“if i wur uh bel”

if i wur uh bel
i woodnt ring

id sit at th end
uv uh trumpet
and curv th notes

sendin them out
for u to hear

spelin dont mater
in jaz
nor gramer neether

it haz to swing
thats al

just maik u
tap yur toes
snap yur fingers

just maik u smile
for Miles and milz

/ / /

This is a poem I wrote yesterday while my students were writing their poems. The prompt from Susan Sibbet of California Poets in the Schools was to use sound. My first thought was to play with homophones, words that are spelled differently but sound the same. I brainstormed a list of those, and somehow that got me thinking about the spelling of words and how they sound, so I tried to spell them as they sound, rather than worrying about spelling.

The other inspiration was “If I Were a Bell” by the Miles Davis Quintet, which I had happened to hear on my iPod yesterday morning on my drive in to work.

23 thoughts on ““if i wur uh bel”

  1. I love how the spelling of the sounds affects the character of the speaker. I am not sure I can divorce myself from years of ‘correct’ spelling. Because of that the speaker’s character is one of charm and I find myself paying more attention to what the poem says than I might if the words were spelled normally. It makes me smile.



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