List poems are lists of related things arranged in such a way as to convey an idea or story.
List poems have been around for a long time. Sei Shonogan was a Japanese writer/poet who wrote list poems. She lived around the year 1000. People still read a collection of her writings called The Pillow Book.
Here is an example of one of Sei Shonogan’s poems:
Things that Pass by Rapidly
A boat with its sail up.
Spring. Summer. Autumn. Winter.
~ Sei Shonogan
My own examples of list poems:
Things my cat George likes:
Rubbing faces when he gets up in the morning
A dropped Cheerio
The top of the cat-scratching post
Chasing ping-pong balls down the stairs
Things I like:
My cat George
Things that I smell on my morning walk:
Dryer sheets from someone’s laundry
Breakfast cooking on Sunday mornings
Things I hear on my morning walk:
Cars and trucks on the main street
The sound of my two feet on pavement
Kenn Nesbitt’s website has more detailed instructions and examples.
Now write a list-inspired poem!