Poetry Challenge #81 Don't Bother Checking Twice

Santa still snoozing at some sunny warm spa, recovering after the busy holiday season. So, while he’s otherwise occupied, no need to bother about checking twice—unless it’s to be sure you have ink/lead in your writing implement of choice—thus clearing the way for this prompt:

Poetry Challenge #81

Make a List

Although at first glance you might not notice, soooo many poems are list poems: Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s “How do I Love Thee”, Billy Collins’ “Bread and Knife,” Shel Silverstein’s “Eighteen Flavors” to name a few.

In a list poem, you can list things you like (animals, colors, kinds of cars, playground games), signs of a season, tasks you have to do, items in a category, or what you’re going to do today.

Once you have your list, play with the order.

Choose better words that sound the same (maybe rhyme, or use alliteration).

Can you make the poem sound like it has an ending? 

Try writing a list poem. What are your plans for the day today? Or use one of the ideas above.

Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Start writing!

Don’t think about it too much; just do it.

*Cindy Faughnan and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge 1100-ish days ago. We now take turns creating our own prompts to share with you. If you join us in the 7-Minute Poetry Challenge let us know by posting the title, a note, or if you want, the whole poem in the comments.

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Poetry Challenge #72-World Read Aloud Day

Happy World Read Aloud Day!

Poetry Challenge #72

World Read Aloud Day

Let’s celebrate in style. For today’s prompt, instead of taking 7 minutes to write a poem, let’s read poems aloud. Grab a collection of poems, click over to one of the poetry links below, or if you’re feeling truly brave, flip back through your notebook and reread some of the poems you’ve written. Then, take a deep breath and read—aloud! To someone or something else. After all, poetry is best shared!

Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Start Reading!

(Be warned: You just might get carried away!)

World Read Aloud Day Links:

  1. LitWorld.org

  2. Famous Poems & Poets

  3. Poem Hunters

  4. International Poetry Digest

  5. The Writer’s Almanac NPR

  6. Where The Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein

*Cindy Faughnan and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge more than a thousand fifteen days ago. We now take turns creating our own prompts to share with you. If you join us in the 7-Minute Poetry Challenge let us know by posting the title, a note, or if you want, the whole poem in the comments.

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7-Minute Poetry Challenge #20-Memory Game

Do you know some poems? Did you ever have to memorize a poem for school? Have you memorized a poem just for the fun of it?

When my kids were little, they memorized Shel's poems. Lexi proudly recited her fav:   Eighteen Flavors  . 

When my kids were little, they memorized Shel's poems. Lexi proudly recited her fav: Eighteen Flavors

Memorizing poems helps you feel the rhythm and rhyme (if there is one) and forces you to look at each word more closely. Plus, you can recite a poem to get through a tough time or to put yourself to sleep. Amazing the uses!

Poetry Challenge #20

Memorize a Poem Day!

Today, instead of writing a new poem, read some favorites and pick a verse or two or the whole thing to memorize. Say it aloud! Say it in your head! Say it while walking or doing chores or waiting in line.

Some of Cindy's favorite poems—and ones she knows some or all of—include C.S. Lewis’s “The Walrus and the Carpenter”, lots of Robert Frost (“Fire and Ice”, “The Road Not Taken”, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”), Tennyson’s “The Lady of Shallot”, Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” and many others.

I never saw a Purple Cow,
I never hope to see one,
But I can tell you, anyhow,
I’d rather see than be one!
— Gelett Burgess

My favorite poems—those I can still recite—are "Hickory Dickory Dock", "Little Jack Horner" and others by Mother Goose, Lewis Carol's "Jabberwocky", "Itsy Bitsy Spider", and the inspiration for my picture book One Day I Went Rambling "One Day I Went Walking" by Valine Hobbs. 

What are your favorite poems? Click on it, one listed here, or a brand new discovery (don't we love the Internet for this?) and get to it:

  1. Set the timer . . . 
  2. Start Memorizing. . .
  3. Surprise Yourself!

*Cindy Faughnan and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge at least 690 days ago WHOA... We now take turns creating our own prompts to share with you. If you join us in the 7-Minute Poetry Challenge let us know by posting the title, a note, or if you want, the whole dang poem. Scroll down and click on the comments!

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7-Minute Stretch #3 Poetry Challenge-Party Time

party hat.jpg

Hurrah! Happy to have you with me. You know the drill (and if you don't it's easy enough): Grab a pen, a paper, your timer, and--why not!--a party hat! 

Poetry Challenge #3

Happy Birthday to Shel!

In honor of poet, singer-songwriter, cartoonist, screenwriter, and children's author Shel Silverstein's birthday (Sept 25, 1930) write a silly-funny poem about a made-up animal--or the perfect birthday party.

For inspiration, read one of Shel Silverstein's Birthday poems:

Happy Birthday Shel Silverstein.jpg
Birthday Snake Shel Silverstein.jpg

                          

   Set the timer for 7 minutes

                 Start writing!

Don’t think about it too much; just do it.

Write a poem, paragraph, or story. If the prompt moves you, follow it. If it sparks something else, go with it! Our 7-Minute Poetry Challenge is not about writing great poetry; or writing what is expected; it’s not even about writing anything good. It’s about one thing, writing IT!

And, if you do join us in the 7-Minute Poetry Challenge be sure to let us know by posting the title, a note, or if you want, the whole dang poem, in the comments!

And for a real treat, celebrate by reading one of   Shel Silverstein's   books!

And for a real treat, celebrate by reading one of Shel Silverstein's books!

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Ban My Book…Please!!!

So proud to find Tom Birdseye's hysterical book on the list! Write on, Tom!

So proud to find Tom Birdseye's hysterical book on the list! Write on, Tom!

It’s hump day of Banned Book week. Yes, I know, traditionally “Hump Day” is Wednesday. But that’s based on a 5-day work week. I moved Hump Day to the 4.5th day for those of us who follow a 7-day/every-day work week). That settled, back to my rant. . I’ve been known to jest, “Ban my book, please…” (Especially after Vampire Baby and Not Norman were published.)

As the saying goes, “Most truth is said in jest.” True. But I wasn’t kidding. And I’m not now, either. With both of those books, Vampire Baby especially, what I found happened is that rather than buying and then banning it, parents, grandparents & librarians—yes librarians—school, public and private—ignore it, avoid it, don’t touch it, or read it… Ignore it and it will go away, they think and do.

In the case of Vampire Baby, I was told it was because vampires are “taboo subjects” in many schools. At library/educator conventions, including TLA and IRA, I tried to explain to passing browsers how Vampire Baby isn’t really about a vampire. I tried to get the librarian or teacher to see for themselves: “Look at it! Touch it! Read for yourself, you’ll see…” They’d shake their heads or walk on by.

As for Not Norman, a Goldfish Story: Now it’s hugely popular & timely! People—adults, children, librarians—take one look at that adorable brown face peeking through the fishbowl with a goldfish for a nose and want to scoop it up. But back in 2005, when Not Norman was published, that was not the case.

 

I’d be at events & book signings, and many browsers, even “friends” who’d bought every other book I’d written offhand, skirted right past.

After all, that brown boy didn’t look anything like their children, grandchildren, students… Even still today this may happen. I can’t say for sure because I’ve banned those places.

Is being officially “Banned” bad? Yes. No one else should be able to take away our right to choose what we read.

…and No. At least. to be banned, someone has to care enough, be passionate enough, committed enough to go through all the trouble it takes to have a book officially banned. Truthfully, selfishly, I’d rather my book be banned than ignored…

Books can be dangerous objects—under their influence, people start to wonder, dream, and think.
— NYPL Banned Book Quiz

However, This is Banned Book Week! and so:

In honor of all those individuals and institution that went to all the time, trouble and expense—I’m talking hours and hours, sometimes years of trouble, People!—to get a book banned, let’s:

READ! READ! READ! All the BANNED BOOKS!

Here, courtesy of ALA is a list of the Most Frequently Challenged Children’s Books: 

And, to challenge your knowledge of banned and challenged books, the NYPL Banned Book Quiz

Happy reading! 

Ban My Book…Please!!! Playlist:

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