A list poem is just that, a list of items, ideas, or people. The list is usually placed in the middle of the poem, and most end with a surprise, ” a list with a twist”. But can a list be poetic? Of course!
Just follow these rules:
- Start with an idea and title, a family vacation, what you see at the park, things at a funeral, attributes of a friend, etc. Happy or sad, anything goes!
- Write an introductory line or stanza to set up what the list is all about. Then start your list.
- When making your list, think about how the items uniquely come together. What makes this list worth writing? Put a unique spin on it.
- Your poem can rhyme, but it doesn’t have to.
- End the poem with a line that surprises the reader…the “twist” to the list.
beginning (introduction) list list list list ending (twist or surprise)
Example: Below is a list poem I wrote for a children’s poetry book I’m working on. Notice how the beginning lines introduce the reader to the subject of the poem and gives a hint of what might happen. Where the boy keeps his treasures is the twist to the list.