Marileta Robinson

Archive for the 'Blog' Category

A Spider

I’ve never been one to kill spiders. It may have something to do with reading Charlotte’s Web. My attitude toward spiders in my house is “live and let live,” especially since they catch other bugs that might be less welcome. But my tolerance has its limits. I used  EXAGGERATION to imagine what animals I wouldn’t […]

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Buggy

As you might imagine, almost all of these poems are based on real-life observations. Writing a poem is a good way to deal with overwhelming experiences, and I was clearly overwhelmed by this insectivorous invasion. REPETITION is a good tool to use for emphasis; note the repetition of “bugs, bugs,” and “they’ve come, they’ve come, […]

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Limerick

LIMERICKS are fun to try. The rhythm goes something like this: (for lines 1, 2, and 5) da da DUM da da DUM da da DUM. (For lines 3 and 4) da da DUM da da DUM. It’s ok to drop or add a “da” at the beginning or end of a line, as I […]

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Unendangered

The TITLE plays an important part in your poem. It can catch the reader’s eye and make him or her decide to read your poem. It can also help get across the point of the poem. With so few words to work with, the title can be important real estate. So don’t just slap a […]

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Overachiever

This is a LIST POEM, the outrageous kind of list a dragon would keep.  What kind of list would a bear make before going to sleep for the winter? What kind of list would an astronaut make for “Things to Do on the Moon”? What kind of list would you like to make?  

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Antoine the Anteater

This poem began because I had a feeling that I wanted to write about ants, and took notes as ideas and pictures appeared in my head. “Vacuum cleaner” led to “hose of a nose.” Sometimes rhymes suggest ideas, too.  “Post mortem” led to “snort ’em.”  I was happy with my PORTRAIT of an anteater, one […]

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Camels and Unicorns

What rhymes with “caravan”? This poem provides one answer to that question–you can probably think of lots more. It’s also an example of COMPARISON. Animals tend to live in different places because of their habits–or maybe it’s the other way around. How would you compare a rabbit and a monkey? A snake and a lion?

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Stormy Weather

This poem is more or less a SNAPSHOT of what I was seeing out my window one afternoon, with a little IMAGINATION thrown in. As always, I used hard-working VERBS–sweeping, blowing, and dancing, to get the picture across. What can you see out your window? How can you use your imagination to go beyond what your […]

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Whew!

Have you ever watched kittens play? They are more verb than noun, until they suddenly collapse, their energy spent–for the moment. In this poem I used ACTIVE VERBS, with SHORT LINES to emphasize the rapid movement of the whirligig kittens. What verbs and what kind of lines would you use to describe a snake? A […]

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Grandma’s Pickles

Can you taste the pickles? I wanted to SHOW how hot they were by describing the person’s physical reactions–scrunched nose, flapping eyelids, curling toes, red ears, and perspiration. How could you show by someone’s reactions that the water in a swimming pool is cold? That an icy sidewalk is slippery? I hope you will have […]

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