8:20 a.m. — San Antonio
Good day, all. I hope you are well. I am settled in San Antonio for the next couple of weeks, so posts may come out a little later in the day. Depends how quickly I can get my brain going. Hmmm. Maybe another cup of coffee before I continue. Ahhh… Much better. They sell a lovely pecan roast here at the local grocery.
Today we are going to look at a relatively new form, the etheree. The etheree even sounds lovely doesn’t it? The form depends on a syllable count and can be easy or difficult depending. If you only worry about the syllables, the poem is easy. If you want to craft a good poem, you have to worry about line endings and making sure the end words are strong and not something like ‘a’. Then things can be a little trickier.
The poem is ten lines. The first line has one syllable, the second has two, the third has three, and on until the tenth line which has ten. Jim Wilson, whose blog on etherees I will give you a link to later, describes the process as an unfolding, which gave me the idea for my example etheree. As you read an etheree and each line increases by one syllable, the poem does give a feeling of unfolding or opening up.
There are also reverse etherees, where we start with ten syllables in the first line and work down to one syllable in the tenth line. And, the double etheree where we can write a regular etheree and then immediately a reverse etheree. Plenty of room for play. I haven’t tried these two but will because I enjoyed the process of writing the original form.
slowly, with care,
is like unfolding
a map to a new place,
revealing unknown features,
facets of a poem waiting
to be read and reread, exploring
new trails, paths, roads, byways – even new worlds.
You can find a good article on etherees and their history on Jim Wilson’s blog: Shaping Words.
Let me see your etherees. I have been enjoying your poems to past exercises tremendously. Remember to ask questions if you have them. Keep thinking about topics you might want me to talk about on my Thursday Thoughts. Week after this I shall discuss the poetic inversion, a topic offered by Vivienne Blake. This week’s Thursday Thoughts I will share some language links I think you will enjoy. Friday we will have the roundup and next Tuesday’s Tryout will be an open exercise. That’s right. I’m going to let you choose the form.
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Happy playing and writing, everyone.