Thursday, July 26, 2012

Poetry Form Challenge-Lento

This is week four of the Our Lost Jungle Poetry Form Challenge. This week's form is the Lento. Click the link to learn more about this form.

For me, the most challenging requirement for this form is rhyming the beginning of the lines. This is the first time I have tried to work with this rhyme scheme so maybe it will seem easier the more I work with it. Maybe it is because of my journalism background. The lead, the beginning, is critical. It sets the tone for the rest of the story. I think the rhyme at the beginning forces you to structure the line around it more than an end rhyme does. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.

Here are this week's two entries:

Afternoon Dip

Water warms my soul.
Wetness cools my skin.
Waves buoy my heart
when I dive in.

Concern floats away.
Calmness moors.
Consternation is
kept on shore.

Growing Pains

Bright sun shines on the fields.
Light warms the plants and the soil.
Height of the crops signifies growth.
Might be worth the sweat and toil.

Rain hasn't come for awhile
Bain of life on the farm.
Gain the strength to withstand
pain caused by the alarm.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Jazz Haiku

This is the third week of the Our Lost Jungle Poetry Form Challenge. This week, Khara House challenged us to write haiku. If you review the guidelines Khara laid out, you will see that she didn't restrict us to the 5-7-5 format. However, she did have us stick to the traditional subject of nature. (By the way, I have mended my ways. I turned my haiku in early.)

About two years ago, I took a jazz poetry workshop from Glenn North, the poet-in-residence at the American Jazz Museum. In a post I wrote shortly after the workshop, I noted that haiku is a large segment of jazz poetry. Since then, I have noticed that jazz haiku is rarely mentioned in general discussions of haiku. I think it should be because, as Etheridge Knight said:

Making jazz swing in
seventeen syllables AIN'T
no square poets job.

So, here is one original piece:

Sarah started at
the Apollo, but finished
Sassy and too soon.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

My Poetic Meter is Running in the Wrong Direction

Khara House started a form poetry challenge on her blog, Our Lost Jungle. The first challenge was to work in iambic meter. Khara explained " Iambic meters are broken down into a “foot” [also called an iamb] of two syllables, the first unstressed and the second stressed (like the word “about”)."

I guess you could say I got off on the wrong foot when I started working on my poem. I suddenly had no unstressed/stressed words in my vocabulary. Every word that came to mind was the opposite. I  thought about tweaking a few words like "on LY" or "le EFT", but decided even poetic license didn't allow that.

I needed a distraction. What, I tried to remember, is the opposite of iambic? Is it amibic?  Actually, it is trochaic meter and the trochees were winning by a landslide.

I took a break for a few days. The finished product is below. I'm sorry its late, but I was having a little trouble with my feet.


Ablaze, the flames
traverse the land.
The trees, the homes,
the towns consumed.
But still, among
the ash remains
a will-resolve
to recreate.

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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Poetry and Baseball

Major League Baseball's 2012 All-Star Game will be played in Kansas City this Tuesday, July 10. So, I decided to do a search of poetry and baseball. Would I find anything besides Casey at the Bat?
The answer is yes!

One poem I found of particular interest is  Baseball and Writing  by Marianne Moore. Although Ms. Moore moved East at a young age, she was born in St. Louis, the other Missouri city with a Major League Baseball team. She later lived in New York and became a Yankees fan. Many of the players she mentions in this poem were the first major leaguers I remember.

She speaks of both excitement and uncertainty in both baseball and writing. Think of all the things that can happen each time the pitcher releases the ball. Think of all the choices writers have when facing a blank page. The possibilities are endless.

Other links:

Baseball Almanac-Baseball Poetry

Baseball and Verse, from Tinkers to Evers to Big Papi

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum

John "Buck" O'Neil

Our Lost Jungle Poetic Form Challenge