Friday, September 05, 2008

Poetry Friday - Some Opposites

It's been a strange week of ups and downs, with happy and sad events and days that have flown by while others crawled toward their close. Reflecting on the week has me thinking of opposites, so here is an appropriate poem.
Some Opposites
by Richard Wilbur

What is the opposite of riot?
It's lots of people keeping quiet.

The opposite of doughnut? Wait
A minute while I meditate.
This isn't easy. Ah, I've found it!
A cookie with a hole around it.

What is the opposite of two?
A lonely me, a lonely you.

The opposite of a cloud could be
A white reflection in the sea,
Or a huge blueness in the air,
Caused by a cloud's not being there.

The opposite of opposite?
That's much too difficult. I quit.

(This poem can be found in The Oxford Book of Children's Verse in America, chosen and edited by Don Hall.)
The round up is being hosted by Elaine at Wild Rose Reader. Do stop by to enjoy all the great poetry being shared this week. Before you go, be sure to check out this week's poetry stretch results.

One More Thing! - Yesterday I wrote about Britain's exam board and their request that schools destroy an anthology with a poem containing a reference to knives. Please read the post and the poem that caused the furor.


  1. What a fun poem. Cheered me up today :)! Thanks.

  2. I like this one -- and the ying/yang thing definitely fits!

    A blueness in the air is a nice way of thinking of a sky...cloudless.

  3. I feel as if I should have heard this before, but I haven't. I think "what's the opposite of doughnut?" is about as wonderful a question as "why is a bicycle?"

  4. How funny that he quits so abruptly with the opposite of opposite, which makes the reader (or at least me) keep thinking. He's done all the hard work earlier in the poem. Maybe he quits because the opposite of opposite is the same, which is so easy that there's no poetry in it for him.