The Ballad of Billy Bland

The road that Billy took that day
Was cold and mean of face.
His home was gone, he had to move
And find a better place

Writing tips from Dave – follow the rules or break the rules – you’ll have a poem either way:
• A ballad is a poem that tells a story
• Each stanza is a quatrain – four lines
• Lines one and three have eight syllables – they don’t rhyme
• Lines two and four have six syllables – they do rhyme
• Mine is written in the past tense
• Billy has a home that he’s leaving for some reason and a new home ahead of him which could be better or worse

Views: 17

Comment by Nerine Chalmers, Qatar Academy on October 7, 2010 at 18:33
The place I found that day
Was black and grey
It was filled with hay
Shall I stay there the whole month of May?

Noor Al Derbasti Grade 6 – Qatar Academy, Doha, Qatar
Comment by Stefany Anne Brown on October 8, 2010 at 6:49
No matter where he looked and looked
He could not find a place
He had to move no matter what
And move he did with pace

Back home, where he used to live
The place was filled with love
Look left, look right, look up, look down
You'll always see a dove

Matthew Emmerson Year 6
British International School, Jakarta, Indonesia
Comment by Nikki Heath on October 8, 2010 at 8:43
I never thought I'd leave this place
And live in my tree house
The thought of leaving mum and dad
And live with a big mouse .

One night we had a great party
which ended with a crash
I lost my mouse that very day
so think i'll make a dash

by Victoria Roberts - Werneth school Stockport UK
Comment by Adrian Thompson Laisterdyke UK on October 8, 2010 at 10:41
I remember those days
When I lived with my mouse
In my tree house
I miss those days.

I even miss my parents sometimes
I was happy back in those days
With my mouse and my mum and my dad.

By Aysha, Alisha and Aneeqa, Laisterdyke, Bradford
Comment by Caroline Roche on October 8, 2010 at 11:52
I wish it was the same as then
But wishes never come true
I wonder where my mouse is now
same with my mum and dad too.

Are they lost
or are they dead
that day was a real mystery
Is it true what my teacher said?

I pack my bag
I grab the map
I'll find my parents
Their picture in my lap.
by Craig & Ryan, Holmesdale, Kent
Comment by Rosie Pike on October 8, 2010 at 13:44
So off I went that misty day,
Along a dusty track.
I saw that mouse that very day,
Resting in a rack.

As I walked that dark and long hour,
I thought hard back to that mean fight.
What happened to my mouse?
And my parents that night.

In the distance the tower loomed,
My life won’t be the same.
Always alone missing my parents,
And nothing here but pain.
Nicole and Philippa,
Bishop’s Stortford College
Comment by Dave Cryer on October 8, 2010 at 16:26
This is so good, seeing how it all develops from school to school, the way the narrative switches and picks up new bits of mystery which others carry on. I like the way that it changes focus to Billy's voice too. I was running poetry workshops in West Park School in Derby yesterday and the pupils there also carried on Billy's ballad or made up characters of their own. Congratulations all you poets!

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