Friday, April 17, 2009

POETRY FRIDAY: Opposite Poems

Last week, I wrote a post about Opposite Poems for Wild Rose Reader. It included excerpts from Richard Wilbur’s book Opposites, More Opposites, and a Few Differences, some of my original opposite poems, and a suggestion for writing opposite poems in the classroom.

Here are three opposite poems I wrote for that post:

The opposite of king is queen,

His consort on the royal scene—

Or else it’s some poor serf or peasant

Whose endless workday seems incessant.


The opposite of engine? Trunk.

It has no parts that clank or clunk.

It’s a resting place for spare tires

And a body when your spouse expires.


The opposite of ladies? Witches

Ugly hags with nostril twitches,

Cackling laughs, and warty faces...

Who are lacking in the social graces.

I also asked blog readers to write their own opposite poems and to submit them to me for future posting at Wild Rose Reader. Well, just one person took up my writing challenge—award-winning poet Julie Larios. Her poem, The Opposite of Hot Dog, is a pure delight from beginning to end—and a fine example of adeptly written light verse.

The Opposite of Hot Dog

By Julie Larios

A hot dog’s opposite is prone

to play the alto saxophone

in night clubs— he’s a real cool cat.

It’s also, oddly, quite true that

the opposite of hot dog is,

on summer days, a sloe gin fizz,

which goes down smooth and unembellished,

not gobbled up on a bun with relish.

And if the fate of old hotdoggers

is telling tales and quaffing lagers,

could be their opposites are the nerds

who drink alone and play with words.

I think that does it for the frank,

whose furter stands alone. I thank

all vegetarians, at whose behest,

the opposite of bratwurst is best.

Write an Opposite Poem: Maybe some of you would like to write your own opposite poems and share them with us. If so, just leave your opposite poem in the comments or email it to me. Check out this Wild Rose Reader post for more examples of opposite poems: Opposite Poems.


At Wild Rose Reader today--Red Sings from Treetops: A Book Review & An Invitation

At Political Verses today--Gasbag: A Limbaughrhyme

The Poetry Friday Roundup is at Becky’s Book Reviews this week.


Andromeda Jazmon said...

Oh! another assignment!!! I have my poetry work cut out for me now. What is the opposite of rest and relax? Back to work...

Elaine Magliaro said...


I look forward to reading your opposite poem.

Laurie said...

I have to admit, I'm really nervous about posting this. But, I've been writing lotsa lotsa poems for National Poetry month, so I'm growing bolder. Sadly I'm probably not growing more poetical :-)

Anyway, I tried to write an Opposite Poem for you.

Here it is:

"A Couple Guesses"

The opposite of poetry, I suppose, might be prose.
No. I’m pretty sure that isn’t true. Prose thrills too,
and prose can twist a common phrase through it’s maze to reshape
with rhymeless meter, proving prose can sing poetically.
Let me try again.
The opposite of poetry might be
communicating without relating.
Yes. I think that’s it.

Elaine Magliaro said...

Thanks, Laurie! I like your poetry/prose pair of opposites. I hope more people submit poems for me to post here at Blue Rose Girls at a later date.

Mary Lee said...

I'm inspired by Laurie to try to write about elusive opposites...but I'm not going to try it right here right now. I'm off to my writer's notebook with some ideas...

Elaine Magliaro said...

Mary Lee,

Can't wait to read your opposite poem when it's finished!

Lisa Chellman said...

These are such a treat!
Elaine, your poem that ends with stashing a spouse's body in the trunk made me wince -- and giggle.
Julie, I very much enjoyed your poem, too... though I want to mention that there are some tasty veggie hot dogs and bratwurst out there these days!