Posts tagged poetry

Your turn!

Your turn to write a poem

I find lots of people think that poetry is so hard to write.

Yet a poem can be written with rhythm, strength and strong feeling by just using two words for each line, a bit like a ladder, all the way down that page

Here are some photos that might help you to have a go.

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Here’s an example:

Brown towers

cobble stones

sky paving

giraffe tall.

(c)  Lorraine Marwood

See if you can write ten lines like this- after all that is only a 20 word poem.  Have a go.  Post your poems in the comments section.  I’d love to read them.

This type of poem cuts out all the unnecessary words and allows the poem to breathe.  It also makes us use the strong words of writing like nouns and verbs.

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Childhood and its influence on my writing.

Now that’s an interesting topic!  I know that what I liked as a child, I still like now.

One thing I loved to do was explore.  We lived near the bush and near the abandoned workings of one of Bendigo’s famous gold fields.

I walked through some paddocks and into the old mining area.  It was very dangerous when I look back now, because many of the mines were uncapped and so deep and so full of water , way down.

But I could feel the history, the untold stories, the drama, the hardships, the excitement of finding gold.  I also began to read about the gold fields.  So many thousands of people came to Bendigo from all over the world to find their fortune.  Many Chinese came too and you can still see the re-workings of abandoned mines by the Chinese, they made the mine shaft circular, different to the Cornish miners.

I began to imagine.  For years an idea ran through my head.  I even have the draft of a story I wrote before my goldfield story ‘Ratwhiskers and me’ was published by Walker books.

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The story is written in a different way, as a verse novel.  I realised that particular genre was just what I needed to complete that story.

I remember begin ‘stuck’ half way through the writing.  So I took a thermos and sat just in a little park near an abandoned gold field.  My characters began to breathe easy and as I soaked in the atmosphere, my writing had a new direction.

This was a story I had to write.  I love finding snippets of history and breathing new life into them.

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Here is a photo of the graves of many Chinese miners who died on the Bendigo gold field.  A cemetery is often an interesting place to walk through.

So this is one aspect of my childhood that lives on in one of my books.

What do/did you like as a child and are you still interested in those things?  I’d love to hear about them.

Lorraine M

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Gathering Ideas for writing

How does an author gather ideas?

How does a poet gather ideas?

My answer:

We look and observe, capture a tiny detail, embroider it

look at it from a different angle, then surprise the reader and ourselves.

I use exercise books like this to keep all my ideas together:

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I always write the date in, I jot down a thought, a sight, a little treasure of a word, or a sudden idea.

(or even the complete poem)

If I don’t write it down straight away it goes away never to return.

Here is a suggestion for you to begin your own ‘ideas’ book.

Try keeping an ideas book each day for a week.

  1. Just write down a conversation that was funny or unusual you were a part of or overheard.

Here’s an example:

While on a walk recently  I overheard these comments:

‘I bet a thousand dollars…’

 

‘It’ll make you dizzy.’

 

‘But then you would never…

These fragments could become part of a story, or a poem or lead to more ideas.

2.  Just write down a few words about what was happening in your world, even the weather.

3.  Even a quick sketch of your pet and a few words about what they like to do best.  Sketching and writing is a great idea.

For my latest collection of poetry ‘Guinea Pig town and other poems about animals’ Walker books, I was able to observe animals and then write from this.  Taking a photograph to look back later was great also.

Here are two photos of two animals.  Both were in London and both are the subjects of poems in my book.

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If you are able to look in a copy of ‘Guinea Pig town and other Animal poems’ then look up:

‘A big bathroom’

‘Flamingos’

Then you can see the finished poems.

What do you like to write about?  I’d love to hear from you.

Lorraine M

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Meet our October Star Author Lorraine Marwood

Our wonderful October Star Author is Lorraine Marwood.  Lorraine was born and raised in the country, and lived for most of her married life on a dairy farm. She is an award-winning poet who often writes about country life, and she has also published several children’s novels and collections of poetry.  Her books include a verse novel called Starjumps, Ratwhiskers and Me, and collections of poetry, including Note on the Door, and Guinea Pig Town and Other Animal Poems.

Thanks for joining us Lorraine!  We look forward to hearing all about your writing and books.

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Bananas In My Ears – Poems by Michael Rosen

Michael Rosen is a cool poet and author who has been writing poems for years.  His poetry collections always have really funny titles like Lunch Boxes Don’t Fly and Mustard, Custard, Grumble Belly and Gravy.  His latest collection, Bananas In My Ears, is full of weird and wonderful poems.

In Bananas In My Ears there are poems about everyday life, like things that happen at breakfast time or when you go to the doctors, but there are also poems about silly things that could happen.  My favourite poems in the book are called ‘What if…’ and they’re about things like ‘What if a piece of toast turned into a ghost just as you were eating it?’ or ‘What if they made children-sized diggers?’  They’re really funny and things get completely out of control in them.  Each of the poems are illustrated by Quentin Blake, who you might recognize as the illustrator that did the covers and illustrations for all of Roald Dahl’s books.

Poems are great to read if you don’t have alot of time to read or just want something short and Bananas In My Ears is a collection of poems you’ll want to read again and again.

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Sticky Ends – Poems by Jeanne Willis

There are all sorts of poetry books you can find in the library.  There are nice, sweet poems about friends, poems about animals, or poems about monsters.  Some of them rhyme and some of them twist and turn all over the page.  Sticky Ends is a new collection of twenty-six very funny cautionary verses where the characters come to a sticky end.  Some of them are stupendously silly, some are horribly gross, but they’re all funny.

In Sticky Ends you’ll meet Bubblegum Pete who ate all the bubblegum he could eat, but then comes to a sticky end when he blows the biggest bubble and gets blown away.  There’s a very naughty Father Christmas who gets blackmailed by a naughty boy, Lardy Marge who eats too much butter, and Filthy Frankie who gets cocooned in snot.

If you ever need a really funny poem to read aloud at school or to make your parents squirm, Sticky Ends has a great selection to choose from.  If you’re looking for it in the library, just look for the picture of an elephant sitting on a person on the front cover.

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A POEM TO SHARE

HEY THERE CHRISTCHURCH AND OTHER KIDS – IT’S YOUR AUGUST STAR AUTHOR HERE AGAIN.

It’s nearly the end of the second week of term three already. In my class we’ve been doing lots of Maori art in traditional and non-traditional colours. Everyone is choosing their favourite pieces to display. They look awesome!

Last night I went to the Regional Science Fair in Fairlie. There were lots of great investigations and experiments to look at. Well done to all students involved and especially to the winners.

Thanks to the people who have been posting comments, including Mark and Ansja Whetu. Mark is one of New Zealand’s best known mountaineers and adventurers. I have been lucky to teach both of his and Ansja’s super-cool kids. Last summer Mark took my book to Antarctica to read when he was down there guiding a group of American scientists. He told me they all read and loved my book but they couldn’t believe it was written from someone in little old Twizel in little old New Zealand!  He also told me that most of them had never heard of Iron Bottom Sound or Guadalcanal, which I think is really sad because thousands of Americans died there.

Do you think it’s important to know the history of your own country? I’d be interested in your thoughts.

I have decided to share some poems with you. Here’s the first one.

POEM ONE: This is a poem from The Ghosts of Iron Bottom Sound. I didn’t really write this poem. I copied most of it from a poem written for me by my Australian e-mail friend Mac Gregory.

The ghosts of Iron Bottom Sound

Are murmuring in the deep,

Underwater cameras have disturbed them

From their long, long sleep.

 In case you are wondering: Mac’s poem was about a Kiwi Writer disturbing the ghosts, not underwater cameras – the Kiwi Writer was of course me!

Log on again soon for another poem. The next one will be from my not-yet-published second book The Lucky Ship.

Ka kite ano

From Sandy Nelson

Author of The Ghosts of Iron Bottom Sound

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