Ode to the Woodchuck

I recently wrote a blog called “Why is the Blue Rainbow Laughing.” It was about a poetry workshop I am leading at Lifelong Learning Institute in Chesterfield, Virginia. I asked the students to write a poem about a groundhog or about anything they cared to. There were several good poems written in honor of Groundhog Day, which was last week. The first poem written was an Ode to a Woodchuck by Tim Pace, see below. In this poem, Tim asks a question about the rodent’s place in the Universe. I told him that I was unaware of other Odes to  Woodchucks.

From: timothy pace <timothypace@gmail.com>
Date: February 3, 2016 at 7:44:56 PM EST
To: timothy pace <timothypace@gmail.com>Ode to the woodchuck, also known as a groundhog

The woodchuck lives in a wooded wonderland,

The woodchuck lives in a wooded wonderland,

His life is solitary and serene

Secluded in his underground lair,

What noble thoughts from him arise?

Does he know his place among the forest creature small?

Perhaps yes …or not …

Is he aware of his place in the universe?

Nay, I say

Alas, he is but a rodent

Not unlike the mouse, the rat

And not as smart

Perhaps, a different poem is warranted….

Sure enough, Tim wrote another poem about woodchucks. This poem was inspired by “One little two little, Indians…” Here it is:

10 little woodchucks

10 little woodchucks went out to dine.

One choked on a wood chip and run there were 9

9 little woodchucks went out very late, one walked into a trap, and then there were 8

8 little woodchucks went searching for heaven

His spirit was lifted and then there were 7

7 little woodchucks chomping on sticks,

One died falling off a log, and then there were 6

6 little woodchucks playing with a hive,

One got stung and then there were 5

5 little woodchucks ate an apple to the core

One apple was poisoned, and then there were 4

4 little woodchucks went out to sea,

One was drowned and then there were 3

3 little woodchucks were placed in a zoo,

A tiger ate one and then there were 2

2 little woodchucks went playing in The sun,

One stayed too long and then there was 1

One little woodchuck left all alone,

Hung himself and then there were none!

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I asked participants to have fun writing these poems, and Tim obviously had much fun with these.  I am not sure that the woodchucks had as much fun as he had.

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