Monday, November 4, 2013

Ketchup Man - Poems from Silly World

The Ketchup Family
by Amy LV

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

Students - Today's poem is a silly story, and as with all silly stories, I like thinking about where it came from.  Well, I spent a chunk of yesterday afternoon at my old writing table. I write in many different places, and this table is a favorite as it used to be my husband's grandparents' kitchen table.  When I sat down to write, there was no Ketchup Man in my brain or thoughts.  But after writing in my notebook about the weekend, our children, some writing plans, and autumn, Ketchup Man appeared.  Why?

One Place to Write (and Ketchup Man Draft!)
Photo by Amy LV

Upon reading this verse, my daughter Hope also asked, "Why did you write this poem?" Well, to be honest, I am not sure why.  I had been flipping through KNOCK AT A STAR, by X.J. and Dorothy Kennedy, and it includes some poems by Karla Kuskin, including "Knitted Things" which begins, "There was a witch who knitted things:"  Karla Kuskin was also on my mind because of this most recent wonderful interview of Lee Bennett Hopkins by Renee LaTulippe over at No Water River.

I've been making many hats and handwarmers over the past weeks, and so perhaps Karla Kuskin's poem was in my mind for this reason as well.  Speaking of handwarmers, the winner of my handknit handwarmers giveaway is Matt Forrest Esenwine over at Radio, Rhythm, & Rhyme.  Matt - please send me a message letting me know whether the handwarmers will be for you or for someone else as this will help me determine the size and surprise color!

Our family has many ketchup lovers, but perhaps none as great as my maternal grandfather and my husband Mark's paternal grandfather.  Those wonderful men did love ketchup on scrambled eggs and many other foods too, so Ketchup Man may have grown from my memories and hearing stories of all of the different foods on which they poured ketchup. Then, I just carried the poem and idea out beyond what was truly true.

Many thanks to Ruth Ayres and her children for weighing in on this verse last evening.  I appreciate their expert advice on whether today's verse was funny or simply strange.  "Cuckoo" seems to sum it up!

Eyebrow Hair is another poem at The Poem Farm which begins, "There once was a man...." Beginning a poem with "There once was..." can yield a funny (or simply strange) surprise.  It also gives a verse a story-feeling, right from the start.

"There once was a..."

What are you imagining right now?  Pick up your pencil and follow your own mind...

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  1. My dad was a total ketchup man! He would have loved this poem! I will think of him every time I read it!

  2. I know this ketchup man! How cute. You have a cuckoo imagination, and I love it.

  3. 'Silly world' or not, it seems we all know a ketchup man or two. One of our friends of long ago insisted on a bottle of ketchup at every meal, interesting taste buds? Funny poem, Amy, just enough to tickle!

  4. Love this post - and the prompt!! I wish I had a table like that - it has true character and history!

  5. Sometimes a ketchup man just pops out of nowhere, and we can't do anything about it except invite him to tea and write a poem for him. I'm so glad you did! I like that writing prompt...:)