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AnToday, I’d like to challenge you to write a curtal sonnet. This is a variation on the classic 14-line sonnet. The curtal sonnet form was developed by Gerard Manley Hopkins, and he used it for what is probably his most famous poem, “Pied Beauty.” A curtal sonnet has eleven lines, instead of the usual fourteen, and the last line is shorter than the ten that precede it. Here are two other examples of Hopkins’ curtal sonnets: “Ash Boughs,” and “Peace.”
Today I had the pleasure of a drive through the sunny countryside to Ironbridge, for Country Voices with Nick Pearson & Cherry Doyle. It was a brilliant afternoon of poetry.
I arrived home to steal the last bit of sun in the garden. So, once again (as happens throughout NaPo), I come to the prompt a little late.
THINGS I’D RATHER DO THAN WATCH CRICKET is a playful poem investigating the alternatives. Some of my favourite suggestions;
I’d rather knit spaghetti with a spoon / Or line up tiny ducks for an inspection /
Why Should I Care About Cryptocurrency? By Katie Staten.
as soon as I read this title – I had a ‘why didn’t I think of that moment’. I thought this poem worked with a superb concept.
all of us
And that ending – *deep exhale*.
Next I enjoyed the featured publication, I spent some time reading around the LEON Literary Review before heading to the poems mentioned in today’s prompt.
Hinge by Meg Stout – which starts with a grandmother before moving on to those questions we may ask of ourselves in deep moments, there is a lot of life exposed in this powerful, driven poem.
washing a dish in the sink
overlooking the suburban marsh
she never visited. Her life a stop sign
I read Lily Greenberg’s To the boy who thinks his body, like a woman, again a poem packed with story.
I have done
what I did not want to do. Someone’s
father is proud, but not yours.
It is another incredibly commanding poem.
I also read What I Learned as a Girl Scout Was How to Play America – which is an angle I had never considered, Another solid poem
Now – the prompt will take some doing and I am not able to tackle it tonight. I read the example poems.
The next day…
I finally tackled the curtal sonnet, after two false starts (subject matter). I took mindfulness activities as my starting point and worked on the 11 lines. My sonnet includes questions, I tend not to write too many questions in my poems, so it always feels a little strange when they come up!
This is the first curtal sonnet I have ever written (love when Napo provides new forms). Some of my poem is okay but I would say I need to write more poems in this form to get a hold of it. A couple of lines, one from each stanza:
feel how they shape your body, where it begins
until there’s nothing but shadow-flux smudge.