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MORE LOVE for LIST POEMS!

List poems are an easy and successful way to get children feeling more comfortable with poetry. They are to be found in the poetry of many cultures and have been employed successfully by many contemporary poets.


Here are some ideas that will assist you to be even more successful with this widely used poetic form.

  • Poems are frequently full of surprises and a list poem requires the same. It needs to be more than a shopping list.
  • You need a variety of items and when considering what to include.
  • Be specific!
  • Use colorful names for people, animals and objects.
  • Use varied syntax (sentence structure)
  • Try leaving the title until the poem is completed
  • Be prepared to rearrange the items in your list to obtain the best possible effect. 
  • A big list is more effective than a short one.
  • These poems need to be read with feeling and rhythm 

If you like the idea of List poems, check out Douglas Florian. His work makes frequent use of the list poem structure and his illustrations are superb. 

A flood of childhood memories were the catalyst for this poem...

SCAREDY  CAT MEMORIES

I used to be afraid of the dentist’s drill,
Creaky floorboards
And snakes at the end of my bed
Electricity
Knives and guns
Haircuts
Monsters lurking in the shadows
And dogs in the night
Nightmares
People with missing teeth
And big kids who harass you for being- little
Bee stings
Getting lost
Sharks
And drowning in quicksand
Snakes
Baldness
My Nana’s toilet
And roosters

But now I’m afraid of ignorance.

Alan j Wright

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