Monday, January 30, 2017

Monday Poetry Stretch - Things To Do

In honor of Elaine Magliaro, who has a new book coming out on February 7th, I thought it might be fun to write "Things To Do" poems.

Elaine wrote a terrific post way back in 2010 describing how she got started writing things to do poems. Inspired by the poems of Bobbi Katz, Elaine took to writing list poems in this format with her second graders. The post, The Super Duper "Things to Do" Poems Post, includes example poems written by/with her students, as well as links to original poems Elaine wrote in this form.
Elaine's book, Things to Do, is filled with poem that describe "things to do" if you are dawn, a bird, honeybee, an acorn, the sky, and more.

Here's an excerpt from a poem that didn't make it into this collection.

Things To Do If You Are a Castle

Stand on a stony cliff
overlooking the sea.
Wear a thick wall of armor.
Sprout tall turrets.
Be a haven.
Drop your drawbridge
for damsels in distress.

Read the poem in its entirety.

I hope you'll join me in writing a "Things To Do" poem this week. Please share a link to your poem or the poem itself in the comments.


  1. Oh, congratulations to Elaine! And what a wonderful concept. Can't wait to get the book!

    Things to Do If You’re an Icicle

    Hide beneath snow.
    Gleam in the sun.
    Make people slip.
    Practice being a stalactite.
    Melt a little.
    Wait for clouds.
    Wait for night.
    Freeze again.
    Be smooth.
    Be cold.
    Be a skating rink.
    Be a slide.

    —Kate Coombs, 2017
    all rights reserved

  2. This is just about my favorite poetic form, and I think Elaine is the one who introduced me to it. If You Were the Moon began as this kind of poem, and it still is, with just a one-spread intro added at the beginning. I will write one this week:>) I can't wait to see Elaine's lovely book.

    Wake up in a rush after alarm clock rings in new day.
    Scamper outside to the whirling wail of frosty winds.
    Screech to a halt for a long, well-earned piddle (and then some).
    Sniff crumpled leaves and acorns for a whiff of nature’s fragrance.
    Squirrel! Begin morning calisthenics by sprinting faster than an eye blink.
    Skedaddle back into warm domicile for a morning meal.
    Plop down on faded, burgundy couch, guard family abode … until lunch.

    (c) Charles Waters 2017 all rights reserved.