Saturday, April 18, 2009

Week 6, 2009

by Claire Saxby

Winter is a frostling,
fingers long and sharpened.
It scales up and down my back,
flicks at my cheek.

Winter is a gustling,
fingers bold and stinging.
It needles through my skin,
tours through my bones.

Winter is a soakling,
fingers swirl and flick.
It rivers down my neck,
ices up my toes.

Winter is a crispling,
fingers fresh and vibrant.
It blows bright into my lungs.
reminds me I’m alive.

Claire says: I mostly write free verse but sometimes I like the idea of some structure. This is the second poem I’ve written using this repeating structure. The first was themed around Autumn. Winter is often described as having long cold fingers and I wanted to take that idea further. I didn’t want it to rhyme, but I wanted a strong rhythm. I saw winter as a series of imps, each doing their bit to make the day unbearable. But although winter can sometimes be long and cold, it can also be clear, sparkling and invigorating.

Claire writes poetry, fiction and non fiction for children. Her poem, ‘Pompeii Dog’ is currently touring suburban Melbourne aboard a Connex train in the Moving Galleries exhibition. Her books include ‘Ebi’s Boat’ (CBCA Notable Book 2007) and ‘A Nest for Kora’. You can see more of Claire’s work at

Write your own poem: One of the fun things you can do in a poem is make up words. Choose a subject (it could be a season, or a sport, or an animal - anything really) and make up four new words that describe your subject. Look at Claire's poem again for examples of how to do it. Then write your own poem and include your new words.

1 comment:

The Book Chook said...

I love Claire's strong, precise verbs here, and the way they complement those gorgeous invented words. I don't look forward to the approach of winter, but today, now, I don't mind so much because I will be able to chuckle and think "frostling".