Posted in Poetry Craft, Poetry Fun!

Tribble Poems on Pop-Up Cards

The Volcano

belched

behind a hand of smoke

 

Susan Eames, Helen Laycock, Liz Brownlee

 

A while ago I invented a type of poem which I called a ‘tribble’ (which might give you a clue to another of my loves!). I have played it with friends on a writing forum. One person comes up with a noun, (a naming word), the next a verb ( a doing word) and the last person finishes the poem off with a short phrase, that should contain an adverb or adjective (describing words), but could contain just another noun.

It’s an interactive way of writing a poem, and can be great fun, as others people’s ideas spark your imagination.

You could write one with your family, or you could write one with one other person who will choose the verb in the second line. Or you could write one entirely on your own. In that case, you need to write out lots of verbs (skipping, rolling, patting, singing etc), cut them out, and fold them in half, and choose one at random after you have chosen your noun.

I am setting you the task of choosing a nature noun. This is mine:

That tree

Ask someone else to look at your noun and add a verb ( a doing word). When I played this with Susan, she added ‘commands’.

That tree

commands

Then you add the last line. Keep it to as few words as possible.

That tree

commands

the birds to sing.

There! You have a tribble poem.

So – what to do with your tribble? A tribble is very short so it is easy to write inside a card. Why not make a pop-up card to display or to give to someone else? Choose the tribble you like best.

Start off with a piece of A4 paper, sturdy paper or card if possible.

Fold it in half. The card will have its long side fold at the top. This is what it looks like opened up:

Write your poem out neatly on a scrap of paper. See how large it is and how much space it will take up on your card. Make sure it only takes up half the space, less if possible. You will write your poem, not where you would normally write you signature, on the bottom, but on the TOP half of the card, on the left.

I wrote it in the card in pencil first, and decided to make the last line into two lines to take up less space.

Next, close your card and along the fold cut two parallel lines – about half way along the space left over from where you have written your poem. My lines were 3 and a half cm deep.

When you open up the card again, push through where you have cut from the outside – this is what it will look like:

Now you have to decide what you want to pop up when you open up your card. I decided on a tree, of course!  The tree or whatever you draw has to be small enough to stay inside the card when it is shut, but big enough to pop up and look good when it is open. Shut the card to measure how big your pop up with be. It has to be smaller than the distance between the bottom of the hole and the edge of the card.

The easiest way to make sure it will fit this space is to cut a piece of paper that big and draw what you want to pop up on it – making it as big as possible.

I did mine by cutting out two pieces of coloured card and making my tree fit the space.

I stuck the tree together. Then I drew a bird onto the back of a coloured piece of origami paper so it was lovely and bright when I cut it out and turned it over. Then I stuck it to the tree.

Then I stuck the tree to the pop up piece in the card, and added some details to the background – I also rubbed out my pencil lines.

When I open and shut the card it works beautifully. But on the outside of the card is a hole where the pop-up is.

This does not matter if you are just going to display it – but if you want to give it to someone you will need to fold another piece of paper to make a cover for your card.

You will probably want to draw on the cover, if it is to be a card! Do this first in case you make a mistake. Then you can stick it to the card or you could staple it.

You could also use the Tribble poem-writing idea to write poem to go in a tiny Poetry Book. Making a poetry book is easier than this!

Hope you enjoy doing this! I certainly did!

 

Author:

Poet, blogger and owner of Lola the alert dog. Be the Change, Apes to Zebras, The Same Inside, Reaching the Stars, Animal Magic. I visit schools, libraries, literary festivals, and organise poetry events. I give Zoom lessons on writing poetry for children. http://www.poetryroundabout.com http://www.lizbrownleepoet.com @Lizpoet

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