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JoAnn's Blog

Shape Poems & Final Book Giveaway of Poetry Month!

This rose is a rose in both subject and form: it's a shape poem. I created it in Microsoft® Office Word using WordArt, which can be both fun and challenging.

Shape poems, also called concrete poems or spatial poems, create shapes out of words, either by outlining (like "Rose" above) or by filling in a picture like John Hollander's "Swan and Shadow."

A good topic for a shape poem lends itself to an appropriate shape: concrete objects work better than abstract ideas. If you want to try a shape poem, I strongly suggest that you write the poem first. Then fit it into the shape. That way, you focus on the logic and say what you mean to say rather than being distracted by trying to form a shape while you write.

Look for the WordArt icon (a blue A) on the Insert tab in the Text section. Click one of the styles that appears, enter or paste your text, select the font, size, and features you want, and click Okay. Once your text is in the document, you can add special effects and change the size and position with the tools on the Format tab. In "Rose," each petal, bud, and thorn is a separate piece of WordArt.

You can read more shape poems in these collections:
A Poke in the I, edited by Paul B. Janeczko
Splish Splash and Flicker Flash: Poems by Joan Bransfield Graham
Doodle Dandies: Poems that Take Shape by J. Patrick Lewis
Come to My Party and Other Shape Poems by Heidi Bee Roemer
Technically, It’s Not My Fault: Concrete Poems and Blue Lipstick: Concrete Poems by John Grandits

Book Giveaway!
Tara is the winner of this week's giveaway of an autographed paperback copy of Write a Poem Step by Step.

Post a comment on today's post to enter for another chance to win. I’ll choose a winner at random next Friday from all entries posted by 10 p.m. (CST) Thursday, notify the winner by email, and ask for a mailing address and personalization request. Good luck!

Teaching Authors
Look for me each Wednesday during National Poetry Month at TeachingAuthors.com, where I'm posting poetry-themed Wednesday Writing Workouts. Last Wednesday's challenge was a Fib.

Guest Blog Post
At at Rochelle Melander's Write Now! Coach blog, you can read about five of my favorite poetry collections and enter to win a copy of Write a Poem Step by Step.

Poetry Friday
Tabatha Yeatts has today's Poetry Friday Roundup at The Opposite of Indifference. Enjoy!

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