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Tuesday, 3 September 2019


Here are a selection of poems, all based on the idea of giving advice to someone. Having read Bukowski's poem, I wrote my own version, and encouraged some of my students to do the same. Have a read of the poems, then have some fun writing your own versions!

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.
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
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.

Advice to Parents by Marukh (Year 8)

Don’t force your children to do something
Don’t hit them badly
Give them pocket money if they want
Help them grow up to do something for their future
Don’t come to collect them from school in a chicken suit
Don’t follow me on Instagram
Don’t share my baby pictures with strangers
But do get me some sweets.

Advice to Josh by Laila (Year 9)

Stop wearing glasses and man up
Get a new phone – something that isn’t a Nokia
Let Laila off when she does something wrong
Get some new trainers and a decent haircut
Don’t wear 80s clothes
And get cool!
No offense Josh.

Challenge: can you write your own advice poems? You might want to write a poem giving advice to any of the following:

- friends
- classmates
- teachers
- bullies
- celebrities
- politicians