Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Witch Decisions - Mask Poetry for Halloween

Vacuum...or Broom?
by Amy LV

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

Students - Today - Halloween - is a dress-up day, so I decided to dress up as a witch!  You might recognize this as a mask poem, a poem when the poet writes pretending to be someone else.  To write these lines, I sat with my notebook and began imagining problems a young witch might have.  Modern witches, like modern teenagers, may feel confused about when to use new technology. Should a witch use an app to write a spell or should she count on traditional magic?  Should she wear black jeans or a black dress?  For today's poem, I allowed my witch to stay a bit old fashioned.

For today, you might wish to write in the voice of someone else.  Pretend you are wearing a mask (maybe the one you will wear for Halloween tonight) and write in that voice.  Or write in the voice of an animal you know or an object sitting right near you right now.  What does that crayon being think about?  What struggles does a mermaid wish?  What does a rat wonder?

Usually I write poems longhand, in black pen or pencil into my notebook (also old fashioned, some might suggest).  And then, once I have crossed out and fiddled for some time, I type a poem up.  Below you can see the way I first typed this little poem.  Originally, it was in quatrains with the rhyming (or near rhyming) words at the ends of every other line.  Later, I decided to break the lines up a bit differently, to honor certain pauses...and the poem ended up as you see it above.  The rhymes, however, still match a quatrain pattern.

Witch Transportation

It cannot fly too high (the cord).
It sucks up every cloud.
It scares my own black cat.
It's heavy.  And it's loud.

Other witches cackle when
they see my shadow on the moon.
And so this Halloween I'll trade
my shiny vacuum for a broom.

When I was a little girl, some of my favorite books were the Dorrie the Little Witch books by Patricia Coombs.  If you don't know those great stories, you can read about them here at Vintage Kids' Books.  And from what I see here, it seems that several of the Dorrie titles have been reprinted.  Yay!

For older Halloween poems here at The Poem Farm, click on over to Pumpkin or Taking Stock.

If you did not read yesterday's post with Dee Michel (Eve Merriam's son), please be sure to stop by and see his magnificent edible books and hear about his childhood!

Here are some witch jokes for you!  Happy Halloween!

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