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Posts Tagged ‘Jericho Brown’

Poetry Friday round-up is with Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference

I have become enamored of the duplex poetry form, a modern take on a ghazal + sonnet + blues poem invented by Jericho Brown, the Pulitzer Prize Poetry Winner for 2020. I’ve read the description in this article over and over, and every time I see something new. In other words, it’s complicated.

Here are the boundaries:

Write a ghazal that is also a sonnet that is also a blues poem of 14 lines, giving each line 9 to 11 syllables.

The first line is echoed in the last line.

The second line of the poem should change our impression of the first line in an unexpected way.

The second line is echoed and becomes the third line.

The fourth line of the poem should change our impression of the third line in an unexpected way.

This continues until the penultimate line becomes the first line of the couplet that leads to the final (and first) line.

For the variations of repeated lines, it is useful to think of the a a’ b scheme of the blues form.   

Jericho Brown

I decided to challenge my writing group, The Sunday Night Swaggers, with the form. Challenges help to get us moving. (I hope my partners aren’t throwing eggs at this blog post.) I enjoyed this process. The repetition with the permission to vary it led to new discoveries.

To see more duplex poems from our group:

Catherine at Reading to the Core

Molly at Nix the Comfort Zone

Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe

Linda at A Word Edgewise

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Poetry Friday: Crossing

Poetry Friday round-up is with my friend and critique partner, Catherine Flynn.

In my school email inbox, I get a weekly poetry lesson from Poets.org. called Teach this Poem. I don’t do these every week because the intended audience is middle and high school, and my students are elementary. But this week the author’s bio drew my attention. Jericho Brown is from Shreveport, Louisiana, a native to our state.

In the lesson, students were to identify a picture from the Library of Congress of the March on Washington. Enough of my students know about MLK, Jr. that they understood what they were seeing. Relating the poem to the march was a stretch for them, however.

Nevertheless, we wrote after Jericho Brown.

The water is one thing, and one thing for miles.
The water is one thing, making this bridge
Built over the water another. Walk it
Early, walk it back when the day goes dim, everyone
Rising just to find a way toward rest again.

Read the rest here.

Jericho Brown, Poets.org

My poem became one of address to Jericho Brown.

We have crossed the line,
that imaginary space between
you and me, a wall covered in vines.
Tearing at the weeds, I find a flower–
morning glory. Help us, Jericho, to see
the flower in the weeds, the flame
inside a rainbow, crossing over
barriers to a place
where we can all leap together.

Margaret Simon, draft 2020

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