How to Write a This and That Poem

This unique version of a This and That poem with distinct rules and irreverent English was created by poet and children’s author Danna Smith in 2020 on her blog, The rules are simple:

  • Write four rhyming stanzas (16 lines total) (ABCB rhyme scheme).
  • Alternate the words This and That at the beginning of each line.
  • Throw proper English out the window (ah, that feels nice for a change!). Feel free to twist words, and use incomplete sentences (i.e., this bend of branches). You have permission to be totally free with your placement of words.

It’s the combination of creative sentences and imagery that makes this type of poem such fun to write (and read!). The This and That format works for any occasion. Think new baby, engagement, birthday, wedding, illness,…you name it.


Here’s a collection of links to more This and That poetry: