Tag Archives: Galley Cat

Poetics Serendipity

8:49 a.m. — San Antonio

listening to Kananaka sung by Keali’i Reichel (who has one of the loveliest voices I have heard)

Hello, everyone. We have another mild, sunshiny day to enjoy. I hope things are as mild where you are. Shall we get to it?

1] The first link was sent to me by Sasha Palmer. The Paris Review posted a piece of correspondence from Horace Walpole to Horace Mann, in 1754, regarding the invention of the word serendipity. The piece is short and fun to read.

2] I receive right hand pointing‘s newsletter.and they have two items of interest in the latest issue. The first is their latest volume of poetry, of particular interest because it is their first haiku issue. The second is a rather interesting call for submissions. Check it out because I can see several of you wanting to give this a try.

3] Galley Cat’s latest infographic is about The Weird Writing Practices of Authors, by Maryann Yin. I love their infographics, so you will often see them here.

Brief and to the point, today, but plenty to play with. The blog and I will be dark for ten days, or so. I will see you again, probably Thursday after next, for more links.

Happy writing, all.


Posted by on 04/02/2016 in links, poetry, writing


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Poetics Serendipity

9:18 a,m, — San Antonio

listening to On Broadway sung by George Benson

Hello, all. I made it. Apparently life has decided to resist happening, today. Speaking of which, I hope those of you hit by Jonas, in the eastern United States, are digging yourselves out. Having missed a couple of weeks worth of links, let’s get to it

Having missed a couple of weeks worth of links, let’s get to it:

1] If you have not come across the collection of essays that are Maria Popova’s Brain Pickings then you need to check it out. I am giving you a link to tell you what it’s about and a link to what she thinks are the best picks of the year.

If you want the quick what it’s about, Popova describes Brain Pickings as a cross-disciplinary LEGO treasure chest, full of pieces spanning art, science, psychology, design, philosophy, history, politics, anthropology and …how these different disciplines illuminate one another to glean some insight, directly or indirectly, into that grand question of how to live, and how to live well.

If you have nothing else to expand your brain with [see under ‘life happens’], Pickings will give you some of everything and all connected to our creative selves.

2] From an article in The New Yorker, by Pauline Bock: they first had the idea for the machines one afternoon in 2013. They were taking a break in the hall of their office building, buying a snack from a vending machine. One of them—they don’t recall which one—said that the vending machines should offer short stories instead of drinks and candy. They had a prototype by 2014. Sounds like science fiction, no? No. ViV, we expect you to go to Grenoble and report on this! Read the article and you will be charmed while wondering why your city doesn’t have such a machine. How about one that offers poems? It has to be easier.

3] Galley Cat offers us TED-Ed Lessons for Writers to Kick Off 2016, by Maryann Yin. Need I say more?

Have fun with these and I shall see you Tuesday for a prompt and next Thursday for more links.

Happy writing, everyone.


Posted by on 28/01/2016 in links, poetry, writing


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Poetics Serendipity: Rhetorical Modes

8:01 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to Joseph’s Dreams sung by Jason Donovan (when my Library is on shuffle, I get an odd mix)

Hello, everyone. There is no way, I can find, to make the following shorter, or snazzier, but rhetoric lies at the heart of what we do, whether poetry or prose. Rhetoric is the art of communicating with an audience which, for us, means communicating with readers using literary  and compositional techniques. There are many modes of rhetorical writing, but the following are the four main ones.

DESCRIPTION is a report of appearances, of how places or persons or objects strike the senses of an observer.

NARRATION is a report of actions, of what people do separately or to each other on a given occasion.

DRAMA (DIALOGUE) is a report of conversation, of people talking back and forth.

REVERIE (REFLECTION, STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS) is a report of thoughts and feelings, of what goes on in a particular person’s mind.

The following schemes are adapted by James Penha from Leo Rockas’ thinking and book, Modes of Rhetoric.

The various modes of DESCRIPTION, NARRATION, DIALOGUE, and REVERIE are often separate from each other, but also often mixed. REVERIE–the representation of a character or narrator thinking–tends to dominate the other modes it’s mixed with. Why? Because anything anyone thinks–thinking of the description of a garden once seen, thinking of the narration of an event that once happened, thinking of the dialogue of a conversation once overheard–tends to be subjective. Thus, reverie tends to bind the other modes mixed with the reverie to a particular “point of view.”


TIME comparison of the four modes:
DESCRIPTION: No story time.
NARRATION: Story time >/= reading time.
DIALOGUE:  Story time = reading time.
REVERIE:  Story time < reading time.

 SUBJECT/PRONOUN tendencies of the four modes:
DESCRIPTION: Things/people described as things; it.
NARRATION:  People/things described as people; he/she/they.

VERB & TENSE tendencies of the four modes:
DESCRIPTION: Being verbs in the past or present.
NARRATION:  Active verbs in the past.
DIALOGUE: Verbs of feeling in the present.
REVERIE: Future, hypothetical, or speculative forms of verbs.

TYPICAL FORMULAS of the four modes:
NARRATION:  he ran.
DIALOGUE:  you love.
REVERIE:  I will.
Notice that each mode gets closer to the self.

II.    LITERARY ELEMENTS & MODES.  Each of the four major literary elements tends to correspond to one of the modes:
SETTING is most easily rendered by DESCRIPTION.
PLOT is most easily rendered by NARRATION.
CHARACTER is most easily rendered by DIALOGUE.
THEME is most easily rendered by REVERIE.

REVERIE is subjective.

The point of view is objective when there is no reverie.
The point of view is subjective when there is reverie.
The point of view is omniscient when there is reverie of more than one character.
The point of view is limited when there is the reverie of only one character.
“First-person” point of view almost always results in reverie.
In “third-person” point of view, the character with the reverie is talked about in third-person.


No recognizable genre—save perhaps haiku and list poems—is predominantly DESCRIPTION.
Short stories, novels, epics, and narrative poems are dominated by NARRATIVE.
Plays and dramatic monologues (Browning, Eliot, Tennyson) and dialogue poems (Frost) are dominated by DRAMA.
Lyric poems are dominated by REVERIE.

Whew! We will return to normal links and such Thursday after next. Meanwhile, I shall see you tomorrow for the roundup; Tuesday for an image prompt; and the following Tuesday for a regular poetry prompt. We’ll be dark next Thursday and Friday.

Happy ingesting and writing, all.

What? One link? Okay. If you don’t know about Galley Cat, the site is giving tips specifically for NaNoWriMo, but many apply to the writing of poetry. They are not long and there are several nuggets. I’ll give you the general address for the tips and you can scroll around.

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Posted by on 20/11/2014 in writing


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