The Poetry Sisters challenge for this month was to write a ghazal. Challenge is the right word! I had a bit of a head start because the Inklings wrote ghazals back in 2021 and I had both the experience of juggling all the rules of ghazals AND an abandoned draft to work with. Good thing, because all the other drafts I started in the past week or so came to absolutely nothing…for now! Maybe the next time I tackle ghazals, one of those drafts will be just what I need!
In June, we will be writing in response to a quote. Pick your favorite and join us!
The urge to skip this month’s Poetry Sisters challenge was strong. I went to last Sunday’s zoom meeting with an idea for a way to come to this challenge through the back door. I was also hoping for a Cliffs Notes version of The Style of Neruda that could help me on my way, or, at the very least, provide content for my cheat. I got both.
Happy Almost the End of National Poetry Month! All of my cheritas can be found at Poetrepository. So that I can catch up reading YOUR projects, I declare May to be Read What Everyone Else Did for NPM Month!
Back when I issued my challenge to the Inklings, I thought my Poetry Month project would be Dictionary Hopscotch — I would randomly choose 4 words from different spots in the dictionary and then use at least 3 of them in a poem.
So I challenged my fellow Inklings to use 3 of these 4 randomly chosen words in a poem: knuckle, denial, turn, cautious.
It’s a Poetry Quadfecta this week! It’s the last Friday of the month which means it is time for the Poetry Sisters’ challenge AND it’s the last day of March which means it’s National Poetry Month Eve AND the Poetry Friday roundup is here PLUS the 2023 Progressive Poem will launch right here tomorrow morning! (See sidebar for links to the rest of the lines/month.)
Let’s start off with my poem for the Poetry Sisters’ challenge. This month, we wrote etherees, a poetry form that begins with one syllable in the first line and continues growing each line by a syllable until the tenth line has ten syllables. Additionally, we tried to stick to our year-long theme of transformation. I’m using my etheree to announce my Poetry Month project.
I wrote my etheree to announce my National Poetry Month project, which will be a month of cheritas.
This year, my National Poetry Month project will feature the cherita form. At the website The Cherita, the form is defined thus: “Cherita is the Malay word for story or tale. A cherita consists of a single stanza of a one-line verse, followed by a two-line verse, and then finishing with a three-line verse…The cherita tells a story.” Like last year, I will be publishing my poems daily at Poetrepository and crossposting here each Friday for Poetry Friday.
And now, for your poems! Click to add your link to the roundup:
Remember that time when you had your poem ready to go weeks ahead of time, but when you got ready to post, you double-checked the definition of “anaphora” and realized that your poem was an excellent example of repetition, but not at all a poem demonstrating anaphora? Yeah, me too.
What can you do except create a flash draft definito to clarify in your mind the difference between repetition and anaphora?!?
Margaret gave the Inklings our challenge this month. Here’s how the rest of the crew wrote using anaphora:
Outside the Dayton Art Institute stands “Pathway,” by John Safer, always reaching skyward with energy and beauty, and looking different in every season and from every angle. It draws the eye up and the mind in.
Here is a closeup I took on one visit last year:
The lower part seems to blur the sharp architecture of the building, while the upper part seems almost transparent. Here’s where that combination took my imagination:
Fitting for the Poetry Sisters’ yearlong theme of transformation, this poem commemorates the twenty-fifth anniversary of my breast cancer diagnosis/surgery/chemo/radiation year.
Next month, the Poetry Sisters are writing etherees. This ten-line form begins with a single syllable, and each line expands by one syllable until the tenth line has ten. We’re continuing with our 2023 theme of transformation, but how you interpret that topically is up to you.
…a time when you felt so consumed with the act of making something that you lost all sense of time, and your mind seemed to clear? What allowed you to enter this mindful creative space?
I wrote a draft about embroidery (no surprise), which makes a fine companion to Catherine’s knitting poem. But I also lose myself when I’m baking, especially when I knead the dough. The recipe I use for white bread is my paternal grandmother’s, and I feel a visceral connection to her and all my other bread-baking ancestors when I’m kneading.
Here’s how the rest of the crew met Catherine’s challenge:
This month, the Poetry Sisters wrote Cascade poems that perhaps address our year-long theme of “Transformation.” The form is cookie-cutter easy, but evocative-images hard. I wrote plenty of the first kind before I found the first stanza of this draft in my notebook jottings on January 2.
Heidi gave the Inklings our January challenge: “Write a poem which weighs the pros and cons of #change. For extra fun, use any form, but consider starting in one form and gradually transitioning in the course of the poem to a quite different form.” Oof. Not a small challenge to tackle in the midst of the holidays, and other assorted moves, births of grandchildren, and COVID episodes (none of these mine).
This past Monday on our Zoom, sensing (hoping) that we were all slightly poem-less, I changed up the challenge and suggested an Exquisite Corpse Poem. One line would be written and sent to the next poet via private chat, who would send only her line to the next poet, and so on until we had, if not a poem, then at least some words to use as seeds to grow a poem.
Here’s what we wound up with:
Leaves on the forest floor understand and submit Submit without challenging the direction of the wind to wander and wind along our way the wind unwinds us day by day, shifting clouds, shining light or casting shadows Where steps and stones still lie.
Eight drafts later, I offer this:
Our planet’s slow, interconnected natural changes are sharply contrasted by the selfishly rapid changes humans have caused, presumably to benefit our species, but which in reality are destroying our home.
Here’s how the rest of the crew met Heidi’s CHANGE challenge and/or CHANGED the lines we began with on Monday to make a new poem: