My girl is turning four this spring, she is currently working on her alphabet and has learned more than half of it already. She inspired this contest.
THERE WILL BE A PRIZE
FIRST PLACE WINNER.
I’d like you to write 14 couplets, 28 lines, no more and no less, and create a unique didactic poem that teaches not only the alphabet, but also delves into another subject (see example below)
This alphabet poem must not use the old standards of A is for Apple and B is for Butterfly. Think… A is for Andromeda, B is for Belatrix (stars and constellations.)
Huh, you say? Whatcha talking about, lady?
Your mission is to take a subject and create an Alphabet “book” on ONE THEME. YOU MUST KEEP THE THEME THROUGHOUT YOUR POEM.
Truthfully, I was cocky when I came up with this challenge. I thought, easy peasy. Guess what? It took me about 6 hours to write mine! Trust me coming up with something that makes sense for the subject and does not sound like forced rhyme is work people. Prepare to sweat, at least a bit!
So here’s an example…
A is for Allspice, one pinch will perk up a dull coffee cake,
B is for Bay leaf, smart cooks know it’s a kitchen help mate.
C is for Cinnamon, a perfect partner for ripened apples,
D is for Dillweed, tell me, Dear, do you pucker for pickles?
E is for Epazote, so zesty in quesadillas,
F is for Fennel seed, a healing herb as old as Judea.
G is for Ginger, lets make a sweet house from gingerbread,
H is for Herbes de Provence. “C’est bon!” Grandmere often said.
I is for Italian Seasoning, spaghetti sauce made for you,
J is for Jamaican Jerk, rub on meat and then barbeque.
K is for Kala Zeera which has a rich, nutty flavor,
L is for Lemon Grass, steep for a tisane to savor.
M is for Marjoram, superb in a potato casserole,
N is for Nutmeg, add to warm cider, season your soul.
O is for oregano, this spice, dried or fresh, is so ersatile,
P is for Piri Piri, a taste loved by the people of Portugal .
Q is for Quassia, brew just a bit to aid digestion
R is for Rosemary, pork and lamb’s ideal companion.
S is for Saffron, not only luscious, this spice is also luxurious,
T is for Thyme, use in stews and turn a bland meal delicious.
U is for Uzazi, a rare pepper grown in Eastern Africa
V is for Vanilla, this fragrant gift is from Mesoamerica.
W is for Wasabi, eat in moderation or you’ll need to recoup,
X is for X Striata, cooks in Nigeria grind this into pepper soups.
Y is for Yellow mustard seed, keep the faith and remember to pray,
Z is for Zaa’tar, sprinkle on hummus then dream of lands far away
Rethink meals, replace old spices, refill those tired coffers,
then enhance every dish with the gems the world offers.
You can play with syllable count, use any kind of near or slant rhyme that you wish. Your X and Z words can be a stretch, but do not use EX for X…
Stuck for a theme? Here’s JUST a few ideas...
FLORA AND FAUNA
FAMOUS POETS and WRITERS
FAMOUS WORKS OF ART
BOOKS OF FAITH/FAITH FIGURES
FAMOUS HISTORICAL SIGHTS
CITIES OF THE WORLD
ANY OF THE SCIENCES (Geology, astrology, medicine, herbology, math, biology etc)
FASHION AND CLOTHING
If you’re still stumped, consider what interests you… literature, music, sports? All good, too!
So …. Rules this time
1)Write a 14 couplet poem – 28 lines total – about the alphabet using one theme.
2)No old standards, no C is for Cat.
3)EACH LINE MUST GIVE A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE WORD YOU HAVE CHOSEN FOR THAT LETTER … i.e….K is for Kala Zeera which has a rich, nutty flavor)
4)The last two couplets should underscore your poem’s theme.
5)You may include a brief footnote about yourself (see below)
Please, read my winner's blog once this contest is judged, where I will highlight what I enjoyed about your poem.
There will be a gift exchange, so to speak….
The first place winner will receive the children’s alphabet book
M is for MAPLE
A CANADIAN ALPHABET BOOK
BY MIKE ULMER
This is a great gift for kids and older kids, and hey, even we who pretend to be adults. You can keep or give it to your children, grandchildren, neighbour’s children, your public library or your local literacy agency.
The gift YOU will give? I will be printing off copies of these poems for my daughter and having them coil bound, solely for the enjoyment of my family. I hope to give this to her years in the future… tell her about Soup and its wonderful poets (hence, why I am asking for a small bio, if you'd like to give one.)
So, game on, people. Show me your magic!