The topic for the Poetry Sisters’ December Challenge was Box. We met to write and brainstorm on Boxing Day, after opening a few boxes on Christmas. Box is such a rich topic: boxes of chocolate, thinking outside the box, boxes of family heirlooms in the basement, feeling boxed in. They constrain and contain, have sides, edges, vertices, volume (we study them in math). They store ashes for interment and prisoners for internment. Flat ones are glowing digital screens. And there are windows, doors, blank notebook pages, the space for a signature, the place to mail a letter. A delivery van is a rolling box filled with boxes in which are boxes…all headed to the building-box known as the food pantry which is a place where those who are boxed in by financial constraints can fill a box and some bellies.
Such a rich topic.
There are also poetry forms that pose as boxes. The 4 x 4 poem is a kind of box, and Lewis Carroll, the avid mathematician, gives us the square poem form.
I combined “thinking outside the box,” my boxes of embroidery floss/threads, and these two forms in my poems. “What next?” is a big question for me as I finish up the year of weekly embroidery mandalas. My 4×4 poem addresses that question, while my square poem reassures me that I will find my way.
This poem was obviously not written about the current bitter Arctic weather, but rather last week’s morning walk in a mild rainy mist. There’s always weather, whether or not we choose to go out walking in it! (I’ll pass today, thank you very much!)
Best wishes for whatever year-end holidays you celebrate! And if you are so moved, how about hosting a Poetry Friday roundup in the new year? The call for hosts is here.
Irene has this week’s roundup at Live Your Poem. Good advice for us all.
It’s that time again. Six months have passed since last we queued up to host the Poetry Friday roundups.
What is the Poetry Friday roundup? A gathering of links to posts featuring original or shared poems, or reviews of poetry books. A carnival of poetry posts. Here is an explanation that Rene LaTulippe shared on her blog, No Water River, and here is an article Susan Thomsen wrote for the Poetry Foundation.
Who can do the Poetry Friday roundup? Anyone who is willing to gather the links in some way, shape, or form (Mr. Linky, “old school” in the comments, or ???) on the Friday of your choice. If you are new to the Poetry Friday community, jump right in, but perhaps choose a date later on so that we can spend some time getting to know each other.
How do you do a Poetry Friday roundup? If you’re not sure, stick around for a couple of weeks and watch…and learn! One thing we’re finding out is that folks who schedule their posts, or who live in a different time zone than you, appreciate it when the roundup post goes live sometime on Thursday.
How do I get the code for the PF Roundup Schedule for the sidebar of my blog? You can grab the list from the sidebar here at A(nother) Year of Reading, or I’d be happy to send it to you if you leave me your email address.
Why would I do a Poetry Friday Roundup? Community, community, community. It’s like hosting a poetry party on your blog!
Put your request in the comments and I’ll update the calendar frequently. Feel free to share this post on all the various socials.
Here’s how this poem happened: 1. Molly’s challenge for the Inklings this month was inspired by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater’s recent post in which she invited writers to answer an unasked question. 2. I spent 4.5 days with my brother’s family in CA after NCTE. There, I met my niece and nephew in real life for the first time. Together we played, doodled in our notebooks, snuggled for read aloud, considered square and cubic numbers, explored tide pools, studied a world map, worked in the garden, and climbed to the top of the rope climber at the playground. 3. I found the poem, “Because A Redwood Grove” (by Joe Cottonwood…how fun is that?) on Your Daily Poem. 4. You didn’t ask, but this poem’s the answer to the question of what happened to my heart over the course of those 4.5 days in CA with my brother’s family…with MY family.
Here’s how the rest of the crew met Molly’s challenge:
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.