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Ruminating On Rooms -Poetry of Place

  Ruminating on Rooms I am once more returning to poetry of place. But this time I am thinking of more specific places. This time my focus is on rooms. For the purposes of this exercise, you could take yourself into a room you know well, possibly a favourite room in your house, or a parents/grandparent’s house.  You might also consider a room from your past in which you spent some time. A room where a significant event took place might prove to be a worthy focus for your words. Equally, it may be a room that clearly stands out in your memory for its unique qualities, even though you spent only a brief time there. It is even possible to create a room from your imagination. The aim is to paint the scene in that room using words. Still life for the artist with a palette of different colours. Still life for the poet with a word palette. It might prove helpful to sit still in the room of your choice and ponder its features and qualities. Be still, listen and observe. Please come with me now
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Ars Poetica -Poetry Friday

Ars Poetica This poetry form is less concerned with rhyme, or the counting  of syllables, and refrains.  In fact, Ars Poetica, has nothing to do with structure. Rather, it's focused on the content of the poem, because Ars Poetica is the art of writing poetry about writing poetry. A Walk In Search of Poets   As I walked alone Upon a Shelley Beach Browning in the summer sun I heard Lord Byron’s ghost Whisper gently in my ear Get yourself a mentor A muse to light your fire And to make your words explode -A poet you admire.   You should not wait Longfellow If you want to get your Wordsworth Follow your chosen Plath This very day. Alan j Wright This Isn’t a Real Poem What I’m writing right now Isn’t a real poem It’s just me Sitting in a cafĂ© Making it look like I’m doing something Quite important. Something profound While waiting For my wife to arrive Following her expedition to the shops. I might stop now Put an end To these word games And order a coffee.

The Poetry of Lyrics

The link between song lyrics and poetry has long been established. For as long as I can recall, I have been attracted to songs with strong lyric lines. I listen, I note, and I want to see more, so I go in search of the full lyric. Poetry and song lyrics easily intersect on occasions. Many poems have been transformed, re-imagined as songs. A song is essentially a poem with musical accompaniment.  On occasions, a single line from a song has been enough to inspire me to write a brand-new poem. These forms are like siblings.  I love and appreciate the beauty of both. We do well to make it a habit to listen to words possessed with power and beauty. We learn to be more active in our listening, and this serves us well as writers.  While working on a lyric, writers make use of a number of poetic techniques, including rhyme, meter, repetition, alliteration, and assonance or consonance. These literary elements provide the lyric with musical qualities. The more unity  the words possess, the easie

Island observations-First Line Index Poem

Sometimes we must respond to an inner call... I found myself returning once more to the intriguing challenge presented by first line index poems.  I feel much happier with this one, although it took a while to juggle and coax the various lines into place. It was a bit like herding cats at first. However, more importantly, it was definitely an engaging writing challenge.  I am pleased I persisted.  Here is a link to my original post written in May 2021, fully explaining the process for composing these beguiling poems-    First Line Index Poems Island Observations – First Line Index Poem The trees are coming into leaf The young girls are cutting the cabbages The fishermen are patient As they sit here happily drinking And they, of course, Not knowing  For years, there have been no fish in the lake. A hush falls, Along the promenade. You ask for a poem, Before I leave the island. I say, In Manchester, there are a thousand puddles Where the three fields meet. Alan j Wright It is once again

Goat Poem - Poetry Friday

  Who can tell when inspiration might strike and what may prove to be the catalyst. We just have to be ready and willing to respond when it comes calling.  A recent chance sighting of a goat was all it took to bring a memory flooding back from a much earlier time in my life.  A memory not to be denied. And so I began to nourish words and memories  in my mind, and a quite unexpected poem emerged.  The One And Only Lionel When my father astounded the whole family And purchased a goat It signalled the end of his lawn mowing desires. For several years  I had dutifully fulfilled the role of lawn mower man for the family plot. -But now,  I was moving away to study teaching and my father made a sudden decision  to replace me with Lionel, -as my father referred to the goat Lionel came with certain obvious advantages -he cost little to feed -worked longer hours And generated less noise. Lionel had to be tethered, of course To save my mother’s hydrangea and protect the fruits of the orchard Some

Poems For A New School Year

A new school year has commenced here in Australia. Schools, nationwide, are facing enormous challenges, confronting the headwinds of this continuing pandemic. No doubt young learners are keen to find themselves in the social setting of the classroom once more, so we must hope that all goes well for school communities everywhere. Fingers crossed.  Bravo to teachers world-wide, who continue to display incredible professionalism and commitment in the face of the continuing need to adapt their delivery of vital education. Here are some fresh, new school poems, a small gift of sorts. Some poetry to launch into the start of the year. A year wrapped in hope for lighter, brighter times.   We Start Out, Fresh And Shiny The sun comes up On the first day Of a new school year We walk through the school gate School shoes tight,   shiny and new Uniform fresh and clean Our faces full of smiles And kissed by the summer. Friends greet us Stories swapped The corridors gleam and sme

Patterns in Poetry -Valerie Worth

  In my search for suitable text examples to share with teachers for shared reading, I found myself returning yet again to Valerie Worth's wonderful collection of short poems about everyday items- ' All The Small Poems and Fourteen More. '  Poetry along with other text types deserve to be represented in the texts chosen for shared reading. Valerie Worth's  poetry possesses much to inform young readers about writing and the ways in which poets play with language and structure. Valerie's poem 'Backyard' sets up a pattern of unrhymed couplets, where initially the first line is long and the second line short. This pattern continues through five successive couplets, at which point she reverses the order.  The poet demonstrates total control here, deciding when to flip the line length. We can infer from the poet's clever pattern change that she has done this to signify a change in the prevailing weather in the backyard, resulting from the hanging out of washin

Rediscovering the Poetry of Donald Graves

 I am both proud and humbled to be invited to deliver the Annual Donald Graves Address at the Australian Literacy Educator's Association (A.L.E.A) National Conference in Darwin, in July this year.  Rare air indeed, to follow in the footsteps of previous presenters,  Mem Fox, Ralph Fletcher and Robyn Ewing among others. I feel duly honoured by the special opportunity  afforded me. Most importantly, it presents as a highly valued opportunity to honour the incalculable global contribution Donald Graves' research and publications made to the teaching of writing, as well as his personal impact on my teaching and writing life. My heart sings... Donald Graves was a mild-mannered, writing revolutionary who impacted pedagogical approaches to writing, globally. I very much look forward to celebrating his incredible legacy -past, present and future.  Diving back into the life and times of Donald Graves as part of my preparation, I have been reminded of his strong and abiding connection to

Writing In The Style -Poetry

I recall being super imp ressed with Molly Hogan's wordplay poem 'Splat.' Molly's poem placed this delightful onomatopoeic word under the microscope and revealed it in all its dimensions.  I pasted Molly's poem in my writer's notebook in order to more fully appreciate its powerful use of language.  I promised myself I would try to write in the style of a poet I admire. After much rummaging about in word-land, I settled on the word 'twang.'  It is a well known truism of writing- ' First we imitate, and then we innovate .' It is always best to write under the influence of those you admire. So, here is T-w-a-n-g! Twang Twang, I hear you- What a word, Word, Word. -Cousin of bang Quieter, but you hang around,  -somewhat longer. You, twang Are a reverberating rebel. I hear what you have to say, A little nosy at times, Constantly returning, As sound, To my ears. You only stop, When you are good and ready. Twang, you are a musical soul, It’s clear to me.