Auld Lang Syne

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Aside from the prompts, I am writing

"April is the cruelest month..."

I would disagree. I am cheerful in April, not in any small part due to poetry. I seem to get very TIRED, because as a member of the Poetry Month committee, I have a ton to do. I am also TIRED because this is school board budget season... need I say more? All this aside, it is a cheerful time because things start to appear that were gone or hidden all winter:

chickadees nesting
finches getting sparkly yellow
tulips popping up
buds on bushes and trees
poems flying around everywhere (!)

It is this last part that revs up my psyche! I get very generative in spring. I FEEL like writing, rather than feeling like I OUGHT to be writing. I also get more inspired to read in spring (though I do that all year 'round, spring makes me want to glue a book to my eyeballs so to speak. Right now I am finishing The Weird Sisters. Interesting book, quick and easy read, but with a twist in POV. It seems to be written by one of the sisters (it is a "we" POV) but all three sisters are commented on by this inclusive "we." Hmmmm. I'm also reading Rachel Maddow's book, Drift. Good read, but not entertaining. Serious book. Then there is my constant reading of Richard Wilbur, for pleasure (oh yes!) and as part of my BIG STUDY.

I digress. It is the writing of spring that makes me cheerful. I am poking around in form again, this time the triolet (please pronounce this the French way and not the way one would end the word, toilet) and the Lune, a form that is akin to the haiku.

The triolet is interesting in that it utilizes only two rhymes (an a-rhyme, a b-rhyme) and has two repeating lines. There are only 8 lines total so not much in the way of sustaining these repetends or rhymes. What I have been doing, however, is writing linked triolet, doubles, trebles, and beyond. THIS is a challenge. How so? you ask. What EXACTLY is the triolet? you ask. OK, here you go:

Triolet = 8 lines
line one is the "A" line
line two is the "B" line (both A and B need to be very strong as they are repeated)
line 3 rhymes with A
line 4 is the A line repeated
line 5 rhymes with A
line 6 rhymes with B
line 7 is the A line repeated
line 8 is the B line repeated

If you choose to write a double or treble triolet, there are several ways to go.

You might choose to use the B line from your first as the A line of the second and come up with a new B line.
You might choose to keep the rhymes from the first but come up with entirely new A and B lines.
You might write the second as a partner to the first, linked by theme.
You might contradict the first one completely in the second.

Here is an example from an example I wrote for Maine Poets Society's spring newsletter:

Tryst I

It's the same sky we both see.
It's the same sun overhead
though none of it comes to us for free.
It's the same sky we both see.
I'm on fire. Come lie with me
in the meadow's soft bed.
It's the same sky we both see,
it's the same sun overhead.

Tryst II

I'm on fire. Come to the meadow
and be with me for a day's delight.
No one needs to know.
I'm on fire. Come to the meadow.
Must we be lovers only at night?
Why won't you be my noontime shadow?
I'm on fire. Come to the meadow
and be with me for a day's delight.

This double triolet links one and two by use of I'm on fire. Come ... I like doing this!!! It is fun. But if you think it is easy, think again. You are writing in a very confined space. Your lines need to be crisp, compelling, and concise. Your A and B lines have to be good or the whole thing falls apart. Rhymes need to be good enough to sustain and not seem forced. Loads to think about as you contend with your theme and message.

A treble (triple) triolet is harder yet, for the sustaining principles get more important. But don't be discouraged. I urge you to try one (there will be a prompt for this on Day 8 so here is your chance to practice b4 that comes along!).

I also mentioned herein that I am writing Lunes. Huh? Loons? No, LUNES! What is this? How does one go about writing this form?

This form may be written in one of two ways:

1. 3 lines, without the nature restriction of a haiku, allowing the use of simile and metaphor, along with the use of any other poetic device which has a syllabic pattern of 5-3-5. The idea is that the poem resembles a crescent moon (i.e. a "lune") NO RHYMES

2. 3 lines, without the nature restrictions of a haiku, allowing the use of simile and metaphor, that contains 5 WORDS in the first line, 3 WORDS in the second, and 5 WORDS in the 3rd line. NO RHYMES

BUT.... you might reverse the ways of each to be 3-5-3 AHA! In this manner you would create a crescent that is in the first case right-facing crescent, in the second case left-facing crescent.

Example of a linked lune (which kind is this? In what direction does this crescent face?):

Wind blows hard.
Witch moon's face rises up.
Light flies everywhere.

Light flies everywhere,
sees whatever we are doing.
No sick shadows!

No sick shadows.
Whistle, cry out at will.
Break your fast.

Break your fast:
figs, honey, hot cross buns.
Sweet olive branch.

Sweet olive branch.
Climb hills, swim across rivers.
Braid your hair.

Braid your hair.
Witch moon's face rises up.
Whistle. Cry. Out.

Well, I am writing. This is good. I am inspired to write. This is better.
What's your story for spring?

Day 7

Write a ten-line (minimum) poem about a job you've never had but wanted to have.

Example (I could make this way longer):

Toll Booth, York Exit

The lady in the blue van
puts on eye liner, no time for me
to warn of possible scratched corneas;

A semi-conscious trucker thuds
the rumble strip, wakes up and swears:
Whoa buddy! I want to shout.

Back seat teens fight; mom's white-knuckling
through. Easy Pass won't fix bickering.
I flash her a photo of my six kids, grown now and sane.

Poet-in-residence at the toll booth, I take notes.

Friday, April 6, 2012

April 6, Day 6 of prompts

Write a ten-line poem using one of the two following starters:

The outer gate opened on ____________


The door slammed and she ___________

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Poetry Prompt Day 5

Write a "because " poem. Don't forget the conclusion.

Here is an example:


day follows night
and not the other way,
because dogs chase and sniff,
because sisters borrow everything
and hide their diaries,
because dishes won't wash themselves
and dust gives up glitter in the air,
because pens dry out and paper burns,
every poem I write is lucky magic.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Day 3 Poetry Challenge (yesterday's post)

Make a "net of words" and try to catch a poem in it.

Here is my net of words (feel free to use it):


Day 4 Poem Prompt

Write 10-20 lines about a childhood fear.

Monday, April 2, 2012

April 2 challenge; write and post

Today is Monday, April 2nd.

For today, write 10 lines where you begin (or end) with a line from a song.
If you begin with the song line, end with a piece of advice.
If you end with the song line, start the poem with a piece of advice.

(You might make a note as an epigraph regarding from what song you took the line)

Post on my blog.