Writing In Someone Else’s Style

I mentioned this poem in a comment on a classmate’s post, but I want to write more about it! Taylor Mali’s “What Teachers Make” is within my top ten poems of all time. I highly recommend that every person listen to this poem (especially because every one has had at least one teacher in their life). Here is a link to the poem ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGKm201n-U4 ). I could talk about the content of this poem until my face goes blue, but that’s because I’m a future teacher, and teachers don’t go into teaching to become rich in money. What I want to talk about is the style that Taylor Mali uses in this poem.

I think it would be really interesting to write more “what I make” poems. I don’t think I could write my own version of “What Teachers Make” without plagiarizing, but writing from another community I belong to might be interesting. In class, we wrote about different, specific communities that we belong to, and it might be worth trying to write what we make as a member of that community. For example, one of my communities was “Women who have a dad, three brothers, and a nephew who are all hockey goalies.” I’ve never met anyone else who fits that description, but it might be interesting to dive further into what I do in that role that I fulfill. It might sound something like “I make brothers spend hours in the street catching slap-shots.” Although, I think that it would be much more interesting to see what other professions would look like in this style of poem. I’d love to read “What Professors Make” or “What Authors Make.”

Something else really interesting would be the opposite of “What Teachers Make.” I’m not thinking about what teachers lose but rather “What Makes Teachers.”

If anyone decides to make their own version of “What Blank Makes,” please share it with me! I would love to see how it turns out.

One Reply to “Writing In Someone Else’s Style”

  1. I love this concept! I think that the idea of “creating” is not something exclusive to “creatives.” We all “create” to some degree and for those who enjoy exploring this further, exchanging “create” with “make” could lead to new perspectives on otherwise distanced areas from the poetic.

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