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Posts Tagged ‘Sunday Poetry Swaggers’

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 round-up is with Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe.

For this first Friday of the month, my Sunday Poetry Swagger group writes together to a shared prompt. This month Linda Mitchell suggested the Poets.org #ShelterinPoems project. I decided to do an “after” poem from poet Barbara Crooker’s April poem that she posted on her Facebook page. I love Barbara’s writing, how it flows beautifully line to line.

BIG LOVE
I’d been traveling and missed this spring’s shy
unfolding. So when I returned, it was as if
a magician had walked around the yard
with a glossy black wand: Pow! Lilacs,
purple, white, wine-colored; scent to rock you
back on your heels. Bam! Dogwoods,
a cotillion of butterflies on bare black branches.
Shazam! Peonies exploding, great bombshells
of fragrance and silk. Tada! A rainbow row
of irises, blossoms shooting from green stalks.
Azaleas! Rhododendrons!. Everywhere I look,
the yard is ready to send its bombs bursting in air.
So push down the plunger! Let every twig and stem
erupt into flowers. Soon, it will be June, and all
of this opulence will be spent confetti littering
the lawn. I’m standing here, slack-jawed
and gob-smacked, shell-shocked into love.
Out by the bird bath, one by one, the poppies
slip their green pods, slowly detonate
into silent flame.
~Barbara Crooker

Bayou Sunset (photo by Margaret Simon)

Backyard Spring

I’ve been sheltering and missed this spring’s green
beginning. So when I walked out, it was as if
Jack had been by with his magical beans: Bada-bing! Cypress
needles feathered like peacocks showing wings; emerald
out of the blue. Bravo! Clover, a-dime-a-dozen flaunting
purple lily-like miniatures. Good heavens! The wisteria vine
drapes around, around. Everywhere I look,
the yard is ready to dance the day away.
So grab your partner! Take a two-step (six feet apart)
and let the green lawn party commence. I’ll invite
the wood ducks, squirrels, and herons. Set up
swing-back camp chairs. Out by the bayou, we’ll watch
the sunset draw orange curtains
into silent flame.

Margaret Simon, after Barbara Crooker
Clover on the lawn (photo by Margaret Simon)

Swagger Group #ShelterinPoems

Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise
Heidi Mordhorst at My Juicy Little Universe
Molly Hogan at Nix the Comfort Zone
Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core

Check in on the Progressive Poem with Jone today.
Poem read aloud on the bayou with ideas for writing your own poem.

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Poetry Friday round-up is with Laura at Writing the World for Kids.

Take a walk with me on this chilly day. The temperature dropped during the day yesterday from a rainy 55 degrees to a frigid 35 degrees with winds close to 20 mph. Bundle up in your winter coat and gloves. Did you bring your wool socks? As we walk past the bayou and along the road, we come to an open field. Watch your step because the ground is uneven here, and you may step in a puddle.

There near the neighboring house is a tree that looks like it may have been struck by lightning. It’s leaning slightly, but oh! It’s bright with pink blossoms. Flowers in winter? I think Japanese magnolia likes to be the first to show off her new spring dress.

My poetry swaggers group had a difficult challenge this month, given by Catherine Flynn. Terza Rima, she suggested, a form none of us had ever tried. But it’s from Dante, she delighted, not knowing yet that we are no Dantes.

Nevertheless, I gave it a shot. The first results lacked greatly. After a few rounds with my writing buddies, they helped me patch it up to present today. A terza rima is not going into my book of forms. This was a tough code to crack. Here’s a link to some confusing helpful guidelines.

A Japanese magnolia takes a chance
on blooming ‘fore the risk of frost is gone
with warming trends alive inside its branch.

Perhaps a passing storm had left it torn
in this winter field alone and gray,
when leaves of life from limbs are yet unborn.

Bold flowers burst bright pink and lift away
a fog; flamboyant beauty flirts for view
when wind blows chill across my path today. 

A Japanese magnolia takes a chance.

Margaret Simon, draft #5

Visit the Poetry Swaggers Sites for more (and better, if you ask me) Terza Rima poems.

Catherine Flynn
Molly Hogan
Linda Mitchell
Heidi Mordhorst

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Poetry Friday round-up is with Carol at Carol’s Corner.

My Sunday Night Poetry Swaggers Group discussed the One Little Word tradition and found that everyone had a slightly different take on whether or not it was a good practice. Heidi challenged us to write about whether or not we word for the first Friday of the month. You can read their posts here:

Catherine
Heidi
Linda
Molly

I’ve been choosing a word each year for 7 years. I enjoy the process of trying to find the one right word to guide my year.

I’m a two on the Enneagram. That means I’m a giver, someone who spends most of their time trying to ingratiate others. The good side of a two is being helpful and selfless. The idea is to get better at being who you are. So I subscribe to an Enneathought of the Day. This came on New Year’s Eve.

Present has been my word before, but it continues to fit because being present is a constant goal. For 2019, my word was Grace. Grace goes beyond presence to actually live with the peace of knowing you are loved.

My word this year was suggested by my son-in-law who knows me pretty well. I wrote about Embrace in my Spiritual Thursday post yesterday.

I joined Michelle Haseltine’s #100DaysofNotebooking challenge and wrote about Embrace in my notebook. This challenge is not only a good way to restart a notebook practice, but it connects me to a new community of writers I can “embrace.”

I also received a serendipitous postcard from Irene Latham. The poem just makes me want to embrace her and embrace writing.

Writing in Winter by Irene Latham

Here is a second draft of my Embrace poem:

Embrace says yes to now,
holding on tight to this one moment
finding a heart full of love.

Embrace is a word of grace,
silently listening, open
for the world to fill.

Embrace is here for you
to welcome, knowing nothing
ever stays the same.

Embrace!

Margaret Simon, draft 2020

Do you choose a word? a resolution?

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The poetry Friday Round up is hosted this week by Tanita at fiction, instead of lies.

Our Sunday night Poetry Swaggers group is posting today with a challenge from Molly Hogan. “This month, I invite you to reinvent the world around you (or one aspect of it) by shifting your lens to see the beauty in what at first seems to be ugly or unnoteworthy.”

Nothing was ugly
just because the world said so.

Naomi Shihab Nye, A Valentine for Ernest Mann

Molly quoted Naomi Shihab Nye who says,
“Maybe if we re-invent whatever our lives give us,
we find poems.” All we need to do is shift our focus a bit to find beauty in the everyday, otherwise passed-over things.

I pass this dilapidated house often, yet after Molly’s prompt, I noticed the beauty of the plants justing up through the floor boards.

There are signs
on the door
fingerprints,
peeling paint.
We’ve been here,
so have they-
gone now
the way of time.

Margaret Simon, draft 2019
Steps to a house in New Orleans. I was struck by the pattern of color in the peeling paint.

The Smell of Morning

Sagging fog, thick on the morning,
captures the scent of my walk.

Someone is running the dryer
blowing Downy air.

Every morning, he smokes a cigar
on his front porch, white rocker, 
booted feet propped on the railing.
He waves and with it comes
a pungent smell of burning wood–a home scent.

Beneath my feet, pine needles crunch
releasing a breath of Christmas.
My mother would gather them
to mulch the flower beds for winter.

As I walk, I practice my deep
yoga breath, in, hold, out, hold,
pausing to savor the ordinary,
extraordinary scents of the day.

Margaret Simon, draft 2019

Be sure to visit the other Swaggers today to enjoy more beauty in the ugly.

Catherine Flynn: Reading to the Core

Heidi Mordhorst: My Juicy Little Universe

Linda Mitchell: A Word Edgewise

Molly Hogan: Nix the Comfort Zone

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

Today is National Author’s Day, and my friend and critique partner Linda Mitchell challenged our writing group, The Sunday Night Swaggers, to write a poem inspired by a favorite author.

When she challenged us, I thought of the most recent book I read Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. According to The New York Times Book Review, this book is “Painfully beautiful…At once a murder mystery, a coming-of-age narrative, and a celebration of nature.”

The poet in me was inspired by her beautiful writing about nature. I turned to a page and gathered words and lines to put together a poem “after Delia Owens.”

Sandbar

How quickly the sea and clouds 
defeat the spring heat,
how the grand sweep of the sea
and sand catch-net the most precious shells.
How its current
designs a sandbar, and another
but never this one again.

She had long known that people don’t stay.
This fiery current
was her heart-tide
releasing love to drift
among seaweed.

How drifting back to the predictable cycles
of tadpoles and the ballet of fireflies,
Nature is the only stone
that does not slip midstream.

Margaret Simon, found poem from Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Read my writing partners’ offerings for National Author’s Day:

Catherine at Reading to the Core
Linda at A Word Edgewise
Molly at Nix the Comfort Zone
Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe

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Poetry Friday round-up is with Sylvia and Janet at Poetry for Children

Our Sunday Night Swagger Writers Group has decided to post poems from a prompt on the first Friday of the month. Last month Heidi Mordhorst challenged us to definito poems. This month Catherine Flynn prompted us to write about a box:

  1. Who was the owner of the box? 
  2. How did what is inside the box transform him or her?

Having acquired some things from my parents’ home this summer, I knew what box I would write about. My grandmother whom I called Nene died when I was young, between 8 and 10. I remember so much about her, her white-white hair, how she sewed beautiful Barbie clothes and even made doll furniture from cardboard, and how she loved butterflies. She had a pinned collection in a shadow box. But that isn’t the box of this poem. I had never seen this box before. It was tucked inside a cardboard box of mementos from my father’s childhood.


This is Her Box

that touched her hands 
so many years ago.
A small brass box
that fits in the palm of my hand. 
What did these things
mean to her?

a tarnished silver spoon,
jeweled pin,
wire-framed butterfly,
silver post earrings–

I put on the charm bracelet;
Grands’ names in birth order
become my connection to her.

All tucked into her box
for me to find 
fifty years later
and remember
her touch.

(draft) Margaret Simon

See other box poems from my writer friends:

Catherine Flynn: Reading to the Core
Molly Hogan: Nix the Comfort Zone
Heidi Mordhorst: My Juicy Little Universe
Linda Mitchell: A Word Edgewise

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Poetry Friday round-up is with Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe.

Today my Sunday Poetry Swagger writing group is celebrating a new form invented by our colleague Heidi Mordhorst, who is hosting the PF link up.

Heidi’s definition of a definito is “a free verse poem of 8-12 lines (aimed at readers 8-12 years old) that highlights wordplay as it demonstrates the meaning of a less common word, which always ends the poem.” A few weeks ago during one of our Sunday night critique meetings, she asked us each to try writing our own definito.

I’ve been following Teach Write on Facebook and each day they post a word to jump start writing. In the month of July, they posted “voracious vocabulary”. One day the word was “zephyr.” This was a new to me word that I thoroughly enjoyed learning about. A definito is a great way to explore a word’s meaning through writing. I will be using this activity with my students this year.

Zephyr

Zero in.
Feel the wind
blow oh, so, slow,
lightly feathering
the sleepy moss,
slightly rippling the shore.
Not a gale or hefty gust,
blustery bora or frigid buster.
This Greek god is a gentle one
waving from the western sky…
easy-breezy  zephyr.
(draft) Margaret Simon

Melanie Wupperman, Pexels.com

Read more definitos at these Poetry Swaggers’ sites:
Catherine Flynn: Reading to the Core
Molly Hogan: Nix the Comfort Zone
Heidi Mordhorst: My Juicy Little Universe
Linda Mitchell: A Word Edgewise

And playing along:
Mary Lee Hahn: A Year of Reading
Laura Purdie Salas: Writing the World for Children

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