hopscotch and vegemite sandwiches

This is for the dVerse prompt “hopscotch with anapestic tetrameter” and is another collaborative effort with my daughter, although it reflects my school days more than hers – she wanted to know why a teacher would use chalk instead of a screen… 🙄

Term’s begun,
back to school.
No more fun,
that’s the rule.
Teacher writes,
squeaky chalk,
“All be quiet!
No more talk,
copy this…
Pay attention!”
“Sorry miss”
“Detention!”
Poke out tongue
at teachers back.
Lunch time comes,
open packed
sandwiches –
vegemite!
at least this
is alright!
Run around,
play with friends,
fall on ground…
Play time ends,
back to class,
watch the clock,
hours drag past
tick-toock, tiiick-tooooock…
eventually
school bell rings,
all set free!
Gather things,
children pour
out of class,
out the door,
running fast.
One less day,
til term ends
and holidays
come again.

Anapestic tetrameter means (thank you Bjorn!) “we shall hopscotch like children in spring, doing anapests, which means that we have two unstressed syllables followed by one stressed. da-da-DAM. … Anapestic Tetrameter means that we have four stressed syllables on each line (so each line has twelve syllables).”

We’re following Dr Seuss’s lead in breaking them up, but splitting them even further into primary-school-child-size hops of just 3 syllables, with an occasional 4 syllable stumble. 

32 Comments

Filed under poem

32 responses to “hopscotch and vegemite sandwiches

  1. A great read with breakfast before work. And still the sentiments remain the same! Chalk, apart from other things, is far easier to throw across the classroom than a screen, I suppose! 🙂

  2. This was some real back-to-school fun! I have never have the pleasure of trying vegemite, but I am curious about the taste…

    • At the risk of sounding unpatriotic, I actually don’t like it apart from very rare cravings for vegemite and boiled eggs on toast. My daughter is the one with vegemite sandwiches. Imagine slightly yeasty-beery and very very salty flavour.

  3. I love this poem, Kate, and that you split the anapestic tetrameter into ‘primary-school-child-size hops of just 3 syllables, with an occasional 4 syllable stumble’, especially where you slowed it down in ‘hours drag past / tick-toock, tiiick-tooooock…’ It should be standard school fare, or at least a playground rhyme.

  4. Ah yes, makes me recall how much I dreaded my early school years. Nicely constructed.

  5. writingallsorts7909

    Great fun. Love the dragging tick of the clock.

  6. This was a really fun read! I love that it was written with your daughter. I’m sure beyond the chalk and no talk, not much has really changed from a child’s perspective!

  7. This is wonderful Kate — save the Vegemite sandwich. Martin, a good British friend from my years with Lucasfilm LTD, had tried several times, back in the 90’s, to convince me — but “V” simply not to my taste. But your poem, racing down the page at 100 mph, is absolutely to my liking — well written!

  8. You and your daughter brought the classroom to life! I have no clue what Vegemite is though.

  9. In my mind this is a one-room schoolhouse and an ordinary school day, one that one looks back on at some point with particular fondness. I like the comfortableness of your poem.

  10. You magically transported me way, way back to Grade School in a very small town, memories of what our days were like, teachers … all of it. Nicely done.

  11. Beverly Crawford

    Well, you certainly took us all to school! Well done.

  12. The story of life in elementary school.

  13. School memories are all coming back to me now. :>)

  14. I love the short lines.. really made it fast-pact and with fitting rhymes enhancing the bounce…. I wonder how children can sit still

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