Poetry Genre

Short Writings: Contrast Poems

Lakes to Oceans
I used to take Weston to the Lake Ray Roberts,
but now I hold Paisley’s hand as we walk near the Indian River.
I used to pack sandwiches for our Sunday lunch,
but now I dine where I can get fresh oysters and southern flounder.
I used to bring our fishing poles when we camped,
but now I look for sailboats to ride the waves.
I used to cross the levees and earthen dams,
but now I drive on causeways across the Inter-Coastal Waterway.
I used to walk half on the rocky shore and half in the lake,
but now I wade in the salty Atlantic spray.
I used to take a nap in the car on Sunday afternoons,
but now I watch the sun rise and set in the distant watery horizons of Florida.

Scribbles to Essays
I used to scribble with crayons on the paper Mom gave me in church,
but now I draw with pastels and drawing pencils to provide pictures for my writings.
I used to write simple letters to my relatives to ask to visit in the summer,
but now I discuss writing with my graduate peers and professors in eCollege.
I used to write short stories for my middle school language arts teacher,
but now I create morning writings to describe the content we will study each day.
I used to write reports about favorite authors and why I loved the message in their writing,
but now I teach drafting, revising, editing and publishing for a small class of diverse students.
I used to create journal entries to reflect on my feelings and emotions,
but now I create expository essays about how to introduce craft in my writing workshop each day.  

Memo: These two poems represent the versatility of this genre.  When the author of a poem uses the writing process with pre-writing, drafting, revising, editing and publishing with a specific style of poetry, their audience can see the purpose of text.  It can be personalized to fit the author’s purpose and style. These contrast poems begin with “I used to…” and the second line starts with “but now I.” Creative writers will use poems for sentence fluency, voice, word choice and rhyme of words.  Poetry provides immense emotions with very few words.


Fountas, I.C. and Pinnell, G.S. (2006). Teaching for Comprehending and Fluency: Thinking, Talking, Writing about Reading, K-8.(pg. 134)Heinemann.
Spandel, V. (2013). Creating Writers: 6 Traits, Process, Workshop, and Literature. (pg 210-211, 239). Pearson Publications.
Tompkins, G. (2010). Teaching writing: Balancing product and process.(pg. 159). Pearson Publications.

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