Friday, June 5, 2015

things to do if you are the roundup host

Hee.  I don't really have a  post today, but I wanted to point anyone passing through that Buffy Silverman's host-post today features her own "Things To Do If You Are" poems.  She was inspired by Elaine Magliaro's Things to Do poem in Falling Down the Page, and Elaine was originally inspired by the great Bobbi Katz, who as far as I know originated the "Things to Do" form.

Oh wait--I do have a post!  Here's one of Bobbi's early Things to Do poems, from her book Upside Down and Inside Out: Poems for All Your Pockets (1973).

Things to Do If You Are a Subway || Bobbi Katz

Pretend you are a dragon.
Live in underground caves.
Roar about underneath the city.
Swallow piles of people.
Spit them out at the next station.
Zoom through the darkness.
Be an express.
Go fast.
Make as much noise as you please.

 You can see how  great a mentor text this is for younger children in particular--it's pretend play in writing, with no plot or rhyme or syllable count--just pure metaphor. 

Thanks for stopping by to read this post-that-created-itself!


  1. Thanks for pointing out that Elaine was inspired by Bobbi Katz. "Things to Do If You Are a Subway" is so much fun--I'm putting Upside Down on my to-read list!

  2. "Swallow piles of people." It just makes me smile!

  3. Pretend you are a dragon! Kids would love this! I like your piggyback of Buffy's theme. Makes me want to write a things to do if you are poem.

  4. I definitely have to try this form out. Bobbi Katz' poem is so fun and kid-friendly! Love "Swallow piles of people./Spit them out at the next station." And also the last line– what kid wouldn't want to be told that they could make as much noise as they want?!

  5. How to Be A Writer

    Start by making connections.
    Poke around for a tidbit of trivia.
    End with observations.
    Voila -- you have written!

  6. Swallowing piles of people makes me think of the last episode of Game of Thrones where the dragon did the same. The poem you showcased is so much fun. I remember loving dragons when I was little but the ones I liked were playful.

    Heidi, do you have a spring poem that you would like to offer for Spring's Symphony Gallery. Information can be found at

    Thanks and enjoy your week.

  7. Appreciations for sharing this lively look at the lowly people mover that we appreciate enormously when in cities.

    And I'll look for this title from Bobbi Katz.


Thanks for joining in the wild rumpus!