Tag Archives: concrete poem

#435: A Metaphor Dice Concrete Poem for April 28, 2022

I intended this month to write a poem inspired by Taylor Mali’s metaphor dice that would be suitable for submission to The Golden Die Contest, the deadline for which is two days away. This isn’t it. This isn’t the one, neither is the earlier one I wrote this month. But I’ve been sitting on this roll for some time (I am, well worn, thunderstorm), and I was intrigued by today’s prompt at NaPoWriMo to write a concrete poem, a poem that has a shape that represents its subject matter. If you know anything about the word processing software that is part of the WordPress blog toolkit, you would know that it’s nigh impossible, outside of simply centering text, to manipulate words on the “page” into any kind of shape. So–the concrete poem, if I were to write one, would have to be done the old fashioned way–with pen and paper. I did not have time today to make it pretty–so here is the image of my sloppy composition on notebook paper, and below I will include the text of the poem, woefully, formatted in the way of a traditional poem–very unlike concrete.

The outline I have drawn here of the image – that’s kind of cheating.

A Well-worn Thunderstorm

I am a well-worn thunderstorm,
to the expectant earth, already
bored with my fireworks.

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A Journal of the Plague Year: #17

Most importantly, I will not be able to BE with my seniors in IB English, not even remotely. I won’t see their faces, hear their voices, read their writing, laugh at their good humor, be in awe of their intelligence and kindness. But additionally, I will not be able to formally finish the Hamlet unit with my seniors. I will not be able to read Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead with them. I will not be able to read Death of a Salesman with my students. I will not be able to read Waiting for Godot with my students. I will not be able to ask them, what is your dream, what are you waiting for? I will not be able to explore with them the six tenants of existentialism: existence precedes essence, time is of the essence, humanism is at the center, freedom and responsibility are key, ethics are paramount, and integrity is all. I will not be able to share with them the names that many of them will have heard for the first time in their lives: Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, and Sartre. I will not be able to share with them the poems that would prepare them for Paper I. I will not be able to share with them the random questions about drama that would prepare them for Paper 2. I will not be able to commiserate with them as they prepare for and then spend four hours taking these brutal IB written examinations, which, while brutal, are still so much fun and provide so much rigorous reward. And afterwards, they will not be able to tell me how they felt well-prepared for the task, how they felt confident about their work. Finally, I will not be able to see them make fools of themselves as I ask them for a final exam to write and perform a play of their two-year IB English experience. I will not be able to do these things with my seniors. And all through the staff meeting this morning on Google Hangouts, I was fighting back tears, unsuccessfully.

For today’s poem, (#9), inspired by the NaPoWriMo website, I offer up a concrete poem, which is not really a concrete poem, but a poem about concrete, and improvised into a voice memo, and revised only slightly, because, god damn it.

#353: Concrete Poem

seemingly solid,
deceptively hard,
stupid and orange,
sometimes grey,
sometimes blacktop,
asphalt, potholed
like my driveway.
You play ball
on the concrete,
in the park
or in the
on the
If you fall,
little rocks
embed themselves
inside your knee-
This is a concrete poem,
but it doesn’t look
anything like what
it’s about.

And finally, yesterday, I wrote a poem that stole a first line from Emily Dickinson, but today, that poem still haunts me, so I read it here–because I believe it helps.






Filed under Education, Poetry, Reportage, Teaching, The Plague Year