Tuesday Poem: The Ferlew

As I understand it, a British poet called Jenny Lewis came up with (or perhaps perfected, I’m not sure which) this poetic construction. It’s an amusing one to play with, and very satisfying to accomplish – in much the same way that round songs and folk dances please the participants. This one is by Roger McGough.

IN CASE OF FIRE by Roger McGough


In case of FIRE break glass

In case of GLASS fill with water

In case of WATER wear heavy boots

In case of HEAVY BOOTS assume foetal position

In case of FOETAL POSITION loosen clothing

In case of CLOTHING avoid nudist beach

In case of NUDIST BEACH keep sand out of eyes

In case of EYES close curtains

In case of CURTAINS switch on light

In case of LIGHT embrace truth

In case of TRUTH spread word

In case of WORD keep mum

In case of MUM open arms

In case of ARMS lay down gun

In case of GUN, fire

In case of FIRE break glass

If you are reading this on my blog you might like to go to the Tuesday Poem site and look at other contributions. But you might already be there, checking out the sidebar contributions from other poetry members. Enjoy your Tuesdays, dear readers, either way – I’m still on Monday morning time, so I still have the pleasure of a Tuesday to come!

7 Responses to “Tuesday Poem: The Ferlew”

  1. Jennifer Compton Says:

    i’ve not heard of this form before but i think i’ve read a couple – great fun

  2. admin Says:

    Glad that you like it, Jennifer! I am beguiled by such a playful form.

  3. Elizabeth Welsh Says:

    Oh, what a playful poetic form, Belinda! I, too, am new to this particular form. I imagine it would be a lot of juggling and much more challenging to create than it first appears! Lovely post and site, Belinda!

  4. mary mccallum Says:

    A hole-in-my-bucket-dear-Liza form…. cool. I love Roger McGough. A teacher at my secondary school had his poems pinned to her walls, I know some of them by heart because of this. Good on you, Miss Collins.

  5. admin Says:

    Ah – poetry by heart, now there’s a lasting pleasure! Part of my brain is still filled with the poems I learned as a kid – and I think that if I’m ever taken as a hostage I’ll have all those memories to recite in my captivity.

  6. Eve atkinson Says:

    Hi, I did these at school and we got to make one ourselves this was mine and my 2 friends. In case of fire break glass ,in case of glass open window, in case of window see view in case of view see reflection in case of reflection brush hair in case of hair shave legs in case of legs go walking in case of walking go to church in case of church see candle in case of candle light match in case of match light fire in case of fire break glass

  7. admin Says:

    Love it!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.