Monday, April 07, 2014

Monday Poetry Stretch - Homophoem

Back in 2012 I received a message from J. Patrick Lewis in which he shared a new poetic form. We have him to thank for our stretch this week.

homophoem is a two- to ten-line poem that contains at least one homophone, preferably as the surprise end-word.  

If you haven't studied grammar in a while, homophones are words that share the same pronunciation, irrespective of their spelling, but differ in meaning.  

Here are some examples of the form, all written by Pat.


   No one understood
genetics until Mendel
     went to take a pea

*  *
Zen Football

      The quarterback folds
his hands under the center—
“18, 6, X, haik-! “  

*  *
Not Aloud

A horrid fifth-grader named Nate
Was a bully to every classmate.
     When she sent him to school,
     His mother—no fool—
Made certain Nate’s jacket was strait.

*  *
Foul Ball

When the high school band took their places
In the stands for the Rams vs. Aces,
     A kid hit a home run,
     But confused by the sun,
He kept running around all the basses.

*  *  *  *  *
So, the challenge for the week is to write a homophoem. Won't you join us? Please share a link to your poem or the poem itself in the comments.


  1. Puzzle

    First blue edges all around,
    then I can put the countries in—
    Chad, Malawi, Madagascar.
    Some are fat and some are thin.

    Cameroon and Egypt. Oh—
    I just found Greece and Spain.
    Hungary, the Netherlands,
    Ireland, Denmark, and Ukraine.

    Next I work on Asia—
    Israel, Afghanistan.
    Two Koreas, North and South,
    Cambodia and Japan.

    All these different colors,
    surrounded by sea blue—
    Argentina and Brazil,
    United States, Peru.

    The world has lots of little ones—
    Trinidad and Tobago,
    Liechtenstein and Singapore,
    Tuvalu, Montenegro.

    I count, I tally, double check—
    El Salvador, Belize,
    Croatia and New Zealand, but
    there’s still a missing peace.

    —Kate Coombs, 2014
    all rights reserved

  2. Kate, you nailed it! Love all those different sounding countries and then the unifying "peace" at the end. Fabulous. xo

  3. Oh, Kate. I kept wondering what it was going to be. So perfect. So sad. So true.

  4. Wow--this is terrific, Kate. Love the sounds of all the countries, and your perfect puzzling ending.

  5. Kate, no lie, that was so good I almost didn't contribute to this exercise. Anyhow here is my 1st contribution.

    Blankets of steam crowd our destination
    We trudge on bundled particles, wedging each digit
    As seagulls sing their morning song, I look to my
    Comrade, ask the ultimate question.
    “Jose, can you sea?”

    (c) Charles Waters 2014 all rights reserved.

    Here is my 2nd contribution. It's not a homophoem per say, maybe it's his or her relative.

    A fusillade of verbal attacks,
    My clothes, family, way of
    Speaking, and especially my
    Faulty math scores are in her
    Crosshairs. I look into those
    Hazel orbs, whisper,
    “Why are you so rude to me?”
    Forehead crinkling, shoulders
    Hunched she says,
    “I don’t know what you mean?”

    (c) Charles Waters 2014 all rights reserved.

  6. Thanks, you guys! And Charles, I love "Jose, can you see"!

  7. Kate, as I mentioned on Facebook, your poem is tremendously good - and too perfect to top. I also enjoyed Charles' two entries! Here's mine (hoping the formatting doesn't get confusing since we can't italicize here):

    (A conversation in two voices)

    No bull,
    I’m not a cow,
    it’s true –
    I don’t eat hay,
    I have no moo.

    "But what about
    your horns and hooves,
    and all the grass
    you like to chew?"

    My parents
    both have horns –
    they do!
    They both
    have hooves
    and eat grass, too!

    "Are you an ox?
    A yak? A ewe?
    Please tell me!
    Give me just a clue!"

    Who am I?
    Why, I am zebu!

    I never gnu."

    - © 2014, Matt Forrest Esenwine, all rights reserved

  8. Thanks for posting this challenge, Tricia. I think I found it on Tuesday and have been puzzling on homophoems all week. The ones above are hare to top, thoughtful and fun too.

    I put my efforts into a blog post and linked it to this week's Poetry Friday HERE. Thanks Tricia and J. Patrick Lewis for getting my creative juices flowing!

    Violet N.

  9. Jack raised a hen he called Sunny Placed,
    who trailed her pal Jack at the track where he raced.
    The hen was content to go where Jack went,
    believing that Jack was her special gent.
    He fed her fine seeds and bathed her in dust--
    she never suspected he’d serve Miss Placed, trussed.

    --Buffy Silverman, 2014, all rights reserved

  10. These are terrific, imaginative, and just plain awesome.