April 12, 2016

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

National Poetry Month Issue 5

Last week, I posted a wordplay lesson.

The middle schoolers I was visiting had a great time with the prompt, which is kind of like filling in a jigsaw puzzle with no clues and a handful of filled in words. Their poems are here.

When we were editing the Maryland Writers Association poetry anthology, poet Douglas William Mowbray (Towson, MD) and I talked about the importance of wordplay.

He'd changed two lines in his "Another Love Poem." The submitted version read, "You ain't up/ No point in the sun getting up." Doug revised those lines to sound more formal and poetic, but sometimes, bending the rules of form and grammar -- wordplay -- create voice in a poem.

We returned the lines to their original, sassy diction.

Doug sent us two wordplay poems for his National Poetry Month, classroom-friendly selection.

Fall Isn't Falling
by Douglas Mowbray

The still dead dry leaves dance.
The dead dry leaves dance still.
The dry still dead leaves dance.
The dry dead leaves still dance.

HS Writing Prompt:
Write one good sentence, not too long. Try re-ordering the words, creating new sentences. See how the meaning changes.

Life's Not Pair
by Douglas Mowbray

All the missing socks
cling on inside of sweaters
rarely ever worn.

MS/HS Writing Prompt:
This poem is a senryu. It follows haiku form but takes human (or sock) behavior as its subject. In five lines, reflect on something you find odd.

There are many events going on for National Poetry Month. The Academy of American Poets has information here.

Douglas is a proprietor of twentythreebooks, a Towson Arts Collective Board Member, and co-founder of the Baltimore Center for the Emerging Text. TAC has a great NPM program, the Cruellest Month reading series. Here is the schedule.

Hope to see you at the April 25 reading.


MiMi said...

Fun word play--like juggling with sounds.--MiMi

Author Amok said...

Hi, MiMi. I'm going to try Doug's word-order poem myself. What a great exercise!