This week on Poetry Box and a Snail Poem

This week on NZ Poetry Box it is a mix of things. On Monday I will remind you about the small-poem challenge and post my snail poem, on Tuesday I will give you a poetry tip, on Wednesday I will play with poetry, on Thursday I will post an interview with John Parker (he writes terrific poems for children!) and on Friday I will post the winning small poem (or poems!).

The Small Poem Challenge: Write an animal poem using no more than 15 words (you can go slightly over!). Send it to Include your name, age, year, name of school and teacher’s name and email address. Think about the tips I have given so far and check out tomorrow’s tip. The winner will receive a copy of Flamingo Bendalingo (courtesy of Auckland University Press).

I am pleased to see schools are promoting The Fabulous Poetry Competition on their websites. With so many entries for this competition I will only accept them at my physical post box.

And now for my poem. There are thousands of poems about snails and I have always been fascinated with the way they carry their home about. Sometimes I have let my imagination take off with this idea. Do they have little couches and tvs to watch? Are they like a mobile home going on a sightseeing tour? When I wrote this poem I wanted to describe the snail and keep it real. I thought of saying the house was like a little acorn but then I liked the sound of hat (and I thought it’s a funny place to keep a hat — on your back!).

When I write a poem I always play with the way the words sit on the line. I could have said slips and slides but I picked slides and slips.

 A Snail Poem

A snail slides and slips

down the path

on her silvery snail trail,

with her little house sitting

on her back like a shiny hat.


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