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Poems for Reflection and Discussion

By Josie Whitehead


Engage children with good reflective/thinking poems to show them how, in a fun way, this type of poem can open up new ways of examining and expressing inner feelings, thoughts and emotions.


By Josie Whitehead

Endangered Species

If you were the last person on earth the animals might put you in a zoo as an endangered species . . . . . and then . . . . .


Would you rant and then rage from the depths of a cage
      Whilst the rest of the world came and stared?
Would you act as you should and feel misunderstood,
      Or perhaps feel a little bit scared?

From well behind bars would you study the stars
     As you slept on a small bed of straw?
Whilst the animals look, could you then read a book
     Or just lie in the sunshine and snore?

If you sat there and cried, they would watch you wide-eyed
    Whilst they all talked and pointed at you.
You might sit there with pride, or might possibly hide,
     When the animals came to the zoo.

Then with all eyes transfixed, they'd watch you do tricks
     And would roar with approval, and then
At round about six, a nice meal they’d fix,
     And they’d bring it to you in your den.

They would then leave the zoo, with a quick wave to you

     And go home at the end of their day.
'Oh what fun it has been and what sights we have seen

      When a human was put on display.'

Copyright on all my poems 






Recently I visited Loro Parque, a zoo in Tenerife.  There was a large crowd of people gathered around a window, looking at the large mountain gorilla, and he sat looking back at them.  I wondered what it would be like if we also were an endangered species and were put on display for the animals of our world to look at us.  What do you think?  How would you feel? 

Note also that this poem is written in anapaestic metre  (heptameter, ie 7  anapaestic feet over 2 lines) (diddy dum diddy dum) - and I've used double rhyming words in the first and third lines at the end of the second anapaestic foot.  Can you see this?  Try it yourself, but it is difficult.  It's not easy to write good poetry you know but reading lots of good poems will help you a lot.  Josie 

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