The prompt for today was to write a nine-line poem. I could choose any form I wished or use a free form verse. I chose a Balassi Stanza where it looks like this:
Rhyme scheme: a. a. d. b. b. d. c..c. d
Syllable count:.. 6. 6. 7. 6. 6. 7. 6. 6. 7
Of course, I chose this form mainly because Balint Balassi is Hungarian. Also, I am taking a crash course in music theory right now, so the poem reflects the terms swimming in my head.
rhythms all frenetic, cadences authentic and deceptively half there. appalachian folk tunes, maqam modes that commune and pulse with joy and despair. musical collision, lydian precision-- complexity that ensnares.
This unique syllable pattern repeats for each new stanza.
And so I began.
Five different false starts later, I settled on “things”. Between cleaning my closet out while watching hoarders, and trying to get everything organized in the house before Tracy’s spine surgery, the topic seemed a natural one.
Why and how does junk continue to collect? Why is paper the bane of my existence?
I don’t know the answers, but I know that this poem is a good reminder to focus on what really matters. Investing in relationships is way better than investing in Amazon.
what really matters
things take up wings and fly into the tiny recesses of our lives, she guesses. now the tempest rising becomes
our tasting sour and bitter with each acquisition; caused by our own fission— multiplying all kinds of junk.
stop. don’t buy. drop your wallet and spend your time with people, not on the myth that buying things brings happiness.
Today’s challenge was to write a poem that reacts both to photography and to words in a language not your own. I had to begin with a photograph, and then find a poem in a language I didn’t know. My mission was to start translating the poem into English, with the idea that the poem was actually “about” my photograph.
I chose a poem in Irish (Gaelic) and used a photo I took at the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland. First is the poem in its original language, and following is my “translation”.
Faoi Chabáistí is Ríonacha By Celia de Fréine
In ionad bláthanna a bhronnadh ar a bhean agus é i mbun tochmhairc, d’fhrasaigh Risteard bronntanais ar a máthair. I dtosach tháinig na málaí plaisteacha, ansin na saic, iad lán le glasraí a d'fhás sé féin a is a athair. Leasaithe go nádúrtha. Uiscithe faoi scáth hoíche i rith an triomaigh. Turnapaí ar aon mhéid le do chloigeann. Prátaí Rí Éadbhard as ar deineadh na sceallóga ba shúmhaire. Cabáistí sách leathan le ceathrairíní a cheilt. Ní raibh bean Risteaird ag súil le ceathrairíní – iníon a leanbh sise, í tugtha go mór do fhrithbhualadh na glúine, ar nós a máthar.
Fair Chaps Beware
Over eons the base of the bastions blossomed, ageless and immune to time
like a resilient band of brothers. I searched those majestic rolling plains atop the pounding sea,
and under my gaze their angel hair frolicked in the wind. Let no man go adventuring,
unless he find the path; for high and wide the tumultuous treachery hidden below the churning sea.
Yes, pounding against and pounding beneath, the salacious sea sings her song. Come, she sings,
lay your head on my chest. No radiant beams shine more resiliently than I, she croons; from here,
I lovingly rise to greet the moon. So lest you frivolous and foolish be, go no more near the edge of the sea.
Today the sun was scorching and poetry had to be written, so I went searching for a new form to explore.
That’s when I discovered the “rispetto”. A rispetto is a short poetic form of Italian origin comprising of 11 syllables per line. It has 8 lines. Rispetto typically uses the ababccdd rhyme scheme.
So here is my Sunday offering. A rispetto about rain on a scorching day. Wishing all of you that respite of rain.
Somewhere in my mind it is always raining— like the sound of thundering rooftop dancing, while cozy fires burns brightly maintaining the mood. And all the signs are there enhancing the idea that I am moving toward sound so powerful it cannot be ignored. Refreshed, re-energized, and renewed I rise— much like flowers after that rain, I surmise.
Today’s prompt: Write a “loveless” love poem. I wasn’t allowed to use the word love! And I also had to avoid the words flowers and rainbows or thunder, rain, and lines beginning with a plaintive “why”?
I had to try to write a poem that expresses the feeling of love or lovelorn-ness without the traditional trappings associated with the subject matter.
So what better analogy than a car wreck? A bit morbid, perhaps, but I think it works. 😉
Sometimes a car wreck is the most telling— Oh those crunched quarter panels, that bashed in bumper, that terribly trashed trunk lid, the tetris-like profile of the wreck.
It's all-telling and (mostly)temporary. Ah, but the impact of collision— that sudden crash of constellations, that clashing chaos called conflict, those cataracts clouding up clarity—
A Quadrille is simply a poem of 44 words (excluding the title), and it can take any form. Today’s challenge was to use the word “people” in a quadrille. Sometimes I’m just “over” people; I can write it off to my introvertedness to a point, then I just have to say, “Enough is enough!”
Thanks to fellow poet Joel Mitchell who turned me on to author Richard Powers and his book, “The Overstory”. I took inspiration from the first sentence: “Let me sing to you now, about how people turn into other things.” I also merged this quadrille form with the one sentence form creating one long sentence of 44 words.
Let me sing to you now, about how people turn into other things— they leave behind the steeple and decorum, cruising out into the world with snarling lip— denying justice to those who desperately need it and seeking accolades where they don’t deserve it.
The prompt for today challenged me to write a poem that recounts a creation myth and so, I thought I’d let you all in on the secret world of creating poems.
You see, each poem has a unique life form. You might think that I create poems, but actually more often than not, they create themselves, the words falling in to place with rhythm and order and beauty.
Writing poetry is an act of passion—writer and poem must come together in love and single-mindedness. I imagine if there were a mystical story of the creation of a poem, it might go something like this.
in the beginning: the birth of a poem
crisp cadence of sound bytes dancing across the page; marginal moments light momentous mysteries marching on.
letters swirls like atoms forming ionic bonds. how i cannot fathom those molecular fronds marching on.
yet unknown, the story tumbles out in stages; rolling rhymes unfolding, memories outrageous marching on.
ideas shift and shape, pulling without tether yet binding all the same bringing us together marching on.
the joyous pain birthing small words that time sustains; rejecting or rejoicing the simple small refrain marching on.
This week the prompt was to do a poem on the theme of EXPLORATION. The prompt came in the form of an attached photo. I included the photo attached to the prompt in this blogpost.
In my own self-driven way, I added a form I have never used. Today’s form is the huitain. The huitain is actually a derivative of the French ballade. In fact, it is a complete 8-line poem composed of one ballade stanza.
Here are the guidelines for the huitain: * 8-line stanza * ababbcbc rhyme scheme * Usually 8 to 10 syllables per line
The Old Compass
Like a friend who’s never wavered, the old compass felt good in hand with a weight I’d always favored when facing a distant wasteland. I knew my way was firmly planned—- no worries sprang up in my head about troubles I would withstand—- for soon I’d be safe in my bed.
With the prompt today I was challenged you to write a parody on a poem already written by another poet. I figured go big or go home, so I chose Emily Dickinson and her poem, “Tell all the truth but tell it slant”.
Besides being fun, it was a challenge to mirror her tone, rhyme scheme, and form. So friends, tell your lies…and shout them out!
Here is Emily's original (beautiful) version:
Tell all the truth but tell it slant — (1263)
Tell all the truth but tell it slant —
Success in Circuit lies
Too bright for our infirm Delight
The Truth's superb surprise
As Lightning to the Children eased
With explanation kind B
The Truth must dazzle gradually
Or every man be blind —
--by Emily Dickinson
And here is my parody poem about telling lies. Tell all your lies and shout them out — Tell all your lies and shout them out — Wearing your crooked smile We cannot bear the truth, you know And your tall tales beguile As light will blind most tender eyes Deceit will blind the heart And faults that burn fiery and fierce Fracture and tear apart —
- A Draft Parody Poem by Carla Jeanne Picklo Jordan
The prompt for today was to write an “occasional” poem—a poem suited to, or written for, a particular occasion.
So I decided to write about a few memorable occasions. Welcome a few of my favorite memories.
Magic of Moments
I will never forget the magic of his arrival, relating not so much to the nature of life, but to the heart of love itself— a powerful catapult a dance of irrevocable joy, an electrifying connection, an explosion of love.
Like the day I saw her come my way, unfettered and underestimated, free wheeling and free thinking, unbound by convention without an ounce of pretension.
Like the moment when a thousand meteors exploded in the august sky, when wispy green fairies twirled their skirts behind the northern lights.
Like when the hawk spread his wings above our heads, leading the way into the flaming birch forest.
How can anyone not believe in magic— the humdrum, mundane everyday magic of life?
—- A Draft Poem by Carla Jeanne Picklo Jordan
Let me know your favorite moments in the comments below.