Thursday, October 14, 2010

MyPoWriYe #198 - Questions for a Shell

Maine Beach 2006
Photo by George Ludwig

Teachers and Students - this type of poem is called a "climbing rhyme", and it is Burmese.  I just learned about this type of poem from Tricia over at The Miss Rumphius Effect this week.  Over at her weekly Poetry Stretch, Tricia offers all kinds of challenges, and right now, you can read her post and explanation of Burmese climbing rhymes and also a selection of other offerings which match this style of poem.

Below, you can see why this kind of poem is called a "climbing rhyme".  Notice how there are three different rhymes and how each one walks up three lines, just like stairs.  Writing this poem was interesting.  I actually started with the rhymes and not an idea.  Walking through my rhyming dictionary, I just made lists and lists of rhyming words until I found three sets of three rhymes that felt like they'd be good friends in a poem.  Then, I shuffled them around like upside down cups in a carnival game, working toward four syllables per line with the climbing rhymes in the proper spots.  It was almost like doing a jigsaw puzzle!

Thank you very much to Ruth and Stacey at Two Writing Teachers for sharing how The Poem Farm can be a resource for finding mentor poems.  If you missed their generous shout out, I invite you to take a peek at today's Two Writing Teachers post, Highlights from the Week

If you are a new visitor here, I welcome you to look around at recent links or with the Search box up above.  I write all kinds of daily poems, serious to funny, and most days I explain where the poem came from or something about the process by which I wrote it.  If you find this work useful to you or your teaching, I invite you to join as a follower or to 'like' The Poem Farm on Facebook...

Remember, tomorrow is Poetry Friday over at Liz in Ink.  See you there!

(Please click on COMMENTS below to share a thought.)


  1. Amy,
    Wow! I've never come across a poem where the rhyme occurs somewhere besides the end of a line. I can't wait to try it.
    Bill M

  2. Toby, A compliment like this from you means the world...many many thanks, roommate! A.
    Bill, I thought this was quite a cool structure when I learned about it too. For me, writing the blanks first really helped. A.

  3. eagle,eagle,in the sky came right down and pecked my eye,chased it around,pecked me again.thats my poem ppl and i worked hard on it

  4. Thank you, Elaine! Have you tried this type yet? It's fun! A.