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Monarch Butterfly Poem

Updated on May 26, 2015

Monarch Caterpillar Munching Away

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An Explanation of the Poem


This poem celebrates the life of the Monarch butterfly from egg to adult insect. It is based on the English haiku style of 3 lines with a syllable pattern of 5-7-5. However, these haikus are not meant to stand alone but rather to be part of the whole, showing how the cycle of the Monarch’s life goes.

Now there are many ways of writing poetry, all with official sounding names: odes, limericks, haikus (personal favorite style), quatrains and many more. I just write the poetry as it comes into my head and let other folks classify it. In this case, and since I like writing in the 5-7-5 syllable style of haiku, I wrote the poem using haikus but set them up so that they flow into each other.

Is there a specific name for this kind of flowing haiku poetry? I don't know but if you do you are more than welcome to tell me about it in the comments.

Enjoy this short poem on the Monarch butterfly and I hope you see one flying in your neighborhood.


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Monarch Butterfly


Monarch female lays

Micro eggs on milkweed leaves

Flutters off, lays more


Tiny egg hatches

Small worm munches the shell

Eats the leaf of birth


Longer and stronger

Poison gain from milkweed sap

Show colors brightly


Continue to grow

Eat the leaf and drink the sap

Metamorphous calls


Hang from branch or stem

Sticky silk holds chrysalis

Change body inside


Crack the shell again

Emerge transformed monarch worm

Butterfly flies free


Monarch Butterfly Feasts

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Monarch Butterflies Fly Free


Those of us in the USA who have been lucky enough to witness the flight of the Monarch hold this butterfly in awe. Yet its beginnings are humble. It starts as a tiny spec of an egg laid by the female Monarch. She can lay hundreds of eggs over her lifetime. She flutters to various milkweed plants laying an egg or two here and another there. Then flies off to find another batch of milkweed plants both to dine on (they suck nectar from the milkweed flowers) and to provide a home for the future generation.


There appear to be 3 to 4 generations of the Monarch butterfly depending on weather conditions and available food source (that would be some type of milkweed plant). The first generations after the Monarch returns from their winter retreat in Mexico (almost all Monarch butterflies seem to end up in Mexico or California (which at one time was northern Mexico before there was a USA or a Mexico, live only for a few weeks. Only the last generation, just before winter arrives, makes the trip to the West. These live quite a long time for a butterfly, up to eight months.


The caterpillars grow and grow until they reach the right size (2 to 3 inches long and rather chubby) then find a place to hang themselves and form into a chrysalis. Inside this chrysalis their bodies transform until, a week or two later, they break it open and emerge as adult Monarch butterflies. Once their wings unfold and dry up, it’s up and away to fly free in the winds, just like in the Monarch butterfly poem .



© 2012 Angelo52

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    • Deep Metaphysical profile image

      Deep Biswas 4 years ago from India

      A butterfly is a great symbol of metamorphosis. Beautiful poem.

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

      A fine addition to your article and poetry collection.

      I am a butterfly lover. They make me smile, just like your article and beautiful poem.

    • Angelo52 profile image
      Author

      Angelo52 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Thanks Metaphysical. Glad you enjoyed the Monarch's journey.

    • Angelo52 profile image
      Author

      Angelo52 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Thanks shiningirisheyes. I like to watch them flutter around the bushes, so many colors and patterns.

    • writer20 profile image

      Joyce Haragsim 4 years ago from Southern Nevada

      Your poem will be my after life, for I would to come back as a butterfly and flutter from plant and another plant.

      Voted up and beautiful, Joyce.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Very nice synopsis of the life of the monarch.

    • Angelo52 profile image
      Author

      Angelo52 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Thanks you writer20 and aviannovice. Appreciate you taking a look and leaving comments on this Monarch poem.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      You know this is masterful. 6 stand alone haiku join to make one poem! congratulations.

    • Angelo52 profile image
      Author

      Angelo52 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Thanks Mhatter99. Appreciate the compliment.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

      The monarch's story is poetry, isn't it? Nice haiku work! I did not know that monarchs could lay so many eggs. Thanks for an informative post.

    • Angelo52 profile image
      Author

      Angelo52 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Thanks for reading and the compliment. Glad you liked it.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      I love how the haikus show the cycle of the monarch butterfly. So cool! I love butterflies. Your beautiful hub does them justice. I enjoyed the background info, too! Many votes!

    • Angelo52 profile image
      Author

      Angelo52 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Thank you Victoria. Glad you enjoyed reading the poem. An inspiration that I had to use haikus as stanzas while writing some other traditional 5-7-5 haiku poems.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      The butterfly has such beautiful colors and you have a well thought of poem explaining the cycle.

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