Skip to main content

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 ants
Badly baked biscuits
Cold ,crumbly cake
Dreadfully daggy denims
Eerie,evil   _______
Fine feathered_______
Great green________
Huge Hairy________
Inconsiderate, insolent______

Describe an imaginary animal without saying what it is

*Cautionary Tales:

Consider what might happen to a child who:
-refuses to get dressed
-is continually rude to people
-keeps on smashing everyone else's toys

Supermarket Rush

Name foods
Create a busy rushing rhythm
Trolley whooshing
We are pushing...



...Write a spell to make your teacher smile at you

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Words of Student Poets

Recently I had the special treat of working with Year 7 poets from Brighton Primary School in Adelaide. During the day we closely examined a range of poetic structures and devices and applied them to our writing of poetry.
With one group I introduced Suzanna Marshak’s  powerful book ‘I Am The Ocean’ to alert these enthusiastic poets to the potential power of writing through a mask and using personification. Another group looked at personification through their connection to things in the world around them. 

Using the poem, ‘I Am These Things And More’ as a model.  Students were challenged to think about these important connections. A particular focus of the writing was to try to incorporate effective use of repetition, line breaks, simile and white space in their composed pieces.
These young poets talked in groups and identified their targets for personification. They rehearsed their opening lines. They rechecked the list of craft moves available to them and then they set about writing t…

Compound Interest POEM

I cannot claim credit for thinking of this idea, but I have had a lot of fun making this poem using compound words. I have used the words to sing the praises of someone special in my life- my wife, Vicki. I invite you to try this simple, yet effective approach to writing poetry. It is a fine example of word play. In this case playing with compound words. Poetry fun to share...



Compound Interest
You are the jingle in my bells The tick in my tock The flash in my light The spring in my time The whirl in my wind The tell in my tale You are the ever in my lasting The ginger in my bread The life in my boat It has to be said








Idioms and Poetry -Name Dropper

The inspiration for this poem came from idioms. In this case, I used idioms involving people's names. My father's generation frequently used such idioms in everyday language. Clearly my exposure to such idiomatic language had an influence. It was fun to play around with these wonderful old terms. Hope you enjoy the word play...

Name Dropper
My Dad knows lots of people I reckon He often tells me Bob’s your uncle But I don’t know any Bob’s
He believes Scott is great He’s always saying Great Scott! He wants to rob Peter to pay Paul and I’m not sure why He thinks Fanny Adams is sweet And someone called Nelly is nervous Last week he told me to run like Billy O How does Billy O run? That’s what I want to know
Dad does a lot of things for a fellow called Pete Sake And he thinks Alec is smart because he’s always saying What a smart Alec he is He thinks Ann is raggedy And Simon is simple Freddie is blind But even he can see Which I find a bit confusing
And somehow Johnny is on the spot And Jack is in a box May…