What wonder I feel when I have time to participate in real time. Today is a writing day and I have just immersed myself in the prompt in the way it should be done. I cannot believe we have just 3 days of the challenge left! I am happy that they are days where I have time chiselled out to make a proper job of it. I am utterly amazed at some of the poetry I have read on participant’s sites.
Today’s featured participant is little learner, whose poem for Day 27 is all about an acquired taste!
Our interview for the day is with Kazim Ali, co-founder of Nightboat Books and author of three books of poetry. The interview we’re featuring was done when his first book, The Far Mosque was published, and provides a good look at what it is like to have a book finally out in the world. You can read more about Ali here, and read some of his work here.
And now for our prompt (optional, as always). Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem using Skeltonic verse. Don’t worry, there are no skeletons involved. Rather, Skeltonic verse gets its name from John Skelton, a fifteenth-century English poet who pioneered the use of short stanzas with irregular meter, but two strong stresses per line (otherwise know as “dipodic” or “two-footed” verse). The lines rhyme, but there’s not a rhyme scheme per se. The poet simply rhymes against one word until he or she gets bored and moves on to another. Here is a good explainer of the form, from which I have borrowed this excellent example:
will be Terse.
Stress used just twice
to keep it nice,
short or long
a lilting song
or sounding gong
that won’t go wrong
if you adhere
to the rule here,
Now is that clear
I urge you to look at the explainer site as it is a straightforward definition, not that this form is particularly hard to master.
My initial reaction was ‘oh no, rhyme’ – and endless repetition of one word didn’t conjure hope. Actually it almost wrote itself, without a rhyming scheme to adhere to it is freeing creating the end rhyme. Less constrictive.
I managed a poem and one that I think I will be performing. I am not sure there are many editors who publish this style (from the 15th Century), then again I am not that confident my NaPo poems will be submitted anywhere. The term ‘NaPo rejection’ is already frequenting social media. I have the perfect place in mind for this poem and will be performing it soon.
I had the form but not the motive – so I borrowed from Carrie Etter’s prompt for today – writing about something/action you dislike and much as this sounds daft I really HATE waking up, getting up, getting dressed and the internal monologue this daily ritual allows.
Skeltonic verse is supposed to be funny and full of energy (created by the tumbling rhyme and speed it can be read), I think on this front – I may have succeeded!
Carrie Etter encouraged us write an anti-ode, thank goodness I did all that form revision! Use vivid, concrete details to make your dislike palpable without saying it.
Having already used my subject for the NaPo poem, I had to go back to the drawing board – but fortunately being a little Eeyore there are lots of something you don’t like or an action you don’t like to do in my world!
I have a real issue struggling with envy, I thought I would write a comical anti-ode about that. I wrote in two different forms, the message was the same.
Jo Bell http://www.jobell.org.uk/ Pulse by James McGonigal
The discussion that follows this 8 line poem is full of pondering thoughts and sound advice, telling not showing and an intensive look at the language of the poem.
A title can prime a reader so they know what to expect, or give them a jigsaw piece which only fits in when they’ve completed the rest of the reading…
The title launches you into the poem but when you arrive at the last line, it often sends you back to the title, which now has some extra meaning. I can’t say it often enough – the title is a part of the poem, and must be active within it. It isn’t just an aid to filing.
Glyn Maxwell says in On Poetry, ‘Poets – your brain’s in your body’
and there’s no better motto for us. Always, always come back to the five senses. They are always the best way to make the reader share the writer’s lived experience. Even the metaphysical needs the physical. – Jo Bell.
The Poetry School
Day 28. Haiku Day
Morning poets. Today I’d like you write a haiku. Don’t bother with counting syllables – it doesn’t matter. The most important thing is the juxtaposition of two ideas or images, separated by a ‘cutting word’ (“kireji”). You may also wish to include a seasonal reference (“kigo”), to write in three short lines, and to focus on nature, but none of these are as important as the contrast between two ideas. In the below examples, I have marked the two contrasting sections in bold and italics, while the seasonal reference is underlined. The Haiku Foundation has an excellent guide on writing Haiku in English, which dispels many myths. However you go about this, try to avoid any unnecessary words or repetition. Instead of “It was a hot summer’s day” try “A summer day” or better just “Summer:”.
After an Affair
he watches my gauze dress
blowing on the line.
of tiny Royals
dance beneath the surface,
their glass crowns erupting from the