7:24 a.m. — Atlanta
Happy Valentine’s Day, all. You were perhaps hoping I would ignore this particular theme as you are being swamped by cupids and hearts and red. In a way, I am. I am offering a challenge. I want you to write a love poem without using the word love, or any endearments. You may write to someone, or about the topic.
There’s more. Traditionally, a love poem is written in form. In fact, because love was considered that weighty a matter, that integral a part of life, love poems were, classically, written as sonnets, sonnets being considered the Queen of all forms. For those of you who love writing sonnets, have on. For those who think maybe I’ll try, don’t be constrained by the rules, rather work within them, as Keats will tell you. He wrote a sonnet with fifteen lines, once, and Shakespeare had the occasional eleven syllable line, where needed.
However, we have other forms to choose from. Many of you enjoyed writing idylls. If you think of love as place, metaphorically, you can write a love poem. An etheree, in the direction that unrolls from one to ten, or a double etheree, might be fun. For those who love repetition, a cascade would work, as would the quatern form being introduced by Robert Lee Brewer, on Poetic Asides. There is even a Viking form, you can try, over at Joseph Harker’s Reveries. Now, that might be a lot of fun. You have many forms to choose from… haiku? A haibun might be interesting.
If I still don’t have you, how about writing the poem to something instead of someone; or, make the someone from history, or the movies, or fiction.
If you don’t know where to start on such a vast topic, decide who, or what, you will write to, or about, first; list factors that cause your love, or thoughts on love. Remember to include specific details and sensory imagery, in which to ground the poem and the reader. Decide on format.
Don’t forget to post a link in comments so we can all enjoy the poems written. I am looking forward greatly to what you come up with and hope you have fun coming up with it.
I shall see you Thursday for announcements — send them along if you have any; Friday for the roundup; and next Tuesday, we are back to place.
Happy writing, everyone.