For lots more exciting info about me, please go to my main home -

Thursday, 26 May 2016

'FRIENDLY ADVICE' - fun poetry workshop/warm up activity based on Bukowski poem

I recently read the poem 'Friendly advice to a lot of young men', by Charles Bukowski. This provides a very simple and fun format for students' own poems. It is very accessible, and is irreverent in a way that will be enjoyable for teens and reluctant writers. Who might they write advice to? Some ideas are: parents, pets, teachers, siblings, politicians, their older/younger selves. Here is Bukowski's poem, followed by my version:

Friendly advice to a lot of young men by Charles Bukowski

Go to Tibet.
Ride a camel.
Read the Bible.
Dye your shoes blue.
Grow a Beard.
Circle the world in a paper canoe.
Subscribe to “The Saturday Evening Post.”
Chew on the left side of your mouth only.
Marry a woman with one leg and shave with a straight razor.
And carve your name in her arm.

Brush your teeth with gasoline.
Sleep all day and climb trees at night.
Be a monk and drink buckshot and beer.
Hold your head under water and play the violin.
Do a belly dance before pink candles.
Kill your dog.
Run for Mayor.
Live in a barrel.
Break your head with a hatchet.
Plant tulips in the rain.

But don’t write poetry.

Friendly Advice to a Lot of Old Men by Joshua Seigal
Sit in a chair
Talk of the ‘good old days’
Wear cardigans and slippers
Pull your trousers up too high
Keep your glasses on a little string round your neck
Be a bit right-wing
Claim that music nowadays is ‘just noise’
Repeat yourself
Talk of the ‘good old days’

Forget things
Repeat yourself
Talk of the ‘good old days’
Insist your vegetables are boiled for a long time
Turn the TV up too loudly
Go to bed at 8am
Let your dentures hang out your mouth
Suck Worther’s Originals
Wave your walking stick at people
Get a hip replacement

But don’t try to be hip.