The Poetry Sisters’ challenge for November was to write a recipe poem. I’m cheating just a bit since I’ve had little/no writing time during NCTE and visiting family for this holiday week after NCTE. As it is, I am posting from SFO before I board the redeye back home! This poem can be found in THE POETRY OF US, edited by J. Patrick Lewis.
Greetings from NCTE in Anaheim! I wrote this poem in our session this morning (our being Margaret Simon, Laura Shovan, and me), using as my mentor text Margaret’s I Am poem form which is featured in the lead poem of her book, BAYOU SONG.
This month, Linda (A Word Edgewise) challenged the Inklings to “Find or write a poem in any form of any length for Folktale Week November 14-20, 2022.” I came up with three that are worth sharing.
All three poems came as surprises. The first is the most nonsensical poem of truth I’ve ever written. I think it might have its seeds in Kelly Barnhill’s new book for adults When Women Were Dragons, a book I HIGHLY recommend. The second, though the briefest, was the hardest to get just right (not surprising, actually). And the third? Well, after all the struggle I put into my dansa for last week, I surprised myself by writing another!
Here’s how the rest of the crew met Linda’s challenge:
This month the Poetry Sisters wrote Dansas. This form features an opening quintrain (5 lines) is followed by quatrains (4 lines), with a quintrain rhyme scheme of AbbaA and the quatrain bbaA.
My first drafts were odes to Autumn. Somewhere along the line, my repeating line showed up and the rest just…flowed. Our planet just keeps doing what it’s tilted to do, and all of the changes we’ve made in its/our climate are irreversible. There’s no going back. A hard truth to swallow as we (hopefully, with votes galore) work to put on the brakes and do less damage moving forward.
If you’re inclined to join us, next month we’re creating recipe poems! Your choice of form, length, meter, or topic, but each poem will be an assemblage of elements, using recipe text/cooking instructions to create …something. From a recipe for disaster, to your favorite aperitif, you have a month to craft your creation and serve it forth on November 25th.
Anybody out there addicted to Wordle or Waffle? I assume that more than a few of you who like to play around with words might have climbed aboard one or more of the current word game crazes! That’s why my challenge for the Inklings this month was to write a Wordy 30 Poem. A Wordy 30 is a poem using exactly 30 letters. Each line should have the same number of letters. Each line should use one word. You might have 6 lines with 5 letters in each line (like Wordle), or 5 x 6, 3 x 10, 10 x 3, 15 x 2, 2 x 15, 30 x 1, or (most unlikely) 1 x 30. Here are mine — a 5×6 and a 6×5.
And if you want to join in with the Poetry Sisters’ challenge this month, we’re writing Dansas, described here by Cousin Tanita: Its opening quintrain (5 lines) is followed by quatrains (4 lines), with a quintrain rhyme scheme of AbbaA and the quatrain bbaA. You’ll note that A repeats because the opening line of the first stanza is the final line of every stanza, including the first.
I had planned to let nature take her course with the butterflies this year. I would provide ample milkweed and fennel, and not bring any caterpillars inside to mature and emerge in an artificial environment. Caterpillar after caterpillar was sighted…then disappeared. We had more than the usual number of bluejays at our feeder. Was I unwittingly providing them with caterpillar snacks? Guilt took over. The next two (and as it turns out, the last two) monarch caterpillars I found came inside and were raised successfully to adulthood. I’ve lost count of the number of black swallowtails we’ve raised to adulthood, but there are currently six chrysalises that will overwinter in our garage and be the first to emerge in the spring. The world is right again.
The Poetry Sisters’ challenge this month was to write a definito — 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. I collected several juicy words from the Merriam-Webster word-a-day emails I get: assiduous, perspicacious, and effulgence. They all go together in a fun way when it comes to raising monarchs: it takes assiduous care and a perspicacious eye to fully appreciate the effulgence of the gold-spangled monarch chrysalis.