Poetry Is: Juxtaposition Poem #NaPoWriMo18 #NPM2018


Velvety thwap of the present
Raw chatter of my heart
Sugary breath of Tuesday
Octagonal starlight of my imagination
Pendulous flush of summer
Aqua slouch of confession
Knotted cloud of confusion


Notes: This poem is the result of an exercise from Karen Benke’s book, Rip the Page! Adventures in Creative Writing. The subtitle of this book gives you a good flavor for what you’ll find inside: “includes wordplay, open-ended writing experiments, encouragement from writers and poets, and enough blank pages to let your words roam.” For this exercise, you fold a piece of paper in half, make a list of words you like from word lists provided by Benke, and then flip the paper over to copy the words and phrases Benke suggests. Then you unfold your paper and see what kind of curious juxtapositions you end up with.

I first learned of Benke’s book and this particular juxtaposition exercise at Reading to the Core. I don’t think I’ve ever done a word matching exercise like this before, but it was a fun (and quick!) way to find a poem today. I think it would be a very appealing activity for students. Catherine provides more detailed instructions (and shares a lovely poem she wrote inspired by the exercise) at her blog, or leave a comment below for the opportunity to win a copy of the book! I’ve never done a giveaway before, and I’m sure there’s some formal way to do it, but…. that’s not the kind of blog this is, and I find myself in possession of two copies of this book, and I’d love to give one away. So. If you’d like a copy of the book, please leave a comment, and I will randomly draw a name out of a hat next week. 



, ,



7 responses to “Poetry Is: Juxtaposition Poem #NaPoWriMo18 #NPM2018”

  1. glenda funk Avatar
    glenda funk

    Oh, I’d leave a comment even w/out the chance to win a book. The exercise that produced your poem sounds fun. It reminds me of the Shakespeare Insult activity w/ three columns the insulter juxtaposes together.

    This month I’ve noticed I struggle writing a poem after I’ve had success w/ a previous poem, as the one I wrote Thursday. Another thing: I wasted a lot of years listening to the “don’t mix metaphors” rule. Wish I’d ignored that sage from the page.

    BTW, I have a picture of Hero on my blog today. 🙂

  2. Trina Haase Avatar
    Trina Haase

    This looks SO cool-the cover and the challenge of this poem, giveaway or not!

    I’m lingering on all these words, Elisabeth!

  3. Akilah Avatar

    Oh, thwap is a great word. I’m not sure what a pendulous is so I guess I better go look that up.

  4. carwilc Avatar

    OK, so I’m not sure I totally get this, but it seems like one of those things kids would totally get into! And it definitely produced an interesting poem for you! Why not???

  5. […] of Karen Benke’s Rip the Page!, a inspirational creative writing guide, just comment on the Juxtaposition poem inspired by one of her exercises. I’ll draw a winner on […]

  6. Amanda Potts Avatar

    This exercise sounds awesome & given the outcome (a mind twisting list of cool thoughts), it looks like a winner. As always, I’m mining things, wondering if my students would like this. I bet they would – *I* like it, and that’s usually a good place to start!

  7. And then… poetry lessons go awry – Persistence and Pedagogy Avatar

    […] out a handout about Juxtaposition from Karen Benke’s book Rip the Page. (Thank goodness for Elisabeth Ellington and Catherine Flynn writing about this recently.) At last: a written assignment, concrete, with […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: