Poet for Hire

Make that special day just a little bit better with a poem or story written especially for the occasion and the people.

My forty years of experience writing poetry guarantees you a professional-quality poem to celebrate and commemorate any occasion.

It’s your day and your poem. Tell me what you want to say; fill in the special details. The more specific you are, the better a poem I can write you! Don’t tell me your husband is a wonderful person – tell me what he does that makes you think so. Does he make your coffee every morning? Keep your car running perfectly? Never forget an anniversary or birthday? Pick up after the dog even though he told the kids if they didn’t, the dog would go? Take you to the opera even if he has to drink triple espressos to stay awake?

My price is $12.00 Canadian for four lines or part thereof. A custom-written sonnet (14 lines) will cost you only $48.00. This price includes up to two rewrites from original material. You can pay by cheque or Paypal.

I will provide a poem within fourteen days, and up to two rewrites from original information within an additional fourteen days. In a rush? Talk to me and I’ll see if I can hurry the Muse!

Below are two samples: the information I received and the poems I wrote, along with the reactions of the people who’d commissioned them. Read them and see if you believe I could do your occasion justice.

Cortney wrote:

How about a poem for my mom’s 60th birthday?

My mom is Fran. She has 4 daughters, likes yellow, cross-country skiing, hiking, Vegas, summer, her grandkids, dessert. She is kind, funny, hard-working, direct & honest. She’ll take any dessert she can get her hands on. She’s a very strong person, yet light in her approach to life. She does not talk bad about anyone. She wanted us all to be happy when we grew up, rather than doctors or lawyers, etc. She does not like surprises. She is married (to Don), whom she waits on hand and foot.

Fran’s Birthday

It’s your sixtieth birthday, so you can tell Don
and your daughters it’s your day to be waited on.
You always work hard; now it’s time to kick back
and let others see to it there’s nothing you lack.
Have dessert, if you want it, before the entrée,
and again when they’ve taken the entrée away.

Yes, this is your day – you may do as you please!
You can pile all your grandchildren up on your knees;
go to Vegas for blackjack, the Rockies to ski,
or just off for a hike with a thermos of tea
(and another dessert), or a nap in the sun
while – abracadabra! – the dishes are done.

We wish you, the woman whom we all admire,
as many more birthdays as you could desire.

Cortney’s response:

This is my mom, exactly! It’s as if you know her. Everything fits perfectly. I will be very happy to give this poem to her for her 60th. Thank you!

Sarah wanted a poem for the premier publication from her new press, Bannock Street Books.

The Bannock Bakers

Whoever heard of too many cooks
when you’re baking a bannock at Bannock Street Books?

David get the flour out,
Meg and Randall sift,
Mary Lynn put soda in
To make the bannock lift.
Jesus measure out the milk;
Tania, you can mix.
Lauren, butter up the pans,
how awful if it sticks!
Rich and Tim put currants in.
Sarah bake it then,
and watch it closely ’til it’s time
to take it out again.

How luscious the bannocks of Bannock Street Books,
when made by the hands of such wonderful cooks!

Sarah said:

Elizabeth, I want to thank you for the charming and funny poem you wrote to honor my new press’s first publication date. I was hoping for a special thank you for the writers who supported this new project, and you came up with the perfect poem! Your poem made me smile, and I know it will make the writers happy. Thanks very much for supporting this special day. You are my go-to poet!
Best, Sarah Black of Bannock Street Books

The Poetry Doctor

Struggling to write something of your own? Do you know what you want to say, but not how to say it? Send me what you’ve written and I’ll work with it, keeping as much of your original work as possible. The price is $6.00 per four lines with two weeks’ lead time, $9.00 per four lines for a rush job.

Here’s what Angie wrote for her mother’s birthday.

What is in a Mother?

They say sugar and spice and all things nice
make up girls, and by extension, women.
But Moms are born in blood and pain; their price
to, ever after, keep the family goin’.

Mom we began with a wall of cryin’
as you pushed me into this existence.
I wailed three months straight, and had you dyin’
to know if we’d always be so intense.

You were growing up too, I didn’t know
as through the fights, tears, then hugs we endured.
Toe-to-toe, battling, loving to and fro
we stuck it out, not matter how absurd.

Yeah sugar and spice, sure they can be nice
if measured and baked in the right amounts.
But my Mom’s a woman of virtue and vice
who’s been to the wall for me. That’s what counts.

And here’s what I did with it. I looked at each verse and made a note about what Angie wanted to say. The last verse was perfect, and I used that rhythm and rhyme scheme to do the rest of the poem. I kept as much of Angie’s original work as I could, and stayed true to the meaning in the rest.

What’s in a Mother?

They say little girls are of sugar and spice,
And so, by extension, most women are, too.
But gaining some gravel and grit is the price
Of becoming a mother, with all that they do.

An angel I wasn’t – for three months straight
I cried day and night through whatever you did.
You must have felt you had too much on your plate
With this wailing, obnoxious, impossible kid!

Children don’t think that their moms are young, too,
And still growing up, with a few things to learn.
We fought and we cried and we hugged, me and you,
And stuck it out, fighting and loving in turn.

Yeah, sugar and spice, they sure can be nice
When measured and baked in the right amounts,
But my Mom’s a woman of virtue and vice
Who’s been to the wall for me. That’s what counts.

Both Angie and her mother were happy!

* * *

From Kim Jernigan, The New Quarterly

Although your poem “House Blessing” wasn’t one of our prize winners, it was on our short list along with its companion “The Bannock Bakers”, and we would very much like to publish it alongside the winners in our fall issue.

We loved how both these poems sang off the page, and also appreciated the gift of the word “garth” in “House Blessing.” Your friends were indeed well-blessed to receive an offering such as this!

1 Response to Poet for Hire

  1. avalanche says:

    Heehee…I got a stack of these of my own…but never thought to charge for ’em !
    Way to go !!

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