Friday, March 18, 2011

My "Root" Poem

Each month, poet and children's author David Harrison selects one word as inspiration for poets. The word for March is "root." Hope you enjoy my poem below.

By Beth Carter

The square root of 8
is 64.

Or is it the other
way around?

Let’s get to the root
of the problem.

Math and writers
don’t often mix.

I try and think of a unique way to incorporate each month's word. I appreciate all of David's inspirational, well-chosen words aned root was a favorite of mine. I even drafted a children's picture book using "root."

Do you like poetry? My husband thinks all poems must rhyme. I've tried to explain free verse, but I admit I most often write in rhymes or haikus.

Feel free to submit a "root" poem of your own! We'd all love to read it.


  1. Beth,
    You're a whiz at thinking outside the box. Loved your "root" poem. I still follow David's blog but I've quit posting because all the poetry contests that I've wanted to enter will not accept anything that has been submitted online. I've still been using David's prompts, though. The word "feather" from last month was perfect for my 1800's era. Fits perfectly with Indians.

    I'm with your husband--I like poems to rhyme. Free verse is hard to pinpoint--guess I need specific guidelines.

    I think I shall use Mesquite Root for my poem this month--cowpunchers AND Indians ground the mesquite roots for flavoring, to keep weevils out of flour and for campfire burning/cooking. Can you imagine the fragrance?

  2. Aww, thanks for saying that. Funny, my boss once said I needed to think MORE out of the box. It was hard to come up with new bank marketing ideas after six years! Banking is a little boring. I much preferred healthcare when it came to marketing.

    Good to know about posting online and contests. I've wondered if they were considered published. That's one reason I didn't send my "root" picture book/poem because I want to use it in that format and publish it, hopefully.

    Love your idea of the Mesquite Root. You taught me something today. I like the smell of mesquite.

    P.S. I don't think free verse has any guidelines. That's how I treat it anyway. :)

  3. Hi Beth,

    Cute poem. I use to love to write poetry, but hardly ever take the time to anymore.

    Lisa Wells

  4. I'm with Bob. I think poetry should rhyme. Otherwise, it's not poetry.

    But I like your reference to Math. I'm impressed. I don't remember what a square root is!!!

  5. Fun way to use the word, Beth. Only the first line came up at first and I was going to say something until you corrected yourself . I'm one writer who does like math - a blending of both sides of my brain.

  6. Thanks Lisa, Shirley and Terry. I knew the square root problem was the other way around (the sq. root of 64 is 8) but thought it would be funnier this way. I wonder if David Harrison's readers think I'm a real math dummy or if they "got" where I was heading like you gals did!

    Like you Terry, I actually do like some math and algebra but hated geometry, fractions and those scary word problems!

    Shirley, you surely remember square root, i.e., the square root of 144 is 12, the sq. root of 100 is 10 and so on. You silly girl!