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Last Poem for the Big Tent

For its last prompt Big Tent asked us to:

Look over your recently written poem pile with the idea that giving is both noble & fruitful. Find a line or two from a poem and hand them over to the Big Tent community. Give us your favorites. Give us the wonderful lines that just didn’t fit your poem. Give us lines that seemed to come from some strange planet and plopped in your backyard.

Yes. Copy and paste a line or two and leave them in the comments (of this post). Don’t dilly-dally. Get them planted in the comments so folks have lines to pull from!

Then pick a line or two for yourself (from this lovely fecund pile) and write yourself a poem using this/these line(s) as your springboard. (Do give credit to your benefactor in your poem post.)

We used to do this in creative writing and it works well to kickstart something fresh. Here, with a little tweaking for the coherence of the poem, is my response:

Midnight Caught Me

Once I was folded up
and left to collect dust.
Bound in an imperfect form
I can’t recall the content
of those days, until

roots burst forth, fields
of red and yellow rooted
flowers contained
no longer by a shell;
not so silently from

the valley, a blue updraft
of dust and seeds and wings.
Grey bird turns yellow
when its wings open
and I come to the sound

of my soul singing.

With thanks to Big Tent, Cathy, Mr. Walker, gautami, Dick Jones, Elizabeth J, Henry Clemmons, Julie Jordan Scott, and Elizabeth C. The title is part of one of Joseph Harker’s lines.

Go on over for one last visit to the tent and read others’ efforts.

 
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Posted by on 13/05/2011 in exercises, poetry, writing

 

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Friday Freeforall: Roundup Time

8:11 a.m. — Atlanta

Good day everyone. I don’t know about you, but it has been a particularly tiring week. I’m beginning to think that retired means just that: tired again. Let’s see if we can find some poetry exercises to rejuvenate us.

One piece of sad news from our perspective: The three wonderful ladies who kept the Big Tent going have folded the tent and are no more. They are hoping to focus their efforts on their own work, but collaboratively. We shall miss the circus, but wish them all our best.

We start with The Poetry Tow Truck. Remember that if you like the prompt and want to post a poem in response that you have to be quick about this one, because a new prompt goes up tomorrow. Donna says: We are surrounded by signs everyday, signs that tell us how and when to drive, signs that tell us what and where to consume, and signs that tell us how and what to think.
Head on over to the Tow Truck to find out what Donna would like us to do, to watch a slide show of signs, and to read Donna’s fun poem with some signs she has come across. I listed all the signs from here to Washington D.C. along Highway 85, so I am in good shape for this one.

I’m smiling because the Island is back after being off for April, and I do love to visit the Island. Writer’s Island ends their prompt with : And remember, season can have meanings beyond that of the cyclical calendar periods. Visit the Island to read the first part of the prompt and to see the gorgeous graphic they are using.

Next we have Carry on Tuesday with  the beginning of the poem “Phillida and Coridon” by Nicholas Breton. Visit Carry on Tuesday to read the lines which have to do with the month of May and to link to the whole poem, if you wish to read it.

One single word site this week: Sunday Scribblings which offers us May. Everyone seems a little May mad this month.

And, the first of our image prompts can be found over at Scribble & Scatter. Susan May James has a lovely landscape and a closeup for us to work with. Remember that Susan offers a chance to submit any poems, to accompany the photos in a book that will come out at the end of the year. Head for her site to see the images and read more about the book.

The Big Tent has one final prompt for us and it is, of course, fun. The prompt starts : Look over your recently written poem pile with the idea that giving is both noble & fruitful. Find a line or two from a poem and hand them over to the Big Tent community. Doesn’t that make you want to race over and see what next? I’m going as soon as I leave you all.

And we have Jingle Poetry with Color, Spring and Rainbow with an accompanying video and if you like a look ahead, next week will be Fortresses, Castles, Palaces and Royal Houses . Visit their Poetry Potluck to watch the inspirational videos that always accompany their prompts.

Poets & Writers is in this week with Choose a sentence from a newspaper whose meaning gets larger and stranger when taken out of context. Use it as the first line of a poem. Head over to them to read the rest of the prompt. This kind of prompt can work well as a spur.

Visit Magpie Tales to see the sculpture they have chosen. It could lead to a portrait poem or a story. For those unused to using images, try looking at the picture and without thinking, or making judgments, jot down every single thing you see. Then leave the picture and look at your notes and fill in what isn’t there.

For those who participated in the A to Z challenge and are missing your alphabet, or those who didn’t participate but enjoy this site, visit ABC Wednesday, even if it’s just to read their alliterative intro. Here is part of it: As swift as QUICKSILVER, no QUESTION about it, the week has turned, so QED, it’s time to QUEST for the letter Q.

I love the combination of words over at Three Word Wednesday this week: brandish, forbid and manage. You will need to visit them for the definitions because they use a particularly good dictionary and I find that often takes the prompt in unusual directions.

The prompt for We Write Poems takes a different direction this week. We are told This time we’d like you to be the source and seed for a poem writing prompt. Head over to find out where this one is going.

That’s it for this week. Now get out there and write. If you know anyone who would enjoy these, click on the buttons below.

Have a wonderful weekend. I shall see you Tuesday when we will learn to cascade. Next Thursday, I will be back to words to avoid. Gird yourselves. And, we all know what happens on Fridays.

Happy writing everyone.

 
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Posted by on 13/05/2011 in exercises, poetry, writing

 

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Friday Freeforall: Roundup Time

9:51 am — Atlanta

Hello all. I’m a little late getting started, but I should probably be easing you into my summer schedule which, because I move a couple of time zones away, will be later for eight weeks. I will warn you when we reach that point.

We are back to our normal listing of the week’s exercises and prompts and will start with The Poetry Tow Truck. Remember that if you like the prompt and want to post a poem in response that you have to be quick about this one, because a new prompt goes up tomorrow. Donna says: If you are reading this, then poetry is probably a part of your life that could not be replaced by anything else. But have you ever told poetry how you feel about it? You know you want to read the rest of that prompt. Head on over to the Tow Truck.

Next we have Carry on Tuesday with a line from Shakespeare: All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players. Visit Carry on Tuesday to get the link and read the line in context, in case your Shakespeare is a little rusty. It’s a fun metaphor to play with and you can use part, or all, or riff off the metaphor.

The first of our single word sites is Sunday Scribblings which offers us cake in honour of the royal wedding. The second is One Single Impression with border. You will want to visit the site to read the accompanying poem.

And, the first of our image prompts can be found over at Scribble & Scatter. Remember that Susan May James offers a chance to submit any poems, to accompany the photos in a book that will come out at the end of the year. Head for her site to see the images and read more about the book.

Yay! Big Tent is back to its usual show. They suggest focusing on revision this week, especially in light of how many people wrote poems during April. But, they wouldn’t be Big Tent without a twist. You will have to visit the big top if you want to know what it is, but you know it will be good.

And we have Jingle Poetry back in the lineup with Doubts, Fears, Inhibitions and Hesitations with an accompanying video and if you like a look ahead, next week will be Color, Spring and Rainbow. Visit their Poetry Potluck to watch the inspirational videos that always accompany their prompts.

Even if you don’t use images as prompts, visit Magpie Tales to see the painting. For those unused to using images, try looking at the picture and without thinking, or making judgments, jot down every single thing you see. Then leave the picture and look at your notes and fill in what isn’t there.

For those who participated in the A to Z challenge and are missing your alphabet, or those who didn’t participate but enjoy this site, visit ABC Wednesday, even if it’s just to read their alliterative intro. Here is part of it: POLITICS! Everywhere here in Canada the talk has been nothing but POLITICS. Monday, May 2nd was our national election and there was a lot of controversy about it. The Liberal and New Democratic PARTIES overthrew the government, forcing an election, and most of the country was horrified. After all, it’s the fourth national election in seven years! Usually, the PRIME MINISTER is in POWER for four years, just like the American PRESIDENT. For more information about our POLITICAL scandal click here.

We have an interesting combination of words over at Three Word Wednesday: grace, jitter, and thin. You will need to visit them for the definitions because they use a particularly good dictionary for their definitions and I find that often takes the prompt in unusual directions.

I love the prompt for We Write Poems [I know: I always love their prompts]. We are asked to try our hand at a cento, one of my favourite things to do. In fact, it is on my list for Tuesday Tryouts in a couple of weeks. Visit the site and try your hand at a cento. If you have as much fun writing one as I do, you won’t mind writing another.

Robert at Poets United is having fun with this week’s prompt. Write about toes, he says. he has a lot more to say about them, but you will need to visit to find out what…and how can you resist? I mean, toes!

Yes, you had forgotten the usual list was that long. And I don’t have a couple because they aren’t back in from April’s madness. But it felt good to visit the usual sites and to share them with you. If you know anyone who would enjoy these, click on the buttons below.

Have a wonderful weekend. I shall see you Tuesday…you will have to come along to find out what we are doing. Next Thursday, I will be carrying out my duties as a Versatile Blogger [that’s right: the break from words to avoid will be a little longer]. And, we all know what happens on Fridays.

Happy writing everyone.

 
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Posted by on 06/05/2011 in exercises, poetry, writing

 

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Friday Freeforall: This Week’s Roundups

8:54 am — Atlanta

Hello everyone. Anyone else get up/stay up to watch the wedding? I feel like I’ve already put in a day. This will be the last abbreviated Friday list, as tomorrow is the last day of NaPoWriMo. I can hear the sighs of relief. I can feel the burned out brains. Did I take part? No. I’m afraid my brain shuts down at the thought. Now, put me in a room with someone who says: “Do this exercise. You have nine minutes,” And I’m there.

I see the Poetry Tow Truck is running, so stop off and try writing a poem where you talk to something (or someone) who is incapable of talking back. Head to the site, both for the rest of the prompt, as well as Donna’s poem in response.

This will be the last week for the Big Tent to give us seven prompts. Here are a few: 1. Write a poem about things in mason jars. 4. Write a poem about what’s at the center. 5. Write a poem about floating. Go to the circus for the other four prompts.

The prompt starts: What are the limits, fences, boundaries you choose to stay behind? Visit We Write Poems to read their suggestions for possible directions.

At Poets United, The Thursday Think Tank asks us to take on monsters: Monsters come in many shapes, forms and oddities. We each have our own fears and monsters. They range from the fairy tale trolls to real tragedies that have affected are lives. Some of us are even our own personal monsters. Go to the site to read the complete prompt. This one intrigues me. I remember my childhood monsters. Come to think of it, my adult ones are similar. Hmmm.

And, that, dear readers, will do us for this week. Tomorrow I will draw the winner for my Big Poetry Giveaway; Monday I will announce the winners in a short post; Tuesday we will learn about ballads; and Thursday I will offer some websites worth visiting.

If you know anyone who would be interested in, or enjoy, any of this, please click one of the buttons below.Have a wonderful weekend and happy writing.

 
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Posted by on 29/04/2011 in exercises, poetry, writing

 

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Friday Freeforall: Prompts Roundup

8:23 am — Atlanta

Hello everyone. I shall try and keep this abbreviated as, not only are people participating in the poem a day, but Passover and Easter share this week and many of you have been, or will be, traveling, or otherwise busy with family.

A reminder that there is only one more week to enter for the big poetry giveaway. Donna Vorreyer has a complete list of participants. If you have not checked it out yet, do so. You might win a book of poetry and it gets sent to you: Free book, no mailing fees. What can be better?

No Poetry Tow Truck this week, but Donna does have a prompt for one of her NaPoWriMo days that she got from Marty McConnell who references it in an interview in Muzzle Magazine. If you go to Donna’s blog you can get the link to the interview and you can see Donna’s poem as a result of this prompt.

Prompt: (stanza 1) tell us what you are not; (stanza 2) say where the light comes from; (stanza 3) give three details about the hardest year of your life; (stanza 4) tell a lie about who you are; (stanza 5) tell us something you remember involving light; (stanza 6) share a good memory; (stanza 7) admit to the lie; (stanza eight) describe an object that exemplifies who/what you are.

In the Big Tent we have a selection as they are participating in NaPoWriMo: 1. Write a poem about escape. 2. Write a poem that uses a pearl of wisdom, or wives tale, as its title. 4. Write a poem in which you have to repeat yourself. I have given you three of the seven, so grab a ticket and head over to the Big Tent for the others.

The prompt for We Write Poems starts: The dynamics of complementary opposites is the very essence of creation. Thus, yin (moon, dark, feminine) must be complemented by yang (sun, light, masculine). With this most elementary pairing, comes life and rebirth. You know you want to see what We Write Poems wants us to do with this. Visit them and find out.

There: I managed to keep it short. Wonder of wonders! I will see you back here Tuesday when we will tackle ballads; and Thursday for more of the words to keep out of our lives. I shall be doing my own drawing of three winners for the big poetry giveaway, next weekend, and will announce the winners in a separate Monday blog. If you think of anyone who would enjoy this, feel free to click on buttons below. Have a good weekend and happy writing.


 
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Posted by on 22/04/2011 in exercises, poetry, writing

 

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Friday Freeforall: Prompts Roundup

9:10 — Atlanta

Hello. Anyone else feel like it has been two weeks crammed into one? Whew! Bring on the weekend. Meanwhile what do we have to entertain us and keep us writing? I think I will be glad to get back to the routine of my usual Friday sites. Hunting for two or three, so that anyone participating in National Poetry Month doesn’t feel overwhelmed by all that is on offer, takes longer. I want those who are not participating to have enough to play with, too.

Let us start with Big Tent, who are giving us seven prompts a week for the month of April. Here are a couple:
2. Write an ode to a thing you love in nature.
3. Write a poem that starts, “It’s not true that ______.”
7. Write a poem in which you pull a small object (toy? animal?) out of your mouth. To read the rest, enter the Big Tent.

At Poets & Writers they ask us to try a fun trick. If you are stuck on the draft of a poem, or you have an old poem you don’t quite know what to do with, write, or print, it out, snip it into lines or small chunks and physically move the lines around. You will be surprised at what a new perspective can do.

The prompt offered at Poets United has many possibilities, maybe even a series. They ask us to contemplate firsts: “a first” in life….like a first kiss, first job, first vacation, or even first husband…lol.  When is the first time you experienced death, love, God, hate, a broken bone, happiness?  Head over to the site for a couple of photographs, a statement by Churchill, and the rest of the prompt.

And, finally [still keeping things short], one of the prompts from Inkseeds, where Jennie asks us to think about talismans: Think back over the times in your life when you’ve put something on or carried something with you “for luck,” or just because having it with you made you feel a little better. Maybe it’s a special piece of jewelry or other adornment. A tumbled gemstone you tuck into your pocket once in a while. Maybe you carry a letter someone wrote to you because it inspires or comforts. Maybe you have a lucky pen you sign contracts or write poems with, or maybe you wear a pair of lucky underwear (or tie, or other article of clothing) to job interviews. Go on over and read the rest of the prompt. She writes particularly well, so her whole blog is worth the visit, and offers plenty of possibilities.

In case you haven’t checked out the Big Poetry Giveaway, or the Poem a Day sites, and would like to, head to my post here. Do share this with anyone who might enjoy it and I will see you Tuesday to learn another form, and Thursday to continue the discussion of words to avoid.

Have a wonderful weekend and Happy Writing.

 
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Posted by on 15/04/2011 in exercises, poetry, writing

 

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Friday Freeforall: Prompts, Poem a Days, and Giveaways

10:19 am — Atlanta

Hello all! I’m running late today. Had a dentist appointment this morning and am now sitting here with numb gums and 800 mg of ibuprofen. I will keep this short, as many people do not need or want to be flooded with exercises this month. I have picked the prompts that are the most interesting, or fun, or have the most possibilities. I will run through the prompts first and then give you links to the happenings around the poetry month sites.

First up is Carry On Tuesday which gives us two clichéd phrases, but I included it because often if we kick off with the cliché and freewrite for a while, we come up with something. Then, you can remove the clichéd phrase unless deliberately including it because it is a cliché. Go on over and take a look and see if something sparks. The blog, as always, includes links to hear or see the phrase in context.

Next, Big Tent Poetry, which, if you were here last week, you will remember is participating in the poem a day by giving us seven prompts each week. Here are the first three for this week: 1. Write about a broken window. 2. Write about something that no longer exists. 3. Write a poem with lungs in it. For the rest, visit the circus.

I don’t always include Poets & Writers, but their post this week is intriguing and fun. They ask us to, Take a cue from Raymond Queneau’s Exercises in Style, which tells a single narrative in ninety-nine ways, and write a poem based on what happened just after you got up this morning. Then use one or more of these filters to revise the poem: I do not include the filters they suggest. To see what they are [you know you are curious, even if you aren’t going to write a poem] visit the site.

How complete do you often feel about the poems you write? We know that’s not likely all black or white, each poem stands on its’ own. And maybe a poem can just be as it is – without a judge or jury speaking up. But how is it for you as a writer? That’s the question here. How do poems “arrive” for you? That’s how We Write Poems starts its prompt. Head over to read the rest. The topic of the how of writing poetry fascinates most poets. Here’s a chance to write about it. I already know I’ll post on this one.

For the month, I have an exciting site for you to visit: Inkseeds. Jennie Paige is posting detailed exercises that explore our personal mythologies. Here is a sample from today’s prompt: Sometimes we are so immersed in the details our personal mythology that our own worldview and story structures become invisible to us, much as a flighted bird doesn’t for a moment consider the air that it moves through. But our personal stories do not evolve in isolation – we are always in the context of the grander scheme, the larger lives of the groups we belong to. Today’s prompt asks us to step back out of ourselves for a while, to notice and to honor the things that we have inherited from those who have gone before us. I encourage you to visit and explore her site. So far we have dealt with water, earth, personae, and dreams.

This is already longer than I had planned, so I shall give you the link to my last Friday’s blog, which contains links for a couple of Poem a Day sites and the links for the Great Poetry Giveaway.

If you know anyone who would be interested in any of this, take a second to click any of the buttons below. I shall see you again Tuesday, for Acrostics Part 2, and next Thursday for the rest of the story on the no no words for writers. Have a wonderful weekend. Happy Writing.

 
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Posted by on 08/04/2011 in exercises, poetry, writing

 

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