Solid Gold Sounds, by Laura Purdie Salas

Today’s poem from my new 30 Painless Classroom Poems book, Fairy Tale Garage Sale, comes from the Ogre’s wife. They have a very traditional marriage, and she’s the one who has to do all the grocery shopping:>)

Solid Gold Sounds

 

Note from the Poet:

 

When poets work on meter, we use symbols like this: -/–/–/–/ Each / is a stressed beat. Each ? is an unstressed beat. My last line was ?Our grocery bill was much cheaper before!? But the meter, or beat, doesn’t quite work perfectly. Here’s how that last couplet looks, before and after:

?[Addendum: WordPress is combining my dashes. I’ve fixed it now so that the difference is hopefully more obvious!]

before:

I’m‑SAD-that-he-DOES‑n’t‑eat-KIDS-a-ny-MORE

our-GROCE-ry-BILL-was-much-CHEA-per-be-FORE

-/- -/- -/- -/

-/-/- -/- -/

 

after:

I’m‑SAD-that-he-DOES‑n’t‑eat-KIDS-a-ny-MORE

we-PAID-a-lot-LESS-for-our-GROCE-ries-be-FORE

-/- -/- -/- -/

-/- -/- -/- -/

 

Fairy Tale Garage Sale

 

24 Responses

  1. Laura,
    Thanks for sharing the meter exercise. I need all the help I can get with this. You have a wacky sense of humor in this. Kids will love it.

  2. Laura,
    Thanks for sharing the meter exercise. I need all the help I can get with this. You have a wacky sense of humor in this. Kids will love it.

  3. Each day leaves me anticipating the next. This one is just too funny!
    Also, I appreciate the lesson in meter. You make it seem so simple.

  4. Each day leaves me anticipating the next. This one is just too funny!
    Also, I appreciate the lesson in meter. You make it seem so simple.

  5. Love the wife’s wish for a cheaper food source–and I think kids will, too! I also liked taking a peek at your revision and your meter explanation. I read your first draft line as:
    our GRO-ce-ry BILL.…
    so it scanned for me. (And although I usually pronounce groceries with three syllables, I read your revised line with two–to me it works either way. I just looked the word up, and dictionary.com gives both pronunciations. I think scanning a poem is as much art as science!)

    1. Definitely. Grocery can go either way, depending on region/accent, etc. I always aim for the word with as little variation as possible so that it scans for the most people. But you’re right–it’s art, too. If only it was an exact science–wouldn’t poetry be simpler? (But probably not as much fun!)

  6. Love the wife’s wish for a cheaper food source–and I think kids will, too! I also liked taking a peek at your revision and your meter explanation. I read your first draft line as:
    our GRO-ce-ry BILL.…
    so it scanned for me. (And although I usually pronounce groceries with three syllables, I read your revised line with two–to me it works either way. I just looked the word up, and dictionary.com gives both pronunciations. I think scanning a poem is as much art as science!)

    1. Definitely. Grocery can go either way, depending on region/accent, etc. I always aim for the word with as little variation as possible so that it scans for the most people. But you’re right–it’s art, too. If only it was an exact science–wouldn’t poetry be simpler? (But probably not as much fun!)

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