Poetry Friday: Definitos

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Last month, Heidi Mordhorst posed our Sunday writing critique group the challenge of writing a definito, a fabulous poetry form that she created and defined many moons ago. In short, Heidi describes the definito as “a free verse poem of 8-12 lines (aimed at readers 8-12 years old) that highlights wordplay as it demonstrates the meaning of a less common word, which always ends the poem.” I soon discovered that, even though I came up with word after word to use, the poems are much more challenging to write than I expected. Here are three of mine.

solitary

when there’s only
one
not two or three
existing
alone
on
its
own
solitary

©Molly Hogan, 2019

resilient.jpg

resilient

When challenges rise
like a flooding river
hold tight in the current
bend with the flow
Be strong
Be tough
Don’t let go…
Be resilient

©Molly Hogan, 2019

And then, just for kicks… and without a photo—

Regurgitate

Upchuck, throw up
heave, hurl, spew

Tossing cookies
sick with flu

What’s a queasy
kid to do?

Nauseous, achy
don’t feel great?

Grab a bucket!
DO NOT WAIT!

You’re going to…
regurgitate

©Molly Hogan, 2019

This week, Heidi‘s highlighting definitos as she hosts Poetry Friday at her blog, My Juicy Little Universe. Make sure to stop by to read more about the evolution of the form and to see some examples. Keep your eyes open while you wander through the Roundup, as  there will be plenty more definitos around! Then, consider trying your hand at writing one, but be forewarned: Writing these is kind of addictive! 

 

40 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: Definitos

  1. Bwa ha ha ha ha! Regurgitate! That one is perfect for kids. Good job, Molly. And you know I love solitary…it has the feel of mindfulness.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So interesting to come to “Solitary” right from Catherine’s “Haste” – the two put together are a lesson in pacing! Beautiful . “Resilient” is perfectly set off with that photo. [And, what can I say, I’m GLAD the last one did NOT have a picture! ;0) ]

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      Thanks, Robyn. It’s really interesting to play around with this form. On another note, while moderating comments for PF, I just realized that, for some reason, your comments are being sent to SPAM. I just approved a couple of them that I saw there. Sorry I hadn’t noticed earlier!

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  3. Susan Bruck says:

    It’s so much fun to learn about a new poetry form–I especially like Resilient, maybe because I need to be reminded. I like the photo, too.
    And Regurgitate is really funny and perfect for that age group.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. katswhiskers says:

    They’re all so different. Personally, regurgitate makes me sick😆 (just a bit hard to swallow…🥴). I love the brevity of solitary. And resilient is a perfect blend of picture and poetry.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Definitos are challenging, no doubt, but you have a knack for them, Molly! Linda is right that kids will love “Regurgitate.” I love “Solitary” and the way your word placement emphasizes the meaning. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Amanda Potts says:

    These are great! My kids are asleep right now, but I can already imagine their giggles of delight when I read them “Regurgitate” – which I’m definitely going to have to do. I’ll report back. I also love the line structure in “Solitary” – especially lines 2 and 3. Hmm… I can imagine combining this form and vocabulary poems (from Kwame Alexander in Crossover) and letting my students loose…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh my gosh, Molly! You really worked these. I’m struck by how everyone (except me) has wanted to illustrate a definito as you did with “resilient.” You got me good with “regurgitate,” which starts out just as a list of synonyms/expressions but develops into a story line. Love it! Thanks for all your encouragement.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. […] definitos at these Poetry Swaggers’ sites:Catherine Flynn: Reading to the CoreMolly Hogan: Nix the Comfort ZoneHeidi Mordhorst: My Juicy Little UniverseLinda Mitchell: A Word […]

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  9. Playful welcome to my morning. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. lindabaie says:

    Each one’s a perfect thought for the word, Molly. I laughed like everyone over ‘regurgitate’, but what spoke to me, picture not needed, is that slim “solitary”. “one, not two or three”. Wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Kay Mcgriff says:

    I am having so much fun reading all these definitos today. I love all three of these, but that last one gets me! I can see a group of kids laughing–and not forgetting–the meaning of this new to them word. Bravo!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. margaretsmn says:

    Regurgitate is hilarious! Resilient is inspired with its hold on tight, go with the flow. Isn’t this form addictive? I can’t wait to try it with kids.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. maryleehahn says:

    Ewwww! You knocked “regurgitate” out of the ballpark! Your word choice (spare) was perfect for solitary, and the photo is perfect for resilient!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. ha ha ha — that last one is SO FUNNY!!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Liz Garton Scanlon says:

    Ha ha ha — I LOVED solitary but also? That last one is SO funny!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. What a fun way to learn the meaning of words in these marvelous definito ditties! I have to agree with Kat, I want to turn the other way while reading, “Regurgitate,” it hits you right in the gut, and lingers… Thanks Molly!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. cvarsalona says:

    Molly, I was so into the beauty of your work that when I got to the last poem, laughter at the end of a long day find its way from my heart. Great job!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Hahaha! I love these! The long o sounds work so well in the first, and that repetition and alliteration in the second, and then the utter grossness of the third for a bit of contrast. Barf-o-rama!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Ha! Thanks for sparing us the photo for regurgitate! You did an amazing job with these, Molly. Love them all, but there’s something particularly effective and appealing about the simplicity of “solitary.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      Thanks, Michelle. I had a lot of fun with these and suspect you’ll see a few more. It really is an addictive form and what an engaging way to develop vocabulary with students!

      Like

  20. […] Flynn: Reading to the CoreMolly Hogan: Nix the Comfort ZoneHeidi Mordhorst: My Juicy Little UniverseLinda Mitchell: A Word […]

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  21. […] Flynn: Reading to the CoreMolly Hogan: Nix the Comfort ZoneHeidi Mordhorst: My Juicy Little UniverseLinda Mitchell: A Word […]

    Like

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