The World’s Last Magic Bean #PoetryFriday

Happy Poetry Friday! (Wondering what Poetry Friday is? Click here.)

I’m sharing another poem readaloud from one of my 30 Painless Classroom Poems books.

Now, today, I’m sharing another poem from Fairy Tale Garage Sale, which has the concept that all the characters in fairy tales are selling off their unneeded items. It’s another Jack and the Beanstalk one, in fact. Here’s a video (goodness, what a still shot!) and then the poem.

A Note from the Poet:

Do you know the phrase “Don’t have a cow”? When I was a kid, “have a cow” was slang for “get all upset.” So we would say things like, “My mom’ll have a cow if I don’t unload the dishwasher.” Saying, “Don’t have a cow” to someone was like saying, “Chill out. No big deal.” When I wrote this cinquain (a poem with 5 lines of 2–4‑6–8‑2 syllables), I had fun playing with literal vs. figurative. Literally, the mom wants to have a cow in exchange for the money. But Jack has bought a bean instead. And figuratively, he knows his mom would be super upset if he planted another magic bean. 

For lots more wonderful poetry, don’t miss the Poetry Friday Roundup with Margaret Simon, a gifted poetry teacher (and you can take that meaning both ways).

19 Responses

  1. Ha! I love it. Playing with fairy tales is so stinkin’ fun. The idea of a fairy tale garage sale makes me giggle. In my garage, right now is a bean seed that fell from a packet I opened this spring. It’s on the floor. I’ve walked over it a hundred times at least. I should pick it up and throw it away. But, every time I walk by, I think, “huh. bean seed.” Someday, that seed is going to sprout somehow! Great poem this week.

  2. I love fairy tales and a fairy tale poem is so cool! I love your play with language.

  3. I enjoyed your dive into the relationship between Jack and his mother, and the double meaning in this short poem. And what a fun idea, Fairy Tale Garage Sale. Did Cinderella didn’t sell her remaining slipper after the ball? I hope not.

    1. Not in this collection, but I had started a ya/adult fairytale based collection at one point with the prince wondering about the princess’s shoe obsession. Maybe I’ll share that later this month. :>)

  4. Laura, I can’t tell if my comment got through, so I’ll try again. I love the idea of the Fairy Tale Garage Sale and the double meaning in this poem. It got me wondering what Cinderella did with her remaining slipper after the ball.

  5. Fun poem, Laura! I love the double meaning of “have a cow”. 😀 (If only magic could be purchased so easily.)

  6. I am so excited because I just got in the mail all 6 of these Painless Classroom Poem books, Laura! I ordered them from a English language book seller who actually delivers to Switzerland for free (a rare occurrence). I look forward to pouring over these resources for my EAL students. Oh, and my daughters can relate to Jack and his fear of his mother having a cow — but only figuratively. ; )

    1. Wow! How cool, and thanks for ordering them. I hope you enjoy the poems!

    1. Just went and read. We did a solage one day during Laura Shovan’s Water Poem Project. That was the first time I’d heard of the form!

  7. I grew up with “Don’t have a cow”, too, Laura & your literal/figurative take on it is so clever! There are lots of Jack & the Beanstalk ‘fractures’, all fun.

  8. Delightful poem Laura, and clever double meaning within. Hope someone plants that “last magic bean…” Thanks!

  9. Laura, a fairy tale garage sale — how clever and your video offers not only a hoot of a tale but a great explanation. Thanks for sharing the fun you are having with writing.

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