Friday, May 13, 2011

Things to Do If You Are an Eel & A Poetry Announcement

Many, many years ago, I wrote a bunch of animal poems. I don’t think they were particularly good poems—but writing them was definitely a good poetry exercise for me. One of the animal poems that I wrote was about the eel. Here it is:


Eel is slinky, sleek, and mean.
He’s devious and serpentine.
He hides in caves where water’s deep
And coyly feigns the soundest sleep.
But when an unsuspecting prey
Goes swimming by, the eel will slay
The sorry chap with one sharp jolt
From a self-generated lightning bolt.
It’s such a shocking sight to see
Him cooking prey eel-ectrically.
I’d hate to be the passerby
That eel decides he wants to fry!

I sometimes like to experiment with writing a poem in a variety of ways. A few months ago, I rewrote the eel poems it as a “things to do” poem. Here is the result:

Things to Do If You’re an Eel

Hide in caves where water’s deep
And coyly feign the soundest sleep.
But when an unsuspecting prey
Goes swimming by, slip out and slay
The sorry chap with a high-charged jolt—
Zap him with a lightning bolt!
Be the Top Chef of the sea.
Cook your meals eelectrically.


The Poetry Foundation recently announced the new US Children’s Poet Laureate—and I couldn’t be happier with their selection: J. Patrick Lewis. Congratulations to Pat! This is an honor which is well-deserved.

BTW, Pat will also receive the 2011 NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children at the NCTE Annual Convention later this year.

From the Poetry Foundation
The 2011 Children’s Poet Laureate speaks.

From School Library Journal
J. Patrick Lewis Named Children's Poet Laureate
By Debra Lau Whelan

From Wild Rose Reader
Wild Rose Reader Interview with J. Patrick Lewis
Click here to read all of my J. Patrick Lewis posts.

Here I am with Pat Lewis and a few of my other favorite children's poets
at the 2009 NCTE Annual Convention in Philadelphia.
From L to R: Janet Wong, Pat, Kris George, Moi, and Rebecca Kai Dotlich


Jama Rattigan has the Poetry Friday Roundup this week.


Julie said...

Love the "eelectrically," Eel-aine! Good call with the revision, letting the play on words get the key position at the end.

Mary Lee said...

I love BOTH of your eel poems!

And Hooray for Pat!!