Posted in poetry, Soup Blog Poetry Festival

Tuesday Challenge – shape poem

Here we are with this week’s Tuesday Challenge (yay!).

Write a shape poem.

A shape poem (or concrete poem) can either be a poem that fills up a shape or a poem where you shift letters and words around until it resembles a shape. So if you wanted to write a shape poem about a cat, here are two ways you could go about it:

  • write your poem and then sketch out a cat shape and fill it with your poem. (You might make some of the words BIGGER and others smaller until the shape is filled with the poem.)
  • write your poem, moving the words and lines and spaces until they sort of resemble a cat shape. (You don’t have to sketch a shape.)

Do you know Lewis Carroll’s poem ‘The Mouse’s Tale’? That’s an example of a shape poem.

Here’s a simple one I tried:

On
weekends
I like to sit here
where the shade is deep
to read my books and think
about the week behind, the week
that’s still to come. But sometimes birds
will sing above my head and chatter to their chicks
and then
I like
to sit
and
listen
with
eyes
shut

Shape poems often work better when they are read on the page. If you read them aloud, your audience can’t see the shape along with the words. Shape poems are like art and poetry combined.

As always, we’d love to read your poems … It might be a bit tricky to paste shape poems in the comments but if you email us a scan of your poems, we’ll paste them into the post here! (Don’t forget to ask permission from a parent or teacher first.)

~ Rebecca

Here is the first of the shape poems sent in by you!

Shape poem by Tricia Simmons

Until the end of August we’ll have a new poetry challenge every Tuesday.

Read these earlier Poetry Challenges from the 2013 Soup Blog Poetry Festival. (You can still add your poems in the comments at each post if you like!)

Poetry Challenge & shape poem © 2013 Rebecca Newman https://soupblog.wordpress.com

Author:

Rebecca Newman is a children's writer and poet, and the editor of the Australian children's literary blog, Alphabet Soup. rebeccanewman.net.au.

7 thoughts on “Tuesday Challenge – shape poem

    1. Hi Tricia – thanks for stopping by today. I don’t seem to have your poem in my inbox, though. Perhaps you could check that you’ve sent it to the right address? (Would love to read it!)
      ~ Rebecca

    1. Thanks for stopping by Korg. I love Tricia’s poem, too. It can be surprisingly tricky to make that poem conform to the shape you are after. 🙂 (Dare you to try one!)
      ~ Rebecca

    2. Thanks Korg, It was a challenge to make the shape work. I hadn’t written a shape poem before which is why I’ve so enjoyed Rebecca’s Tuesday Challenge.
      ~ Tricia

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