Posted in poetry, Soup Blog Poetry Festival

Time for a poem: The Duel

THE DUEL

by Eugene Field

 

The gingham dog and the calico cat
Side by side on the table sat;
‘T was half-past twelve, and (what do you think!)
Nor one nor t’ other had slept a wink!
The old Dutch clock and the Chinese plate
Appeared to know as sure as fate
There was going to be a terrible spat.
(I wasn’t there; I simply state
What was told to me by the Chinese plate!)

The gingham dog went “bow-wow-wow!”
And the calico cat replied “mee-ow!”
The air was littered, an hour or so,
With bits of gingham and calico,
While the old Dutch clock in the chimney place
Up with its hands before its face,
For it always dreaded a family row!
(Now mind: I’m only telling you
What the old Dutch clock declares is true!)

The Chinese plate looked very blue,
And wailed, “Oh, dear! what shall we do!”
But the gingham dog and the calico cat
Wallowed this way and tumbled that,
Employing every tooth and claw
In the awfullest way you ever saw —
And, oh! how the gingham and calico flew!
(Don’t fancy I exaggerate —
I got my news from the Chinese plate!)

Next morning, where the two had sat
They found no trace of dog or cat;
And some folks think unto this day
That burglars stole that pair away!
But the truth about the cat and pup
Is this: they ate each other up!
Now what do you really think of that!
(The old Dutch clock it told me so,
And that is how I came to know.)

Posted in competitions, poetry, Soup Blog Poetry Festival

Alphabet Soup’s 2014 poetry comp for kids

Think of something that scares you … or something that scared you when you were younger. (Sometimes ordinary things can seem very scary to someone small.)  Write a poem about it. Your poem should be no longer than 20 lines (shorter is fine!).

You must include an official cover sheet with your entry:

 

DOWNLOAD COVER SHEET HERE.

 

Your poem can be handwritten or typed.

The winning poem will be published on Alphabet Soup’s blog and the winner will receive one $30 bookstore voucher (posted to the address provided on the entry).

Entries (poem + cover sheet) may be posted to Alphabet Soup, PO Box 3099, Broadway Nedlands WA 6009. (Entries must be posted in time to reach us by the closing date.)

OR

Entries (poem + cover sheet) can be scanned and emailed as PDFs or .docx documents only to editor@alphabetsoup.net.au. Entries must be emailed in time to reach us by the closing date.

KEEP A COPY OF YOUR POEM because all entries and contact information will be destroyed after the winner is announced.

Some fine print:

  • The competition opens on Saturday 25 October 2014 and closes at 11.59pm (Perth time) on Tuesday 25 November 2014.
  • This competition is open to children aged 12 or younger on 25 November 2014.
  • This competition is open to residents of Australia only.
  • Immediate family members of Alphabet Soup’s paid employees are not eligible to enter this competition. (Children who contribute book reviews to Alphabet Soup’s website are not considered to be employees.)
  • To enter, you must write a poem about something that scares you, or something that scared you when you were younger. Your poem should be no longer than 20 lines (shorter is fine).
  • The poem must be all your own work. Poems that are copied from someone else (plagiarism) will be disqualified.
  • Entries must include the the official cover sheet with its signed declaration (see above to download).
  • You may enter as many times as you wish, but each entry must include its own completed cover sheet (see above to download).
  • One winner will be chosen and will be notified by email or by telephone as per the info on your cover sheet.
  • The winner’s poem will be published on Alphabet Soup’s website and the winner will receive one $30 bookstore voucher — posted to you in the mail.
  • Entries (poem + cover sheet) may be posted to Alphabet Soup, PO Box 3099, Broadway Nedlands WA 6009. OR Entries (poem + cover sheet) can be scanned and emailed as PDFs or .docx documents to editor@alphabetsoup.net.au.

Privacy statement:

Alphabet Soup will never pass your information on to anyone else, except where required by law. All entries and personal information will be destroyed at the end of the competition.

Happy writing!

Posted in Soup Blog Poetry Festival

Alphabet Soup’s Poetry Festival starts today!

Poetry Festival

Today is the start of Alphabet Soup’s Poetry Festival for 2014. Over the next month we’ll feature interviews with children’s poets, reviews, giveaways poem-writing tips, and poems.

We’ll be launching this year’s Festival shortly with a poetry competition for kids. The winner will have their poem published here on Alphabet Soup’s blog and will also win a $30 bookstore voucher — so flex those typing fingers and sharpen those pencils! We’re really looking forward to your masterpieces arriving in the Alphabet Soup letterbox. (We love getting mail almost as much as we love poetry.)

And now … let the poem fun begin!

 

 

Posted in poetry, Soup Blog Poetry Festival

The return of Alphabet Soup’s Poetry Festival!

Last year we held our first ever Poetry Festival, right here on the website. Hold onto your hats — it’s back! From 25 October when you visit our website you’ll find interviews, book reviews, tips and hints, interesting links, giveaways and of course … poems! (October is also our birthday month — what a fabulous month to celebrate poetry.)

And here’s a cheery poster to make it look official:

Poetry Festival

Posted in poetry, Soup Blog Poetry Festival

Time for a poem – Mulga Bill’s Bicycle

Today is the LAST day of the Soup Blog Poetry Festival.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by the blog to read and listen to poems and meet some of Australia’s amazing children’s poets.

We thought we’d close the festival with one of our favourite poems — ‘Mulga Bill’s Bicycle’ by AB (Banjo) Paterson.

What’s your favourite poet or poem?

Posted in poetry, Soup Blog Poetry Festival

Visiting poet – Lorraine Marwood

Lorraine Marwood
Lorraine Marwood

Today we welcome Lorraine Marwood to the blog — Lorraine writes verse novels and poetry and you would have read several of her poems in Alphabet Soup!

note on the door (cover)

Stary Jumps (cover)

When did you first start writing poetry?

I began as a teenager, so probably 15 years old, but before that I was writing down ideas and little stories for many years.

What sort of poetry do you like writing best of all?

Poetry that doesn’t rhyme but shows in different ways a moment in time or an emotion, and still has all the strong features of poetry, like rhythm, strongest words, images, sensory details, emotion.

What sort of poetry do you like reading?

Contemporary poetry written by Australians; poems in The School Magazine, NSW; anthologies like 100 Australian poets, so I read many poets in the one book. Also poetry by young writers and I enjoy reading the results of the Dorothea Mackellar poetry competition.

Where can we read your poetry?

I have had six collections of poems published — the most recent one is Guinea Pig town and other animal poems with Walker Books Australia. I’ve had lots of poems published in magazines, here in Australia, UK, USA and Canada. And I always love to be published in The School Magazine and of course Alphabet Soup — well, I wish that was still going.

guinea pig town

Here’s one of the poems from Guinea Pig town and other animal poems:

A peek inside Guinea Pig Town and other animal poems

[click on the image to enlarge it]

How often do you write?

I’d like to say everyday — well I do write but some days its emails, administration or reworking a piece, then other days it’s intense writing, but always I’m thinking about my poems, an idea, a story, what happens next …

Do you prefer to write with a pen and paper or straight onto the computer?

That’s a good question. I like to write poetry with a pen in one of my current notebooks. I often write when traveling or out for the day. I can jot down ideas I see or an idea that strikes. Poetry to me needs this special touch, but for stories I type right onto my laptop.

What’s your number one tip for budding poets?

Keep a notebook you can take with you.  Jot down anything that catches your eye. Train yourself to be observant, because the strongest writing uses those details that others skim over.

Lorraine’s Poetry Prescription

IF YOU’RE HAVING A RUSHING, BUSTLING DAY — read the following poem:

‘Wilderness’ by Carl Sandburg.

To find out more about Lorraine Marwood and her books and poetry, check out her website and read an earlier post featuring Lorraine.

Interview with Lorraine Marwood © 2013 Lorraine Marwood and Rebecca Newman https://soupblog.wordpress.com

 

Posted in poetry, Soup Blog Poetry Festival

Tuesday Challenge – haiku

It’s Tuesday and you know what that means? It’s time for this week’s Tuesday Challenge. And this is one we know you’ve probably been expecting ever since we announced that there would be a tiny poem challenge every Tuesday …

Write a haiku.

A haiku is a short poem, usually inspired by nature. At school you might have been taught that a haiku is a 3-line poem with 5 syllables in the first line, 7 syllables in the second line and five syllables in the third line. That’s one way to write a haiku. Modern writers of haiku (in English) don’t always worry about the syllable count — they just keep their poem very, very short. Some say that it should be able to be read in a single breath.

A haiku is like a brief snapshot or image. Like a word-photograph. It doesn’t rhyme.

Here’s one I wrote a few days ago:

Weary crickets creak

A light floats in the pond —

August moon rising

If you write a haiku — will you share it with us in the comments below? (Check with a parent or teacher first.) Grownups are also welcome to post a haiku but please note that we are G-rated!

~ Rebecca

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 & haiku © 2013 Rebecca Newman https://soupblog.wordpress.com
Posted in poetry, Soup Blog Poetry Festival

Visiting poet – Duncan Ball

duncan ball

As you can probably guess from the photo above, today we have Duncan Ball visiting. You might have read books from his Selby series or the Emily Eyefinger series — did you know Duncan also has a book of poetry published? It’s called My Sister Has a Big Black Beard. Read on!

When did you first start writing poetry?

When I was twelve.

What sort of poetry do you like writing best of all?

I like writing funny poetry that rhymes, for kids.

What sort of poetry do you like reading best of all?

I like lots of different kinds of poetry for both young people and adults.

Where can we read your poetry?

My good friend and fellow poet Selby (the Talking Dog) writes poetry and I help him with it. But I’ve also written a collection of my funny poems called, My Sister Has a Big Black Beard.

My sister has a big black beard

Here are some videos featuring poems from My Sister has a Big Black Beard:

How often do you write?

Almost every day.

Do you prefer to write with a pen and paper or straight onto the computer?

Straight onto a computer although I do keep a notepad on my desk and scribble things down.

What’s your number one tip for budding poets?

Do it and enjoy it!

Duncan’s Poetry Prescription

ARE YOU HAVING A BORING DAY? When I have a boring day I like to read funny poems such as Allan Ahlberg’s ‘The Girl Who Doubled’ from his poetry book The Mighty Slide.

Duncan's books

Find out more about Duncan Ball, his books and poetry — visit his website and his blog. He’s visited before, so be sure to check out this earlier post about Duncan, too.

Interview with Duncan Ball © 2013 Duncan Ball and Rebecca Newman https://soupblog.wordpress.com
Posted in poetry, Soup Blog Poetry Festival

Visiting poet – Janeen Brian

Janeen Brian

Today we have Janeen Brian visiting Soup Blog to talk about her poetry and poetry-writing. (Janeen also writes picture books, short stories, nonfiction and novels. She’s a busy writer!)

When did you first start writing poetry?

I can’t remember writing anything much at all as a child, so I’d guess I began writing poetry in my late twenties or early thirties.

What sort of poetry do you like writing best of all?

Both rhyming and free verse. I tend to use rhyme for more of my humorous pieces, but not exclusively. I love the word-manipulation, the struggle and the joy of creating rhyme. Free verse excites me too, but for a different reason. There, I aim to convey something to the reader by way of a new point-of view, a twist at the end, a particular rhythmic pattern, or a feeling. I love selecting the right word. It can take hours, or longer. But when it does — oh, what a feeling!

What sort of poetry do you like reading?

I love reading ballads, humorous, quirky, clever verses, verse novels, free verse and rhyming verse. I prefer reading children’s poetry because that’s the main area in which I write, but I also read adult poetry and have also written in that field.

Where can we find your poetry?

My poetry has been included in the following anthologies:

  • 100 Australian Poems for Children
  • There was a big fish (limericks)
  • Christmas Crackers
  • Fractured Fairytales and Ruptured Rhymes
  • Four and Twenty Lamingtons
  • Petrifying Poems
  • Stay Loose Mother Goose
  • Off the Planet
  • Vile Verse
  • Putrid Poems
  • Side by Side
  • Machino Supremo

(Tadpoles in the Torrens due for release September, 2013. Our Home is Dirt by Sea due for release 2014)

By jingo!Books of my own poetry:

  • By Jingo!
  • Silly Galah!
  • Nature’s Way A-Z of biodiversity.

(Our Village in the Sky due for release 2014)

Rhyming picture books:

  • I’m a dirty dinosaur
  • Meet Ned Kelly
  • I Spy Mum!
  • I Spy Dad!
  • The super parp-buster!
  • Shirl and the Wollomby Show
  • Columbia Sneezes.

Over 150 poems have been published nationally and internationally in the following magazines:

  • The School Magazine
  • the Victorian Education Magazines
  • Spider
  • Ladybird
  • Ladybug
  • Contagious.

Comma Dog © Janeen Brian

There’s a comma
of a dog
lying on the mat.
Dozing belly and
curl of tail
ears no longer
playtime exclamation marks
eyes closed as hyphens
and soft brackets of sighs
snuffling from
that comma of a dog
sleeping
in a circle
of sun.

Published in The School Magazine: Orbit. May 2012

How often do you write?

I write every day. It might be my diary, my ideas book, some research notes, a page of practice writing, a draft of a poem or story or rewriting earlier drafts of work.

Do you prefer to write with a pen and paper or straight onto the computer?

Note-taking, ideas gathering, early paragraphs or lines of poetry are mostly done by hand with pen and paper (an exercise book), but I gradually take the work onto the computer and work from there on.

What’s your number one tip for budding poets?

Choose a book of poetry. Write out several poems that you like and then work out how the poet has written them. Think and discover. And practise.

Janeen’s Poetry Prescription corner

IF YOU’RE HAVING A SHAMBLY DAY — read the following poem:

‘Cat Burial’ (from Note on the Door by Lorraine Marwood).

Some books by Janeen Brian

For even more about Janeen Brian and her books and poetry — visit her website!

Interview with Janeen Brian © 2013 Janeen Brian and Rebecca Newman https://soupblog.wordpress.com