April 12, 2016

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Poetry Friday: A Frozen Parody for Poets

Hello, Writerly Friends.

Are you a fan of Frozen, or are you ready to Let It Go?

This is how one classroom teacher
coped (or didn't) with Frozen-crazy students. 
I just received the second round of editorial notes for my middle grade novel in verse. Thanks to all of you who have been following the looooong journey that THE LAST FIFTH GRADE OF EMERSON ELEMENTARY has taken to publication. I promise ... this is connected to the movie Frozen.

But first...

Happy Host Day
to talented super-poet
Irene Latham!
All of the Poetry Friday links
are up Irene's blog,
Live Your Poem.

With suggestions from my editor, I wrote a lot of new material for my novel this fall. I tend to overwrite when I'm drafting. Testing out new poems helps me feel my way through the characters and plot. Then I put the draft aside for awhile and see which poems have staying power. Some will need revision. Others will be cut.

Before I head back into the revision cave -- my deadline's not In Summer, after all -- I'd like to share one of the new poems for Poetry Friday. This parody of "Do You Want to Build a Snowman" won't make it into the published novel, but I think your writing students will like it. Especially when they're feeling frustrated.

I Don’t Want to Write a Sonnet

I don’t want to write a sonnet.
Sometimes I’ve got nothing to say.
I can never think of words that rhyme.
It takes too much time
writing every day.
Counting syllables is awkward,
too much like math,
It makes me want to cry.
I don’t want to write a sonnet.
Does it have to be a sonnet?
Tell me why.

I don’t want to write a sonnet,
a limerick, or triolet.
A writing break sounds really great.
Why don’t we pick a date?
How about today?
It gets a little tiring
sticking to rhyme schemes
when my thoughts would rather fly.

You say I have it in me
and it’s only fourteen lines.
You say this is a sloppy draft
and I’ll have time to craft
when we all revise.
We only have ten minutes
of writing time.
What am I going to do?

I don’t want to write a sonnet.

Here is a great cover of the original song from Frozen.

Why cut this piece? Not because I have a Frozen Heart. I think I wrote it for myself, rather than for one of my characters. The speaker feels a little too generic for THE LAST FIFTH GRADE, which is told in the 18 voices of one fifth grade class. I had a great time writing this parody, though. I was totally venting some revision frustration.

Speaking of writing, February is coming up. That means the annual Author Amok Poetry Project is almost here. Thanks so much for all of you who suggested sounds we can use for writing prompts. When I need a break from novel revisions, I'm going to get our list of 28 sounds together. For the First Time in Forever, I can't wait to start writing!

And remember, it doesn't have to be a sonnet.


Irene Latham said...

Yay for your noisy new project! Your FROZEN parody makes me smile... who knew how crazy kids would be for those songs?? CANNOT WAIT to meet those 18 voices in your book. Wishing you clarity as you revise... so exciting!!! xo

Tabatha said...

Wow, you really nailed that song in your poem! I'm going to send it to my daughters. (Also impressed by the way you incorporated the other song titles into your post!)
Good luck in the "revision cave" -- great description!

Author Amok said...

Thanks, Irene. Clarity should be my one word of the year!

Tabatha -- I hope your daughters enjoy the poem. Good for you for spotting the song titles.

Carol Varsalona said...

Laura, children are not the only Frozen fans. I am also and even watched the film in 3 D so while reading your poem, I put it to music in my head. The voice in the poem is charming and so typical of a child. Why? Why? Why? I am working with 4th grade teachers on the NYS module on poetry so this poem will fit in quit well. Thank you for this gift and for bringing to light your views on revision. I am exploring that also in my rough draft poem on winter whisperings today.

Liz Steinglass said...

So fun! I can't wait to show my kids. I'm sure we'll be singing it.

Author Amok said...

Carol, I'm so pleased that you can share the poem with teachers.

Liz -- let me know what your kiddos think.

Katie TheLogonauts said...

Oh my goodness, so fun! Our students wrote a "So you want to build a playground" parody, since our parents helped assemble our new playground this summer. Delightful!

Matt Forrest Esenwine said...

If they don't want to write poetry, just tell them...

"Think of Poe, think of Poe,
Whitman, Plath, or Thomas Moore!
Think of Poe - filled with woe -
when the Raven quoth, “nevermore!”

I don't care
what the scholars say…
you’re allowed to use free verse!
Meter never bothered me, anyway."

Author Amok said...

Matt -- That's a fitting poem! Monday is Poe's birthday. There are Poe celebrations and events all around Baltimore this weekend.

Matt Forrest Esenwine said...

I know, I wish I could be there in my old hometown...hopefully some day soon!

Matt Forrest Esenwine said...

I know, I wish I could be there in my old hometown...hopefully some day soon!

Ruth said...

How fun! Looking forward to reading your book.

Mary Lee said...

Can't wait for your book! It will be perfect for my 5th grade classroom!

And, I am proud to say that I am the only person on earth who hasn't seen the movie FROZEN and so I totally don't get your parody! Based on the comments of others, though -- good job!

Bridget Magee said...

Fantastic, Laura! I will share this with my own "Anna" and "Elsa" (my girls had sister costumes for Halloween this year). =)

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes said...

Maybe it doesn't fit in your book, but you certainly nailed the parody, Laura! Wishing you productive revision time.

GatheringBooks said...

My 13 year old girl has a unit on poetry these past few weeks - thankfully, they're still in haiku - not sonnets yet. I will let her read this sonnet as soon as they get to this in the next few days. Frozen has truly captured the youth's sensibilities, I think.