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List Poems

We all have a junk drawer, a closet, an attic or an old box that is full of stuff we rarely use or even look at. But we know it is there and we often know what is in there because we rummage through it looking for the other things we want. Make a list of all the things in your collection. After you have made your list scroll down and re-read my list poem "My Car," as an example of a list poem.
 
What is and isn't a poem? What makes this a list poem and not just a list? Think about symbols and similes, metaphors and analogies, alliteration, rhythm and rhyme. List poems in particular do a couple of unique things. In addition to playing with words, the sounds of words and colorful images, they often add an unusual item to the list every fourth or fifth line to help break the rhythm. They also draw connections between items in a startling way, so this list of things has more symbolic meaning.
 
Now review your list and play with these ideas. Do a little editing and rewriting and then read your poem out loud. When you get it done send your poem to Contact Fox.
 
The following poem is an excerpt from Song of the Red Fox
 
MY CAR
 
My car is my office,
with laptop and printer
files and cell phone
and paper clips scattered on the floor.
 
My car is my home,
with a sleeping bag and pillow
in the trunk,
a few changes of clothes,
dirty socks and two pairs of shoes
stuffed behind the seat,
a toothbrush, toothpaste,
and an extra razor in the glove box.
And there is a little fox puppet
in the back window in case I get lonely.
 
My car is my kitchen
with bags of pretzels and popcorn,
chocolate covered peanuts
and trail mix, apples and orange peels,
bottles of juice and tea and water,
many empty, some half full, all spilling out
from under the passenger seat.
 
My car is a small bookstore,
brimmingly filled with boxes of books,
cases of cassettes and CDs,
fliers and order forms,
a cash box, and credit card receipts.
 
My car is a small sound stage
complete with three microphones,
booms and mic stands,
miles of cables and cords,
speakers, amps, a tape player,
and a wireless transcender.
 
My car is my office, my home, my kitchen,
a bookstore, a soundstage and
a fiery chariot that carries me, a talespinner,
across the mythical realms
where the Brothers Grimm
live with Johnny Appleseed,
where Reynard the Fox
plays with Pan the Piper,
where listeners for a moment
lose their way in the dark wood
before finding the glistening pool
where they can pause
and reflect…