Curriculum Connections

Index of Concrete Poems

Concrete poems are poems that convey an image (or images) through the placement of the words on the page. The image may represent the subject itself, a physical characteristic of the subject or any other image or concept that might be associated with the subject. The following is a list of links to the concrete poems on this site with a brief description of the image(s) depicted by each:

1. Punda Milia (Zebra) - Bolded, equal length lines and spaces represent black and white stripes.
2. Mbuni (Ostrich) - Physical characteristics/capabilities of ostrich represented in fonts and in the way the words are placed on the page. Egg represented by words forming circle, legs by vertical lines and flight  by waving lines.
3. Twiga (Giraffe) - Words form shape of giraffe (note how the tail is formed).
4. Swara (Thomson's Gazelle) - Formation of the words represents the leap of a gazelle.
5. Mchwa (Termite) - Words form shape of termite hill.
6. Nyati (Water Buffalo) - Words form shape of buffalo's horns.
7. Nyumbu (Wildebeest) - Flow of words represents migration of wildebeests. Grass represented by series of slashes at end of poem. (Slashes also reflect sense of comparison in poem of wildebeests being attracted to grass like iron filings to a magnet.)
8. Tembo (Elephant) - Shapes of words/lines represent various parts of elephant (tusks, trunk, ears, body, legs) and fonts reflect size of those parts.
9. Chatu (Python) - Waving lines of poem represent slithering movement of snake.
10. Mamba (Crocodile) - Diamond shape of poem reflects central metaphor (teeth are jewels/'diamonds' in the rough) and could be interpreted as two teeth, one pointing upward and one pointing downward - or one tooth being reflected in the water.

For ideas about how to connect this site's concrete poems to the art curriculum, click here.


The color of the fonts and the backgrounds in some poems also contributes to the imagery - providing hints about the animals identity or its setting. The following poems use color:

Kiboko - Brown text (hippo) on blue background (water).
Punda Milia - Bolded black text on white (stripes).
Twiga - Brownish-orange text (giraffe) on blue background (sky).
Swara - Tan-green background represents grass/savanna.
Chui - Black text (spots) on orangish background (body).
Kifaru - Light gray background represents rhino.
Nyani - Red background represents red bottom.
Mchwa - Reddish brown text represents color of African soil/termite mound.
Duma - Black text (spots) on yellow background (body).
Ngiri - Gray background represents color of warthog.
Tembo - White (tusks) and gray (trunk, ears, body and legs) text.
Tai - Black on bright red represents color of vulture. Red represents blood/raw meat.
Mamba - White text (teeth/diamond) on black background.

For ideas about how to connect this site's concrete poems to the art curriculum, click here.



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