Future Poets

Future Poets

by Rod Martin
Future Poets

Future Poets

by Rod Martin


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This book is for all my fellow teachers out there who enjoy poetry and believe their students will become better writers if they keep practicing. Here are hundreds of ideas to stimulate your student's imaginations; students who are often willing to write, but don't have a clue what to write about. These ideas will give them a place to start.

Poetry works well for engaging student writers because it is challenging and yet flexible. There are so many types and styles of poems they can experience. There's also a lot of leeway in terms of punctuation, idioms and slang, and how the words appear on the page.

Poetry lends itself to success. Anyone can do it and it's personal; it comes from the students' experiences and emotions. It's subjective; the sort of writing to be appreciated rather than judged. The emphasis in this book is "students as poets." It's not about studying the famous poets who have gone before. It's about finding a love for expressing yourself that can last a lifetime.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781961677869
Publisher: Quippy Quill LLC
Publication date: 11/20/2023
Pages: 512
Product dimensions: 8.25(w) x 11.00(h) x 1.03(d)

About the Author

Rod Martin is a published author, poet, songwriter and playwright living in a Hawaii rain forest called Kahalu'u.. For thirty years, he taught Poetry, Drama, English, and Television Production in Hawaii Public Schools.Recently retired, he wrote three books to help teachers: Drama Games and Acting Exercises teaches how to incorporate improvisational theatre into the curriculum; Future Poets serves as a guide to writing new styles of poetry; and Write On provides writing prompts and quotations to help students get started with writing. His first novel, Jesse, Son of God, is based on autobiographical experiences framed in a wager between God and the Devil. His latest book, Huckleberry Dick" is a love story detective novel featuring Joe Freedom, private investigator and Vana Fox, his voluptuous therapist.Rod's children's books include "The Tale of Natalie Nightingale," "Baby's Day," "Excuses, Excuses," "The Tale of the Vorpul Snit," "Check This Out," and "Things I Don't Know."Rod is also involved in the local theatre scene, having written and produced several movie musicals: the children's sci-fi melodrama musical, "Star Pieces"; the gospel musical, "One More Time!"; and the whodunit musical, "Love Hurts, But Murder Kills." He is the founder of the Honolulu Improvisational Theatre Company (HITco) and continues to teach improvisational acting.As a songwriter, Rod has had his music featured on Saturday Night Live and has numerous albums available from I-tunes and CD Baby (search: Rod Martin and Friends). You can view over sixty music videos on YouTube by searching for the Rod Martin and Friends Channel.

Read an Excerpt

Future Poets

Help for Aspiring Writers
By Rod Martin


Copyright © 2011 Rod Martin
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4567-2174-9

Chapter One

What is Poetry?

Webster's' New World Dictionary tells us that a poem is:

An arrangement of words Written or spoken A rhythmical composition Sometimes rhymed Expressing experiences, Ideas or emotions

In a style more concise, imaginative, and powerful than ordinary speech or prose (That it is ... and so much more)

Why Poetry?

Poetry works well for engaging student writers because it is challenging and yet flexible. There are so many types and styles of poems they can experience. There is also a lot of leeway in terms of punctuation, idioms and slang, and how the words appear on the page.

The emphasis in this book is students as poets. It's not about studying the famous poets who have gone before. It's about finding a love for expressing yourself that can last a lifetime.

It is my hope that this book will help your students come to a better understanding of poetry and eventually feel confident in their ability to write poems.

Structuring Your Poetry Unit

May I suggest calling your poetry assignments "Poetry Challenges"? That way, it seems more like a game or competition. It's not a matter of who has the best poem, but "Can you do this?" The challenge is to fulfill the criteria for that particular poem, not always to create a great literary work.

Poets throughout time have had to communicate their ideas following certain rhythmic and rhyme patterns. These challenges are the same sort of thing. Can you say what you want to say, clearly, without letting the criteria get in your way?

I have put Poetic Devices (information about poems) after the Poetry Challenges, but I recommend the teacher choose one of these concepts every other day. Once the students are comfortable with Poetic Devices, you should see them using them in their Poetry Challenges.

I recommend starting the school year with poetry until you feel the students have a good grasp of poems and poetic devices. For the rest of the year, give them as least one weekly poetry challenge. This will add a bit of variety to their work while maintaining the continuity and familiarity with concepts covered in the initial poetry unit.

Poetic Challenges

Poetic challenges are assignments/exercises and lots of ideas for writing different kinds of poems. Some are well known like haiku and limericks but many are new and different. You can pick and choose the ones you like, though I've arranged them in order from easy to more challenging.

It's All About Me ...

Finish the following phrases for an Autobiographical Poem that will let others know some interesting and new things about you:

I am ...

I want ...

I believe ...

I will not ...

I hope ...

I dream ...

I hate ...

I remember ...

I would love ...

Share your answers quietly with another student or read some of them aloud to the class.

Five Finger Poetry

These poems have only five words. It is easy because it's so short. The challenge is to say a lot with only five words: that means being concise.

There are two styles: "Sentence Style" which sounds like someone speaking and "Words on a Topic Style" which are like snapshots that fit together to make a complete picture.

Examples of Sentence Style:

You can express yourself poetically.

Five finger poems are short.

Take the time to rhyme.

I can't think of anything.

Examples of "Words on a Topic Style"

Tackling, passing, running, scoring, cheers.

Spark, Flame, Curtains, Crib, Sirens.

Pitch, hit, run, slide, score!

Topics for Five Finger Poems:

    You take my breath away
    Your breath keeps me away
    I love loving only you
    Your smile lifts my heart
    Love me with your eyes
    Love can be so complicated
    Hugs, kisses, sighs, your eyes
    Flirting, talking, embracing, arguing, crying

    Our mountains are so amazing
    The ocean gives us life
    Huge waves pound the shore
    The beach is our playground
    Sun, sand, surf, friends, paradise

    Lunch is my favorite subject
    Ignorance will get you nowhere
    I like going to school
    Loud, rhythm, percussion, drums, band
    Teachers, lessons, socializing, learning, laughing
    Preschool, elementary, intermediate, high school

    I cherish all my friends
    My friends keep me sane
    My friends make me laugh
    I couldn't live without friends
    Shopping, sleepovers, phoning, secrets, crushes

    I believe love lasts forever
    Never hate, steal or kill
    Faith, family, church, songs, praise
    Temple, tradition, Torah, Hebrew, Hosanna

    My family is my treasure
    You just can't fool mom
    Cute, small, soft, fragile, baby
    Fights, fun, meals, vacations, madness

    Emotions: (love, hate, fear, sorrow, joy, hurt)
    I hate how hate feels
    I fear living all alone

    Loss wraps us in sorrow
    You bring me such joy
    Heartbreak, confusion, tears, time, healing

    The Senses: (sight, touch, smell, hearing and taste)
    To see you is heaven
    Scarred from mom's tongue lashing
    Butter dipped lobster so sweet

    Advanced work:
    Take your favorite five finger poem and expand it into a longer piece.

    Some student examples:

    Movies, shows, comedy, romance, television
    Music makes me wanna dance
    Bumping, hitting, blocking, jumping, volleyball
    Summer is the best ever
    Please don't read this poem
    Eat, sleep, school, work, play
    Peace power to the people
    Blood, death, guns, stupid war
    I like to travel places
    Imaginative, realistic, mysterious, action, books
    Baby, it's all about me
    I love my teachers, not.
    Don't psych me out dude
    Will three o'clock ever come?
    My aching head is full
    History is for the aged
    Make history don't study it
    I work better with music
    This poetry stuff is hard
    Five words are not enough
    I really can't do this

Adjective Poems

Fill in the blanks with adjectives. Rewriting the poem a few times with differing adjectives shows how important descriptive words are to the overall meaning of any poem.

    The ___________________ man
    Had _________________ words for the woman
    She looked ______________________
    His ____________________ eyes
    Told ___________________ stories
    And her ____ expression spoke louder than words.

    The filthy man
    Had drunken words for the woman
    She looked disgusted
    His bleary eyes told heartbreak stories
    And her scared expression spoke louder than words.

    The wealthy man
    Had romantic words for the woman
    She looked delighted
    His kind eyes told thrilling stories
    And her amused expression spoke louder than words.

Fill in the Blank Poems

Have your students use the following structure to create a variety of poems. Tell them to avoid trying to rhyme. Perhaps they can come up with some real surprises.

    In your eyes I've seen __________________
    Touched _____________________________
    Felt _________________________________
    But _________________________________
    So __________________________________

    In your eyes I've seen starlight
    Touched sorrow
    Felt sunshine
    But tears don't belong in such dreams
    So dry your eyes and reflect only love from now on.

    In your eyes I've seen Volkswagens
    Touched chrome
    Felt the power of your acceleration
    But you drive too fast
    So remember me when you need to refuel your love.

    Another "Fill in the Blank Poem":

    I'm asking you ________________________
    Don't tell me __________________________
    I've seen you __________________________
    But never _____________________________
    If you don't ___________________________
    Then I'll ______________________________
    And you can __________________________

    I'm asking you to call me
    Don't tell me you don't like me because I know you do
    I've seen you looking at me
    But never thought you'd ever really care
    If you don't call, I'll be heart broken
    Then I'll tell all my friends what a jerk you can be
    And you can eat lunch all by yourself

    I'm asking you to love me more
    Don't tell me I'm too theatrical
    I've seen you be flirtatious
    But never thought you'd want someone else
    If you don't need this love of ours
    Then I'll surely set you free
    And you can learn to love again in someone else's arms.


Haiku is a form of poetry from Japan. It's very short and fairly easy to write. It doesn't rhyme. It has only three lines that are all about one subject.

In the short form, the first line has three syllables, the second line has five syllables, and the third line has three syllables. (3-5-3)

The long form has five syllables in the first line, the second line has seven syllables, and the third line has five syllables. (5-7-5)

Short form (3-5-3)

3 Maturing 5 Anticipating 3 Destiny

Long Form (5-7-5)

5 Shining waterfall 7 Slithering down the mountain 5 Filling a blue pool

Haiku Short Form Examples:

    I can't think
    This is just too hard
    I give up

    Pain, blood, gore.
    Why must there be war?
    No one wins.

    Island breeze
    Bringing sweet relief
    From the heat

    Please love me
    I'm so lonely lost
    Ease this pain

    They tease me
    But can't see the hurt
    Hidden tears

Haiku Long Form Examples:

    I love my reggae
    Skankin' to that reggae beat
    I could dance 'till dawn

    The morning sunshine
    Enters through the window's glass
    Past dust and cobwebs

    You changed my whole world
    When you told me you loved me
    You've made me complete

    Count on your fingers
    You just count the syllables
    Your haiku is done

    Love comes from the heart
    Unbreakable, believing
    Makes you feel so good

    Love is why we live
    Love lifts you up, family, friends
    Love is your future

    Love is everything
    You're at peace with the whole world
    Love is all you need.

School Pride Haikus:

    Our school, very cool
    We never ever give up
    We all can stand proud

    This school is awesome
    We are very respectful
    And responsible

    Our school is the best
    I love attending this place
    And you should also

    This is a good school
    Because of all the people
    Let's keep it that way

    Having school spirit
    Helps make our assemblies fun
    So let's make some noise!


Excerpted from Future Poets by Rod Martin Copyright © 2011 by Rod Martin. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


What is Poetry?....................1
Why Poetry?....................1
Structuring Your Poetry Unit....................1
Poetic Challenges....................2
Poetic Devices....................170
ADDITIONAL MATERIALS....................207
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