This type of poem provides vivid, personal, insights into the writer’s world.
It allows students to understand that poetry can be constructed using their own speech patterns .
To begin, provide a model –maybe your own, that presents DETAIL and then discuss what ‘detail’ means. Young poets need to be encouraged to ‘flesh’ out their memories with detail that was a part of the original experience. Encourage them to pretend that they are recalling a one minute story and they need to retell it clearly.
Apart from creating a list poem of reclaimed memories, your students have also created a ‘topic list’ for use at another time.
I remember slicing the side of my hand on my Grandfather’s axe on his 80th birthday
I remember thinking there were crocodiles in the creek and being afraid to go there
I remember my father’s face covered in blood after the car knocked him from his bike –and then drove away
I remember my aunts warning me about the home for naughty boys with its ten feet high walls and the elephants that stood on boys who misbehaved- yeah right!
I remember my sister vomiting cherries everywhere in the bath
I remember having dreams of being a jockey and then discovering I was too heavy at age five!
I remember my first day at school when so many kids cried
I remember my Nana’s house and its many wondrous rooms
I remember Margaret Paton giving me a blood nose at age six in defense of her brother’s pride.
I remember my mother singing when she ironed
I remember kookaburras sitting on the Hills Hoist and cackling loudly each morning
I remember billy-cart races down Pollina Street hill
I remember singing in the church as a boy soprano
I remember singing rock n roll songs with ‘This Way Out’ at the Bendigo YMCA
I remember going fishing at Blackburn Lake with my Uncle John
I remember kissing Marlene Camm in a phone booth during a power blackout
I remember accidentally setting an emu on fire whilst toasting hot cross buns at Lake Glenmaggie
I remember the driverless Ford Customline running over my bike ( and me!) as I rode past the school one night.
I remember being surrounded by bushfires and the salvation of miracle rains.
I remember my sister’s budgie baking to death on the verandah one summer
I remember writing a poem about spring in Grade 2 and my father doubting its originality
I remember leaping through the air as a boy to break the long jump record
I remember the horrid, disgusting taste of lamb’s fry
I remember the songs my father sang to my sisters and I.
Alan J Wright