Whose woods these are I think I know,
Which is why I think I better go.


Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
All I can say is you’re hotter than May.


Do not go gentle into that good night,
Scream and cry and beg for light.


How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
One for the nights. Two for the days.


Because I could not stop for Death—
He sent a snake to steal my breath.


Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Beastly creatures sat beside me, hissed my verse, and left me teary.


I ask them to take a poem,
Ball ‘em up and throw ‘em.


The art of losing isn’t hard to master—
All you have to do is race someone faster.


Earlier this week J. Patrick Lewis posted a poetry challenge on David Harrison’s blog. The challenge was to write a “tailgater,” a couplet that begins with the first line of a famous poem and ends with an original second line, in the same meter, which puts a quick end to the poem. The form would appear to take its name from the metaphorical slamming of the back gate of the pick-up truck before any more words can get in. A number of us found the challenge both fun and addictive.

For more Poetry Friday, please visit A Teaching Life at http://tmsteach.blogspot.com.

As you can see, I’ve moved to WordPress and reinstated the name my parents gave me. Thanks for following me over here and for bearing with me while I get used to my new home.

17 replies
  1. Robyn Hood Black says:

    What a wonderful new look, Liz! I need to revamp my website, and you’re inspiring me here with this re-fresh. Happy housewarming in your new digs.

    Fun couplets – I missed out on this challenge and will have to go check it out. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Bridget Magee says:

    Liz, you have mastered this form! I love your tailgaters, especially:
    “Do not go gentle into that good night,
    Scream and cry and beg for light.”
    Funny! Thanks for sharing these delights. =)

    • lsteinglass says:

      Thanks, Bridget.
      I highly recommend the form. They are fun but addictive. Worse than potato chips.

  3. Janet F. says:

    Liz, I wrote a few and really got into this! Love yours and the others on David’s blogsite. Fun and funny.
    Thanks for putting all of yours together here!

  4. mattforrest says:

    Some great ones, Liz! I saw all the ones that had been posted on David’s blog, but have been so busy I haven’t had time to even think of any! I think I liked your 1st and 3rd best….well done!

  5. bjleepoet says:

    Liz – I saw your tailgaters on David’s blog but loved reading them here again! Also, love your revamp – Elizabeth Steinglass was a good way to go!

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