Poetry topic idea: gossip

Today’s poetry topic idea is gossip.  There are different ways a poet could use gossip in poetry.  A poet could write about:

  • People gossiping about the poet. They could write about what they could say, how they would say it, and what the poet would feel.
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  • People gossiping about some third person. A poet could write about people gossiping about someone other than the poet.  Again, they could write what they could say, how they would say it, and what the person they are talking about would feel.
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  • The effects of gossip.
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  • Celebrity gossip. A poet could write about this from different perspectives.  They could write about celebrities, the gossipers, and the people consuming the gossip.
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  • The truth or falseness of gossip.
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  • Themselves gossiping. A poet could write a poem where they gossip.  Rather than doing harmful gossip though, the poet could focus on the effects of their gossip.  They could view it remorsefully.
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  • Nonhuman objects or beings gossiping. A poet could write a poem where animals gossip.  They could write a poem where objects gossips (e.g. the romance book on a shelf gossiping about a science fiction book on another shelf).

Here is an example poem using the idea of gossip:

Did you hear about Ham?

 What?

He dumped Cheddar for Swiss.

 No way!

That’s not all,
last week,
he was seen with Colby.

 Wait,
 wasn’t Colby,
 with Turkey?

Experimental Poetry Form: Ham Sandwich

This experimental poetry form is based off of a ham sandwich.  The ham sandwich has the following layers from top to bottom:

  Bread
  Mayonnaise
  Mustard
  Lettuce (two pieces)
  Pickles (four slices)
  Tomato (three slices)
  Ham (three slices)
  Bread

The form reflects the ham sandwich in the following ways:

  There are eight lines (the eight layers of the sandwich)

  The first and last lines are the same (the bread of the sandwich)

  The first and eighth lines have five iambic feet (five letters in bread)

  The second and third lines rhyme (mayonnaise and mustard are both condiments)

  The second and third lines have two iambic feet (the layers of mayonnaise and mustard are thin)

  The fourth line has two iambic feet (two pieces of lettuce)

  The fourth and sixth lines rhyme (lettuce and tomato are produce)

  The fifth line has four iambic feet (four slices of pickle)

  The sixth line has three iambic feet (three slices of tomato)

  The seventh line has three iambic feet (three slices of ham)

In summary:

  Line 1: five iambic feet
  Line 2: two iambic feet, rhyme A
  Line 3: two iambic feet, rhyme A
  Line 4: two iambic feet, rhyme B
  Line 5: four iambic feet
  Line 6: three iambic feet, rhyme B
  Line 7: three iambic feet
  Line 8: same as line 1

This form combines meter, rhyming and a repeat.