Thursday, April 20, 2017

DMC: "Dear Sir Roly-Poly" by Damon Dean

In February 2015, David Elliott challenged us to write letter poems to a bird, animal, or other object of our choice.  He suggested we research our topic, no matter how familiar we were with it, in order to bring a little-known fact or unique angle to our work. Here is Damon Dean's terrific response to that challenge. You'll also find it in The Best of Today's Little Ditty: 2014-2015. Come back tomorrow to see what David has been up to lately!

Dear Sir Roly-Poly,

I thank you for your inquiry
     about your pedigree.
Regretfully, appearances
     belie your family tree.

I've turned most every leaf and stone.
     My research seems to say—
you're not a bug at all! Not
     in the "insect" sort of way.

Instead you are crustacean!
     (Your kin are water-bound,
so how you came to live on land—
     that fact I've not yet found.)

Some further facts are needed. More
     ancestry should be followed.
But meanwhile I should caution you—
     don't let yourself be swallowed.

Your rolling-up ability
     ("conglobulation" skill)
could cause some sickly creature to
     mistake you for a pill.

Professor O. Possum

© 2015 Damon Dean. All rights reserved.

The DMC challenge for National Poetry Month is to contribute to our Ditty Potluck. Follow the guidelines for any one of the last 28 challenges, choosing from the following recipes:
Click HERE for an alphabetical list of all the DMC challenges.
Click HERE for an alphabetical list of all the Spotlight interviews.

Post your poem on our April 2017 padlet and be sure to indicate which challenge you are responding to.  All contributions will be included in a wrap-up celebration on Friday, April 28th, and one lucky participant, chosen randomly, will select from the following:

Option 1: A set of 8 copies of The Best of Today's Little Ditty: 2014-2015 to use with a classroom or extracurricular group.

Option 2: One copy of The Best of Today's Little Ditty, plus a $20 gift card to purchase a poetry book(s) of your choice.

Option 3: A $25 gift card if you already have all the copies of The Best of TLD you need.


  1. So great, Damon. That last stanza especially--with "conglobulation skill"--impressive poeming!

  2. Like Rebekah, I love your inclusion of "conglobulation". My students kept a tank of roly-polies int he classroom. They are fascinating! Well done!

  3. They are fascinating little creatures Linda and Rebekah! Glad you enjoyed the ditty. Thanks Michelle for unrolling this poem again.

    1. It's a great poem to unconglobulate (disconglobulate?) again and again, Damon! Always makes me smile. :)

  4. Definitely passing this on to a natural history friend who writes for kids. She'll love it. :)

  5. I thoroughly enjoyed this also. My grandkids are fascinated with these little creatures. Now I have a poem to share about them! Thanks, Damon & Michelle.

  6. Not only a great beat with whimsy....but some serious vocabulary! Well done. Bravo! I have memories of my little ones holding these "bugs" and singing to them. You've captured the fun of finding these little guys.

  7. What a fun poem, so many twists and turns, thank you "Professor O. Possum! I've always been fond of Roly-Polies.