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*.

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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
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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 #93-Pretty in Pink

Close your eyes and repeat after me ten times: Pink Pink Pink Pink Pink Pink Pink Pink Pink Pink

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Or maybe a Florida Belle . . .

Or maybe a Florida Belle . . .

What images came to mind?

Did you imagine cotton candy clouds?

Flamingos?

Ballerinas?

. . . A Pop Star?

with sprinkles!!

with sprinkles!!

Poetry Challenge #93

Pretty in Pink

Use your Pink images to write today’s poem.

You might begin by listing everything that comes to mind related to Pink. Reorganize and embellish them to create a list poem.

Or, write a PINK acrostic poem, with each line beginning with a letter in the word PINK.

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 #92: This Plum is Too Ripe . . .

All of us is sorry for or about something. (If you’re not, then lucky you!)

My All-Time Favorite Musical—if you’ve never seen it, you should be sorry.

Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones drew on this uniquely human need* to apologize in a song about two neighbors who are great friends until they tear down a wall in the longest running Off-Broadway, sometimes on Broadway musicals of all times The Fantastiks. Here’s a snippet:

“This Plum is too Ripe!”

“Sorry.”

“You’re standing in MY Rose Garden!”

“Sorry.

And now, with no further apologies, on to our prompt:

Poetry Challenge #92

Who’s Sorry Now?

For this prompt, list things you are sorry for.  (Your list can be as long or as short as need be.) Select one or several items that are related from that list and write a poem about it.

Finish the poem with a positive spin by suggesting ways you can, or might apologize. Or do it better next time . . .

* “Uniquely” in that I don’t imagine whale apologize for combing up krill, or cheetah apologize for mowing down gazelle, but maybe they do . . . if so: Sorry!

Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Start writing!

No Apologies, No excuses—Just do it!

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Song for Inspiration: Who’s Sorry Now as sung by Miss Patsy Cline—Of course!

*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 #91: Words! Words! Words!

Words! Words! Words!

I’m so sick of words!

I hear words all day through/first from him, now from you/is that all you blighters can do?*

YES, Eliza! The answer is unequivocally, unapologetically, YES!—so on to the Challenge:

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Poetry Challenge #91

A Few of My Favorite Words

Do you have favorite words?  If you do, pause right now and jot them down.  

I love to collect words I hear or read that are unfamiliar or that have an interesting sound. I try to remember to write them down to use another day. As you go through your day, pay attention to words that you like the sound or meaning of. Write them down! Save them! 

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A few I like are: Lilliputian, grommet, butterfly, whimsical, and gumption. 

Think of five of your favorite words and write a poem using them.

If you can’t think of words, open to a random page in the dictionary and find a word you like.

You can use some of my favorite words if you like.

Keep collecting words to use another day!

Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Start writing!

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

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*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. (This one is Cindy’s; the “I” is her speaking. 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!

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“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!

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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.

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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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