In the past few weeks, we asked readers and listeners to write structured poems using either parts of speech or syllables. Many of you wrote in with cinquains, haiku, and diamond poems.
In this week's Everyday Grammar, we will read some of your poems.
Thao wrote a cinquain poem with parts of speech. Let’s take a look:
Warmer, dry, bright
Lighting, heating, cuddling
Waiting for the raindrops
Thao’s subject is “summer,” which is his one-word noun. The second line has three adjectives that describe the season. This line should only have two adjectives, but it is okay. The poem is still a cinquain with five lines. Next, Thao moves onto the third line with three -ing verbs.
The fourth line uses the phrase, “Waiting for the rain drops.” This line describes Thao’s feelings about summer and the longing for relief from the warm weather. And in the last line, Thao uses the word “passion” which is a strong emotion of love and considers his thoughts about summer. Wonderful job, Thao!
Our next two poems come from Francis and Muhammad. They both wrote diamond poems. Let’s start with Francis’ poem:
Caring, loving, understanding
Sister, daughter, aunty, wife
Worrying, crying, protecting
Francis wrote about a “mother.” He used four adjectives, two in the second line and two in the sixth line, “gentle,” “kind,” “sweet,” and “beautiful.” In the third and fifth lines he used six -ing verbs. While the two lines describe the subject, “mother,” there is a change in the 5th line to more powerful images of “crying,” “worrying,” and “protecting.”
The fourth line includes other nouns and parts the subject might play. Lastly, Francis ends his lovely cinquain with “woman.” Francis created his cinquain with synonyms, words with similar meanings. Now let’s read one with antonyms, words with opposing meanings, that Muhammad sent in.
Teaching, perspiring, inspiring
Notebooks, books, chalk, duster
Advising, leading, bearing
In his diamond poem, Muhammad starts with “teacher” as his subject and ends with “student.” He describes a “teacher” as “kind” and “caring.” Then he compares a teacher to a student using adjectives in the seventh line like “disrespectful” and “unruly.” Those negative adjectives are a smart choice for the antonym poem.
There is one word we would like to give feedback on, “perspiring.” It means to sweat when our bodies work hard. I will admit teaching is a physical activity, and we do sweat as teachers. Another word we could use is “enduring,” which means working hard over a long period of time. Such a fun poem, Muhammad!
Lastly, we have two poems using syllables from Jack. One is a haiku with 17 syllables, and another is a cinquain with 22 syllables. Let’s start with Jack’s haiku:
We were always doomed,
I will never understand,
Jack uses powerful words like “doomed” and “inevitable.” All the words fit the syllable structure of the haiku with five syllables in the first line, seven in the second line, and five again in the last line.
Here is Jack’s cinquain:
The blue sky is tranquil,
A natural phenomenon,
All of Jack’s words fit the structure of a cinquain with syllables.
Grey sky, (2 syllables)
Shepherds delight, (4 syllables)
The blue sky is tranquil, (6 syllables)
A natural phenomenon, (8 syllables)
Look up (2 syllables)
There is a connection to the common saying, “red sky at night, shepherd's delight.” It means that if there is a bright red sky in the evening, the following day will bring good weather. Instead of red, Jack chose “grey,” followed by “blue sky.” We know that once grey skies clear, blue skies and sunny days will follow.
Jack ends with a request, “look up.” The mood of this poem is very peaceful, and your word choices fit the syllables! Thank you, Jack!
In today’s report, we read structured poems from our listeners. You chose subjects like “summer,” “sky,” mother” and “teacher.” You chose words that fit poem structures, parts of speech and syllables. Your poems were filled with emotion and descriptive images.
We hope that you have enjoyed learning about ways to create poetry in English. And we thank all of you who sent us your good work.
I’m Faith Pirlo. And I’m Jill Robbins.