Monday, September 10, 2012

Monday Poetry Stretch - Homophoem

It's always a pleasure to receive an e-mail from our Children's Poet Laureate, J. Patrick Lewis, especially when he's writing to share 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. Leave me a note about your poem and I'll share the results in time for Poetry Friday. 


  1. A Young Person Named Rhode

    There was a young person named Rhode
    Who rode on his bike down a road.
    But Rhode by mistake
    Rode right into a lake
    Where he rowed and he rowed and he rowed.

  2. Ms. Wright

    Ms. Wright is a woman who writes
    All day of inalienable rights.
    But she got in a fight
    With a right-wing playwright
    Now the pastor is saying last rites.

  3. Miss Rose

    A young man was courting Miss Rose
    Who asked him to buy her some rose.
    He mistook her wish
    For the roes of a fish
    Which he gave to her, rows and rows.

  4. Bowled Over

    Whenever he visited, they disappeared,
    So he was the person that every box feared.
    From Froot Loops to Crispix to Bunches of Oats
    They'd tremble with fear as cries caught in their throats.
    Organics would quake as if made out of filler...
    For no one escaped from the cereal killer.

  5. Not a homophoem; doesn't meet the two-to-ten line rule, but fun with homophones:

    While Talking on the Homophone

    While talking on the homophone
    I heard the strangest thing.
    I heard a girl named Summer Winter
    fall into a spring.

    I heard a knight who mourned
    for Eve and Dawn one afternoon
    was later weakened in a daze
    by April, May and June.

    I heard a baker pinched some dough
    and pitched the batter too.
    But when the owner fired him
    that loafer wouldn't shoo.

    I heard a psychic wagered stakes
    and gamboled as she won.
    It's rare to see a medium
    who's ever so well done.

    I heard the toast made butter fly.
    The reason? It was plain.
    I heard the king was always wet.
    He blamed his lifetime reign.

    But now he's dry; at eight feet tall
    his crown was over throne.
    I guess that's what I get
    for talking on the homophone.

  6. Zombie Dad

    In a boat with his wonderful buoy,
    the zombie dad shuddered with pride.
    His kid was a hippie, but not a bit drippy,
    in a shirt that was nicely tie-died.
    “His mother’s been feeding him brains,
    though lately she hasn’t shown up.
    His lurching’s a terrible joy.
    Just look at the way he’s groan up!”

    --Kate Coombs

  7. I Barely Knew Him, but...

    There once was a bashful young bear,
    who was terrified others would stare.
    so he cloaked his bare skin--
    from shoulder to shin--
    with layer after layer after layer...
    then he ran down the stairs
    to his shadowy lair
    where he never was heard from again!

  8. From my book BIRDS OF A FEATHER:

    Terns Galore

    At the seaside, terns galore,
    One tern, one tern, one tern more.
    I tern. You tern.
    My turn to fly, tern,
    Overhead and high, tern.
    Underneath and ’bye, tern.
    Why, tern, why turn?
    Turning terns are all returning,
    There upon the shore.

    © 2011 by Jane Yolen

  9. Love that last poem of Pat's especially! to put on my poeming cap.

  10. I love writing impromptu poems. Here goes:

    This Is Lunch?
    By Ed DeCaria

    This sandwich looks disgusting—yuck!
    What is that bread, a rye?
    There’s just no way I’m eating that,
    I’d rather starve and die.

    But damn, I’m hungry—Pass some chips,
    And let the fixins fly ...
    ‘Cause now I’ve mustered all my strength:
    I’ll give corned beef a try.


    Jonathon Joseph Jameson Smart
    Begged me to look at his work of art
    When he asked for a critique
    I almost said, "Dude, it's weak!"
    But I didn't have the hart.

    (c) Charles Waters 2012 all rights reserved.

  12. (For those who =didn't already see this) My poem from last Poetry Friday falls into this category:

    Franken-Jack and Franken-Jill at 1000 Poems


    Mr. Woolly stared into the mirror
    Appearing completely appalled,
    His last bit of hair was gone,
    Who knows where?
    He stood there, dejected, and bawled.

    © Carol Weis 2012

  14. Clothes

    I do not dress like anyone.
    My cowboy boots are pink and gold.
    I wear them with a mermaid tail.
    (It shimmers when the sea is cold.)
    The tiptop of my pirate hat
    lights up at night just like a star.
    Where do I get these crazy clothes?
    I only shop at the bizarre.

    Amy Ludwig VanDerwater