Friday, May 16, 2008

Poetry on Demand: An Original Poem


I just finished writing this poem for Tricia’s Poetry Stretch - Six Words. You can find out about where Tricia got the idea for the six-word poem stretch at her post. You can read the Poetry Stretch Results here.

Here are the six words I used in my poem: bucket, candle, friend, hole, ocean, snake.


Poetry on Demand
By Elaine Magliaro

Our teacher explained the writing test:
“You must write a poem.
Your poem must contain the six words listed on the board:
bucket, candle, friend, hole, ocean, snake.
Your poem must make sense.
It must contain imagery and figurative language.
It must be finished by the end of this class period.”

When I heard the words You may begin,
I rolled my eyes and groaned.

Then I crawled out of my dark
hole
of desperation
and found a candle of hope
glowing in my imagination.
Grasping my pencil
like a best
friend
in an hour of need,
I let it snake
a trail across my paper.
As it slithered down the page…
it left poetic scenery behind:
an ocean of onomatopoeia,
a seashore of similes,
a meadow of metaphors,
a lovely landscape littered with alliteration.

I was inspired.
I was on a roll.
I was putting the final period on my paper
when I heard the class bell ring.
I skimmed through my poetic masterpiece
as the teacher strolled down the aisles
collecting our tests.
That’s when I realized
I hadn’t used the word bucket.
Aw, @*&# it!
**************************
At Blue Rose Girls, I have Happiness, a poem by the late Jane Kenyon.

Two Writing Teachers have the Poetry Friday Roundup.

12 comments:

Janet Wong said...

A perfect ending, Elaine...Made me laugh out loud!

Elaine Magliaro said...

Janet,

I had an easy time writing the poem with FIVE words. I just couldn't seem to fit the sixth word--bucket or scarecrow--into it. And I didn't feel like writing another poem--so I came back to the poem this morning. I reread it and decided I could make it work with bucket. I can just hear a kid muttering those words under his/her breath in such a situation.

Tricia said...

Such language! And yes, that's exactly what a student would say. Bravo! I too was laughing out loud.

Kelly said...

Hah! I love it. Thanks, Elaine :)

Kelly Fineman said...

*stands and whistles, applauding*

The ending wsa hilarious, Elaine. And the middle with the oceans of onomatopoeia, etc., was glorious.

Elaine Magliaro said...

Tricia,

I just couldn't resist that ending. I think the reason the last line works is because it rhymes with bucket.


Kelly,

You know I don't usually write poems that end in that fashion. I'm glad you liked it.


Kelly F.,

Thanks for the standing O! I really got stuck on this poem--so I put it away for a couple of days. I find when I put poems aside for a time, I'm then able to revisit them from a new perspective.

Cloudscome said...

Ha! When I worked on this poetry stretch it was just like this only I didn't have a bell to ring to get me out of the situation. I kept forgetting "hole". Nice work, you!

Elaine Magliaro said...

Cloudscome,

Thanks! That sixth word can be tricky to fit into the poem, can't it? You finished your poem much sooner than I did. I almost gave up on mine...then yesterday morning I decided to give it another try.

Jules at 7-Imp said...

So great! Very clever, too. Thanks for that great ending.

Jules, 7-Imp

Elaine Magliaro said...

Jules,

So you liked that ending, did ya? I'm glad! I couldn't figure out any other way to finish the poem and include the word bucket (or scarecrow).

laurasalas said...

Ha! What a clever poem--wouldn't middle-school kids love this! And I just read I Am Writing a Poem About...a few days ago, so how cool to have a totally modern application of it!

Elaine Magliaro said...

Thanks, Laura! I think what's especially interesting about the three-words and six-words poems that Myra had the students in her master class write is how they all turned out so different from each other. I found including six words in my poem a real challenge.