Friday, November 21, 2008

Poetry Friday: List Poems

Tricia’s challenged us to write list poems for her Poetry Stretch this week at the Miss Rumphius Effect. I went looking through all the original poems I’ve posted at Wild Reader to date to see if I could find some list poems to post for Poetry Friday.

I found ten poems. I wrote the first four poems below specifically as list poems. Among the other poems posted here are a recipe poem, a mask poem, and an acrostic.

by Elaine Magliaro

Crickets sighing
Birds goodbying
Pumpkins growing plump and round

Apple picking
Football kicking
Chestnuts thudding on the ground

Bright leaves falling
Wild geese calling
Honeybees huddling in their hive

Turkey eating
Winter’s waiting to arrive

Who’s on Board the Straight Squawk Express? or Joe the Plumber Et Al
by Elaine the retired teacher

Joe the plumber,
Mack the Knife,
Hal the husband,
Val the wife,
Don the dentist,
Dick the doc,
Phil the farmer,
Hank the hawk,
Gail the grocer,
Ken the catcher,
Pat the daft
Police dispatcher,

Val the vet and
Babs the baker,
Chad the chocolate
Candy maker,
Al the actor,
Sal the singer,
Greg the guy
Who sniffs his finger,
Bud the butcher,
Mike the mayor,
Steve the hunky
Land surveyor,
Peg the pilot,
Bill the banker,
Nell the nightly
News-hour anchor,
Vic who drives
The old age van,
Rob the Roto-Rooter man,
Will the waiter,
Gil the gilder,
Bo the brawny
Body builder
Ted the teacher,
Don the drummer,
George and Sarah--
Dumb and dumber--
Driving over
Hill and dale
Busy on
The campaign trail.

by Elaine Magliaro

What’s in my backpack?
Hmm…let’s see:
a tunafish sandwich,
raspberry tea,
an apple for the teacher…
and one for me,
a pair of scissors,
a stick of glue,
washable crayons…
and markers, too—
three sharp pencils
my Winnie Pooh
a bright red folder,
a paper pad,
a calculator to help me add…
a little love note from my dad!

by Elaine Magliaro

Shoes are full of feet.
Candy’s full of sweet.
A pig is full of slops.
A bunny’s full of hops.
A farm is full of cows,
Chickens, pigs, and plows.
April’s full of showers
That bring us springtime flowers.
Winter’s full of snow
And blizzard winds that blow.
A forest’s full of trees…
Leaves swishing in the breeze.
The sky is full of blue…
And all the oceans, too.
The dawn is full of light
And dark fills up the night.
Bees are full of buzz
And black and yellow fuzz.
A spider’s full of silk.
A cow? Chock full of milk.
Rain is full of drops.
It drips and plips and plops.
Dreams fill up your head
At night when you’re in bed.
“And you?” you ask of me.
WHY…I’m full of poetry.

Earthworms is a mask poem. The first stanza is a list of physical characteristics/parts that earthworms lack/do not have.

by Elaine Magliaro

We have…

No bones
No shells
No teeth, as well—
No lips, no beaks
No chins, no cheeks
No horns, no claws
No talons, jaws
No legs, no wings…
No fancy things
Like fins or scales
Or fluffy tails,
Or blubber like the big blue whales.

We’re soft.
We’re small…
Not much at all.
We’re nondescript—
But we’re equipped
To eat your dirt.
It doesn’t hurt
Us...not a bit.
In fact,
We like the taste of it.
We toil in soil.
We’ve got true grit!

I think one could consider How to Make a Morning to be both a list poem and a recipe poem. What do you think?

How to Make a Morning
by Elaine Magliaro

Melt a galaxy of stars in a large blue bowl.
Knead the golden sun and let it rise in the East.
Spread the sky with a layer of lemony light.
Blend together until brimming with brightness.
Fold in dewdrops.Sprinkle with songbirds.
Garnish with a chorus of cock-a-doodle-doos.
Set out on a platter at dawnand enjoy.

How to Bring Spring is what I call a “how to” poem. A “how to” poem is a lot like a recipe poem. To me, this poem could also be considered a list poem.

How to Bring Spring
by Elaine Magliaro

Wash away clouds of gray.
Paint the sky the color of shadows on snow,
Lightly brush it with strokes of wispy white.
Polish the sun until it shines
like a newly-minted coin.
Summon a bunch of bobbing robins.
Wrap forsythia bushes
in bright yellow boas.
Daub garden beds
with pink and purple polka dots.
Stitch silky apple blossomsto bare brown branches.
Tell tulips and daffodils to muster and stand at attention.
Wake spring peepers from their winter sleep.
Let daylight linger before the shadow of night arrives.

You can read more about “recipe” and “how to” poems by clicking on the two links below:

Do you think the next two poems, April and Bed in Summer, could be classified as list poems?


by Elaine Magliaro

Days crackle with sunlight.

Tree buds burst tight jackets,

Stretch awake.

Jaunty daffodils announce

The return of spring.

Birds string themselves

Like beads along branches

Windows yawn open

And houses breathe deep

The warm green air.

Bed in Summer

by Elaine Magliaro

Dark drifts in when I'm in bed.

Dreams whisper to my sleepy head.

Ice cubes clink into a glass.

Our sprinkler whirs and wets the grass.

Shouts of children still at play

Spark the night...then fade away.

Mosquitoes drone, crickets cheep.

Wrapped in summer sounds I'll sleep.

And finally…how about an acrostic/list poem about the signs of spring?

Soft, scented breezes, kite-catching winds, the
Pitter patter of warm rain on the
Roof, daffodils and daisies and lilacs
In bloom, apple trees wearing snow-white crowns.
Now the sun lingers at the edge of day and
Green…lovely green…has come home to stay.


At Blue Rose Girls, I have another great poem by Sherman Alexie entitled Defending Walt Whitman.

The Poetry Friday Roundup is at Brimstone Soup.


Lirone said...

What a lovely collection! I think my favourite was the "how to make a morning"... a beautiful perspective on those beautiful changes.

Elaine Magliaro said...

Thanks, Lirone, for stopping by and leaving a comment.

shelburns said...

Wow! One of these weeks I am going to have to join in on that Poetry Stretch. I love your poems!

Elaine Magliaro said...


I'm glad you like my poems. Do join in on one of Miss Rumphius's Poetry Stretches.

Jules at 7-Imp said...

Fabulous collection! Those were fun to read. I missed the Straight Squawk Express earlier. Heh.

Elaine Magliaro said...


I couldn't stop myself from getting a tad political in the past couple of months with "The Straight Squawk Express" and my Palinoems. From now on it will be back to posting just kids' poems.

Cloudscome said...

What a great collection! My favorite one is FULL OF... It's fun to read out loud and very clever!

Elaine Magliaro said...

Thanks, Cloudscome. FULL OF... was one of those poems that nearly wrote itself.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Wow, that's a good collection of list poems, I particularly enjoyed Autumn and How to Bring Spring.

Elaine Magliaro said...

Crafty Green Poet,

Thanks. I'm glad you liked my list poems.