RSS

Tag Archives: poems

Poem Tryouts: Abandon Ye!

9:30 a.m. — San Antonio

listening to… well, who else? Bowie, of course

Hello, everyone. Are we all bundled so we don’t freeze our patoots? Brrr. Enjoy your summer, southern hemisphere. To distract us from the cold, let’s play with a word. I decided I wanted to explore abandon several weeks ago when Mark Windham sent me a wonderful photograph he knew I’d like. You’ll see it for our image prompt in a couple of weeks. Meanwhile, the word. word book

Do you like my new word collecting book? My daughter gave it to me for Christmas. Hand bound with leather cover.

Abandon originally meant to put someone under bond, to put someone under someone else’s jurisdiction. Now, we use it to mean leave completely and utterly. I almost abandoned you this morning because of a video game the same daughter introduced me to at Christmas.

Then there is the phrase with gay abandon. Sounds more positive, you say? I always thought so until I pondered it this morning. Usually, if you have decided to throw yourself into something with gay abandon, you are abandoning morals, mores, possibly laws.

We haven’t played with a word, in a while. So, abandon whatever you are doing, gaily or not, and explore. There are many ways you can go with this.

1] Go to the page I have given you the link for. Write your poem using words and phrases from that page. If you choose this one, remember to credit the source.

2] Go to the page, but use it more as a spark for an idea.

3] Write about something you abandoned. Despite the general negative connotation of the word, this can be a comic story.

As the sun set
she abandoned him
to the wolves.

He was bigger
and brawnier
than she.

What do you mean you don’t see comedy?

4] Write about a time you felt abandoned or were abandoned. Seared forever, in my memory, is the time, in fourth grade, when, despite my parents’ warnings, I dawdled while getting ready for school. Fine, my mother said, we’ll leave without you, and they did. You should have seen me tearing down the stairs — we lived on the fourth floor, but our elevator was molasses —  screaming at the top of my lungs — the poor neighbours. Then my bag fell and everything spilled out…

That’s more comic, you say? You should have been me.

5] Write about a situation on a more worldly scale where the word abandoned works.

6] Go your own merry way.

I will see you Thursday where I will talk a bit about my day with Poets & Writers Live, in Austin and give you a couple of links; and, Tuesday for another prompt. I may do a borrowed one. Now, I am abandoning you and going back to my game.

Happy writing, all.

 

 

 
26 Comments

Posted by on 12/01/2016 in exercises, poems, poetry

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Poetics Serendipity

8:29 a.m. — San Antonio

listening to one of my favourites, Mack the Knife, sung by Bobby Darin

Hello, all. I don’t know about you, but one foot is still in December. It will help when the tree comes down (it’s so pretty, we’d love to leave it) — ornaments are stashed and Christmasy objects packed away, although I have every expectation of coming on something in August, as our daughter is brilliant at finding spots to place small things. I keep being surprised into a laugh as I come across something. Okay, gang, ready for some sites to start the year with?

1] I can think of nothing better than a series of TED talks to kick us off. Jessica Gross gives us 6 Ideas From Creative Thinkers to Shake Up Your Work Routine. I love the way Gross has structured her article. The six ideas are ones we are all familiar with, but within each, she gives us a link to a playlist of talks to go to. There is everything from an excerpt by Pico Ayer on The Art of Stillness to a talk on the power of time off.

2] The next link is compliments of d’Verse, which has put together a schedule of what comes when submissions-wise. I don’t know about your brain, but mine requires this kind of help.

3] In an article for The Huffington Post‘s blog, poet Robert Peake gives us this year’s mix of UK-based poets whose work gave me pause and, sometimes, made me gasp, in his article Five British Poets to Watch in 2016. With so many accessible writers, now, I am always grateful when someone points the way.

4] Just in from Found Poetry Review‘s poetry editor, Beth Ayer, Volume 9 has gone live.

S’okay? Go forth and discover. I will see you Tuesday for the next prompt and Thursday for more links.

Happy writing, everyone.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on 07/01/2016 in links, poetry, writing

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Poem Tryouts: A Moment

8:56 a.m. — San Antonio

listening to A Ring of Fire sung by Marty Robbins

Happy 2016, everyone. Are you recovering from the excesses that are December? I have many favourite moments: opening the steampunk goggles from my husband; getting extra days with our daughter, Marguerite (sorry about the weather, Chicago); Skyping with the Vermont part of our family; and discovering m’rite’s Irish coffee, which she made for us several nights. There are more. In fact, possibly a list poem… hmmm.

I had had another idea for today, but am sure you are in recovery mode and this is a pleasant re-entry. List your favourite moments from December 1st through 31st. Look at what you have and decide what you want to do. You can:

1] Focus on one moment. The speaker can be in that moment, or recalling that moment. First or third person point of view.

2] The same as #1, but link the moment to a memory.

3] Fashion a list poem.

4] An idea of your own.

Nice and easy. Next week, we’ll leap back in. I will see you Thursday for links and Tuesday for my next prompt.

Happy New Year and happy writing, all.

 
12 Comments

Posted by on 05/01/2016 in exercises, poetry

 

Tags: , ,

Poem Tryouts:

7:00 a.m. — San Antonio

listening to Skip scrolling through his FB wall (it’s too early for music, people)

Hello, all. I’m in the throes of Christmas stuff, although much is on hold until our daughter arrives next week, so she can participate. But various things with lights are up and if I have Christmas lights on in the house, I am happy. Ready for an image? Last week’s worked so well with no accompanying possible directions from me, that I think we’ll try it again this week.

by Vladimir Kush

by Vladimir Kush

Remember that you can ignore the central image and pick one small detail to spark a poem and the image as a painting does not have to be mentioned.

Next week we will take off — yes, you too. The following week, depends. So I will see you either the last week of 2015 or the first week of 2016. To those who celebrate the season, have a merry one; for those who don’t, the good news is you can be merry, too, just for different reasons.

Happy writing, everyone.

 
24 Comments

Posted by on 15/12/2015 in exercises, poetry

 

Tags: , , , ,

Poetics Serendipity

9:25 a.m. — San Antonio

listening to Neil Diamond singing Cracklin’ Rosie

Hello, everyone. I would like someone to do something about the weather, please. It is December. I don’t want my temperatures to be climbing towards the 80’s. I am somewhat mollified, for the moment, by having the first Pannetone of the season, just now. Links, you say? Let me look in the bag…:

1] The site Write to Done has an essay with an interesting thesis, summed up in its title: Why More Practice Can Make You a Worse Writer and What to Do Instead. The author, D Bnonn Tennant has written the piece for narrative fiction and non-fiction, but his theory on practice has some valuable insights for all writers.

2] Have you ever encountered a word and learned that it meant the opposite of what you remembered? If so, you may have come across a contronym. A contronym, often referred to as a Janus word or auto-antonym, is a word that evokes contradictory or reverse meanings depending on the context. These are the opening sentences to Kimberly Joki’s Grammarly post on verbs that are contronyms. Being a word stalker, I found it fascinating, and fun. to have pointed out clearly what I vaguely knew. (Grammarly)

3] Finally, something to amuse you: Word Origins in Plain Sight, words by Arika Okrent, pictures by Sean O’Neill.

I will see you Tuesday for our next image prompt and Thursday for links.

Happy writing, everyone.

P.S. There is nothing quite like having the nearby workers turn off the electricity as one pushes publish.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on 10/12/2015 in links, poetry, writing

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Poem Tryouts: Unzipped

9:01 a.m. — San Antonio

listening to With Your Love sung by Jefferson Starship

Hello, all. I think I made a rash statement to the effect I would post a picture and keep mum, leaving all possibilities to you. Do you know how hard that is?!

street art unzipped

I found this on Pinterest without title or artist, for which I apologise. Let’s see what you do with it (this is killing me). I will say that whatever results, the image is your spark and doesn’t have to be a part of the poem; or, you can focus on one part of the image and ignore the rest.

I will see you Thursday for links and things and next Tuesday for yet another image prompt, one where I can go back to directing.

Happy writing all.

 
43 Comments

Posted by on 08/12/2015 in exercises, poems, poetry

 

Tags: , , , ,

Poetics Serendipity

8:11 a.m. — San Antonio

listening to Little Drummer Boy sung by Pentatonix

Hello, everyone. I hope you are well. I have a couple of links and a notification for you. Plenty of things to play with and consider.

1] Jenni B. Baker and Doug Luman of the Found Poetry Review have come up with a fresh twist on secret Santa. Jenni says: Doug Luman and I are excited to announce a new holiday poetry project, Secret Stanza. Here’s how it works: Sign up to participate by December 11, and we’ll assign you another poet as a “giftee” — you’ll buy or make a poetry gift worth up to $15 and send it to him/her in the mail. We’ll also give YOUR name to someone, meaning you’ll receive a poetry gift of your own this December. While not exclusively found poetry related (and not an “official” FPR project), we hope you’ll participate and help us spread the news! More details at http://www.secretstanza.com/

2] This next will keep you occupied for weeks. My California brother sent it to me. The Paris Review has sixty-five years worth of interviews with writers. Some names you will recognise, many you won’t, but they all write. Even if all you do is go through the fifty-two writers’ statements, that are there as hooks, you can ponder for hours.

3] The final find for the day is written for the novelists but can be adapted for the poets. Kat Stiles has posted, in She Writes, Top 10 editing Tips For Your Final Draft. I’m thinking final or no these are good tips for those who have any kind of manuscript from NaNoWriMo.

I will see you Tuesday for an image prompt and Thursday for more links and things.

Happy writing, all.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on 03/12/2015 in links, poetry, writing

 

Tags: , , , ,

Poem Tryouts: Extra! Extra! Read All About It!

8:51 a.m. — San Antonio

listening to Good King Wenceslas sung by some choir

Hello, all. I’ve been having far too much fun with my two advent calendars and NORAD’s Santa tracker and it’s only December 1st. We did not have an image during November and December is a rather hysterical month, so I may give images every week. We’ll see how it goes.

by Mary Cassatt

by Mary Cassatt

This image caught my eye as I was looking through my collection. You may stop reading right now and write your poem, or read further, first.

So, why does this give me pause? I read a print newspaper and Skip reads his news online. I tried online once and realised I missed too much serendipitous news because I chose amongst the headlines presented. With a print newspaper, I see everything and with an article right there, when I pause to glance, my eye starts reading down the column or picks up on a paragraph. I read so much more than I do online. Besides, I like turning pages, the sound of the paper, the smell of newsprint (not that the ink smells as it used to), the context of the whole.

Do you get your news in swaths or slices? How do you go about it? You can write directly to this image or follow what my own meanderings may have begun. If you follow my path, you can write about how you found out a specific piece of news, or you can write about how you get your news, in general. Go where your mind takes you.

I will see you Thursday for links and next Tuesday for another image.

Happy writing, all.

 
21 Comments

Posted by on 01/12/2015 in exercises, poetry

 

Tags: , , , ,

Poetics Serendipity

7:40 a.m. — San Antonio

listening to Robbie Williams singing Me and My Shadow (Yes, that Robbie Williams — he has an entire album of Frank Sinatra, and similar singers’, songs. Brilliant.)

Hello. I am returned from New Orleans beigneted and Bloody Mary-ed enough to keep me going for a few months. Lordy, the food is good in that city. Perhaps more on that with Tuesday’s prompt. On to today’s business. Nanos, coming down the home stretch!

1] NaNoWriMo-ers, I have a link that keeps on giving. Poets, you will enjoy reading just as much. Back in 2012, The Atlantic published an article titled 6 Writing Tips from John Steinbeck (a master of narrative structure, among other things), written by Maria Popova. How could I resist a statement like: The legendary author explains why you should abandon all hope of finishing your novel?

Within the piece are several links to other useful articles, such as David Ogilvy’s 10 No-bullshit Tips and Henry Miller’s 11 Commandments, You’ll be able to lose yourself, happily.

2] This next is in pdf format and will need to be enlarged, unless your eyes work better than mine. The Poetry School is London-based, but has courses around England and online. Everything I have seen from them is first-rate. The link takes you to their 2016 schedule.

3] While we are at The Poetry School, read an interview with their digital poet in residence. The interviewer is Will Barrett and the poet, Clare Shaw. Read what she has to say about a poet’s voice. It’s a fascinating description.

Right. I’m off to my second cup of coffee. I will see you Tuesday for a prompt and Thursday for more links.

Happy writing, everyone.

 
7 Comments

Posted by on 19/11/2015 in links, poetry, writing

 

Tags: , , , ,

Tuesday Tryouts: The Modes

8:32 a.m. — San Antonio

listening to Hanohano ‘O Maui sung by Keali’i Reichel

Hello, everyone. We have lovely autumn weather (for San Antonio). I’m in a long sleeved shirt, three layers, and my wooly socks. Yay! With coffee in hand let us peruse. Today’s exercise is adapted from Jack Penha’s adaptation of Richard Jackson’s “five easy pieces” from The Practice of Poetry.

  • Think of people you know well. – for the sake of the exercise, you need to have someone you can easily visualise. Pick someone.
  • Imagine a place where you can picture the person. This does not have to be a place the person has been.

Whether you are a NaNoWriMo-er or poet, we are going to write five sentences taking us through the four modes of writing: description, narration, reverie, and dialogue.

1. Describe the person’s hand or hands in one sentence.

Description takes place in no time; i.e. time stands still for description. So do not let that hand or those hands move. You can describe what they look like or how they are poised or where they lie. But time in description does not move.

2. Narrate something she does with her hands, in one sentence.

Narration takes place over time. That’s what distinguishes it from description. So let time move. Describe the person eating a crab, or shaving, or tending to a plant.

3. Reverie takes place in the mind of a character or a narrator.

Your person is thinking of something that, although he may not know it, is a symbol for something he experienced in the past. Or something he dreams of experiencing in the future. In one sentence, write about the metaphor in the person’s mind–without telling us what it stands for. Indeed, you do not even need to know what it stands for.

4. These next two are examples of dialogue—the rhetorical mode of drama.

a. (probably relevant to numbers two and three above,) Write the question you would love to ask this person. Just the question—as a sentence. Not, I would love to ask. Just the question. As if it were in quotation marks.

b. The person looks up or toward you, notices you there, gives an answer that suggests she didn’t entirely hear or understand your question. One sentence.

NaNos, you can stop there or expand on what you started. Poets, find the poem in your sentences. Feel free to make changes—small or radical—that seem to make it a better poem. Feel free to leave out bits.

I don’t usually show examples, but this exercise might cause furrowed brows, so here’s my take:

1] Her hands are translucent with age, her skin leafy to the touch.

2] Spidery fingers poke the earth around the bottom of the plant.

3] Once a deep purple, now faded to pale blue, veins like spikes of delphinium.

4] It’s cold; are you coming in?

The weather has changed; I must prepare the bonsai.

The poem:

Her Hands

Spider fingers
poke the earth
around the bonsai’s base.

Once a deep purple,
now faded
to pale blue,
veins like spikes
of delphinium,

hands translucent with age,
her skin leafy to the touch.

Go forth and write and I will see you again, Thursday for links and then, my friends, not for a week. My husband, having decided we need a break, booked us into a hotel in New Orleans. Who am I to argue?

Happy writing, all.

 
32 Comments

Posted by on 10/11/2015 in exercises, poetry

 

Tags: , , ,

  • creative commons license

  •