Monday, February 18, 2008

Monday Poetry Stretch - Rhyming Chant

Mary Lee over at A Year of Reading wrote about April Pulley Sayre's book Bird, Bird, Bird for Nonfiction Monday at the beginning of the month. In that entry, she wrote:
How's this for a poetry stretch -- could you take the names of a group of, say, 10-20 rodents, or mammals (or even poets, authors or bloggers) and make them into a rhyming chant? I'm heading over to Miss Rumphius right now to suggest it!
Gauntlet thrown and accepted. For me, the ultimate rhyming chant is Tom Lehrer's song The Elements.

All my chant attempts so far have fit this tune (a parody of Modern Major General from The Pirates of Penzance). It's sad, really, because I can't get it out of my head. I began with this:
Counting 1 and 2 and 3
Shapes and patterns, symmetry
Algebra, geometry
I'm not sure I have enough math to write about, so I set it aside and began thinking about mammals. Here's how it started.
Elephant, rhinocerous
kangaroo and platypus
Rabbit, fox and polar bear
Bats are flying through the air
The rhyme works, but I have a strong desire for these animals to be related in some way. Perhaps I'll try continent or biome.

So fair poetry writers, your challenge for this week is to write a rhyming chant of your own. What will you choose? Will it be cities, food, flowers, or something else? I'll continue working on my mammal chant. Leave me a comment when your poem is complete and I will post the results here later this week.


  1. Okay. I'm totally psyched. Mine is ready.


    (but I'm saving it for Poetry Friday...unless I can't stand it any longer and put it up early!)

    I have to say, the right topic is the key here. I stood in my office and looked at images from home, book titles and authors, the blankness of the eastern end of the map of Colorado. I wrote words, phrases, titles and authors on scraps of note card, sorted them by syllables and the poem practically wrote itself. It is MUCH better than my Google Reader Chant, although that was a very fun first try.

    Good luck, all! I can't wait to see what you come up with!

  2. My Star Wars version is ready:

    You'll have to forgive the meter/forced rhymes, but since I was using only the titles of 1980 Star Wars cards, I had very little flexibility.

  3. this was fun. I did the elements and principles of art.
    you can see my post at

  4. Better late than never, I am hoping!

    Here is mine!

    Thanks! This was fun!