Friday, July 30, 2010

Things to Do If You Are a Castle: An Original List Poem

Well, I’m nearly finished with my Things to Do poetry collection. At the moment, the collection includes twenty-seven poems. I’m thinking of adding one or two more. As I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve changed the manuscript a lot in recent months. I’ve eliminated several of the original poems and added fourteen new ones. The Things to Do collection now takes a young child through a school day from dawn to bedtime. I believe it is a more cohesive collection of poems now. I’m hoping to submit it to a publisher by summer’s end.

I want to acknowledge three individuals for giving me invaluable advice on this writing project:
  • Grace Lin helped me to look at my Things to Do collection with new eyes. Grace gave me the suggestion for changing the focus of the manuscript. That suggestion renewed my energy for working on the poetry project again. It inspired me to write lots of new poems.
  • Janet Wong read through my manuscript and carefully critiqued it. She suggested eliminating particular poems and gave me topic suggestions for new poems. Janet’s suggestions helped me to provide better “poetry” transitions throughout the collection.
  • Brad Bennett sat with me as we went through each poem with a fine-tooth comb a few days ago. I can always count on Brad to help me with the tiniest details. (Brad is a teacher and published poet. You can read three of Brad’s list poems here.)


Here is one of the things to do poems that is no longer included in the collection. I was thinking of my daughter and her new husband when I selected the following poem. They recently returned from their honeymoon in Ireland--where they visited lots of castles.


Stand on a stony cliff
overlooking the sea.
Wear a thick wall of armor.
Sprout tall turrets.
Be a haven.
Drop your drawbridge
for damsels in distress.
Shelter proud steeds,
brave knights who do good deeds.
Be a fortress, a bulwark.
Grow strong and stout.
Keep the evil invaders out.


At Blue Rose Girls, I have a sonnet by Mary Meriam titled The Romance of Middle Age.

The Poetry Friday Roundup is at Live. Love. Explore!


Looking for the Write Words said...


You have so inspired me, as I mentioned in my post today, with these clever poems along with all of your mask poems. My post today is written in the voice of a giant squid. Thanks for mentoring my students and I!


jama said...

"Drop your drawbridge for damsels in distress"

Double entendre? :D

Another gem, Elaine. I'm excited to hear you're going to submit your collection of list poems! Love love them.

Grace Lin said...

End of the summer--is that a promise? Will hold you to that!!

Elaine Magliaro said...


I just left a comment at your blog. I'm happy to know that I provided you with poetic inspiration.


LOL! I hadn't even thought of that "double entendre." Too funny!


I think I need just two more poems. I've been working on poems about an alarm clock, a tree, a raincoat, and a couple of other things. Not sure yet which will be the best to include in the collection. Thanks for all you help!!!

Amy L V said...

Congratulations on your almost-finished collection! These have all been such fun to read; it feels like you're a play director teaching all of these wonderful characters how to be. I love "Shelter proud steeds" and am smiling at that dropped drawbridge. Have you written "Things to Do If You Are a Poet" or "Things to Do If You Are a Reader"?
Please share the journey of this enchanting collection.

Irene Latham said...

Wow, big congrats on closing in on a collection! It sounds accessible and fun.. I look forward to someday seeing it in print!

Elaine Magliaro said...


It was sad--in some ways--to cut particular poems from my "Things to Do" collection. I do, however, believe the collection to be much better now even though I had to eliminate a couple of my favorites.



Now...I just have to write one or two more poems for the collection--and then a cover letter.

Bridget R. Wilson said...

I love your "Things to Do" poems, Elaine. I'm glad to hear that the collection is coming alogn and we might see it in print soon.

Linda said...

Elaine-congratulations on your soon to be complete collection. Your "Things to Do" poems are so much fun, I know they'll find a home.