Poetry Prompt: Sing a Song of Sixpence


This post is part of a series of weekly found poetry prompts. If you have an idea for a found poetry source, email Senior Poetry Editor Beth Ayer.

The text I chose for this week’s poetry prompt comes from Project Gutenberg (as source texts often do), but this one caught my attention with this transcriber’s note:

[Transcriber’s note: the illustrations in this book were originally black and white line drawings. They appear to have been colorized by a previous owner of the book.]

Indeed you’ll see, when you scroll through Sing a Song of Sixpence by Mary Holdsworth (1892), that the illustrations appear to be colored-over. And they’re lovely. This week, please erase the text of Sing a Song of Sixpence, and share the results.

A brand new sixpence fresh from the Mint! How it sparkled and glittered in the dancing sunlight! Such a treasure for a small girl to possess! But then, on the other hand, what a heavy responsibility!


  • March 7, 2014

    Lewis Oakwood

    There, now!

    An idea would enter
    her head,
    in at one ear
    and out of the other.

    A bit of cotton wool
    put in her ears
    and then
    it can’t come out.

  • March 7, 2014

    Lewis Oakwood

    Now I’ll Write My Poetry.

    Get me a bottle
    of ink
    and a copy-book
    to write it in.

    “Most delicious!”

    You should not talk
    with your mouth full.

  • March 7, 2014

    Lewis Oakwood

    I Think I’ll Write About You

    In the garden,
    hanging out the clothes,
    was white as snow.

    Oh dear,
    what can the matter be?
    Holding her handkerchief
    to her face –

    “It’s wicked to tell stories.”

  • March 9, 2014

    Lewis Oakwood

    Silent For A Moment

    But, indeed,
    it’s rather awkward.

    rubbing her eyes
    and looking around
    – herself again –
    her good humour
    in a dignified

    Written in large
    round letters –

    “Never mind him.”

    Waving her hand
    in token of farewell,
    she vanished.

  • March 10, 2014

    Lewis Oakwood

    Sorry, I’ve just realized that the prompt was to ‘erase’.



    Shutting her eyes,

    a crick

    in her neck.

    In the garden –