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Showing posts from 2015

Penny Palmer's Pink Pyjamas

I woke with an idea in my head. A bit of nonsense if you like. So I went with the feeling. This poem emerged in my notebook. This is the third version of it.   it gave me the chance to play with alliteration and rhyme... Hope you like it.

Penny Palmer’s Pink Pyjamas


Penny Palmer’s pink pyjamas Hung drying on the line Held in place by giant pegs Their pinkness, so divine
A substantial woman was Penny P. Her pyjamas quite immense They covered her from head to toe Which all made perfect sense
The morning breeze began to grow It formed into a gale Those huge pyjamas on the line Flipped and flopped and flailed
Penny Palmer’s pink pyjamas Lifted skywards in a flash And above her house they floated Gaudy and pink and brash
The neighbourhood was puzzled By pyjamas in the sky A sunset in the morning Had sent the day awry
Like floating blimps the top and tail Began drifting out to space Tumbling pink pyjamas Disappearing without trace

Penny P stood by her gate A ciggy in her paw She knew she’d never wear Those pink pyjamas …

My Flash Bike -Transport Poetry

An inquiry unit on Transport being undertaken by Grade 1 students at Narre Warren South P-12 College prompted this poem based on my all time favourite boyhood bicycle.

My Flash Bike

I once owned a bicycle So fine All mine A Healing Semi Racer With Semi Racer handle bars It looked flash It looked sporty Its silver frame shone in the sunlight The spokes glistened The wheels whirred Everything blurred
When I charged down the street A tailwind at my back Atop my speedy machine
Old ladies Dogs And rubbish bins  Were in all in peril When I went peddling by Wheels whirring wildly
Alan j Wright


REPETITION in poetry

What do you do when you want to remember something? 
Do you say it to yourself again and again until you learn it? 
That’s using repetition. 
Repetition in poetry may include a word, a phrase, a line, or even a stanza the poet wants to use more than once for particular effect. We hear it, We see it. We begin to feel its presence.


When using repetition the poet must make sure that what is repeated is important to the poem, otherwise it can feel or sound overdone.

In the poem, Bully For Me, I consciously repeated the words, 'But ours left'in each stanza hoping to create a sense of relief in the mind of the reader.




Bully For Me

We had a bully at our school
I think every school has one
-But ours left
Now, I can ride to school
Relaxed

We had a bully at our school
-But ours left
And now playtime is fun again

We had a bully at our school
-But ours left
I wonder if that person is happy?
Like me and my friends 
Are now



If we want young poets to use repetition effectively we need to ensure we plan for it i…

Advice to Young Poets.-Alan j Wright

Here are some tips for young poets to follow. They have helped me with writing poetry over many years. I hope they assist you in discovering your poet’s heart.
Write as often as you can. That's what writers do — they write. They think about their words, rehearsing in their heads- and then they write. Sometimes though they get a spark of an idea and just have to write it down, rather than risk losing it.
Carry a writer’s notebook with you and collect your ideas wherever you may be. My notebook is my travelling companion and a place to collect ideas and memories.
American poet, Ted Kooser advises potential poets to, ‘Read at least 100 poems before you write one.’ My advice is similar to Ted. You certainly need to read lots of poetry to get a feel for the shape and sounds of this wonderful form of writing.
Try to write in your notebook every day, -even if it’s just a few words or lines.
When you begin to write start with the things closest to you — yourself, or your family, friends, an…

Poets and Wordplay

It is important to create a sense of wonder around words. Ralph Fletcher refers to deliberate playfulness with language to create a particular kind of effect. I agree. Wordplay is critical to feeling comfortable with language in general and poetry in particular. Here are a few ideas to get the word fun started:

Poets try to see ordinary things in extraordinary ways
*Describe a pair of dirty,worn out sneakers They look like..... They smell like..... They feel like..... They remind me of.....
What don’t you want to be doing tomorrow ? What don’t you want to be doing next week ? What don’t you want to be doing when you grow up ?
Word gatherers    - collect words...poets need them Words which sound like noises  (onomatopoeia  ) buzz plop quack twang whizz splat bong
Words which sound good hubbub giggle gingerly agog billabong skedaddle gongoozle 
Words which are made up: esky elbonics tetramangulation woos
Alliteration: When poets use a string of words which  begin the same letter we call it alliteration
 Awfully angry ant…

A New Anthology of Poems About Objects

I recently purchased this anthology of poems about objects from the Sun Book Shop in Yarraville. It supports the notion that ideas exist in things. I believe it would make a meaningful addition to a school's poetry resources. I can envision a resourceful teacher of poetry using student owned and cherished artifacts to inspire young writers to launch their own poetry from these treasures.To further assist readers to appraise this collection of poems I have added an abridged addition of a review by Carole Phillips, Greenacres Elementary School, Scarsdale NY. Carole's review provides a comprehensive overview of this book.'Poet Paul Janeczko has joined with illustrator Raschka to create this anthology of poetry for young people. The 50 selections are arranged in nine sections, each representing a different time period, from the early Middle Ages to the present day. The common thread is objects. The title poem discusses the demise of hat wearing in our society, while others tak…

Cereal Killer- A Rant Poem

I have been having so much fun lately exploring rantpoetry. Poets have long written about the things that vex(annoy) them. The practice of ranting in poetic versedates back to Ancient Greece, Rant poetry has flourished through time.Rant poetry comes in all shapes and sizes,but it is most commonly defined as a free-verse poemwritten about an exasperating subject. They can be aboutany thing that aggravates, pesters, or otherwise drivesyou crazy. This  poem is based on a frustration that began in my childhood and persists to this very day.
Cereal Killer
Alan j Wright It’s Saturday morning I’m awake And therefore I’m hungry I shuffle to the pantry I stare The shelf is bare There’s nothing there I’m old Mother Hubbard Once more at the cupboard I have a bowl A spoon Milk And there’s not a sign of Wheat Bix No packet No crumb I’m crestfallen, glum Somewhere out there Lurks a cereal killer
I’m ravenous My stomach, cavernous I’m starvin’ Marvin This is immense It has me intense It’s a big deal Earth shattering …well, ma…

Exploring Theme in Poetry With Emerging Writers

There is so much more to poetry than haiku and acrostics. Yet, so many young poets never get to experience the rich breadth of poetry beyond these highly structured forms. Why?
Primarily, it’s about their teachers comfort levels with poetry. We often teach to what we know, meaning that being adventurous and taking young poets into new realms is not part of the poetic landscape for many. This sells young poets and poetry itself short.
Last week I had the pleasure to again work with a group of young poets from Derrimut Primary School grade 5/6 in Melbourne’s west. We have been exploring patterns and repetition in poetry. We have explored personification as a literary device to develop the writing of poetry. We delved into the idea of writing through a mask to provide inanimate and animate entities with a voice. They told stories in words from their own perspective.
On this occasion we again went to the edges and began to explore poetry through themes. We discussed a range of possible theme…