by Bruce Lansky
If you read Bridget Jones's Diary, you know it starts
out with her New Year's resolutions: lists of things she will
and won't do. I'd reprint them all, but it would take too much
time and effort to get the reprint rights, so I'll just serve
up a smattering of my favorites:
I Will Not
Waste money on exotic underwear since pointless as have no
Fall for any of the following: alcoholics, workaholics, commitment
phobics, chauvinists, freeloaders, perverts.
Have crushes on men, but instead form relationships based on
mature assessment of character.
Go to gym three times a week not merely to buy sandwich.
Learn to program video.
Give all clothes which have not worn for two years or more to
Not go out every night but stay in and read books and listen
to classical music.
Interestingly, the publisher of Bridget Jones's Diary
put some of her resolutions on the back cover of the book to
Meet Bridget Jones--a 30-something Singleton who is certain
she would have all the answers if she could:
||lose 7 pounds
||develop Inner Poise
And the studio that distributed the movie used her resolutions
on the poster promoting the movie. Surely, I'm not the only
person who was struck by the comic brilliance of Bridget's resolutions,
but I'm probably one of the few who see them as delicious examples
of list poems.
If this is isn't your first PoetryTeachers.com "poetry lesson,"
you already know my take on list poems--they're just about the
easiest way to get kids (or adults) writing poetry. Writing
a list poem is fairly easy. All you have to do is make a list,
using parallel structure throughout. What makes some list poems
better than others is that the better ones: