Monday, February 25, 2008

Monday Poetry Stretch - Apostrophe

There are many days when I want to talk to someone who isn't here, to ask questions, to wonder. I've been mulling this over for a while now and think it's time we wrote some apostrophe. An apostrophe is a poem which directly addresses a person or thing that is generally absent. Here are some beginning lines from poems that use this form.
Edgar Allen Poe - To Science
Science! true daughter of Old Time thou art!
Who alterest all things with thy peering eyes.
Why preyest thou thus upon the poet's heart,
Vulture, whose wings are dull realities?

Percy Bysshe Shelley -
Ode to the West Wind
O Wild West Wind, thou breath of Autumn's being
Thou from whose unseen presence the leaves dead
Are driven like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing,

John Pierpont - The Fugitive Slave’s Apostrophe to the North Star
Star of the North! though night winds drift
The fleecy drapery of the sky
Between thy lamp and me, I lift,
Yea, lift with hope, my sleepless eye
To the blue heights wherein thou dwellest,
And of a land of freedom tellest.

William Shakespeare - Julius Caesar, Act 3, Scene 1
O, pardon me, thou bleeding piece of earth,
That I am meek and gentle with these butchers!
Thou art the ruins of the noblest man
That ever lived in the tide of times.
Now that you've read a few examples for inspiration, who or what will you write to for your apostrophe? Leave me a comment about your poem and I will post the results here later this week.


  1. Interviewing the ocean

    Sorry, if it's hard on the eyes.

  2. Tricia,

    My elementary students wrote some wonderful poems of address over the years. I'd like to attempt your poetry stretch this week--but I've been battling a stubborn respiratory infection and I've fallen behind on a few things.

    One recommendation: "Hey, You!: Poems to Skyscrapers, Mosquitoes, and Other Fun Things" is a good anthology of poems of address selected by Paul B. Janeczko. It was published in 2007.

  3. Thanks, Elaine! This book looks marvelous, so I went ahead and ordered it!

  4. This is a good one. I'll have to do some thinking...

  5. I am supposed to be writing report cards this morning but I wrote a sonnet for my grandmother instead... one has to go with what inspires!

  6. Just for fun. You can see my entry entitled "Election Race" at

  7. I'm in at

    Thanks for a relatively easy one this week. I couldn't have composed a sonnet on the car ride home today.

  8. Both educational and inspirational! Thanks! Here's my Ode To A New York City Walk Signal.

  9. Thanks Tricia,

    This was fun. See you next week.
    My apostrophe poem can be found at