Poetry Friday: A 5-year-old ‘Pick Five” poetry challenge, rediscovered!

I hadn’t planned on sharing a five-year-old poem, but sometimes the poem asks to be shared – and I have no choice but to oblige.

Case in point: I had been searching for springtime poems a week or so ago and came upon the one I’m sharing today. I had written it back in August 2018, but when I searched my blog I could find no sign I’d ever shared it here. Likely, because I’d originally written it as a prompt on a friend’s blog.

That friend is Irene Latham, and in August 2018 she had published a post encouraging her readers to pick five words from a poster filled with verbs, and write a poem using all five. Knowing that just because a word might be a verb doesn’t necessarily mean that word is always a verb (does “march” mean to step in time, or is it a group of people stepping together? Or is it a month??)

So I took on her challenge and was quite happy with the result; granted, it’s four short lines, but I packed as much internal rhyme as I could into those four lines!

March sweeps in
to slowly wring
the melt of winter;
welcome, Spring.

– © 2018 Matt F. Esenwine, all rights reserved

The other thing I’m proud of is that considering the poem only uses 12 words, that means that nearly half the poem consists of words I needed to include for the challenge! I hope you like it. Since it’s Mother’s Day weekend, Robyn Hood Black is hosting a special Poetry Friday roundup today at Life on the Deckle Ege with a haiku she wrote for her grandchild, Sawyer.


I’m still booking author visits for the 2023 Spring Semester (and Fall 2023, too)!

I love chatting with elementary and middle school classes about writing: why poetry is fun to read and write, the importance of revision, and how one’s imagination and creativity can lead to a fantastic career! My presentations are tailored to fit the needs of the classes and students’ ages. One day I might be sharing details of how a picture book like Flashlight Night (Astra Young Readers, 2017) was created; the next, I’ll be discussing dinosaur breath or origami sea turtles!

Student presentations include:

  • The Making of a Picture Book
  • How a Child Saved a Book
  • “Once Upon Another Time”
  • The Most Imporant Thing about Writing Poetry
  • “I Am Today”
  • “A Beginner’s Guide to Being Human”
  • “Everybody Counts: Counting to 10 in Twelve Languages”

Adult presentations include:

  • The Making of a Picture Book
  • The Most Important Thing about Writing Poetry
  • Free Yourself with Free Verse
  • Tight Language, Loose Narratives: Crafting a Non-Traditional Picture Book

Learn more at MattForrest.com!

If you or someone you know might be interested in having me visit your school, library, or other organization, please email me
at matt(at)mattforrest(dot)com!


(The Little Fig, LLC, 2023)

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10 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: A 5-year-old ‘Pick Five” poetry challenge, rediscovered!

  1. lindabaie

    It’s fun to discover an old poem that both fits and makes you happy, Matt. You did pack so much into the four lines & I love “slowly wring”. We have lots of rain these past 2 days & it’s wonderful, & for skiers, there’s more snow happening! I guess “slowly” means much more this middle of May!


  2. Well worth brushing the snow off of this one, Matt – thank you! Irene’s ideas have staying power for sure.
    You know I love a poem that packs a punch in just a few words. (& Thanks for the kind mention of our sweet Sawyer. He LOVES books already!) :0)


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