Slice of Life: A Sunflower Blooms
About Question Poetry
Curiosity is what helps us learn. Curiosity helps us solve. Curiosity gives us hope. When we wonder, either in our wishes or our worries, we push ourselves to understand, to look forward, to consider possibilities. It helps us see things in a new light. We ask questions and more questions as we consider possible answers. Sometimes we find joy and delight and sometimes we discover solutions and solace. Sometimes we have no answers. But in the asking, we open our minds to opportunity and possibility.
Question Poetry creates a path to such richness in our thinking. It can be a series of questions on a topic or a random set of curiosities that continuously nudge us to consider.
Ways to Start Question Poetry
A question poem is a list poem— so:
Make a list: just ask questions
Wonder about “What if…” and fill in your wonders
Write down a topic and ask it questions
Big Questions— questions about life, death, good, evil, war, peace
Little Questions— questions about mosquitoes, beetles, pine needles, or sneezes… the little things.
Work on the Question List— perhaps with a twist
Take a look at your list.
Consider the words— could they be more specific? A bit more detailed? Some action?
If you want rhyme [not required], consider synonyms or rearranging questions to do so.
Is there a theme, some categories, or a sequence that builds interest, action, or to a solution?
Choose those you like— consider what will be the last, and how will the others build to that?
Perhaps, as you reread them, you think of answers— by all means, choose your question and list your answers!
Revise and Finalize
Choose what works together, listen to its sound and rhythm.
Adjust the choice and voice of the words to flow in a way that pleases your ears.
Sign your name and date.
- Pen and the Pad: How to Write a Question Poem
- Tweetspeak Poetry: Ten Best Question Poems
- The Fresh Reads: What If by Shel Silverstein
- The Poem Farm: Dilemma: Writing from ‘What if?’ By Amy Ludwig VanDerwater
- Poetry Pop: Writing a List Poem: A List with A Twist
- When You Write: What is a list poem?
- K12 Thoughtful Learning: Writing a List Poem
- Two Writing Teachers: Small Poems by Valerie Worth
- Two Writing Teachers: A blog post of different genres on Roller Coasters
My thoughts and poem for today:
I woke up early, just as the sun tried to shine, but the fog hovered over the hills just above street level. It’s how I felt, a bit clouded and worried about the people of Ukraine and the soldiers ordered to invade them. I sit here in my warm home with only the fog to dampen my spirit and feeling a bit helpless. Why must the world be this way?
I knew my sun would soon shine and I could walk in its warmth, but what of the people of Ukraine? I thought of the sunflowers, their national flowers and considered another poem about them. And what would I write today?
So… these questions brought me to the idea of a question poem.
I chose my picture— another of my sunflowers, an arrowleaf balsamroot, which are our native sunflower in my area of the Pacific Northwest USA. And from that I wondered…
Why is there war?
What of the people there?
What of the beauty?
What of the land?
What of their worth?
And then my poem of questions formed from those:
What of war is there?Sheri Edwards
A seed of greed?
An evil weed?
A fog over everywhere?
What of worth is there?
A people in need?
A place serene?
Where sunflowers bloom?
Despite war’s gloom?
And with that, my poem came to be, and I have something to hope for.