by Bob Raczka
b a s
Copyright © 2013 Bob Raczka. From the book Lemonade: And Other Poems Squeezed From a Single Word. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Reprinted by permission of the author.
First, pick a word to use as the title of your poem. Second, see how many other words you can make from the letters in your title word. Third, use those other words to make a poem about the title word. And fourth, when you write the poem, line up each letter under the same letter in the title word. The result? A poem squeezed from a single word. They’re difficult but fun to write, and definitely fun to read. (I’ve written my example poem, “bleachers”, two ways so you can figure it out!)
Author of the popular art appreciation series, Bob Raczka’s Art Adventures, native Chicagoan Bob Raczka studied art and graphic design in college. He has worked as an advertising writer for more than 25 years.
A few years ago he “discovered” poetry, and now Bob calls himself a children’s poet as well. His first poetry effort, Guyku: A Year of Haiku for Boys, was awarded the Claudia Lewis Award for poetry by Bank Street College. His second poetry book, Lemonade: And Other Poems Squeezed from a Single Word, was named both an ALA and an NCTE Notable.
Bob’s upcoming poetry books include Joy in Mudville, a sequel to Casey at the Bat, a collection of haiku written by Santa, and a collection of clerihews about the Presidents.
I love this book! So clever, and kids love trying this form out on their own (it’s challenging!).