A Plethora of my Quora poetry

Roger Jenkins - the poet?

From time to time I like to answer questions on QUORA relating to poetry. Mostly these are poetic responses, though sometimes the question is answered with a prosaic tip (or quip!)  

What counts as a line in a poem?

I was taught

That each line in a poem is a single thought,

Which explains why some lines are seven feet long

And others are short.

Some poems’ appeal because their lines

Use rhythm and rhyme to form a pattern,

A pattern which naturally aligns

With the subject of the verse,

And as we read we recognise, and take delight

In the form and structure poets bring

To our chaotic world when they write.

Other poems eschew the gardener’s guiding hand

and lines seem left to wander

where they will –

and yet,

as in nature, where water

always finds its course


a good poem’s path,

though unpredictable,

is clearly planned.

How do poets who rhyme their poems know where the end of each line is going to be when they start writing them?

How do poets who like to rhyme

Know as they write a line it’s time

To hit the space bar and commence

a new one? How do they so consist

ently get it right without mist

akenly missing the mark?

A poet must surely be a pro

ficient writer to do this, bro.

Whene’er I see a rhyming line enjamb

ed I think to myself, Well I’ll be damn


How do I know if I am truly a ”good” poet
or am I simply a mediocre poet?

Is poetry a binary art?

If a consistently mediocre football player

Can produce a stunning shot and broker

The most unlikely winning goal of the season,

Then the club-footed mundane poet,

Can still create – defying rhyme and reason –

A simile that soars, a line that sings,

A poem anthologized repeatedly for crystallising

Something unique that etches in collective memory.

Its rarity – ahh! That makes it all the more surprising.

And so I say, poetry is not a binary art

With writers lodged in the land of Good or Other:

We cross the tracks to a new neighbourhood

When our mediocre metamorphoses into good.

(awaiting inspiration)

What is ‘monosyllabic poetry’?

A tough way to write verse

That makes you want to be terse.

The rhyth goes on and on the same,

The sound is flat and feels so lame.

It lacks a voice that makes me smile,

It has no joy, no play, no guile.

“A thing of beaut is a joy for ev” —

Don’t write (nor read) such crap – not now nor nev!

I am

going to start my poem

as you request,

but as you ask nothing more,

as you might have guessed,

I’m not going to finish it

am I?


Can someone write a beautiful poem with the title “Life”  for me?

Life is what you make it –

The emphasis is on you

Asking someone else to make it?

What a self-defeating thing to do!

An Acrostic (instead of a coven!) of  WITCHES

Whenever people want someone to blame

It’s easy to find a scapegoat,

Targetting the defenceless,

Hounding the old, the odd, the ostracised

Endowing them with evil powers

Sure to scare the stupid shitless.

What are some ideas for writing poetry based on the play “Macbeth”

If you’re writing a poem about Macbeth

It’s a foregone conclusion it’ll end in death .
It’s tough to be a Porter
When the wind whips up a storm,
And you’ve nothing underneath your kilt
To keep your privates warm.
Then guests come ceaseless knocking
At the heavy Castle door,
And the sods won’t tip you a single groat
For a shot of malt whisky to pour.
It’s no fun in the Castle laundry, neither,
When Lady M paces about,
For no matter how hard you scrub and scrub
You can’t get the dammed spots out!

Write a poem using these three sentences, 1. Joined forces with the French. 2. It took Britain long to get supplies. 3. They knew the clony’s terrain well. THIS IS DUE TOMORROW PLS HELP?

My teacher is a bastard –

He’s joined forces with the French —

setting poems on why it took Britain

long to get supplies — man, what a mensch!

My teacher is a lazy sod who can’t even spell

“They knew the clony’s terrain well”?

And this shit’s due tomorrow —

May he rot in hell.

What is a poem on the open hand?

To help a student understand

I wrote a poem on my open hand,

Then slapped him hard upon his cheek —

A haiku keisaku. I did not need to speak.

Is a limerick similar to a haiku? 

There was a young chap in Japan

Who was a huge limerick fan –

But when he wrote haiku

He was left to rue why coo-

-uldn’t he make 5-7-5 syllables scan?

What should I write a poem about? I don’t have anymore ideas.

Oh no – what can I do?

I haven’t got any ideas, have you?

I’ m sorry to trouble you out of the blue

But my mind’s a blank — that’s nothing new!

I’m known as the poet, who hasn’t a clue

(I’m not as creative as Coz Clerihew)

I need an idea – just one, not a few —

Otherwise I’ll have to stop writing poetry altogether.

What is an ‘I’ poem?

I am I, and I will try

On my i-Phone to write I-poetry.

I am the I who is all important

And only I can write (and others oughtn’t)

About why I write about only me,

This hybrid verse called Idol-etry.

Would you like to write a four line poem on biased justice?

The scales of justice are meant to be even —

That was the principle we used to believe in.

But SCOTUS now tips them down on the right

To favour the Straight, Christian and White.

What is a history  haiku?

Wars fought long ago

Teach us lessons for today –

Putin didn’t learn.

What’s a nice poem to read at bedtime?

I like to read at bedtime

A poem dull and boring,

Because I know that ere too long

I’ll be fast asleep and snoring.

How do you write an acrostic poem with the word “Data Gathering”?





is how I would begin.

How do I write a page-long poem?

To begin, i suggest you look

For the smallest paged notebook

You can find – a far more

Productive use of your time, I’m sure,

Than trying to compose, at your age,

Something poetic on a larger page.

You ought

To keep your lines short.

That way you will

Quickly fill

The single sheet

And your task will be complete.

As your assignment criteria

Is woefully inferior,

Do not consider quality a strength:

Focus only on its length.

Remember always the words of the sage

Who said – oh sorry, end of the page.

How do poets who rhyme their poems know where the end of each line is going to be when they start writing them?

How do poets who like to rhyme

Know as they write a line it’s time

To hit the space bar and commence

a new one? How do they so consist

ently get it right without mist

akenly missing the mark?

A poet must surely be a pro

ficient writer to do this, bro.

Whene’er I see a rhyming line enjamb

ed I think to myself, Well I’ll be damn


What is an apology poem for?

I’m sorry I really don’t know

Why anyone would care to write

A poetic apology, although —

And forgive me if this is trite —

I suspect they want to make amends

For somehow upsetting one of their friends?

Can you write a rhyming poem about Kant?

How I’d love to rave and rant

About that awful fellow Kant.

But a rhyming poem?

As much I want,

I can’t .

How do you write Urdu poetry on love and romance in a modern style?

How do

You do



Who do



Coo to?

Do they plead

“Please love me true, do!”

In their urgent verse in Urdu?

What is the difference between
a poem that rhymes
and a poem that doesn’t rhyme?

Regarding your question

here’s a suggestion

for you:

read a poem or two.

You’ll soon see the difference

between poems that rhyme

and those that don’t.

What are some examples of poems    that have no title?

This poem has no title

because I don’t think I need it.

But if you don’t know what it’s about —

Will you bother to read it?

How many words should a short love poem have?

What kind of lover measures their love

By the number of words in a poem?

Parsimonious and pedantic, not passionate —

I wouldn’t want to know’em.

How do you write a get well soon poem for your teacher?

Teach, I’m so sorry to hear you’re sick,

And sorrier still, I’m such a dick —

too lazy to bother, truth to tell,

To sit and write you my own ‘Get Well’’.

So please accept this generic note

That some cynical bloke on Quora wrote.

Why do poets sometimes write poems with only one line (or two)? What does this accomplish for them as writers and readers alike?

The archer hits the bullseye.

Why waste a second arrow?

I have to write a poem on career exploration.
Does anybody have any ideas?

A poem on career exploration —

That’s the task my teacher has set.

I have thought about it for ages

But I’ve not thought of anything yet.

I’m clearly not suited for writing —

Not as author, journalist, librarian.

Perhaps I should try manual labour?

Or possibly something agrarian?

A career that pays me good money

Without working hard for long years —

A thief is what’s most appealing,

As I love stealing others’ ideas.

What’s your favorite poem about rising early?

Rising early to catch the worm?

That’s a thought that makes me squirm.

Let the birds be eagerly early –

Pre-dawn waking makes me surly.

I’d much, much rather stay in bed

(I banished alarm-clocks beside my head.)

Much as I liked the lovely Liza

I had to leave her (she’s an early-riser)

and I fell instead for my Caroline

who loves to lie-in till half-past nine.

(This is my favourite as I just wrote it and it’s probably going to be my first and only poem about rising early!)

What are some beautiful poems
about life in the Seychelles?

She sells sea shells on the Seychelles’

sandy soft sea-shore for sure.

I saw on my Seychelles chalet see-saw

sea-shells she had surely
shortly sought before.

What is a 4-line poem with the word “missionary”?

A missionary went to the natives

Extolling the Christian Hereafter —

But the natives believed it was nonsense,

And ate him with fried yams
and laughter.

Can you write a work that starts
with “o” and ends on “c”?

Optimistically, I’m confident I can

Create a poem that follows your plan:

I accept the challenge – and calm (not manic)

I’m sure I’ll complete it – if I don’t panic.

Can you make a poem of ”You have two voices”?

You have two voices
No I don’t
Yes you do!
Says who?
Says me!
shaking my head.
I’m talking to you, that’s who.
You’re not a voice.
If I’m not a voice, how come I’m talking?
You’re not. You’re writing. You’re a thought.
Looks like a conversation to me.
Looks can be deceiving.
Time you were leaving.
That’s better.
More room for me.
I can reclaim my side of the bed.
Page, I mean.
I have many thoughts
But only one voice.
No one else speaks for me.
(sotto voce) That’s what you think!

IHow do you write a short poem with two stanzas (4 lines for each stanza) expressing your appreciation on the tilt of the Earth that causes seasonal change?

Lines on Quora are straight and flat —

Thank God our earth is not like that,

But leans at 23.4 degrees

Creating seasonalities.


If it were straight – oh what a bore!

All months the same – like in Singapore.

Be grateful that our world’s a tilter —

Sometimes there’s virtue in being off-kilter.


What is the purpose of writing an acrostic poem in school?

Acrostics provide a simple structure

Challenging writers to seek the right word,

Ransacking their vocab for the first in each line.

Often students think poems rhyme. Acrostics don’t.

Sensibly scalable – ‘crab’ or ‘pandemic’

Test very different levels of thought and skill.

If a class all compose acrostics on the same word

Comparing them reveals amazing diversity!

How do you make an acrostic poem using the word catalyst? In making the poem, you may also write the importance of catalyst in our daily life.

Complacently I coasted through my boring morning

And then your casual prompt (a catalyst acrostic please)

Triggers a reaction.

Animated, I take up the challenge and a pen,

Laying aside my lazy sexagenarian self. I smile –

Yew-sapped, yang-flushed. You are my muse

Stimulating me to write –

Thank you for sparkling my afternoon.

When it’s cold and wet and windy

Embrace the opportunity to keep

Agile acrostically in cosy indoor comfort.

Then, when the wind drops and mercury rises,

Head for the beach or park or wood

Experience the delight of sun on skin –

Remember that inspiration indoors in winter.

What is an example of an acrostic poem with the word “paganly”?

Purify the sacrifice with fire

Arrange the bones by moonlight,

Gild the statue with honey’d ochre

And smear the loins with virgin blood.

Naked, dance to defy the darkness

Lest evil stalk the long night

Yelling, we greet the dawn with joyous drums.

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