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Posts Tagged ‘poetic forms’

SOL #20

SOL #20

Join the roundup with Catherine at Reading to the Core.

Join the roundup with Catherine at Reading to the Core.

This week we talked about form and being innovative and creative with form in Slices of Life and in poetry. We looked at Tara Smith’s call for Classroom Slices in which she shared the poem That was Summer by Marci Ridlon. I had not seen this poem before. I trusted Tara that it would inspire writing.

Have you ever smelled summer?

Sure you have.

Remember that time

when you were tired of running

or doing nothing much

and you were hot

and you flopped right down on the ground?

That was summer. From That was Summer by Marci Ridlon

Today I would like to introduce you to my student, Erin. I wish I could post a picture of her because she is quite adorable. She has long dark hair that accentuates her tan skin (her mother is Filipino.) There is a dimple that appears with every smile, and she smiles a lot. She is small for her age, nine, which only adds to her charm. Erin experimented with two forms this week, the “Remember that time” form and a two voice poem with Spring arguing with Winter.

Spring flowers, Lytes Cary, Somerset  Copyright nick macneill and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Spring flowers, Lytes Cary, Somerset
Copyright nick macneill and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Can you feel spring?                                                               Remember the breeze blowing and you feel you’re flying.
That was Spring.

Remember the time you played catch with your dog,
and he knocked you down in the soft spiky grass?
That was spring.

Remember the wonderful warmth
of the sun on your skin
after the harsh winter.
That was spring.
Erin

Spring
I’m spring here to kick you out.
No one likes you with your cold heart and all.
While i am loved by millions all around the world.

Winter
Ha you wish.
You bring mosquitoes and bees stinging all about.
I kill and make them pout.
I rule all seasons. While  you are a slave.

Spring
Please, you wish.
You give people hatred and make them cry.
While I give them hope and sunshine.

Winter
Oh, really?
You make them happy.
I think that all that sunshine
is going to your head.
Now, be a good girl
and go to bed!
Erin

Can you hear Erin giggle after that last line? She had a boy in class play the part of Spring. He was a good sport about it. In fact, I think anyone in our class would do anything for Erin. You can click on her name under either poem to leave comments just for her.

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Poetry Friday is hosted this week at The Opposite of Indifference with Tabatha Yeats

Poetry Friday is hosted this week at The Opposite of Indifference with Tabatha Yeats

Today, for Poetry Friday, I have a guest post from Sandra Sarr. Sandy is completing her MFA program this summer from the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts, Whidbey Writers Workshop. To hear her talk about this low residency program, I feel her enthusiasm. While working on her MFA, Sandy has been writing a novel, “The Road to Indigo.” (To read about our meeting and my poem for her, click here.) Sandy’s MFA program required that she write in all genres. She wrote this poem while taking a poetry class. I was intrigued by this Terza Rima for a number of reasons. One, I am especially interested in learning about form, and two, I loved diving deep in the ocean with her turtles. And three, Sandy uses our nation’s Poet Laureate, Natasha Trethewey, as a mentor. I have also included Sandy’s commentary about her process. Even though Sandy’s concentration is in fiction, I personally think she is also a wonderful poet.

Green_Sea_Turtle_1

MATINAL OCEANIA
After Natasha Trethewey

SANDRA SARR

Underneath, turtles sweep in threes—
their sea wings caress the deep warm wet
long night fading in day’s dreams.

Out past the pull of tide, newlywed
swimmers shadow angels. Dawn-lit bay
gives way to the abyss where night ones fed.

Shore fades. Two pursue three out way
past breaking waves. One more mile, breathe deep,
clasp hands, sprout wings, turn back, now pray.

Today, this longing—this primal need
to taste what came first—urges a feast
of what drifts out, flows in, floats out, flows free.
–Sandra Sarr, all rights reserved

About the poem:
“Matinal Oceania,” represented Washington State in YARN literary journal’s 2012 National Poetry Month’s project, Crossing Country Line by Line.

In “Matinal Oceania,” sea turtles wing their way through the morning ocean. Newlyweds shadow them into unknown—even dangerous—depths on an ancient primal path in which they innocently pursue their watery origins as a species and their uncertain destiny as a couple.

The tidal waters off the coast of West Maui inspire the poem’s unnamed setting. I choose Natasha Tretheway’s “Vespertina Cognitio” as inspiration for poetic form and go further by adding rhyme in a braided aba, bcb, cdc pattern of end words. “When the rhyme patterns link up, weaving a bracelet of sound across the stanzas, we’re reading terza rima,” writes poet Wendy Bishop in Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Poem. I arrange my terza rima’s stanzas in step-indented format to evoke in the reader a sense of flowing waves reflecting the poem’s subject. (I apologize, in WordPress, I was unable to format the step-indentation.)

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