Tuesday, 23 August 2011

List Poems

by Jan Dean

List poems can be good fun. 
First choose a big idea.
• Things to take on holiday/ things to take to the beach/ the caravan/ camping
• To-do list for Friday/ before turning off the light / planning the party
• Shopping list / Christmas presents to buy list
• Top days out list / worst days out list
… any list will do.

Now begin with some real things that make sense on the list you chose.
For example - Animals I’d like to be – in order:

Some kind of lion. A dolphin. A bird (such as Gibson’s Wandering Albatross – because it’s a great name and I've actually seen one).
An Irish Wolfhound
Dragon (who says it has to be a ‘real’ animal?)

Next play with the ideas that you’ve come up with. It can be really simple.

Animals I’d like to be – in order.
A lion – no-one would mess with me then.
A dolphin – best swimmer ever.
A bird – lots of birds - I’ll try out sparrowing and parroting,
eagling and puffin-ing.
An Irish Wolfhound – big as a donkey.
A dragon, a dragon, a dragon
Red as fire and fierce as a volcano.

Or write a picture of each creature you chose

I’ll be…
I’ll be a lion. Some kind of lion,
a black lion that roars like the night
or a silver lion with claws like crescent moons.
Maybe a mountain lion
high over a golden canyon
yellow eyes watching
lizards skitter in the sand.

I’ll be a dolphin
not a bottle-nose or a porpoise
something bluer and more beautiful
the sea become skin and muscle
waves leaping.

I’ll be a dragon
and carve the air into winds,
ride the light.

Now play again. keep working, changing and rearranging your list and your ideas until you're really pleased with the result.

I want to be a bird
I’ve heard
it’s good to be a bird
word on the street
says being a bird’s sweet.
You could tweet that….

And again: 
I’d be a lion, but I couldn’t eat raw meat
I’d be a dolphin, but I’m seasick
Gibson’s Wandering Albatross could be good
but would I stray too far?
- fly too far south, past icebergs
over white Antarctic frost -
Would I get lost?
I’d be a wolfhound – wild and lairy
kind of smelly, kind of hairy.
I’d have to wear a lead and collar with a tag on…
Don’t fancy that
I’ll be a dragon.

Have a go. See what you come up with. And send us your poem!

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