Poetry Club

This week, at Poetry Club we are going to create some ‘riddles’ known as ‘kennings.’   Kennings are derived from Norse and Anglo-Saxon poetry. They are written by using two-word phrases in the place of a one-word noun.

Kennings could be used to describe everyday objects, animals, hobbies or people. For example:

Dog – face-licker

Baby – noise-maker

Computer – data-giver

Footballer – ball-kicker

Lion –    prey-stalker

If you then put together a collection of two-word phrases, you can build up your kennings poem on a chosen subject;

Pets or animals are great subjects for kennings. Here’s my kennings poem for a cat:

Bowl-licker,

Tail-chaser,

Sofa-scratcher,

Mouse-hunter,

Ball-bopper,

Dog-teaser.

You could also choose a hobby or an occupation. Here’s my kenning for a gardener; Kennings certainly don’t have to rhyme, but I’ve decided to round this kenning off with a rhyming pair;

Hedge-trimmer,

Rose-pruner,

Lawn-mower,

Weed-remover,

Hose-sprayer,

Slug-hater,

Leaf-raker,

Compost-maker.

You could write a kenning about a famous person. Here’s my kenning on The Queen!

Crown-wearer,

Hand-waver,

Corgi-lover,

Swan-owner,

Coin-poser,

Stamp-definer,

Speech-maker.

And, as one of the original aims of our Poetry Club was to write poems that might cheer our loved ones up (particularly grandparents or great-grandparents), a family member could easily be the subject of your kenning:

Here’s one for grand-dad; I’ve chosen to use four pairs of rhyming kennings for this poem.

Story-teller,

Rose-smeller,

Soup-maker,

Scone-baker,

Bird-feeder,

Garden-weeder,

Slipper-chooser,

Armchair-snoozer.

So, hopefully now you get the idea of how to write a kenning.

Have fun, and remember to send me your kennings at head@skyswood.herts.sch.uk

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