Posts Tagged ‘blues poetry’

Poetry Friday round-up is with Linda at Teacher Dance.

I’ve been exploring the blues poem form these last few weeks. My students and I read Finding Langston, so I pulled out some Langston Hughes poems. I grew up in Mississippi and something about the form feels like home to me. You can read more about blues poems here.

We’ve had a few hurricanes this year. Of course, the year 2020 is cursed as you know, but even for a curse, five hurricanes have threatened our state of Louisiana. Five! One of them, Delta, came pretty close to us here in bayou country. So with blues and hurricanes on my mind, I looked at this picture on my phone of a great white egret in the bayou a few days after Hurricane Delta. What do egrets do during a hurricane?

Bayou Teche, Great White Egret October 14, 2020

Egret Blues

It’s a tryin’ time to be a symbol of peace.
Tryin’ during this time to be peace,
full of a sad song in the air.
There’s a sad song swirling in the air.
Tropical winds just don’t care.

That hurricane down south in the gulf,
A storm makes peaceful turn to rough.
I’m walkin’ this line waitin’ for a sign,
a sign of weather’s high-pitched whine
I can’t keep from cryin’.

Egret blues echo in my Lord’s sunrise
Lord’s sunrise blurs my sideways eyes
I’m catchin’ the tailwind, ready to fly
Ready to fly through the bright new sky
A horizon of Peace by and by.

Margaret Simon, draft 2020

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Slice of Life Tuesday

Slice of Life Tuesday

B is for the blues. This form required some research on my part. I listened to “Cross Road Blues” by Robert Johnson. I read about 12 bar blues and some poems of Langston Hughes. (The rhyming has gone to my head:) But all the while I was researching, my cat was crying outside the door.

Bill and Buzz are outside cats. They have been living outside for almost a year now, but they still think they can come inside, especially Bill. He’s the most affectionate and wants to rub and be rubbed. So Bill became the subject of my blues poem.

I patterned the poem after an AABa pattern from the 12 Bar Blues pattern. The first and second line repeat. The third line is a response, not rhyming. Then line 4 rhymes with 1. I struggled with this for a while. I hope my students don’t have too much trouble with this form. They will be posting their blues poems today at their kidblog (Slice of Life Challenge) which will remain open until the end of the school year.


Tomcat Bill comes to sing the blues.
My grey cat Bill sings blues.
Whether winter or spring, that cat will sing.
Crying in high-pitched mews.

Meow, Me-oo, let me come in.
Meow, Me-oo, let me in.
Cat food’s on the windowsill; your song’s too shrill.
Who knows where you’ve been.

Come on, Mama, don’t you hear.
Mama, don’t you hear.
I want to get the lovin’, some simple human cuddlin’
Open the door, let me near.

Stop your whining at the door.
Cat, stop your whining at the door.
Go climb a tree, nip at a flea
I don’t want to hear you no more.


Greg has a poem a day “3o Days, 30 Poets” on his site GottaBook.

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