Poetry Challenge #96: Hot Diggity Dog!

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Hot Diggity Dog! It’s National Hot Dog Day! July 17th)! An entire day officially dedicated to gobbling hot dogs. This is your chance, you can fire up the BBQ, grill up a mess of fat/calorie/nitrate packed hot dogs, nestle them in buttery toasted buns, slather them with tasty toppings and gobble away or you can take the challenge (or both):

Poetry Challenge #96

Hot Diggity-Dog

In honor of National Hot Dog Day, let’s write a concrete poem. Concrete poems are words arranged in a shape to give extra meaning to the subject of the poem. Maybe the words form the branches of a tree or letters drip down the page to show rain. Sometimes there’s a surprise hidden in repeated words like the marshmallow in the concrete poem below created by Cindy*.

Hot Chocolate Poem.png

For this one step grab an old-school writing implement (aka pencil, marker, pen). Unless you’re a “Cindy”, it’s harder to create a concrete poem on a device. Begin by visualizing a hot dog. Now, to turn it into a concrete poem you can:

  • Sketch the outline of a hot dog and fill it by writing hot dog hot dog hot dog over and over and over . . . until you are fed up with writing hot dog.

  • Or, fill your hot dog outline with a poem about hot dogs or a hot dog memory.

  •  Or, draw a hot dog with words associated with hot dogs.

  •  Or, use letters as Cindy did by using hot dog part words to create an image. Use other words to dress up your hot dog. Do you like ketchup? Mustard? Onions? Chili? Sweet relish? Marshmallows?

Grab Your Marker

Get Set

Hog-Diggity Draw! (I do relish a good concrete poem…with mustard.)

Got Kids? Get ROAR! a delightful new (free) magazine for kids featuring Poetry Lab, poetry prompts co-created by us*, just for kids.

*Cindy Faughnan and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge more than 3 years ago. We now take turns creating our own prompts to share with you. If you join us in the 7-Minute Poetry Challenge let us know by posting the title, a note, or if you want, the whole poem in the comments.

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Poetry Challenge #95: Coo-Coo For Coconuts

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Hooray! Hooray! It’s National Pina Colada Day!

So whether you do or do not like getting caught in the rain . . .

You are or are not into health foods or champagne . . .

Regardless your opinion on waking up at midnight—

Let’s put the lime in the coconut and bust out in poetry Pul-lee-e-e-e-sa!* PLEEESE!

Poetry Challenge #95

Coo-Coo for Coconuts

Thinking coconuts, tropical islands, pineapples ripe for the plucking, and coocoo birds write a poem. And yes, because the notion that there is even a National Pina Colada Day is slightly coo-coo, use as many words as you can think of which include the letters C and O in that order—and if you really want to cut loose, try including a bird call or two!

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Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Start writing!

See what toucan caw-caw come-up-with!

Got Kids? Check out POETRY LAB, our* poetry prompts just for kids in ROAR! a delightful new kids’ magazine!

*Cindy Faughnan and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge more than 3 years ago. We now take turns creating our own prompts to share with you. If you join us in the 7-Minute Poetry Challenge let us know by posting the title, a note, or if you want, the whole poem in the comments.

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Poetry Challenge #94-Freak the Mighty Fireworks

Fireworks!!!

In the book Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick, Max and Freak attend the Fourth of July celebration and Max is amazed at what Freak knows.

Magnesium!” (Freak) shouts as the white sparkles glitter down over the pond. “Potassium chlorate!” as the shells go womp-womp-womp and everybody goes oooooh. “Potassium nitrate! Sulphur! Aluminum!” And after a burst of hot red fire in the sky, Freak tugs my hair and screams, “Copper! That’s copper powder combusting with oxygen!
— pg. 32-33
fireworks.jpg

Poetry Challenge #94

Freak the Mighty Fireworks

In honor of Independence Day, try writing a poem that includes fireworks—either your description of them or their chemical names. Let your words burst on the page!

Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Start writing!

Don’t think about it too much; just do it.

*Cindy Faughnan and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge more than 3 years ago. We now take turns creating our own prompts to share with you. (This one was Cindy’s creation.) If you join us in the 7-Minute Poetry Challenge let us know by posting the title, a note, or if you want, the whole poem in the comments.

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Poetry Challenge #90: Like a YO-YO, Yo!

Donnie Osmond.jpg

“I used to be a swinger/Til you wrapped me round your finger . . .” Who can forget inspired lyrics like those by Joe South—or the singer who sang them to Hit status in 1971? (BTW: It was not Yo-Yo Ma.)

June 6th was National Yo-Yo Day. (Sorry for being tardy, I was so busy bopping to that oldie but goodie Donnie Osmond version, and twining vines around my backyard arbor, I completely forgot to post this prompt.) But, just like a Yo-Yo, I’m back!

Yo-Yo.jpg

Take a moment to ponder YO-YO. Who could have ever imagined how, with the flick of a finger, one could make a disc roll up and down on a string* thus providing endless hours of entertainment, inspiring more than one hit song, and now, if you’re game, poetry!

Poetry Challenge #90

Like a YO-YO

Write a YO-YO poem. It can be about a YO-YO, playing with a YO-YO, feeling like a YO-YO—up and down about something? Or, sure, YoYo Ma. Roll the sounds of it around in your mouth for a while and see what comes of it, Yo!

Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Start writing!

Don’t think about it too much; just do it.

*According to the Museum of Yo-Yo History, “It is believed that the yo-yo most likely originated in China. The first historical mention of the yo-yo, however, was from Greece in the year 500 B.C. These ancient toys were made out of wood, metal, or painted terra cotta disks and called just that, a disc. It was customary, when a child turned of age, to offer toys of their youth to certain gods. “

*Cindy Faughnan and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge 1200-ish days ago. We now take turns creating our own prompts to share with you. If you join us in the 7-Minute Poetry Challenge let us know by posting the title, a note, or if you want, the whole poem in the comments.

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Poetry Challenge #89 Famous Last Words

Charles Schultz was onto something: Wah-wa-wah WAH. . . Halloween  Wah-wa-wah WAH . . . Great Pumpkin.

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So was Margaret Mitchell when she gave Rhett the best parting shot: “Frankly Scarlett I don’t give a damn.”

He’s whispering a famous first line here…a prompt for another time!

He’s whispering a famous first line here…a prompt for another time!

Shultz and Mitchell knew what my kick-butt senior English teacher, Miss Reedlinger (the finest 5-Paragrah Essay coach of all time) called the secret to the best Dagwood. The secret she said, was in the bread. Start every paragraph with the tastiest crunchiest, best tasting bread and finish with a slice that’s just as tasty—if not tastier—just keep stacking them one on top of another on top of another. They may not remember the fillings, but they’ll remember that Dagwood, er essay.

dagwood sandwich.jpg

Or, to quote an aptly named band of Reedlinger’s Second Period English era, BREAD, “How many came before it doesn’t matter just as long as you’re the last.”

Where are we going with this? You guess it:  

Poetry Challenge #89

Famous Last Words

For this prompt, let’s start at the bottom, with potentially famous last words, and work our way up. Try using one of prompts below as the last line of your poem. (Replace the blanks with whatever you choose.) Don’t forget to give your poem a title.

  •  I remember when ___________

  • You can’t be serious.

  •   I love the smell of ___________

  • Under my bed is ____ and ____.

  • I collect…

  • Wah-wa-wah Wah __________________

Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Start writing!

Don’t think about it too much; just do it.

Cindy Faughnan and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge 1200-ish days ago. We now take turns creating our own prompts to share with you. If you join us in the 7-Minute Poetry Challenge let us know by posting the title, a note, or if you want, the whole poem in the comments.

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Poetry Challenge #87-How's This for an Idea?

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Sometimes, my head is full of ideas. But sometimes . . . At those times a little prompting is in order.

Poetry Challenge #87

How’s This for an Idea?

Choose one of the prompts below as your first line and write as fast as you can. If you get stuck, try another prompt. Or: How’s this for an idea: Write a 4 line poem using each prompt for one of the lines.

  • No one knows I’m here…

  • Here’s a neat idea…

  • I’m scared of…

  • I wish I could remember…

Pick a Prompt

Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Start writing!

Don’t think about it too much; just do it.

*Cindy Faughnan and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge more than 3 years ago. We now take turns creating our own prompts to share with you. If you join us in the 7-Minute Poetry Challenge let us know by posting the title, a note, or if you want, the whole poem in the comments.

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Poetry Challenge #86: Riffing Chicago Style

On a flight from Chicago, munching Garrett’s Popcorn (the best part of O’Hare layovers), my bygone Chicago Blues popped into mind—specifically one night I heard Albert King play Crosscut Saw*. It’s nicknamed “that dirty blues song” but, it doesn’t have to be. That’s the challenge!

The Garrett’s Kiosk at O’Hare, opposite gate B8

The Garrett’s Kiosk at O’Hare, opposite gate B8

Poetry Challenge #86

Riffing Chicago Style

Chicago Style Blues started as musical improv, performers creating on the fly, riffing off each other, daring each other, challenging each other and themselves to come up with song verses that fit the pattern. A performer starts with one line that fits a beat. That line is then repeated. Then a third longer line finishes the stanza with a word that rhymes with the previous two. Simple as that—if you’re a smokin’ guitarist.

Here’s the opening stanza of Tommy McClennan’s Crosscut Saw as Albert King played it:

Crosscut Saw
I’m a cross cut saw, Baby/ just drag me ‘cross your log I’m a cross cut saw, Baby/ just drag me across your log I cut your wood so easy, you can’t help but say ‘Hot dog!’
— https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crosscut_Saw_(song)#Albert_King_version
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It’s said, one reason the second line repeats the first, which is so much a part of traditional Blues, is to give performers creating on the fly, time to think of a rhyming last line. For fun, blues players toss the song around, challenging each other by taking turns coming up with new stanzas.  Let’s give it a try. Here’s a template to get us started:

I’m a something or other, name,  just doing something somewhere.

I’m a something or other, name,  just doing something somewhere.

I verb the noun so easy, I’ll say or do something that fits and ends in a rhyme

My Effort: 

I’m a green frog, Henry, just sitting on a rock. 

I’m a green frog, Henry, just sitting on a rock.

I’ll hop and croak so loudly, I’ll blast you off your dock.  

Now that you’ve set a pattern, try stringing 2 or 3 stanzas together—or 5 for your own blues song.

Grab your air guitar and get Bluesy!

Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Start writing!

Don’t think about it too much; just do it.

*From Wikipedia: "Crosscut Saw", or "Cross Cut Saw Blues" as it was first called, is a dirty blues song "that must have belonged to the general repertoire of the Delta blues".[1] The song was first released in 1941 by Mississippi bluesman Tommy McClennan and has since been interpreted by many blues artists.

*Cindy Faughnan and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge 1100-ish days ago. We now take turns creating our own prompts to share with you. If you join us in the 7-Minute Poetry Challenge let us know by posting the title, a note, or if you want, the whole poem in the comments.

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Poetry Challenge #85-Yes, You May!

It’s May! It’s May! Flowers are blooming, birds are chirping, grass is growing, trees are branching out—and so are we! Hooray! Hooray!

Ring around the May Pole

Ring around the May Pole

Mothre May I.jpg

Taking a cue from the musical Camelot’s Lusty Month of May song, in which merrymakers prance about singing “It’s May! It’s May! The month of Yes, You May!” we’re giving ourselves permission to break a few rules.

 

 

Poetry Challenge #85*

“Yes, You May!”

With “Yes, You May” as the title, write a poem giving someone (or something)—maybe yourself—permission to be naughty, mischievous, daring—in other words, to do something he, she, it—YOU—would never, ever do. As this poem is a celebration of May, use flowery, colorful, provocative language. And, if you’re in the mood to be extra daring, give permission to go all out by having every line begin with “Yes, You May” . . .

Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Start writing!

Don’t think about it too much; just do it.

As if you need permission

As if you need permission

“Yes, You May!” Playlist:

Lusty Month of May from Lerner & Lowe’s Camelot

 *Full disclosure: This is a repeat of #33. We had so much fun we decided to do it again, because…We Can!

*Cindy Faughnan and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge over 750 days ago. We now take turns creating our own prompts to share with you. If you join us in the 7-Minute Poetry Challenge let us know by posting the title, a note, or if you want, the whole dang poem. Scroll down and click on the comments!

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