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1. Monday Poetry Stretch - Haibun

The haibun is is a poetic form first created by Matsuo Basho. It is a form that combines two modes of writing—prose and verse.

Here are some of the "rules" of writing haibun, as suggested by the Haiku Society of America.

Prose in Haibun

  • Tells the story
  • Gives information, defines the theme
  • Creates a mood through tone
  • Provides a background to spotlight the haiku

Haiku in Haibun
  • Moves the story forward
  • Takes the narrative in another direction
  • Adds insight or another dimension to the prose
  • Resolves the conflict in an unpredictable way, or questions the resolution of the prose.
  • Prose is the narrative and haiku is the revelation or the reaction.

In a haibun, the prose can come first, last, or between any number of haiku.
Haibun also have a title, something haiku generally do not.

You can read some examples and see different haibun forms at Writing and Enjoying Haibun and More than the Birds, Bees, and Trees: A Closer Look at Writing Haibun.

I hope you'll join me this week in writing a haibun. Please share a link to your poem or the poem itself in the comments.

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2. Monday Poetry Stretch - Landay

Late again! I can't seem to get my act together this semester, so please forgive the late post.

The landay is an Afghan poetic form. It's described as "an oral and often anonymous scrap of song created by and for mostly illiterate people." Formally, a landay is composed of couplets, with 9 syllables in the first line and 13 in the second. Sometimes the couplets rhyme, but there is no requirement to do so.

You can learn more about the landay and read some fine examples in this Poetry Magazine feature.

I hope you'll join me this week in writing a landay. Please share a link to your poem or the poem itself in the comments.

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3. Poetry Friday - September

Today I'm sharing an aptly titled poem by William Wordsworth.

September
by William Wordsworth

Departing summer hath assumed
An aspect tenderly illumed,
The gentlest look of spring;
That calls from yonder leafy shade
Unfaded, yet prepared to fade,
A timely carolling.

No faint and hesitating trill,
Such tribute as to winter chill
The lonely redbreast pays!
Clear, loud, and lively is the din,
From social warblers gathering in
Their harvest of sweet lays.

Read the poem in its entirety.


I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater at The Poem Farm. Happy poetry Friday friends!

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4. The Straight Poop on Who Pooped in Central Park?

Way back in 2009 I wrote a post entitled Low-Brow Topics That Make For High-Brow Reading. Here's how it began.

*****
On Tuesday I finally threw up my hands in frustration over the proliferation of "boys don't read" articles in the last few months. Here's an excerpt from the post entitled More Boy Bashing - Here We Go Again.
Can we please give boys and young men just a bit of credit for their reading habits? If we constantly push potty and other forms of low humor on them as something they'll read, aren't we just setting the bar a tad bit low?
I was thinking about this last night as my son and I were reading a portion of Jurassic Poop: What Dinosaurs (And Others) Left Behind, written by Jacob Berkowitz and illustrated by Steve Mack. Yes, this is a book ostensibly about poop (see that word in the title?), but it is SO MUCH MORE. The book discusses fossils, fossilization, carbon dating, history, archaeology, and the work of several different scientists. My son was drawn in more by the dinosaur connection than anything else, but since reading it he has been endlessly fascinated with the notion that you can learn about the past from things (artifacts) that are left behind, poop being one of them.

There are a number of books on low-brow topics that we hand to reluctant readers in an attempt to encourage them to read. However, the base nature of these topics and the quality of the work don't need to be mutually exclusive. (Oh, a book about poop? Must be crap!) So, in an effort to elevate some topics and/or titles perceived to be low-brow, here are some books (nonfiction all!) that will interest boys AND girls by the very nature of their FABULOUSLY INTERESTING content.

*****
That list was filled with books on poop, toilets, underwear, and more. Why mention this in a book review? Because I've found a book (heck, a whole series!) that could easily be added to this list.

Gary D. Robson has written 20 books in the Who Pooped in the Park? series. Just take a look at this map to see some of the locations covered. I had no idea there was a book for Virginia! I'll be picking that one up for my outdoor education workshops soon.
You can learn more about the series at Gary's web site.

The latest book in the series is WHO POOPED IN CENTRAL PARK? SCAT AND TRACKS FOR KIDS. Emma, Jackson, Lily and Tony spend a day walking through Central Park, beginning at the Central Park Zoo and ending at Farmer's Gate. At the beginning of their walk they meet a worker named Lawton who tells them he can identify animals by their scat and tracks. As the kids move through the park, they stop along the way to make observations, talk to people they meet, and look at poop and tracks. It's certainly an interesting way to spend the day, and the kids are fully engaged with their explorations. Back matter includes additional information (scat and tracks) on ten of the animals observed directly or indirectly through the signs they leave behind.

While I like the story and, I was even more enamored of the informational boxes on most double-page spreads titled "The Straight Poop." These boxes, added to the text, provide readers with a wealth of information. Here's an example of what you'll find in these boxes.
Groundhogs (also called woodchucks) build long, underground tunnels with special rooms just for pooping, so you won't find much groundhog poop above the ground.
Even though this book is set in Central Park, folks in the northeast, particularly in urban areas or close to state and local parks, will find this a useful guide. Even kids who don't live in and around NYC will learn something about the myriad of animals depicted. And really, who can resist a book about poop? Certainly not me.

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5. Monday Poetry Stretch - Englyn Penfyr

Since I've just been working on Welsh poetic forms, I thought I'd continue on with another Welsh form this week. The Englyn penfyr is a poetic form consisting of any number of tercets. In each stanza, the lines are composed of ten and seven syllables, with all lines sharing a rhyme pattern.

The first line has ten syllables and the seventh, eighth or ninth syllable of the first line introduces the rhyme. This rhyme is repeated on the last syllable of the second and third lines. The fourth syllable of the second line echoes the final syllable of the first through either rhyme or consonance. Here's what the pattern looks like.

x x x x x x x a x x
x x x x x x x x x a
x x x x x x x x x a

You can read more about a variety of Englyn at Wikipedia.

That's it. Easy-peasy, right? I hope you'll join me this week in writing an Englyn Penfyr. Please share a link to your poem or the poem itself in the comments.

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6. Poetry Seven Write Clogyrnach

This month the Poetry Seven crew wrote in the form of the clogyrnach (clog-IR-nach). The clogyrnach is a Welsh poetic meter that falls under the poetic form of awdl (odes). They are composed of any number of 6-line stanzas. Each stanza has 32 syllables. The first couplet is 8 syllables with an end rhyme of aa, the second couplet is 5 syllables with an end rhyme of bb, and the final couplet is is 3 syllables with an end rhyme of ba

I had several false starts as I noodled around with this one. I'll admit I'm not a fan of this form, and I generally love form. Ultimately, it was the earthquake in Italy that I kept coming back to as a topic.

Terremoto in Amatrice

Under the olive tree we stand
among the ruins of this land
cradling hearts numb
as aftershocks come
our hearts drum
out of hand

We mourn those lost in rubble heaps
toppled homes wet by tears we weep
medieval town
broken and cast down
tarnished crown
pain so deep

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2016. All rights reserved.

You can read the poems written by my Poetry Seven compatriots at the links below.
I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by Penny Parker Klostermann. Happy poetry Friday friends!

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7. Monday Poetry Stretch - Haiku Sonnet

Hello all! I'm back after a bit of a hiatus and hopefully am in the swing of things now that we are in week 2 of the fall semester.

The haiku sonnet is a form developed by David Marshall, an English teacher and writer living in Chicago and blogging at Haiku Streak. Essentially, this form combines four haiku with a final two-line “couplet” consisting of seven and/or five syllable lines.

You can read some examples of David's work at Haiku Sonnet. While his poems don't rhyme (as haiku do not), I'm thinking I may attempt to include rhyme in my stretches.

So, there's your challenge. I hope you'll join me this week in writing an haiku sonnet or two. Please share a link to your poem or the poem itself in the comments.

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8. Monday Poetry Stretch - Espinela

The Espinela is a Spanish poetic form composed of 10 lines, each written in eight syllables. It is named for the poet Vicentre Espinel who created the form. Here are the guidelines writing an espinela.

The first stanza is a quatrain with the rhyme scheme a b b a.
There is a break at the end of this stanza, so line 4 should be end stopped.
The next stanza is a sestet with the rhyme scheme a c c d d c.

So, there's your challenge. I hope you'll join me this week in writing an Espinela. Please share a link to your poem or the poem itself in the comments.


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9. Poetry Friday - Poetry Seven Write Ekphrastic Poems

This month the poetry gang wrote poems to images selected by Sara. I was thrilled with her choice, having read about this particular exhibit in the New York Times way back in November. (See the article Smithsonian's Renwick Gallery Reopens With a New Focus.) Here are a couple of photos.

Artwork © Jennifer Angus, photographs © Sara Lewis Holmes 

You can find additional photos on Jennifer Angus' site. You can also read about the ethics of working with insects. And here's one more bit ...
After spending a lot of time looking at the artwork, I couldn't get Charlotte Perkins Gilman's short story, The Yellow Wallpaper, out of my mind. In fact, I was so stuck on it that I've included excerpts in this poem. So, with apologies to Jennifer Angus, because I do love her wall, here is my poem.


In The Midnight Garden
“I never saw a worse paper in my life.
One of those sprawling flamboyant patterns committing every artistic sin.”
It’s a wonder
this pink wall
curious and unrestrained
with its friendly swarms
whirling rosettes
starry-eyed skulls

Listen closely
you may just hear
the low hum of
their wings
the hiss of
their breathing

Stare long enough
and they’ll take on
a life of their own
crawling towards you
and taking flight
“I’m getting really fond of the room in spite of the wallpaper. Perhaps because of the wallpaper.”
It’s not psychosis that
makes me love this wall
It’s getting nose to nose
with Earth’s most repugnant
and abundant creatures
awakening a new reverence
for nature’s least loved
in all their resplendence

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2016. All rights reserved.


You can read the poems written by my Poetry Seven compatriots at the links below.
I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by Tara at A Teaching Life. Happy poetry Friday friends!

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10. Monday Poetry Stretch - Octava Real

We've written in the form Ottava Rima a number of times. It is an Italian form that consists of any number of eight line stanzas with the rhyme scheme abababcc. In English, the lines are usually written in iambic pentameter. Ottava rima is generally associated with epic poems (like Don Juan), but can be used for shorter poems.

The Octava Real is the Spanish version of this form. It is also stanzaic and written in any number of octaves. Instead of iambic pentameter, this form is hendecasyllabic, or written in lines of 11 syllables. It carries the same rhyme scheme (abababcc). Like it's counterpart, it is also a narrative form, generally used for telling a story.

So, there's your challenge. I hope you'll join me this week in writing an Octava Real. Please share a link to your poem or the poem itself in the comments.


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11. Monday Poetry Stretch - Ovillejo

The ovillejo is a Spanish poetic form made popular by Miguel de Cervantes. It is a 10-line poem composed of 3 rhyming couplets and a final quatrain written in the form of a redondilla. In addition to rhyming, this form is also syllabic.

The first line of each couplet is 8 syllables long, while the second line is 3-4 syllables. The lines of the redondilla are 8 syllables each, with the final line composed of a repetition of lines 2, 4, and 6.

Here's what the poem looks like.

1 - x x x x x x x a
2 - x x x a

3 - x x x x x x x b
4 - x x x b

5 - x x x x x x x c
6 - x x x c

7 - x x x x x x x c
8 - x x x x x x x d
9 - x x x x x x x d
10 - line 2, line 4, line 6

You can read more about the ovillejo at Poetry Forms. You can read about the redondilla at Poetry Magnum Opus.

So, there's your challenge. I hope you'll join me this week in writing an ovillejo. Please share a link to your poem or the poem itself in the comments.

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12. Monday Poetry Stretch - Golden Shovel

I know, it's Tuesday again. I'll just chalk my lateness up to my summer schedule.

I've been thinking a bit about this excerpt I read in this interview with Max Ritvo.

"I’ve never really understood the point of poetry, if not to expose you to different forms of mentation. You can write about whatever you want to write about, it’s your prerogative as a poet, but at the end of the day, what a poet does is let you inhabit a different way of thinking for a brief moment of time. For a very very brief bit of time, logic tacks together in ways it never has, and you’re able to have a series of free associations that’ve never been in your brain, or hopefully in any brain, before. I think that this endures so much more than the message of any poem."
I like thinking about poetry as a different way of thinking, though I've always thought of it as a different way of seeing. I write (usually) with a scientist's eyes, practicing the art of looking closely. I also write with the heart of a mathematician, because I love to puzzle through form and structure.

This week let's puzzle through the form Golden Shovel. This form was invented by Terrance Hayes. In writing a golden shovel, you must first borrow a favorite line or lines from a poem to create your own. The words in this line become the end words of your poem. If you choose a six word line, your poem with have 6 lines. If you choose a 12 word line, your poem will have 12 lines. You get the idea. Remember to credit the original poem/poet in the title or an epigram.

Here's an excerpt from Hayes' poem.

The Golden Shovel
by Terrance Hayes

     after Gwendolyn Brooks

I. 1981

When I am so small Da’s sock covers my arm, we
cruise at twilight until we find the place the real

men lean, bloodshot and translucent with cool.
His smile is a gold-plated incantation as we

drift by women on bar stools, with nothing left
in them but approachlessness. This is a school

     Read the poem in its entirety.


Hopefully you can see Brooks' poem (We Real Cool) in the end words of each line.

So, there's your challenge. I hope you'll join me this week in writing a golden shovel. Please share a link to your poem or the poem itself in the comments.

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13. Monday Poetry Stretch - Englyn cyrch

If orange is the new black, then Tuesday is the new Monday! My apologies for failing to post yesterday. I got caught up in the end of summer school and grading.

The Englyn cyrch is a Welsh poetic form consisting of any number of quatrains. In each stanza, the lines are composed of seven syllables, with lines 1, 2, and 4 sharing an end rhyme. The end rhyme of line 3 rhymes with a middle syllable (3rd, 4th, or 5th) or line 4. Here's what the pattern looks like.

x x x x x x a
x x x x x x a
x x x x x x b
x x x b x x a

You can read more about Englyn at Wikipedia.

That's it. Easy-peasy, right? I hope you'll join me this week in writing an Englyn cyrch. Please share a link to your poem or the poem itself in the comments.

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14. Monday Poetry Stretch - Englyn cyrch

If orange is the new black, then Tuesday is the new Monday! My apologies for failing to post yesterday. I got caught up in the end of summer school and grading.

The Englyn cyrch is a Welsh poetic form consisting of any number of quatrains. In each stanza, the lines are composed of seven syllables, with lines 1, 2, and 4 sharing an end rhyme. The end rhyme of line 3 rhymes with a middle syllable (3rd, 4th, or 5th) or line 4. Here's what the pattern looks like.

x x x x x x a
x x x x x x a
x x x x x x b
x x x b x x a

You can read more about Englyn at Wikipedia.

That's it. Easy-peasy, right? I hope you'll join me this week in writing an Englyn cyrch. Please share a link to your poem or the poem itself in the comments.

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15. Monday Poetry Stretch - Diatelle

I've been searching a bit online for some "new" and different poetry forms. I discovered a site, The Writer's & Poetry Alliance Club, that not only explains traditional poetic forms, but includes numerous invented forms as well.

The diatelle is syllabic form with a rhyme scheme. It looks a bit like a double etheree, but it is different. Here are the guidelines.
syllable pattern: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 6 / 8 / 10 / 12 / 10 / 8 / 6 / 4 / 3 / 2 / 1
rhyme scheme: a b b c b c c a c c b c b b a

That's it. Easy-peasy, right? I hope you'll join me this week in writing a diatelle. Please share a link to your poem or the poem itself in the comments.

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16. Poetry Seven Write "In the Style Of" ... Kay Ryan

Sigh ... I really procrastinated this month and now I'm not so happy with my poem. I guess that's alright. My energy has been focused on summer school, so writing has been coming in fits and starts.

The poem I chose to write in the style of, as did a few of my poetry sisters, is entitled Turtle.

Turtle
by Kay Ryan

Who would be a turtle who could help it?
A barely mobile hard roll, a four-oared helmet,
she can ill afford the chances she must take
in rowing toward the grasses that she eats.

Read and listen to the poem in its entirety.


I had a hard time settling on a subject. I started a poem on the heron, inspired by a morning walk and watching our local heron wade through the mud near some sunning turtles. It didn't go very far. I also tried mongoose, cockroach, and bat. I suppose this was hard for me because I'm fascinated by these animals and don't see too many drawbacks to their design. I finally settled on the naked mole rat. The poem is entirely too didactic, but I enjoyed working on the internal rhyme in the piece. In fact, I ran it through The Wall Street Journal analyzer. (Props to Laura Purdie Salas for sharing this!) Their algorithm breaks words into component sounds and then groups similar-sounding syllables into rhyme families, which are color-coded. You can learn how they did it at How WSJ Used an Algorithm to Analyze ‘Hamilton’ the Musical. Here's what a portion of my poem looks like.

So, without further ado, here's my first draft, along with a picture of the animal that inspired it. I'm not sure I'll be revisiting this exact one, but I like Ryan's poem as a mentor text and will definitely try to tackle another subject.
Image licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License.

Naked Mole Rat

Who would be a naked mole rat who could help it?
A wrinkled mess with random whiskers
and excess hair between her toes, she does not know
that beauty escapes her. She’s a prime
example that form follows function. Living
a lifetime underground, it’s no wonder
she is built for digging, skilled in
wielding her prominent teeth and snout
to excavate her route. Fate determined
by birth, she labors for her queen.
Keeping chambers clean, finding food,
minding pups, life is busy enough.
Neither mole nor rat, she’s tough
to define, closer relation to the porcupine.
Despite the strangeness she’s
undeterred, unaware of how absurd
her subterranean life is.

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2016. All rights reserved.


You can read the poems written by my Poetry Seven compatriots at the links below. Andi's not sharing a poem today, but she's always with us in spirit.
I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by Tabatha Yeatts at The Opposite of Indifference. Happy poetry Friday friends!

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17. Monday Poetry Stretch - Climbing Rhyme

Climbing Rhyme is a form of Burmese poetry containing a repeated sequence of 3 internally-rhymed lines consisting of 4 syllables each. Since Burmese is monosyllabic, this works well, but in English this might be difficult. Instead of 4 syllable lines, let's try writing in lines of 4 words. (If you're feeling brave, go ahead and try four syllables!)

The rhyme scheme for climbing rhyme is internal. That means the position of the rhyming word changes. The rhyme appears in the 4th word of line one, 3rd word of line 2, and 2nd word of line 3. The pattern continues as a new rhyme appears in the 4th word of line 3, the 3rd word of line 4, and the 2nd word of line 5. This continues on, giving a stair-step feel to the poem, hence the name climbing rhyme.

For those of you who need to see this visually, here it is. Each x stands for a word. The letters stand for rhyming words. Just remember the 4-3-2 pattern.

x x x a
x x a x
a x b
x x b x
b x c
x x c x
c x x

I hope you'll join me this week in writing a climbing rhyme. Please share a link to your poem or the poem itself in the comments.

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18. Monday Poetry Stretch - Septercet

Today's form comes from the mind of Jane Yolen. A septercet is her newly invented form, a modified tercet. An actual tercet is composed of three lines of poetry, forming a stanza or a complete poem, though this one also has a line syllabic count of seven.

Here's an example.

Human Work

“The wild can be human work.”—Helen Macdonald

The wild can be human work
If we reset the balance,
Keeping our thumbs off the scales.

If we bring back, return things,
Not just take it all away,
The wild can be human work.

Restoration is hard graft,
Almost more than creation,
Which is why God needed rest.

But we humans dare not rest
Till we’re done with restoring:
Eagles in their high aeries,

Whales singing in their sea lanes.
Wolves commandeering forests.
All the wild come home again.

©2016 Jane Yolen. All rights reserved.


Cool, isn't it? I love syllable counting, so this should be fun. I hope you'll join me in writing a septercet. Please share a link to your poem or the poem itself in the comments.

And thanks to Jane for sending this and allowing me to share it with you!

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19. Monday Poetry Stretch - Akshar-Mala

Akshar-Mala is an Indian poetic form in which the initial letters of each line are in alphabetical order. There are no other requirements for the form.

I found this form in The Dictionary of Indian Literature, One, Beginnnings-1850. I haven't been able to find any other descriptions of it, or any another Indian form that resembles it closely.

A while back we wrote in the form of iroha mojigusari, where the first letter of the alphabet starts off the first line and the second letter of the alphabet concludes it. The third letter starts the second line and the fourth letter finishes it. This continues until all the letters of the alphabet have been used in order.

Since there are no other guidelines here than order, I don't see why you can't begin with any letter of your choosing and make the poem as long as you like.

So, there's your challenge for the week. I hope you'll join me in writing an akshar-mala. Please share a link to your poem or the poem itself in the comments.

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20. Monday Poetry Stretch - Wayra

The Wayra is a Latin American verse from popular in Peru and Bolivia. It is a short syllabic verse that follows these guidelines:

  • a pentastich (5 line poem)
  • unrhymed
  • syllable count = 5/7/7/6/8
So, there's your challenge for the week. I hope you'll join me in writing a wayra. Please share a link to your poem or the poem itself in the comments.

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21. Monday Poetry Stretch - Triversen

The triversen ("triple verse sentence") is a verse form invented by William Carlos Williams. Each stanza is composed of a single sentence, broken into three parts, which together form a stanza. The poems are generally unrhymed and often contain alliteration. They can be composed of any number of tercets.

You can learn more about the triversen and read some examples at Poetics and Ruminations.

So, there's your challenge for the week. I hope you'll join me in writing a triversen. Please share a link to your poem or the poem itself in the comments.

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22. Poetry Seven and Mary Pownall's Harpy

This month the poetry gang wrote poems to photos taken by Tanita of Mary Pownall's sculpture The Harpy Calaeno.

The Harpy Calaeno, 1902, by Mary Pownall, Kelvingrove Art Gallery
Artwork: The Harpy Calaeno, 1902, by Mary Pownall, Kelvingrove Art Gallery
Photograph by Stephencdickson, Wikimedia Commons

I wrote this first poem after learning that a dear friend was diagnosed with cancer. The news was not good, and after multiple opinions, the consensus is that are no treatment options. So, the poem doesn't say much about cancer that hasn't already been said, but writing it made me feel a bit better.

The word drops …
cancer
there is no steeling yourself
against it
the tumor
an oozing black tar
staining your insides
a writhing knot of snakes
expanding ever outward

Cancer, you bitch
you harpy
clawing your way
through a mortal temple
slowly stealing life
but not soul

In this case
inoperable
untreatable

Despite the news
spirit indomitable


For my second poem I wanted to actually write about the sculpture. Inspired by the poems written by my sisters in the form of pantoum and villanelle, I chose a form as well. In gearing up for next week's poetry stretch I decided to experiment with the Luc Bat, a Vietnamese form with a repeating rhyme scheme and lines of six and eight syllables.

No prize this beast with wings,
the roar of her voice sings, not sweet
but raw, a clawing beat.
Cover your ears, retreat … no run
before your end’s begun
before you are undone by scales,
beating wings, mournful wails,
those claws as sharp as nails. Beware!
Once fixed in her cold stare,
you will not have a prayer save one.
Recall she's marble spun,
this myth that made men run, now stone
and beauty, fearsome thing.


Poems ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2016. All rights reserved.


You can read the poems written by my Poetry Seven compatriots at the links below.

I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by Jone of Check It Out. Happy poetry Friday friends!

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23. Monday Poetry Stretch - Luc Bat

The Luc Bat is a Vietnamese form with a repeating rhyme scheme and lines of six and eight syllables. The rhyme scheme looks like this.

xxxxxA
xxxxxAxB
xxxxxB
xxxxxBxC
xxxxxC
xxxxxCxD

This form uses a climbing rhyme of sorts. There is no length requirement, only a need for the final syllable of the last line to link back to the initial rhyme (A).

You can read more about this form at The Poets Garret.

So, there's your challenge for the week. I hope you'll join me in writing a luc bat. Please share a link to your poem or the poem itself in the comments.

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24. Poetry Friday - Summer

Today I'm sharing a poem by Amy Lowell.

Summer
by Amy Lowell

Some men there are who find in nature all
Their inspiration, hers the sympathy
Which spurs them on to any great endeavor,
To them the fields and woods are closest friends,
And they hold dear communion with the hills;
The voice of waters soothes them with its fall,
And the great winds bring healing in their sound.
To them a city is a prison house
Where pent up human forces labour and strive,
Where beauty dwells not, driven forth by man;
But where in winter they must live until
Summer gives back the spaces of the hills.
To me it is not so. I love the earth
And all the gifts of her so lavish hand:
Sunshine and flowers, rivers and rushing winds,
Thick branches swaying in a winter storm,
And moonlight playing in a boat’s wide wake;
But more than these, and much, ah, how much more,
I love the very human heart of man.
Above me spreads the hot, blue mid-day sky,
Far down the hillside lies the sleeping lake
Lazily reflecting back the sun,
And scarcely ruffled by the little breeze
Which wanders idly through the nodding ferns.
The blue crest of the distant mountain, tops
The green crest of the hill on which I sit;
And it is summer, glorious, deep-toned summer,
The very crown of nature’s changing year
When all her surging life is at its full.
To me alone it is a time of pause,
A void and silent space between two worlds,
When inspiration lags, and feeling sleeps,
Gathering strength for efforts yet to come.
For life alone is creator of life,
And closest contact with the human world
Is like a lantern shining in the night
To light me to a knowledge of myself.
I love the vivid life of winter months
In constant intercourse with human minds,
When every new experience is gain
And on all sides we feel the great world’s heart;
The pulse and throb of life which makes us men!


I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by Carol of Beyond Literacy Link. Happy poetry Friday friends!

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25. Monday Poetry Stretch - Sonnet (Italian Form)

In my estimation, there is never a bad time for a sonnet. Here's a great example.

Since I normally write Shakespearian sonnets, I thought I'd offer up the Italian form this week. Here are the basic guidelines to follow.
  • sonnet is composed of 14 lines written in iambic pentameter.
  • The Italian sonnet is divided into an octave (8 lines), followed by a sestet (6 lines).
  • The rhyme pattern for the octave is a-b-b-a, a-b-b-a. For the sestet the pattern can be c-d-e-c-d-e or c-d-c-c-d-c.
You can read more on sonnets in this great post by Kelly Fineman.

So, there's your challenge for the week. I hope you'll join me in writing a sonnet. Please share a link to your poem or the poem itself in the comments.

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