Monday, September 17, 2007

Monday Poetry Stretch - Blues Poem

My recent poem called Rainy Day Blues got me thinking that this would be a fun form to experiment with next. I've been listening to some of my Alligator Records to get into the proper mood. Here's what you need to know to write a blues poem.
Blues poetry takes it's name from the musical form. (Read about blues music.) Blues songs are generally narrative in structure and are about grief, hopelessness, loss, and hard times. In writing a blues poem, the authors of The Teachers & Writers Handbook of Poetic Forms recommend that you "think of something that depresses you."
You can read more about this form at

I am working on two poems for my six-year old. One is entitled Lunch Box Blues and the other is Bedtime Blues. As you may have noticed, almost all of my poems are written for kids. However, don't let my examples stop you from tackling any of these forms.

For a bit of inspiration today, I leave you with this fine example by Langston Hughes.
Po' Boy Blues
by Langston Hughes

When I was home de
Sunshine seemed like gold.
When I was home de
Sunshine seemed like gold.
Since I come up North de
Whole damn world's turned cold.

I was a good boy,
Never done no wrong.
Yes, I was a good boy,
Never done no wrong,
But this world is weary
An' de road is hard an' long.

I fell in love with
A gal I thought was kind.
Fell in love with
A gal I thought was kind.
She made me lose ma money
An' almost lose ma mind.

Weary, weary,
Weary early in de morn.
Weary, weary,
Early, early in de morn.
I's so weary
I wish I'd never been born.
So, do you want to play? What kind of blues poem will you write? Post your creation on your blog and then leave a link in the comments. Once we have some poems, I'll link them all here.


  1. I've written a lot of blues-style poems, but this is one of my favorites:

  2. Took me until Friday, but I certainly got inspired. Here's the Volunteering Blues: