Poetry Friday: Word Play

The Poetry Sisters’ challenge for this month was to write Word Play poems, introduced to the Poetry Friday community in 2015 by Nikki Grimes as one of Michelle H. Barnes’ (Today’s Little Ditty) Ditty of the Month challenges. Laura Purdie Salas showed how the form might work in a classroom.

I have two poems this month. The first came about because of this conversation on FaceBook with Poetry Sister Kelly:

This second poem was written more in the style of Poetry Sister Laura’s “Freedom is a Word” (one of my all-time favorite poems of hers).

Don’t forget to join the Winter Poem swap…
if you’re so inclined. More info here.

Linda has this week’s Poetry Friday Roundup at TeacherDance, and check out how all the rest of the Poetry Sisters met this month’s challenge:

Tricia @ The Miss Rumphius Effect
Tanita @ {fiction, instead of lies}
Sara @ Read Write Believe
Laura @ Laura Purdie Salas
Liz @ Liz Garton Scanlon
Kelly @ Kelly Ramsdell
Andi @ A Wrung Sponge

You’re invited to join the Poetry Sisters’ challenge for the month of November! We’re writing an Ode to Autumn. An ode is a lyrical poem in the form of an address to a particular subject, often meant to be sung. Whether you choose an irregular ode with no set pattern or rhyme, or the ten-line, three-to-five stanza famed by Homer himself, we hope you’ll join us! You can share your offering with the rest of us on November 26th (the Friday after Thanksgiving, so plan ahead) in a post and/or on social media with the tag #PoetryPals.

Poetry Friday: Form and Function

The Inklings’ challenge this month was mine. I was quite taken with the idea of this book: a book about poetry forms and techniques…written in poems. So I challenged the group to write their own poems about forms or techniques. The more we dug into the book, the more we realized that the author doesn’t always explain a form in that form. For instance, her poem about the sestina follows the form but does not explain it. And one of the flaws of the book is that nowhere is there clear definitions of the techniques and forms. Still and all, I recommend the book, and we all had fun playing around with form and techniques. Here are three of mine.


Writing teachers especially hate
run-ons. Close the gate
so the end of the line can have the pause
that finishes a thought or completes a clause.



small observation
perhaps elaboration
wry commentary


Personification Limerick

I once was a limerick named Sue.
My rhythm was fine. Rhyme was, too.
There was just this one thing
caused my heart not to sing:
my longing to be a haiku.


All three poems are ©Mary Lee Hahn, 2021. (I’m not sure what’s up with me sharing multiple poems per Poetry Friday post…this is the third week in a row…)

Catherine has this week’s Poetry Friday roundup at Reading to the Core. Check out the other Inklings’ responses to the challenge here:

Heidi @ My Juicy Little Universe
Linda @ A Word Edgewise
Margaret @ Reflections on the Teche
Molly @ Nix the Comfort Zone

Poetry Peeps August Challenge

Time to start working on the Poetry Peeps August challenge! The last Friday of August will be here before you know it! Here’s the challenge: We’re writing after the style of Jane Yolen’s eight line, rhyming poem, “What the Bear Knows,” a poem written in honor of her 400th bookBear Outside. Our topic is What the ____ Knows. You might have written one of these for Michelle Barnes’ Today’s Little Ditty Spotlight on Joyce Sidman.

You’ve got a couple of weeks to craft your creation(s), then share your offering on August 27th in a post and/or on social media with the tag #PoetryPals.