Friday, September 25, 2020

Poetry Sisters Ponder the Hippo

The challenge this month was to write to the word ponderous or the image of a hippo. I decided to play around with an old quick write prompt issued by Nikki Grimes at Kate Messner's blog way back in 2014. Based on the examples she shared, I decided I wanted to begin a poem with "Hippo is a __ word." Here's where my poem  went.

Image courtesy of Wallpaper Flare

Hippo is a ponderous word
a barrel-shaped word
a semi-aquatic,
unable to swim word
a yawning, wide open word
a gregarious, booming word
an aggressive and unpredictable word
Keep your hands in the boat
while you float downriver,
observing a bloat of
hippopotamuses and hippopotami
ears twitching, eyes watching
keeping the crocodiles at bay.

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2020. All rights reserved.

You can read the pieces written by my Poetry Sisters at the links below. As usual, life has gotten in the way for some folks, but they'll be back for other challenges. 
If you’d like to write with us next month, the challenge is to write a naani poem with the theme of foresight, or autumn, or both. We will be posting on the last Friday of the month (October 30th) and would love to have you join us.

I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by Jone MacCulloch. Happy poetry Friday friends!


  1. YES! The way this picked up steam -- I was honestly beating the table like a drum as I read! I loved this prompt!

  2. Definitely keep your hands in the boat.
    It goes from yawning to gregarious to aggro in an eyeblink - which is just about right!

  3. I, too, enjoyed the movement in the poem from a description of the hippo as an unable to swim word to a creature that is a dangerous animal (Keep your hands in the boat) who is ever watchful. This challenge really made me think of how to use ponderous in a creative way that fits with the thoughts of the day. I actually thought about this for days before writing. I look forward to the next challenge.

  4. A compelling little poem about a ponderous word and creature, indeed! You so captured the dangerous, aggressive nature of these creatures and I also appreciate your inclusion of the official group name, "bloat" - how very fitting, isn't it. I recall seeing a documentary with fish nibbling away at hippos' skin, a sort of exfoliation which puts the giant creatures in a trancelike state, suspended and floating there in the water - that's the image that came to mind as I read "while you float downriver,/ observing a bloat of/hippopotamuses and hippopotami/half-submerged." For a second, I was in that boat.

  5. I'm enjoying learning more about hippos and feeling the weight of each poet's pondering. You chose a lot of perfect words to describe the hippo word! I hope your days are more floaty than bloaty despite it all!

  6. LOVE this! All the hippo poems have been fun, but this might be my favorite! (Shh...don't tell!)

  7. I LOVE this--and the connections between your poem and Tanita's (bloat and barrels). Whee!

  8. Yes! This the words in this roll off my tongue.