Poem with an explanation: teddy bear

The child,
put the teddy bear,
into the toy chest,
and ran off,
to play,
with his friends.


This poem is about a person putting their parent in a nursing home.  The poem has the following symbols:

 The child – this is the person.  They are a child in that they are a child of their parent.  This is something they forget.

 The teddy bear – this is the parent.  Like a parent, a teddy bear comforts a child when it is young.  This is also something the person forgets.

 The toy chest – this is the nursing home.  It is near but something that is only opened on occasion.

 Playing with his friends – the occupations and distractions of life.  At some point the child stops playing with the bear.  At some point the person forgets their parent in the nursing home.

P. S. If you like poems with explanations, please see Understanding: poems with explanations.


Poetry topic idea: exercise

Today’s poetry topic idea is exercise.  There are a lot of different ways a poet could use exercise in poetry.  Below are some ideas.  A poet could write about:

  • Different types of exercises. For example, a poet could write about weight training, jogging, or swimming.

  • Exercising at different levels of fitness. A poet could examine the difference between what it is like to exercise when a person isn’t very fit and what it is like to exercise when a person is.  They could look at this from the person’s point of view or from the point of view of others.  They could also examine it from a before and after perspective.

  • Goals of exercise. People exercise for different reasons.  Some people exercise to lose weight.  Other people exercise to gain muscle.  Some people exercise because of sport they play.  Other people exercise to prevent a disease.  There are other examples.  A poet could write about different ones.

  • A person’s view of exercise. Some people like to exercise and other people don’t.  A poet could examine both points of view.


Here is an example poem using exercise:

He heard the comments,
as he labored by,
and knew it was wrong.

But six months,
and two hundred and forty miles later,
he couldn’t hear anything,

he was moving too fast.

Bilingual Poem: Dear future

Dear future,
please accept this apology,
on behalf of present,
because of its hair style.

P. S. Past would like to say it’s sorry for the clothes.


Estimado futuro,
por favor acepta esta disculpa,
en nombre de presente,
porque de le moda de pelo.

D. L. Pasado querría hablar le arrepentido por las ropas.

Poetry topic idea: paint

Today’s poetry topic idea is paint.  There are a lot of ways to use the idea of paint in poetry.  Below are some.  A poet could:

  • Actually paint a poem. Rather than writing with a pen or pencil or typing on a keyboard, a poet could paint their poem.  This could turn their poem into art.

  • Be inspired by a painting made by someone else.

  • Paint a picture that inspires a poem.

  • Write about painting a picture.

  • Write about painting something utilitarian like a wall, house, car, etc.

  • Write about how something looks painted in a metaphorical sense, like a landscape.

  • Write about the physical properties of paint. It’s thickness, how it looks, how it dries.

  • Write about paint on a person, like a person might paint their face to be a character in a play.

Poem: Roller Coaster

Although they were polite,
they said he could not ride,
the roller coaster,
because the bar,
would not fit on him.

He had to walk,
the entire line back,
as he tried to look,
like nothing was wrong.

He sat at home that night,
and didn’t know what to say.

The next morning,
after he tied his laces,
and started to walk,
he knew next year,
he would ride the ride.

Poem with an explanation: having walked in the shoes

Having walked in the shoes,
one would think,
the words would be known,
but having walked in the shoes,
there are no words.


This poem is about death and relatability.  The poem focuses on two people: a person who experienced a death in the short range past, and a person who has just experienced a death.  In the poem, the overt focus is on the first person.

The poem looks at the idea, that one would presume, that a person who has experienced something in the past, would know what to say to someone who has just experienced the same thing.  The reality though, in some situations, is that the experience of having been through something brings the realization that there are no sufficient words to say to someone else who has just experienced it.

In the poem, the person who experienced a death in the short range past has experienced the same thing as the person who has just experienced a death.  In a sense, they have walked in their shoes.  With this experience though, when called upon to say something comforting to the person who has just experienced a death, they realize there is nothing they can say.  They know what it is like, and they understand the inadequacy of any words they would use, and so they are at a loss for words.

As form elements, this poem repeats ideas.  It repeats the idea, and the exact phrase of, “having walked in the shoes”, and it repeats the idea of “words”.


If you liked this poem with an explanation, please consider purchasing a copy of the eBook: Understanding: poems with explanations.

Experimental Poetry Form: two, three, four

This experimental poetry form is called two, three, four.  It is based off of the number of letters in words.

The form has one stanza with three lines.  Each line has three words.  The first word in each line has two letters, the second word in each line has three letters, and the third word in each line has four letters.  Here is what the form looks like with *’s representing letters:

** *** ****
** *** ****
** *** ****

Here is an example poem:

As fog came,
so did fear,
to the mind.