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*yawn* poetry. Am I right?  If it’s not your thing it’s not your thing and no amount of jibber jabbing is going to change that. So thought this librarian for a number of years. Seems my old attitude is shared by a lot of people out there too. Mention that April is Poetry Month and their eyes take on a distinctly glazed appearance.

So what’s the solution?  Two words: Weirdo Poetry.  Today, ladies and germs, I intend to tell you about poetry that will not move your soul to gladness nor speak to that secret spot inside yourself.  Nope.  Today it’s all about the goofy poetry.  The brain teasing poetry.  The poetry that makes you sit up and say, “Whaaaa?”  In short, poetry for people who don’t much care for the stuff.

Weirdo Poetry Example 1: Spine Poetry
Pretty self-explanatory.  Basically, you create poetry out of the spines of books.  The titles make the poems. Neat!

Weirdo Poetry Example 2: Fibonacci Poems
Based on the Fibonacci sequence, Fib poems are six line, 20 syllable-poems with a syllable count by line of 1/1/2/3/5/8 – the classic Fibonacci sequence. In short, start with 0 and 1, add them together to get your next number, then keep adding the last two numbers together for your next one.

Weirdo Poetry Example 3: Blackout Poetry
I’ve enjoyed this form for years, but it wasn’t until I tried it out on a couple different groups of kids that I saw how effective and interesting it can be. Consider it a “forced found” poem. The poet’s job is to find a newspaper article or horoscope and to black out everything except the words for the poem. Intrigued? Kids, as it turns out, are preternaturally gifted in this area.  Just be sure you have enough black markers on hand if you try this. 

Weirdo Poetry Example 4: Snowball Poetry
According to the website BoingBoing, “A ‘Snowball’ is a poem ‘in which each line is a single word, and each successive word is one letter longer’.” In other words, not too different from a Fibonacci poem in that math is involved in some way.

So fear not the coming of Poetry Month. Find the peculiar poems that best suit your needs and have at it!

Betsy Bird

Betsy Bird is the Collection Development Manager of Evanston Public Library. She has been writing for the Evanston RoundTable since 2016.