Poetry pointers #1

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 Find the rhythm

Poetry doesn’t have to rhyme but it should have good rhythm–should sound good read aloud, as that is how most poetry for children is delivered, rather than silent reading. Listen to the sounds as you read out your poem; does it have a good pattern, an attractive rhythm? Jerky rhythm or forced rhyme will really spoil the overall feel. – Sophie Masson. (Visit Sophie’s website here to find out more about her writing).



Poem of the Day



by Allan Cropper


There’s a booger in my hanky, it’s been there for half an hour

It is fresh and it is green, but it tastes a little sour

I will hide it in my sock drawer if I ever take a shower

I wonder if my mother’s gonna mind


There’s a booger in my hanky and it’s been there all the day

It is icky and it’s sticky and it’s looking pretty grey

I think I’ll try to train it, and teach it how to stay

I wonder if my mother’s gonna mind


There’s a booger in my hanky and it’s been in there all week

It is probably worth a lot ’cause it’s almost an antique

If you really want to see it I can give you a quick peak

I wonder if my mother’s gonna mind


There’s a booger in my hanky, now it’s been in there a year

It’s as solid as a rock and it’s looking pretty clear

That the booger is a goner, but don’t you shed a tear

There’s plenty of other boogers I can find

I wonder if my mother’s gonna mind




Poem of the Day


Moving marvel

By Teena Raffa-Mulligan


I can

Banana bend

Licorice twist

Jelly wibble wobble.


See me

Caterpillar creep

Snake slither

Deer dash and dart.


I am

Rock steady

Tree tall

River rush and flow.


Love this

Body mine

Body strong

This moving marvel.

* First published in School Magazine.

Poem of the Day

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Feeling Weird

by Allan Cropper

Have you woken up to find
you don’t know how you feel?
That’s how I felt when I woke up today.
I tried to find a word that would
express the way I felt
but there were not the words that would convey
the feelings I was feeling, for
it all felt so surreal,
a feeling like no other I have known.
I cannot find the words to tell you
how it is I felt.
I’ll have to make up new words of my own.

I felt flagisticatious,
all wimbillical inside.
Indubicartly grobble-poxed, was I.
Befuddulant and jingle-jacked,
quite micro-ballical,
which can’t have been too pleasing to the eye.
I felt so astro-numical,
anthortical in fact,
in a very catostrismic kind of way.
And that, my friend, just sums it up –
exactly how I felt –
the way I felt when I awoke today.

Poetry pointers

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To rhyme or not to rhyme?

Where do you get ideas? How do you write a poem? Do poems have to rhyme? What makes it a poem if it doesn’t rhyme? Who publishes poetry? How do I become a children’s poet? What is your top tip for writers who want to write poetry for children?

These are among the myriad questions asked by writers who want to write poetry. How would you answer them? If you have a poetry pointer to share, email me at traffa-m(at)bigpond.net.au