Poetry Club

This week we will look at ‘word association’ poems. There is a very set structure to these poems, with each verse consisting of four lines. Poems do not always have to rhyme, but for our ‘wordplay’ poems we will aim to use rhyme for lines 2 and 4 of each verse.

This structure (a four-line verse) is known as a stanza. Stanzas have regular rhyme and metrical schemes. There are many unique forms of stanzas. The stanzaic form this week is known as a quatrain. (‘quat’ is similar to the word ‘quad’, which means ‘four.’)

We always encourage children to write with honesty and originality at Skyswood, reminding them that poems do not always have to rhyme, and that rhyme can be a very restrictive tool. However, it can also be used to great effect, and for our ‘word association’ stanza poems we have set the quatrain structure of using rhyme for lines 2 and 4 of each stanza.

The verses are built up through word associations. These could be OPPPOSITES, PERFECT PARTNERS, COMPOUND WORDS, WELL KNOWN PHRASES OR IDIOMS, or SIMPLE WORD ASSOCIATIONS AND CONNECTIONS Here are some examples;


Day and Night,

Young and Old,

Dull and Bright,

Start and Stop,

Left and Right etc…

Perfect Partners (two things that naturally go together)

Salt and Pepper,

Cup and Saucer,

Bucket and Spade,

Fish and Chips,

Ant and Dec etc…

Compound Words (One word made through connecting two other words)

Ship and Wreck,

Cart and Wheel

Brain and Storm,

Hair and Spray,

Beach and Ball etc…

Simple Word Associations

Jelly and Wobble,

Ghost and Fright,

Cat and Purr,

Lion and Roar,

Fruit and Ripe etc…

Well Known Phrases or Idioms

Lion’s Share

Keen as Mustard,

Hot potato,

Red herring,

Spin a Yarn etc…

You then need to think of your ‘wordplay’ theme.  It’s a good idea to start out by brainstorming your ideas, including possible words and phrases, for your chosen theme. Then remember the structure, lines 1 and 3 do not need to rhyme, but you’re looking for simple rhymes to connect lines 2 and 4 in each verse. When you read, and re-read your poem  through, aim to have a well-defined sense of rhythm.

Here’s one on FOOD!

Food for Thought

The crisps say crackle,

The apple says crunch,

The table says cloth,

The box says lunch.

The gum says chew,

The orange says squish,

The plum says juicy,

The chips say fish.

The pizza says cheese,

The salad says toss,

The lolly says lick,

The candy says floss.

The cherry says stone me,

The icing says cake,

The curry says spicy,

And the milk says shake!


Here’s one for ANIMALS

The Hippo Says Hooray!

The dog says collar,

The cat says purr,

The chicken says korma,

The rabbit says fur.

The wolf says whistle,

The fish says face,

The monkey says puzzle,

The rat says race.

The prawn says crackers,

The shark says fin,

The snake says charming,

The spider says spin.

The fox says gloves,

The horse says neigh,

The frog says march,

And the hippo says hooray!


Here’s one for THE SEASIDE

The Rock says Candy

The rock says candy,

The bucket says spade,

The deck says chair,

The lemon says aid.

The sky says blue,

The waves say crest,

The sun says tan,

The bare says chest.

The cockles say mussels,

The sea says weed,

The fish says chips,

The seagull says feed.

The sand says castle,

The shrimp says net,

The feet say paddle

And the water says wet!


And the final example, this one is based on a HAUNTED HOUSE!

My Heart says Thump

The witch says cackle,

The ghost says boo,

The wolf says howl,

The slime says goo.

The bat says fangs,

The mummy says moans,

The giant says sleep,

The skelly says bones.

The wind says whistle,

The scream says shriek,

The foot says steps,

The door says creak.

The rat says rustle,

The thud says thump,

The moon says whole,

And my heart says thump!