First lines are divine (a challenge and Mary McCallum’s line)

dappled-annie   dappled-annie

The first line of a poem is the door or the step or the window into a poem. 

It invites the reader in.

It might be short and it might be long.

It might be surprising, funny, elegant or give a clue.

It might have an extremely delicious word in it.


Some challenges:

1. Go on a hunt for first lines in other poems. Which ones do you like? Choose a favourite first line and then write a poem to go with it. Tell me where the first line comes from in a note at the bottom.

2. Or test out some of your own first lines and then pick one to write a poem for.

3. Or use this line by Mary McCallum as the first line of your poem:

A leaf is just the beginning.

This is the first line to her new novel for children, Dappled Annie and the Tigrish but I think it would make a great first line for a poem. I am about to fly to Wellington so I have her novel in my bag to read it. I can’t wait as the title of the book and the first line hooked me. I will let you know what I think of it! It is published by Gecko Press 2014.

DEADLINE for your challenge: Thursday March 20th

Send to Include your name, year, age and name of school. You can include your teacher’s name and email. PLEASE say it’s for the first-line, poem challenge.

I will post my favourites and have a book prize for one poet. I might be able to give you a copy of the book.

1 thought on “First lines are divine (a challenge and Mary McCallum’s line)

  1. Pingback: Reading Dappled Annie on the plane … and a challenge for you | Poetry Box

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