!

A Limerick is a rhymed humorous or nonsense poem of five lines which originated in Limerick, Ireland. The most commonly heard first line of a limerick starts with: "There once was a man from ___________."

The Man From Aruba
There once was a man from Aruba,
Whose favorite hobby was scuba.
Every day he would wish,
He could spear a big fish.
But settled instead for canned tuna.         
                         © 2005 Jim Dupy

The Limerick has a set rhyming scheme of: A-A-B-B-A (meaning lines ENDING in “A” must rhyme with each other and lines ENDING in “B” must rhyme with each other) and with a syllable pattern of: 9-9-6-6-9. OR, perhaps more common is: 8-8-5-5-8. (See details per line below) and some limericks even mix it up a little.

Line 1 – “a” – 8 or 9 syllables
Line 2 – “a” – 8 or 9 syllables
Line 3 – “b” – 5 or 6 syllables
Line 4 – “b” – 5 or 6 syllables
Line 5 – “a” – 8 or 9 syllables

Here is a rather famous limerick with the pattern "sounded out" underneath each line (written in blue) ~ the number of "DUMS" is the important part ~ also notice the rhyming pattern A-A-B-B-A:

There was an old man from Peru, (A)
da DUM da da DUM da da DUM (3 DUMS)
who dreamed he was eating his shoe. (A)
da DUM da da DUM da da DUM (3 DUMS)
He awoke in the night (B)
da DUM da da DUM (2 DUMS)
with a terrible fright, (B)
da da DUM da da DUM (2 DUMS)
and found out that it was quite true. (A)
da DUM da da DUM da da DUM (3 DUMS)

It’s rather “sing-songy” so just play around with it and then check to be sure the correct lines end in rhymes and that you have the correct number of syllables. It’s tricky, but very fun!!

Here you can see me PLOTTING out my new little limerick:
Six-year-old granddaughter, Taylor,
da DUM da da DUM da da DUM
Amazing piano player.
da DUM da da DUM da da DUM
A song she will hear
da DUM da da DUM                    
Then play it by ear,
da DUM da da DUM
So pretty, I’ll have to pay her!
da DUM da da DUM da da DUM

Here is the finished version: 

The Piano Player 
Six-year-old granddaughter, Taylor,
Amazing piano player.
A song she will hear               
Then play it by ear,
So pretty, I’ll have to pay her!

                        © 2012 Stephanie Abney

And,  here’s the one I wrote last year:

The Poetry Fest
Stephanie had a poetry fest
Encouraging friends to do their best
“Write a poem each day,
I’ll show you the way.”
“At the end of the month we will rest!

                       © 2011 Stephanie Abney

Monday, April 9, 2012

"All About Me"

Here’s a fun little poem I think you will enjoy – I do believe poetry comes from the heart – but there is more than one way to reach into your heart. Questioning is always helpful in finding things out. Sometimes, when we answer questions, we find things out about ourselves we had not given much thought to before. So, this poem is called "All About Me" ~ just answer the questions and voila’ ~ you've created a poem!! Pretty cool and tonz’ of fun, especially with kids.

The “All About Me” poem can be deep and insightful or fun and silly. You can do it over and over, answering the questions from a different perspective. Enjoy!!

Here is the format:
Line 1: Your first name only __________________
Line 2: Four adjectives that describe you ________
Line 3: Sibling of ___________________________
Line 4: Lover of ____________________________
Line 5: Who fears __________________________
Line 6: Who needs _________________________
Line 7: Who gives __________________________
Line 8: Who would like to see _________________
Line 9: Resident of __________________________
Line 10: Last Name _________________________

Here’s mine:
Happy, curious, loyal, creative
Sibling of Camille
Lover of life, the Lord, Jim, my kids, grandkids, my friends and nature
Who fears not getting the really important things done
Who needs understanding and lots of books
Who gives the best she has to offer
Who would like to see everyone get along
Resident of the universe

 Okay, now it’s YOUR TURN!! Have fun!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Let's swtich places to an "If I Were" poem

OK, so yesterday we did an "If YOU Were" poem - today, let's switch places and try an "If I Were" poem. It's a pretty easy "fill-in-the blanks" style of poetry that is quite fun. Enjoy!! 
These are simple and fun. Just use your imagination and fill in the blanks:
If I were a __________________,
I’d _____________________ and
I’d _____________________ and
I’d ________________________.
I’d be ______________________.

The possibilities are endless. So, for what it's worth, this is last year's poem - don't be mad at me - busy weekend ahead - we're having a family reunion - so this poem isn't great and I'm NOT going to sign my name to it -  just an EXAMPLE - can't wait to see what you all come up with.

If I were a new little kitten,
I’d drink my mother’s milk and
I’d chase my tail in circles and
I’d purr in your lap while I slept.
I’d be content.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Let's try a "If You Were" poem

“If YOU Were” poem
This is a fun little poem that is actually a quatrain (4 lines) in which the last sound of lines 2 and 4 rhyme. It also has two metaphors (remember, a “metaphor” is a figure of speech in which a term or phrase is applied to something to which it is not literally applicable in order to draw a comparison). It is not the same as a simile. A simile uses the word like or as in order to make a comparison, whereas metaphors use is or are. So if you say “If I were” or “If you were” and named the thing (noun), it is a metaphor.
A simile: Your hair is like golden flax.

A metaphor: Your hair is golden flax.
So, there’s a little grammar lesson for ya’ – sorry, it’s the teacher in me. OK, back to the instructions: one metaphor is for the “I” part of the poem and the other metaphor is for the “you” part of the poem.
Here are some instructions taken from Charles Ghinga’s site (with his permission - he gave me permission last year - I'm assuming he's still okay with sharing his wonderful link) – I suggest you GO TO HIS SITE for more details and other fun stuff pertaining to poetry: Giggle Poetry Class with Charles Ghinga
Instructions: Think of a person you like. Compare that person to some thing (inanimate object). Now compare yourself to some thing associated with the first object.
Here's a couple that I tried to write:
If you were a king
And I were a queen,
We'd live in a castle,
Ya' know what I mean?

If you were the sand
And I were the sea,
I'd ebb up so very close,
And whisper, "Come away with me."

Yeah - they're not that great but go to the link above and get some good ideas and try it out for yourself. (I never promised to be any good at all of these - just willing to give it a try). Now ... it's YOUR turn!! Have fun!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Kids' Poetry & Fractured Nursery Rhymes

Are we having fun yet? Isn’t that what kids always want to know? I think poetry with and for kids is TONZ’ of fun. As a mom, grandmother and former teacher I think poetry really resonates with children. They come up with the most amazing poetry. So, for today – I’m going to give you some resources about where to find kids’ poetry, help with teaching it or just encouraging your own child to write it and also give you some links to places that can help you write poetry for kids. When all of that is done… we will create a poem from one of the many styles that kids love. 

So, if you think you want to know any of the above – continue reading… if you just want the poem form for today … scroll on down to get it. Either way, enjoy!!
OK, first, poems for kids. There are so many writers out there that specialize in writing poems for kids. Just do a search and see for yourself so I’m only going to highlight two or three.
First off, is Charles Ghigna ~ often referred to as “Father Goose” because his poetry for kids is so prolific and so much fun. He is an award-winning author of over 5,000 poems and 50 books for kids. Pretty amazing! Plus, he’s a really nice guy. Check out his website: Father Goose: Children's Author & Poet
Charles Ghigna also offers a very helpful blog - especially for our 30 poems in 30 days: How to Write a Poem: Tips on Tapping into the Magic of Your Muse

Another fun kids’ author, Katie Davis, is celebrating National Poetry Month by hosting a guest author every day on her blog: Katie Davis ~ you’ll want to stop by there every day to see what’s up. (Yesterday’s guest was Gail Carson Levine, author of Ella Enchanted and numerous other books). Gail Carson Levine
Here’s a site you’ll want to bookmark: Poetry 4 Kids, known as Kenn Nesbitt’s Poetry Playground. You’ll find all kinds of help there; lots of links and lots of fun. 
You can do a search to find more links!! 
In order to do this one, chose a familiar nursery rhyme, notice the rhyming pattern and start changing a few words in order to make it funny. So, don't laugh but here's my sample:

Pussycat, pussycat, where have you been?
I've been to London to visit the Queen.
Pussycat, pussycat, what did you there?
I frightened a little mouse under her chair.

Pussycat, pussycat, where have you been?
Well, if you must know, I’m dating the hen
Pussycat, pussycat, what did you there?
We danced 'til her feathers flew everywhere.

You can check out Kenn’s site for some good advice on this. He suggests for “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” – How about “Ride, Ride, Ride Your Bike,” or “Pet, Pet, Pet Your Cat?” Here’s the link to his ideas: How to write a fractured nursery rhyme
He gives these 3 basic steps:
  1. Pick a poem or song LIST OF NURSERY RHYMES
  2. Find the words that rhyme
  3. Choose new rhyming words to make a new poem or song
Here’s my next attempt:
Jack, be nimble,
Jack, be quick,
Jack, jump over
The candlestick.
Jack, be helpful,
Jack, be kind,
Jack, if you’re not,
I’ll spank your behind.

Oh dear – let’s hope you all do better than I.  Have fun!!!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Ever heard of a "Poetweet?"

Short and Simple: "Poetweet" (AND VERY TRICKY)!!

Our ever-changing digital age continues to create new modes of communication. Have you encountered “poetweets” yet? It you are on Twitter then you most likely have but if you haven’t ventured into Twitter Land yet (and I still haven’t), then it might me new to you

What I love about limited poetry (those that are specific as to the number of words or syllables you can you use) is that they force us to “tighten things up.” The surprising thing is that, usually, when you manage to say what you mean with fewer words, it packs a lot more power. 
A fun little aside (if you happen to live in NYC) is that the mayor’s office of New York is hosting its third annual Twitter poetry "Poetweet" contest as part of National Poetry Month so if you live there, go to the mayor’s website and check it out. In fact, no matter where you live, scout around and see what kinds of similar things might be going on in your neck of the woods.

According to the “Urban Dictionary” a “poetweet” is a form of poetry which consists of exactly 140 characters. There is no reference to rhyme or rhythm, only 140 characters exactly. All words must be spelled out, no short cuts such as "ur" for "you are" or "b4" for "before." And definitely no "lol"! Normal contractions are allowed.

Here’s the example of a poetweet offered in the “Urban Dictionary”: Of all the sights I see, there is none so beautiful as your shadow. Knowing you're near, and the sun is shining is enough for me. Beautiful.
Here’s my attempt:
Surrounded by grandchildren, all vying for attention. One on my lap, one sits beside me and one waits patiently. Feels like I am in heaven!!
                   © 2012 by Stephanie Abney 
The TRICKIEST part is getting 140 characters (with spaces) EXACTLY – have fun!! See ya’ tomorrow. YOUR TURN!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

National Poetry Month - Let's Write Poetry

Hopefully you know that April is “National Poetry Month” and last year I described a poetry form, posted an example and gave you a challenge to write your own. We had so much fun so it. I hope you fill your month with poetry but I may not post a poetry challenge every day this time. You can always go back to the April posts from 2011 for ideas if you want to. Life is so busy around here these days that it's hard to say how many posts I'll get to this month. But, it's all good!! 
Try to write a poem a day -- (or even just a thought, a blog, whatever) - but there are SO MANY KINDS OF POETRY out there, that we could easily write a DIFFERENT style of poem each day. I’ve done this with my creative writing students and it was a blast! It was amazing to see what they came up with. 

I thought it might be fun to post any poems I come up with here on my blog - you are welcome to do the same in the comments (or fire up your own blog)! Everyone should remember common courtesy - if someone writes something/anything - THEY ALSO OWN THE COPYRIGHT TO IT THE MOMENT THEY WRITE IT - so don't go using something you read here that someone else has written unless you give them proper recognition (and better yet, seek their permission to use it). Always include the name of the author of any story, poem, blog post or anything that you share. Thanks. [Drives me crazy when I read something wonderful that is flying through everyone's email and no one bothered to include the author's name]. :)

Feel free to share your creations. You might really surprise yourself!!
FYI ~ do a search and find out what’s happening in your neck of the woods or simply, what’s happening online.
Since I live in AZ ~ this one interests me (although it’s the same weekend as our family reunion so I can’t go but some of you other AZ folks might make it):

I’ll feature other poets and their blogs and/or websites as we go along and if you just want some basic info or some fun ideas and resources on National Poetry Month, go here:
So, this will be fun!!! WHO'S IN????

Let’s write a couplet:  Let’s start with a couplet like we did last year just because it’s late and they are short and sweet. Here is the form for a couplet:
A couplet is a two-lined verse. Both lines rhyme and usually have a rhythm to them.
Try expressing your complete thought in two mid-sized poetic lines. The last words should rhyme. It can be spiritual or silly – couplets are great to write for children or with children.

It is possible to string a bunch of couplets together to create a longer poem, but for our first day – just try one 2-line couplet.
Here’s a couple that I wrote as an example: 
Writing this little assignment
Puts my nose out of alignment.
                               © 2011 by Stephanie Abney

Turning, twirling, all around,
The music stops and we sit down.
                               © 2012 by Stephanie Abney

Did you think of a couplet? Just look around and think on an object or an emotion and give it a shot!! YOUR TURN!!!!