What to Remember in School – Podcast Episode

I recently added a lesson to poetry4kids showing different ways write a poem using repetition. You can repeat entire stanzas, creating a chorus or refrain in the poem. You can repeat lines, as Robert Frost famously did at the end of “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,” or as Dylan Thomas did in “Do not go gentle into that good night.”

When you repeat the first words of each line, what you end up with is not only a repetition poem, but a list poem as well. For example, my poem “I’ll Never,” repeats those words at the beginning of nearly every line of the poem, forming a list of all the things I’ll never do.

In my first book, The Aliens Have Landed at Our School!, I included a few repetition poems, such as “Don’t Rat on a Mouse” and “How Not to Play with Your Food.” Here’s another repetition/list poem from that book about all the things it’s okay to forget in school, and the one thing it’s very important to remember.

What to Remember in School

Forget that two times four is eight.
Forget the name of every state.
Forget the answers on the test.
Forget which way is east and west.
Forget the myths of ancient Rome.
Forget to bring your books from home.
Forget the words you learned to spell.
Forget to hear the recess bell.
Forget your homeroom teacher’s name.
Forget the after-school game.
Forget which team’s supposed to win.
Forget to turn your homework in.
Forget the distance to the moon.
Forget how many days in June.
Forget the capitol of France.
But DON’T forget to wear your pants!

—Kenn Nesbitt