Mr Dettman – 9En1 – Disaster Poem ‘The Cao Ila’

Due: Thursday, 12th March

Read the story about a British couple, whose boat (and home), the Cao Ila, drastically set on fire.

Write a short, narrative poem (a poem that has a story), about a similar disaster – whether real, made up, or based on an actual event – and either a natural disaster, or to do with a disastrous voyage of some form.  

You can see how Matt Harvey has turned this event, into a poem:

Grade D:  Write a short poem which tells of the event itself, whether a blaze, a tsunami, a storm or a hurricane.  This should contain similes/metaphors that describe the weather, and some aspect of how you felt as the person experiencing it.

Grade C: Write a poem which shows the onset and finally, the end of the destructive event, using enjambment to give a sense of frenzy and pace, while using caesura to show any pauses

Grade B/A: Write a 3-part (these can be 3 stanzas) narrative poem which takes the reader through the following 3 sections of a disastrous voyage: 1) Setting off; 2) the Terrible Event; 3) the aftermath/resolution.


19 thoughts on “Mr Dettman – 9En1 – Disaster Poem ‘The Cao Ila’

  1. Katie

    The cloth of darkness draped over my tired eyes
    as I went on a trip across the ominous skies.
    My heart was racing as the boat set off,
    my head was spinning and it wouldn’t stop.

    After some days of rest, I could see nothing but red.
    The flames were endless- covering me like a bed.
    There was no gut feeling but to call for help,
    I felt like dying, my stomach started to yelp.

    My life was in ruins, I wanted to give up
    But we set off for the Scottish seas, where I was brought up.
    No matter what, I will miss this Villa,
    it will always be in my heart, The Cao Ila.

  2. Chessie

    As we sailed out into the ocean blue,
    we heard a noise that no-one knew,
    There were ominous ‘booms’ and unasked for ‘cracks’
    This was a fire, we thought- we couldn’t get back.

    We tried and tried to fight the torture,
    the more we fretted, our life was getting shorter,
    it was unbearable, the tears kept streaming,
    as the fire engulfed us, we kept on screaming,

    We had no hope now, our vessel was useless,
    our determination to save it was ending up futile,
    we were left stranded, nowhere to go.

    We will remember you and all your disasters,
    you were such a killer,
    the Cao Ila.

    1. mrdettman Post author

      Lovely use of rhyme, and well selected language to achieve this. Also, nice use of onomatopoeia to increase the sensory element. Could you have got the meter to match throughout? Look to select words that ‘fit’ each ‘foot’ (sequence/beat).

  3. Jonah

    Silence, a calm lull before the inevitable debris
    No one speaks
    A flock of bowed heads, shaken minds and tearful eyes surround me
    We could be here for weeks

    Suddenly, the house buckles, the grasp of the hurricane tears the place to rubble in one hit
    Shouting voices, one man is snatched away but I don’t care one bit
    Nature is satanic

    I take shelter behind a wall and I take a gaze
    Bushes ripped from their roots, the trees were slung sideways
    We hope it’s a short duration

    Slowly but surely, the hurricane reveals what it has done to our home
    Many hurt, with broken bones
    Bent double

    1. mrdettman Post author

      Good sense of progression through the narrative. The meter and rhythm aren’t really present. Take longer to compose your poems. Select your language carefully, and construct each line with discipline.

  4. Lucy Branton :D

    Fountain of Fire

    A plume of thick, murky ash explodes, followed by
    Blood dribbling down the mountainside,
    Slowly at first, dripping, dripping, soon
    Sliding down like a scorching blanket, below the moon,
    To smother the buildings below, in a crimson, blistering gloom.

    A chaotic mess of screaming
    And panic, seen from above,
    Weaving to and fro, to and fro,
    Nimble metal bugs skitter quickly away, although
    Reluctantly leaving the devastation behind, to spread, and to grow.

    Red-hot flames attack in liquid form
    Devouring everything with its flames.
    Nothing but damage and destruction is left behind
    Through every gap, and crevice, it will slide
    This fiery god has its own, malevolent, malicious mind.

    1. mrdettman Post author

      Some wonderful vocabulary choices here. Great use of metaphor (‘bugs’) and occasionally, purposeful punctuation / enjambment. Like Jonah, I still think you could tighten up on your meter (see tomorrow’s lesson!)

  5. julie

    tornado –
    It was a normal day nothing else to say,
    that disaster couldn’t have come faster let not hope your last,
    without a warning it was a morning ,no good mornings,
    Then the clouds fly in like praying vultures there eyes
    darting seeking for there next victims .

    SMASH we need to DASH.

    Sprinting we run forcing our legs forward it’s never stopping never ending.
    Nothing will stand in it’s way today.
    It’s coming it screaming ,shattering everything in it’s way.
    We jump into the cellar we slam the door shut as it screams and shatters our house every thing is gone nothing is left it took it away to dump it another day.


  6. Georgia

    Strike of the Cao Ila.
    The journey was a pleasant one,
    Quiet; relaxing; serene, such fun.
    She, a vessel, of whose beauty no words can describe,
    Cut through the waters, like the
    Pen of a scribe.

    But then one night,
    When all were at rest.
    A strange noise was heard,
    Of whose actions no one would have guessed.

    Flames licked the fine woodwork,
    The mainsail hung loose,
    The rudder stood absolutely still,
    Almost condoning such abuse.
    Waves tumbled over the mast
    As it capsized, so forlorn.
    What was once such a beautiful creature
    Was now just a memory of past torn.

    But eventually they overcame it,
    They learnt to move on.
    What was once a part of their daily life
    Was accepted as gone.

  7. Bronwyn

    The white waves washed wistfully
    carelessly crashing against my boat
    but despite the blossoming beauty
    i sat scared.

    The deathly darkness drowned my thoughts.
    My mischievous mind mocked me.
    Am i hearing things?

    As the lazy light approaches my sight-
    I am relieved.About me are hundreds of dreamy, dazzling dolphins
    So that’s what it was

    Eight years later..

    Once again i am nervous as night approaches
    ‘creeeeaaak’ ‘crackkle’
    growing getting longer and louder, bigger and bigger

    Fire flickering flawlessly flashing fast feasting on everything i own.Fearsome fiery, ruthless red, evil eyes stain my sunken skin.

    “goodbye,” said my belongings to me that night. All except a car key, careless and clueless. So at least i had my car.

  8. Julius

    I tried really hard to make a acceptable poem, aiming for the D grade. I had to look up at least the half of the words, and I´m really sorry, if it´s grammatically incorrect. It´s about a volcanic erruption(Had to look up this one as well.).

    Darskest of the days and nights
    When demons howl and earth does rock.
    A multitude of horrendous sights
    as sanity loses it´s protective gown.

    Uproar churning among the clouds.
    Ash falling and smoke wafting up.
    Chaos holds hostage the horrified crowds
    As lave spews from the earthern cup.

  9. martha

    The world above

    A dark dust room,full of other’s corpses. Wind screaming into my ears. cold chains rattle around my arms and legs snow swooping in chilling the skin until your completion is blue,aching arms and freezing skin and others shout for help you can here the other war cry’s from the world above.

    Bang! and they are in another poor unfortunate captive of the world above gun shots screaming from the world above and military shouting orders to the men who are disagreeing and being shot.

  10. _-_-_-_-_- Tyler Urch_-_-_-_-_-

    That one, fateful day:

    All was quiet that one, fateful day,
    The very trees would refuse to even sway.
    The sky was a void, the clouds broad and long,
    And then I heard the wind, and I knew this was wrong.

    The funnel came first slamming into the ground
    Like a giant fist without a single sound.
    No car, tree or house could withstand its wrath
    The tornado desolated all in its path.

    I clutched my chest, thinking I was done,
    But then I heard voices, and up came the bright sun.
    I blew a long sigh of relief, over was the attack,
    But then I heard the wind whisper in my ear:
    “Soon…I’ll be back!”

    (I aimed for a B!)


  11. Saul :P

    The Wall of white horses galloped form the sea,
    Crashing!, Attacking!, Banging! And snatching!
    People are scared, shocked with horror!
    For the waves had surrounded us,
    captured us,
    pounded us,
    bombarded us,
    It came like a great hand.
    Grabbing everything in its path.
    Its fingers of foam, razing houses from the ground.

    – Saul

    In memory of the 2011 Japan Tsunami.


  12. Jenna

    Sailing further into the dark abyss of the treacherous waters,
    An infinte sea,
    A place of no boarders,
    I’m unable to see.

    My boat starts rocking,
    And that’s when I see it,
    A great white shark, will this ocean be my coffin?
    It’s only moments before I’ll be bit.
    My boat is torn to shreds,
    I’m left to float on a stray piece of drift wood,
    With no sense of direction in my head,
    A great white shark lurking in the fathoms below my feet, that’s not good.
    I see a boat in the distance,
    My angel from above,
    I could be eaten in an instance,
    The meal it had before was not enough.
    Just as the boat reaches me,
    I see it happen,
    The shark arises from the sea,
    And takes a bite on my leg.

    The people from the boat drag me out before any further damage,
    I will survive,
    This can be healed with a bandage,
    Until the day me and death will finally collide.
    But that wasn’t tonight.

  13. solomon

    on a bridge where is unknown
    but is known bye many
    walking across with no problem or worry
    speeding for its kind of pace

    a turn left or right to discover
    what lied ahead
    right said I and off I sped
    to a Drop !!!

    as I fell I got stabbed
    with thin but sharp nails
    I cryed for help
    but it was to late
    I was dead.

  14. Frieder

    I’ve woken up,
    I couldnt even see,
    How we started our adventure
    In the smooth blue sea.

    We build this boat to make our lifes fun,
    And hopefully forget, what was gone.
    We could both finally feel free,
    But just like I said, I couldnt see.

    I smelled it again,
    this crackling ashy smell
    which got us both through sky and hell.

    I opened my eyes
    and all i could see
    was you and me.

    The flames catched us
    in our beds,
    But we did nothing
    and thats what I could see.

    The Cao Ila

  15. katie w

    my world stopped,
    our hearts stood still with the looks we swapped.
    a crackling came from above,
    we dialied numbers with a shove.
    we grabbed our coats hats and shoes,there was no time to pick and choose.
    we ran up a hill we had to get there
    as we watched our whole world fall to dispeare.

    not much we could rescue
    we let ourselves drop down to the fescue
    next morn we found ourseles a plan
    to get the keys of our betten old van
    we set of to, live somewhere new
    in my old town, with no such thing as a frown
    with words to rember
    the Cao Ila


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s