q is for quires- Poem: Now I Lay Me

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Today’s new word:

quires n. 1. a set of 24 uniform sheets of paper. 2. Bookbinding . a section of printed leaves in proper sequence after folding; gathering.

National Poetry Writing Month prompt:

Yesterday’s poem, Little Bee, is the featured poem on NaPoWriMo today. So exciting. Thank you.

Write an abecedarian poem – a poem in which the word choice follows the words/order of the alphabet. You could write a very strict abecedarian poem, in which there are twenty-six words in alphabetical order, or you could write one in which each line begins with a word that follows the order of the alphabet. This is a prompt that lends itself well to a certain playfulness.

Writer’s Digest April PAD (poem a day) challenge:

Write a license poem.

My poem

Now I lay me

acidic
bile building
calcium can’t conquer
dull drunks don’t drown
effervescent ellipses emit
fidgety film
gross
heart hurting
illicit illness insists
jerking jolting jarring jog
killing kiln kicks
license lost
morning
never new
obsess over oddities
plentiful patience, peeking peepers
quires quell quips
ruin reams
sleep
tortured tether
under urban upper-crust
vaulting value vanishes virtues
wintered wandering wonderment
x-ray xenomorph
yawn
zzz

Reading

Today’s poetry book for inspiration is A Trio of Tolerable Tales by Margaret Atwood.

Happy Reading and Writing!

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P is for perfidy- Poem: Little Bee

little bee

Today’s new word:

perfidy n. 1. deliberate breach of faith or trust; faithlessness; treachery. 2. an act or instance of faithlessness or treachery.

National Poetry Writing Month prompt:

Write an elegy of your own, one in which the abstraction of sadness is communicated not through abstract words, but physical detail.

This prompt is quite timely. Yesterday, I finished up Billy Collins’s Masterclass and there was a lovely section where he and Marie Howe discussed their elegy poems. Mr. Collins’s was “Death of a hat” and Ms. Howe’s was “What the Living Do.” When Ms. Howe finished reading her poem, I got that great WOW feeling. I can’t wait to go back and listen again, and read it when my hold gets to my library.

Writer’s Digest April PAD (poem a day) challenge:

Take the phrase “Little (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then write your poem.

My poem

Little Bee

Floating
barely a breeze
slight current moving us mountainward
the wake of a boat passing
jostles into
a rocking, lulling
deliquesce

Then
little bee
your perfidy
How
did you find
my hand?

Breaking
the flow
of a comfortable row
with a piercing
then stinging
then ache

like Sunday
in church
when I finally faced
that she would
never be there
again

I didn’t cry
when you told me
she died
a surprise call
on a sunny
afternoon

There
was a space
where her face
was replaced
reality swiftly and suddenly
stung

I keep
breathing
and flouting
and singing
before
the bee
on a leaf
in this lake

Reading

Today’s poetry book for inspiration is What the Living Do: Poems by Marie Howe.

Happy Reading and Writing!

O is for ostracon – Poem: I Am a Piece

Today’s new word:

ostracon n. a piece of pottery, usually broken off from a vase or other earthenware vessel. In an archaeological or epigraphical context, ostraca refer to sherds or even small pieces of stone that have writing scratched into them. Usually these are considered to have been broken off before the writing was added; ancient people used the cheap, plentiful and durable broken pieces of pottery around them as convenient places to place writing for a wide variety of purposes, mostly very short inscriptions, but in some cases surprisingly long. -from Wikipedia

In ancient Greece ostraca were used to vote which citizens should be ostracized.

National Poetry Writing Month prompt:

Write a poem that similarly presents a scene from an unusual point of view. Perhaps you could write a poem that presents Sir Isaac Newton’s discovery from the perspective of the apple. Or the shootout at the OK Corral from the viewpoint of a passing vulture. Or maybe it could be something as everyday as a rainstorm, as experienced by a raindrop.

Writer’s Digest April PAD (poem a day) challenge:

Write a reason poem. If this prompt seems unreasonable, just remember all the reasons you write poetry or enjoy cooking, dancing, singing, etc. Or provide a reasoned argument for your lack of reason. Only you know your reasons.

My poem

I Am a Piece

I am a piece, an ostracon
I am not broken
I am whole and of the whole
I am unique in size, shape and site
I am your surface, your history,
your judgement

I will not return to the whole
I will bare a name, carved, scarred into me
I will hold its weight upon me immemorial
I will be counted among the other ostraca
I will grow in number and strength, deciding
your fate

I have heard the reasons:
I have been abundant and plentiful
I have been accessible and pliable
I have no other useful purpose, but
I have lasted through time and space to witness
your erosion

Reading

This month, I bought myself a very rewarding birthday gift: a year of access to Masterclass. I love it! I’ve already enjoyed about half of Neil Gaiman’s class and Margaret Atwood’s class. The classes come with beautiful, unique workbooks and videos about the craft from the authors. It’s wonderful.

Yesterday, they added a poetry class by Billy Collins. Though I was not familiar with his work, in the introduction video he showed a lovely sense of humor, so I dove right in.

To my great joy, my library system had a couple of Mr. Collins’s collections for immediate access as ebooks and one as an audiobook and a performance of Mr. Collins reading his poems on audio as well. Needless to say. This week’s inspirational reading will be Billy Collins heavy.

Today’s poetry book for inspiration is Horoscopes for the Dead: Poems by Billy Collins.

Happy Reading and Writing!

A is for Agita- Poem: How to take a picture of the mountain in the morning

the mountain in the morning

Today’s new word:

agita n. 1. heartburn; indigestion 2. agitation; anxiety

National Poetry Writing Month prompt:

Write a poem that provides the reader with instructions on how to do something.

Writer’s Digest April PAD (poem a day) challenge:

Write a morning poem

My poem

How to take a picture of the mountain in the morning

Imbibe the pink hue on the air
Imagine its reflection off of the glaciered peaks
Rush downstairs and scour the regular places
Race back upstairs and inspect the most recent surfaces
Retrace your hurry downstairs, instrument in hand,
out the glass door, startling the birds at the feeder
Dart across the freshly cut grass, your naked toes
collecting cuttings wet with ice-cold dew
Ignore the agita of your stirred morning coffee,
rumbling in your blackened bowels
Steady your arms, your eyes, and your breath
Select the detail that will capture what is left
of the beauty you missed in your flailing
Push the button
Adjust your view
Push it again

Reading

Today’s poetry book for inspiration is The Best American Poetry 2015 (The Best American Poetry series) with guest editor Sherman Alexie.

 

Happy Reading and Writing!

Poetry and The Fiction Writer

Pictures of books I recently read as a poetry study

Discovering The Art Of series and further study

The collection of books pictured above was inspired by discovering The Art of series at my local library. The Art of discusses different aspects of writing with examples from a great variety of texts. I wanted to learn more about the authors who wrote the series, so I picked up their poetry and essays as well. I’m glad I did. This group of books :intelligent discussion, imparted wisdom and beautiful poetry.

But I’m a fiction writer, why spend time with poetry and poets?

Words are a writer’s tools and poets have to use words in the most efficient manner for maximum emotional effect.

Ellen Bryant Voigt

The Art of Syntax: Rhythm of Thought, Rhythm of Song

Rhythm is what makes Ms. Voigt’s poems so amazing. Her contribution to The Art Of series is my favorite of the bunch. I learned some interesting vocabulary specific to the rhythm of words:

enjambment – the running on of the thought from one line, couplet, or stanza to the next without a syntactical break.

trochee – a foot of two syllables, a long followed by a short in quantitative meter, or a stressed followed by an unstressed in accentual meter.

caesura –

1. Prosody. a break, especially a sense pause, usually near the middle of a verse, and marked in scansion by a double vertical line, as in know then thyself presume not God to scan.
2. Classical Prosody. a division made by the ending of a word within a foot, or sometimes at the end of a foot, especially in certain recognized places near the middle of a verse.
3. any break, pause, or interruption.

fricative

palimpsest – a parchment or the like from which writing has been partially or completely erased to make room for another text.

Headwaters: Poems

I loved these poems. Though completely lacking in punctuation, the message is never lost and the rhythm is clear. Her word choice is beautiful. These poems felt like a magical discovery.

Mark Doty

The Art of Description: World into Word

I enjoyed the idea of “the sensorium”–finding the places of sensory overlap and allowing the senses their complexly interactive life.

I also noted that I should read :

Middlemarch by George Eliot and
Resurrection Update: Collected Poems, 1975-1997 by James Galvin

Deep Lane: Poems

These poems take you on walks with the dog and inspections of the garden. They take you there through lovely description and word choice.

Charles Baxter

Charles Baxter is the editor of The Art of series.

The Art of Subtext: Beyond Plot

Full of examples of how subtext is used in fiction.

Burning Down the House: Essays on Fiction

Mr. Baxter’s essays get into his thought process. They let the reader into the flow of a writer mind.

Here I also learned a new word: Pusillanimous – lacking courage and resolution

Brenda Ueland

If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence and Spirit

It felt like serendipity when Charles Baxter started talking about Brenda Ueland’s book because I already had it on my bookshelf. It’s a great book for those times you need a cheerleader, which, as writers, we often do.

I just opened to a random page and found this bit of fun:

Now Blake thought that this creative power should be kept alive in all people for all of their lives. And so do I. Why? Because it is life itself. It is the Spirit. In fact it is the only important thing about us. The rest of us is legs and stomach, materialistic cravings and fears.   –Brenda Ueland

Excited to fill up on some poetry?

Here are some links to poetry sites I enjoy, so you can get your fill while you wait for the books you just ordered from Amazon to arrive  🙂

Poetry Foundation

Poets and Writers

Eunoia Review

Tweetspeak Poetry

Are You Thrilled

Joy Write

Happy Reading and Writing

Don’t be pusillanimous. Get out there and explore!

Who is your favorite poet?

What is your favorite poetry book?

What is your favorite poetry website?