Monday, May 7, 2012

Elephant Toenails & Sleepwriting

by Amy LV

Click the arrow to hear me read this poem to you.

Students - I wrote this poem while half-asleep.  It was bedtime (past bedtime) and I had not yet written for the day.  I told myself, "Just get something started!"  And most of this poem is what poured out.  Why on earth?

Sometimes you'll never know.

For a couple of days afterward, I continued to tinker with the words and lines, and then I began to worry that elephants do not even HAVE toenails.  Worse yet, I worried that elephants might not even have TOES! But I knew I'd seen those lemon-slice-sized-half-moons on elephant feet, so I figured they must. I looked it up and found this very detailed article and set of pictures of elephant foot anatomy.  Phew.

The moral of the story is this: try writing while you are half-asleep.  Try it in the evening.  Try it in the morning.  Let your brain work in its foggy state.  Turn off the wide-awake-censor who likes to say, "That's ridiculous!  Don't write that!" and you may discover fresh - or even strange - ideas.  You, too, may find that you have a fancy elephant somewhere in your mind.

And now...for elephant toenail jokes!  I found these at WikiAnswers and felt relieved that my own elephant will be able to hide in a jellybean jar.

Please share a comment below if you wish.
To find a poem by topic, click here. To find a poem by technique, click here.
Like The Poem Farm on Facebook for more poems, articles, and poemquotes!


  1. Amy, the article about the elephant's toenails is really interesting! Amazing how much adaptation has happened so it can support its weight! And this is such a fun poem, and clearly a surprise to see one about painting one's elephant's toenails. Very cute. Thanks for the 'just get something down' advice.

  2. HA! Welcome back, Amy. :) I love it when weird stuff like this comes out. Happened to me the other day with an acrostic for PENGUIN, and then while totally bored/annoyed in chorus rehearsal, something came out about "The Bitter Snits"...still under development.

    Your elephant has lots of style, indeed. :)

  3. I keep my phone by my bed. My mind seems to come alive right before I fall to sleep, so I email lines to myself. The next morning I am usually so excited that I didn't let these great lines go to sleep with me! Then I may never have them again. I love your Elephant poem...very funny!