Sunday, April 20, 2008

Ring/Drum/Blanket Poems Redux


Those of you who read my Interview with Janet Wong may remember that Janet and I invited people to write ring/drum/blanket poems--just as Janet and the other students in Myra Cohn Livingston’s master class in poetry did as a writing exercise. (You can read all about Myra’s class in the interview.)

A number of bloggers took up the challenge and wrote their own ring/drum/blanket poems--most of which have been published previously at Wild Rose Reader in a number of different posts. Here they are again...together in one post, which also includes a link to Cloudscome’s amazing ring/drum/blanket kyrielle.
New Poem: In addition, I have a link to another lovely poem written by Linda Kulp. Linda emailed me the link to her ring/drum/blanket poem yesterday. She welcomes comments on it.

If you would care to join the ring/drum/blanket poets, email me your poem or the URL of your poem post. You may also leave that information in the comments at this post.

Ring/Drum/Blanket Poems

You can read Cloudscome’s ring/drum/blanket kyrielle here.

Click here to read Linda Kulp’s poem.

Oh, Brother!
By Janet Wong

The little squirt,
begging for boiled eggs and toast,
circles me like a wrestler in the ring,
bouncing on my bed,
and when I try to hide my head,
he dives under the blanket,
to drum my stomach
until it surrenders
a growl.

The Ring
By Stephanie Franz

She sees his ring

Her wedding day, the children, the trips, the
first time they conquered a mountain,
the last time they struck a golf ball...
Soon she will remove the ring
while wrapping him in a blanket of love
His soul will soar to meet his maker
while the drum of her heart carries on their tune

She will wear his ring.

A Poem
By Fletcher Collins

A blanket of silent fog
The glasslike ring of an invisible mast
No need for a drum

A Poem
by Nathan Goodwyn (7th/ 8th grade English)

A drum ring:
a place where
hands cackle together
throwing aside the day's more mundane obligations
as if they were the morning's blanket

The Early Sixties: A Summer Day
By Elaine Magliaro

On an old army blanket,
a rough, khaki-colored island
floating on a sea of sand
at Devereaux Beach,
we sit in a circle…
a ring of friends
playing kitty whist,
drinking cola,
talking about boys, and
listening to rock and roll music…
to the sexy sound of the sax
wafting over us
moaning about love,
to a drum beating
like a young heart in overdrive.

Inside the Fairy Ring
By Kelly R. Fineman

Inside the fairy ring,
awash with silver light,
sprightly dancers caper
on a blanket of dew-dappled flowers.
When grassy pipes and acorn drums fall silent,
all will fade away
to dawn

A Ring/Drum/Blanket Poem
By Tricia Stohr-Hunt

rings out,
after day.
Long settled in,
War's heavy blanket
the drumbeat of

Dragon Boat Festival
By Diane M. Davis

Blankets are laid,
zhonghi is waiting
but the drums insist-
brimming with sound
they call us to
wake the dragons.

We gather in rings
embracing the boats
as monks make magic
with prayers and poems
then paint the eyes, a dab of red
that brings the boats
to life.

NOTE: The ring/drum/blanket poems written by the students in Myra Cohn Livingston’s master class can be found in her book I Am Thinking of a Poem About…A Game of Poetry.


Andromeda Jazmon said...

I am so impressed with how you've inspired us to write all these different poems containing the same three words. This is really something! It seems the momentum is still building.

Elaine Magliaro said...


I hope more people write ring/drum/blanket poems to share. It's so interesting to see the inventive and varied ways people weave these three words into such wonderful and unique poems.

Anonymous said...

Last week Rebecca Dotlich and I visited DeSoto Elementary and also spoke at the young authors' conference at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. For both programs we solicited words from the audience. On Friday, at the school, we picked words at random from a can-full generated by 5th graders: escargot, pterodactyl, analyze, and encyclopedia. The kids seemed to think that we were stumped, but we managed each to write a decent poem using those four words--right before their eyes. The next day, we asked kids from the audience to give us words. I picked Rebecca's nephews (one of whom was present at the school visit), and we were again given pterodactyl and escargot, but also some more manageable words--plane, clown, fun, and exciting. Again, much to our relief, we produced good poems.

I think this exercise is especially fun when kids pick words and the teacher (or visiting poet) creates something on the spot. It doesn't have to be a great poem; the important thing is for them to see someone attempt an exercise like this (without fear).

Elaine Magliaro said...


That sounds like an interesting idea. It might also be fun to have the teacher and kids write a collaborative poem together.

I did find that writing the ring/drum/blanket poem was a good exercise for me. Once I got started the poem seemed to take on a life of its own.