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Category Archives: Summer

Poem Tryouts: Some Things Never Grow Old

2:34 p.m. — San Antonio

No time to listen, but hold this space.

Hi, everyone. I don’t want to say I forgot I had a post to write today; more like, it didn’t appear through the fog until now. Another image, to start us.

Insomnia and the Poet

Insomnia and the Poet

Ignore the title, although it’s why I picked the image, originally. That and the blowing bubbles. Some things never lose the magic they held for us in childhood. For me, it’s blowing bubbles and Crayola crayons. List the things which for you still hold that childhood magic, when you see them. Your poem can focus on an item, itself, and something you want to say about it, or you can write about its magic.

I am missing all of you, but still won’t be able to come around and comment. Any free time is spent in a rather zombified state… although, I may try to come around right now and read last week’s. A plan.

See you next Tuesday for our next prompt.

Happy writing, all.

 

 

 
13 Comments

Posted by on 28/07/2015 in exercises, poems, poetry, Summer

 

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Poem Tryouts: Picture This

6:55 a.m. — San Antonio

listening to Bach

Hi everyone. I hope your summer (winter) goes well and that families are storing enough together time to be looking forward to summer’s end. We are more or less moved in, although our stuff doesn’t arrive until next week. We have hired a storage unit for the nonce. We are also moving my mother this week, so I am going to give you an image today, and probably next week, to make my life easier. Alright, fine, because my brain has not kicked into gear, yet.

dali city of drawers

City of Drawers by Dali

This image fascinates me. I saved it, originally for the dream images, but let’s not limit ourselves. If you have an immediate idea, go for it. Otherwise, peruse the image from bottom left to top right, jotting notes on what you see (not what you think). Go over it one more time. Look at your notes and start adding what you think, as an idea for a poem.

I will try to get around to reading, but life is still a little upheaved. I will see you next Tuesday for another prompt and hopefully, be able to return to our regular schedule, next week.

Happy writing, all.

 
23 Comments

Posted by on 21/07/2015 in poems, poetry, Summer

 

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Poem Tryouts: Dream the Summer Away

7:41 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to Familia sung by Badi and Clarice Assad with Yo Yo Ma

Hello, everyone. In a summer when I’m on the road more often than not, I pick dreams, about which I know nothing, as my focal topic for prompts? Really? Well, it might be easier than fighting the brain, which insists. It does mean a series of prompts that are not quite as light as my summer prompts usually are. The caveat, as you know, is always that you can read the prompt, shrink with horror at the thinking involved, and adapt like mad.

Curious, I looked up dream’s etymology before creating our first prompt and am so fascinated, that has become the first prompt.

The word ‘dream’ is thought to be derived from (at its earliest) Proto-Germanic, meaning:  deception, illusion, or phantasm, with a side of Old Norse, meaning: ghost or apparition. The Old English definition of dream as something to do with joy, mirth, noisy merriment, and music, comes from a different root, altogether, and is not thought to be a connected word. We can play with that later.

Dreams as we think of them, a series of images or thought passing through our minds when asleep, did not come about until the mid-13th century. Let us leave this one for another time and go back to the original meanings.

Answer, in some form, the question, How are dreams deception, illusion, phantasm, ghost or apparition? There are differences in the meanings, so choose one, or more. The word ‘dream’ does not have to be in the poem.

I am looking forward to seeing what you come up with. I will see you Thursday for links; Friday for the week’s roundup of prompts; and Tuesday for our next dream prompt. I’m off to pack some more, or at least look at stuff.

Happy writing, all.

 
25 Comments

Posted by on 02/06/2015 in exercises, poems, poetry, Summer

 

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Poem Tryouts: Limes

8:14 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to The Simple Blackness by Kip Mazuy

English: Limes at a market.

Limes at a market. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hello, all. I hope you are well, or at least in better mental shape than I. This morning, at six-thirty, I was putting toothpaste on my brush, by the light of the night light, when I noticed, dimly, a white rectangle propped against my water glass. My brain followed this process: White rectangle = envelope, envelope = card, card = … Oh, it’s our anniversary! Yep! I forgot. Not only that, but I hadn’t even started remembering, say a couple of days, or weeks, ago.

You all I remembered. Having a prompt ready I remembered. This is a challenging prompt and I will continue to toss in this challenge until you behave and try it! It’s a fascinating exercise. If it helps, I set it every year for my tenth graders and they came up with such creative poems and work arounds. So, if a tenth grader can do it… (I know, this from a woman who can’t remember her 42nd anniversary)

The prompt itself is simple: Write a poem of four quatrains that contains no adjectives, no adverbs, no similes, and the word ‘lime. This does occasion possible swearing and hair pulling, maybe even drink. That’s okay. Leeway? How about three quatrains is okay and they can be short lines? And, if you are going to rebel, no quatrains, but a single stanza (which you can then divide up… ). The other stuff, uh uh, although I relax somewhat over what comprises an adverb.

I’m going to try one based loosely on my memory of a student’s. I wish I had a copy of the original. It was better:

At the Store

She walked
down one aisle;
he walked
up another.

They crossed
each other;
eyes making contact,
they smiled.

Baskets filled
they came together
at the end,
meeting over limes.

That night,
at her place,
they got to know each other
over Margaritas.

Go to it. I shall maybe start gearing up for Thursdays and Fridays, so don’t be surprised if you see me. Otherwise, next Tuesday, same time, same place, for a prompt based on a comic strip. Start collecting possibilities.

Happy writing, all.

 

 
35 Comments

Posted by on 12/08/2014 in exercises, poetry, Summer

 

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Poem Tryouts: Baby, It’s Cold Outside. No, Really.

11:24 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to my husband coughing — damn allergies (I know. I promised music once back, but I’m fighting with my desktop.)

Hello, everyone. I hope all is well. Me? Rats, rats, rats, rats, rats. Whew! That felt good. My desktop is not speaking to me as far as my blog goes, so I am peering at the screen of my tiny travel laptop. Thanks, Barbara and Misky for your suggestions. When I post this, I’ll log out and work from scratch. Maybe by next Tuesday…

Before anything, if you have not visited last week’s post to read the fruit of that exercise, go! There is some wonderful stuff as a result. Just scroll through looking for the links and ignoring conversations. Then, if you haven’t written your own blazon and are thinking ‘Darn!’ go ahead. Write one. Post it.

Today is a lovely easy prompt. No particular exercising or stretching, unless, of course, you’d like to, hmmm? I want winter, your winter; not necessarily the winter you have [when it happens], but the thing that for you evokes winter. What do you dream of when you think winter? It might be the silence after a snow, fifteen blankets on the bed, cooking stews and soups, or, palm trees — I lived in the tropics for twenty years. We went to London for Christmas break so we could have miserable, cold, wet weather.

If you want, find an image, a photograph or a painting, and use that as your inspiration, giving us the image to see and feel. Sensory detail, people, sensory detail. Have fun making your day, and ours, wintry.

I shall see you next Tuesday for one of my favourite exercises — heh heh heh.

Happy writing, all

 
32 Comments

Posted by on 05/08/2014 in exercises, poetry, Summer

 

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Poem Tryouts: Blazon It!

7:28 a.m. — San Antonio

listening to the neighbour’s lawn mower

Hello everyone. I can’t believe August starts in a couple of days. The downside of summer is upon us. Today, I want us to explore Blazons. It’s an old form (13th c.), originally used to detail the various parts of a woman’s body; a sort of catalogue of her physical attributes. The term is taken from the official, written description of the coat of arms, called the ‘blazon of arms,’ a system to denote colours, placement, and styling by using an economy of words.

What does this mean for us? Imagery like we’ve never done imagery! Let me show you a blazon by Andre Breton:

Free Union

My wife whose hair is a brush fire
Whose thoughts are summer lightning
Whose waist is an hourglass
Whose waist is the waist of an otter caught in the teeth of a tiger
Whose mouth is a bright cockade with the fragrance of a star of the first magnitude
Whose teeth leave prints like the tracks of white mice over snow
Whose tongue is made out of amber and polished glass
Whose tongue is a stabbed wafer
The tongue of a doll with eyes that open and shut
Whose tongue is an incredible stone
My wife whose eyelashes are strokes in the handwriting of a child
Whose eyebrows are nests of swallows
My wife whose temples are the slate of greenhouse roofs
With steam on the windows
My wife whose shoulders are champagne
Are fountains that curl from the heads of dolphins over the ice
My wife whose wrists are matches
Whose fingers are raffles holding the ace of hearts
Whose fingers are fresh cut hay

The speaker has only reached her fingers! For the rest, if you are curious, go here. The blazon needn’t be positive and can be tongue in cheek. Note Shakespeare’s Sonnet 130, where he writes a short blazon listing attributes back handedly [such a rebel, that man].

I see no reason a blazon cannot be written about objects, pets, animals that aren’t pets, pretty much anything that has attributes. The attributes don’t necessarily have to be physical, though those are probably easier to work with. So. Think of someone, or something, List the qualities/aspects of your chosen subject.

To help create images of the more surrealistic kind (should you wish to emulate Breton), consider how each aspect you list affects you sensorily — taste, touch, smell, sight, sound. Let your emotions go.

I look forward to your poems. Blazons fascinate me (I have no idea why). I shall see you again, next Tuesday, for a wintery day.

Happy writing, all.

 
46 Comments

Posted by on 29/07/2014 in exercises, poetry, Summer

 

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Poem Tryouts: Content = Form

8:18 a.m. — San Antonio

listening to a vociferous mourning dove

Hello, all. Surviving? I hope you enjoyed reading the poems posted this past week. I loved reading both the familiar and the new. We might have to have another reading day sometime.

One item of interest, which some of you will have seen on my Facebook wall: Many of you know Sasha Palmer, aka The Happy Amateur. Sasha has just written and submitted to a competition, a short story ‘Born’. The competition is based on fan votes and Sasha is in 1st place. Consider checking the story out and if you enjoy it, rate it.

First go to: booktrack.com [you do not have to sign up, or log in]
Then enter: hughhoweyfanfic in the search box

Sasha’s story is in the top line, Ist, ‘Born’. She also created the sound track. Enjoy!

Now, let me give you something to tussle with and distract you from any summer woes. Today, I want you to try a form you have never written in. I know, but it’s good for you. It’s good for your poetry, too. At its best, form enhances content.

Last week, I gave you two places to look: The Academy of American Poets and Robert Lee Brewer’s list at Writer’s Digest. You may have your own site — in which case, do let us have the link.

Where to start? Pick your topic and then read over some of the forms you haven’t tried to find one whose technique suits your theme. Or, find the form you have been meaning to conquer and figure out a topic that will work well with it. Then, tussle. That’s the fun part.

See you next Tuesday when we shall write a blazon, a form that fascinates me, thus appears each summer. It’s a form I think we can play with beyond its original intention.

I look forward to seeing the forms you choose.

Happy writing, everyone.

 

 
28 Comments

Posted by on 22/07/2014 in exercises, poetry, Summer

 

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