POETRY BREAK: UNUSUAL FORM-- A poem written in an unusual poem form (and identify the form)
Viorst, Judith. 1981. If I were in charge of the world and other worries: Poems for children and their parents. Lynne Cherry, illus. NY: Aladdin Books. 36-37.
Sometimes poems are
Short and fat
And have a
And squashed one flat.
This unusual poem, titled Sometimes Poems, by Judith Viorst, is a free style poem, the poem itself personified, first with a double chin, then sporting a tall, skinny, pencil-thin shape. It is whimsical and funny, with an unexpected ending, especially where text is concerned. It could be considered a shape poem. This poem would be great to use to surprise children with its shape and ending. It is a “must see” visual poem.
In junior high, use this poem as a poetry break to present the many faces of poetry to introduce a poetry unit. For junior high students, “poetry unit” has a dry connotation. This poem, however, would help them understand that poetry is not dry, can be fun, and can be written in many forms.
For an extension activity, introduce poetry terms, pointing out the personification of the poem itself in Sometimes Poems, along with the imagery. Instruct the students to create their own version of personified items and write a free-style or shape poem about the item. Challenge them to transfer their poems to a concrete form, as they did with the pencil. Spread out a large number of poetry books and ask the students to browse them for unusual poems.