Friday, June 02, 2017

Poetry Sisters Write Golden Shovels

The challenge we undertook this month was to write a Golden Shovel poem. This form was invented by Terrance Hayes. Most Golden Shovels are written in homage to Gwendolyn Brooks, though it is possible to write one to another poet's poem. In writing a golden shovel, the writer must first borrow a favorite line or lines from a poem to create their own. The words from this line become the end words of the new poem. You can read more about this form in the Poetry Foundation piece entitled Introduction: The Golden Shovel.

The poem we chose our lines from was Pied Beauty by Gerard Manley Hopkins. I have highlighted the line that comprises the end words I used.

Pied Beauty 
by Gerard Manley Hopkins

Glory be to God for dappled things –  
   For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
      For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
   Landscape plotted and pieced – fold, fallow, and plough; 
      And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
   Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
      With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
                                Praise him.

In December I wrote my first love poem when we wrote ekphrastic poems for an image selected by Andi. It was a complete surprise when that poem went the way it did. When this one went in the same direction, I was befuddled, as I am not particularly romantic or sentimental. Despite this fact, I have a soft spot in my heart for this one. Maybe it's because our 23rd anniversary is on June 4th. In any case, here is my poem.

Love's Beauty
     after Gerard Manley Hopkins

In the landscape
of my heart, you are plotted
like a ship’s course, straight and
true. You are stitched, pieced,
glued, affixed on every fold.
My love will not grow fallow.
You are my yes and
always. Onward, together we will plough.

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2017. All rights reserved.

You can read the poems written by my poetry sisters at the links below. Sara drove to New Mexico with her daughter, so she'll be posting in a few days. Look for her poem after she's had a chance to regroup. We're missing Andi and holding her in our hearts as she deals with the loss of her beloved son. Please keep her in your thoughts, prayers, and hearts as well. 
I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by Buffy Silverman at Buffy's Blog. Happy poetry Friday friends.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Monday Poetry Stretch - Rictameter

Created in 1990 by two cousins, rictameter is a nine line poetry form in which the 1st and last lines are the same. The syllable count is 2/4/6/8/10/8/6/4/2.

You can learn more about this relatively young form at Wikipedia, or read some examples at Shadow Poetry.

I hope you'll join me this week in writing a poem in the form of rictameter. Please share a link to your poem or the poem itself in the comments.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Monday Poetry Stretch On a Tuesday - Abhanga

I don't think I've ever tried a poetic form from India, so I thought this would be a good week to try one. The abhanga is form that originates in Marathi, one of the major languages of India. The form is stanzaic, written in any number of quatrains. Here are the guidelines:

  • stanzas are syllabic, with 6/6/6/4 syllables each
  • lines 2 and 3 are rhymed, with lines 1 and 3 unrhymed (x a a x)
  • internal rhyme is often used

That's it! I hope you'll join me in writing and abhanga this week. Please share a link to your poem or the poem itself in the comments.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Monday Poetry Stretch on a Tuesday

Exams have ended, graduation is over, and summer school has already begun. Apparently, there is no rest for the weary.

I am heartbroken for a friend who has lost her son and have been struggling to find the right words. I suppose in times of loss there are no words that are "right," but hopefully there are words that express the depth of my sorrow for her and the support I am sending across the miles.

Form feels a bit restrictive this week, so I'm thinking poems of love and light would be good. I hope you'll join me in writing this week. Please share a link to your poem or the poem itself in the comments.

Friday, May 05, 2017

Poetry Sisters Write "Things to Do" Poems

The Poetry Sisters are back this month writing "Things to Do" poems. Laura chose this month and gave us the added task of writing to a month or season. When I sat down to brainstorm, I kept thinking about winter in Buffalo, but decided I wanted to write about something a bit more cheery, so I decided to focus on spring. Little did I know that my second round of brainstorming would take me to May and a month that brings me both great joy and great sadness. The poem wrote itself on a run one morning. I actually cut it a bit short to get home and write the words down. It doesn't follow the "rules" at all, but I'm in the midst of grading and graduation and just haven't had time to revisit.

Today, my father would have been 91 years old. On Sunday as the graduates walk across the stage, I'll quietly mark the 8 years since his passing. Then on the 10th, my mother will recall the nearly 57 years they had together, as she marks what would have been their 65th wedding anniversary. I tried to find a picture of them together to share, but couldn't find many because dad was always behind the camera. Here's one I took of them with William from the summer of 2008.

Here's my poem for this month's challenge, offered up today for my dad.

Things to do in May …

Bittersweet this month’s refrain
with joy and laughter, tears and pain

Send graduates into the world
watch April flowers come unfurled

Observe the world with life renewed
as geese and ducks corral their broods

Honor our mothers for all that they do
and those without children who mother us too

Commemorate troops strong and brave
place flags upon their silent graves

Celebrate my father’s birth
mourn his passing from this earth

Before May passes into June
spend some time one afternoon
remembering all that’s good and true
the happy, the sad, the me and you.

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2017. All rights reserved.


You can read the poems written by my poetry sisters at the links below. 
I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by Jama Rattigan at Jama's Alphabet Soup. Happy poetry Friday friends!

Monday, April 24, 2017

NPM 2017 Day Twenty-Four: Dog Music

For National Poetry Month this year I am sharing poetry that celebrates my late sister-in-law and what it means to be human. These daily posts focus on traits that Pam exuded—empathy, kindness, caring, friendship, gentleness and love.

*****
Sometimes when I read a poem or a passage in a book, Pam pops into my head. I'm always startled by these happy occasions to remember her, sometimes feeling as though she's reaching across the ether, reminding me not to forget her. The first time I read this poem, I immediately thought of her and her love for dogs and music. It made me a laugh a bit to think of her singing with a dog, and the dog singing back.

Dog Music 
by Paul Zimmer

Amongst dogs are listeners and singers.
My big dog sang with me so purely,
puckering her ruffled lips into an O,
beginning with small, swallowing sounds
like Coltrane musing, then rising to power
and resonance, gulping air to continue—
her passion and sense of flawless form—
singing not with me, but for the art of dogs.
We joined in many fine songs—"Stardust,"
"Naima," "The Trout," "My Rosary," "Perdido."
She was a great master and died young,
leaving me with unrelieved grief,
her talents known to only a few.

Read the poem in its entirety.


I'll leave you today with this parting shot.
A dog reflects the family life. Whoever saw a frisky dog in a gloomy family, or a sad dog in a happy one? Snarling people have snarling dogs, dangerous people have dangerous ones. ― Arthur Conan Doyle, The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes
Thank you for reading. I hope to see you here again tomorrow.

Monday Poetry Stretch - Shadorma

The shadorma is a Spanish poetic form consisting of six lines (a sestet) written in syllabic form. The syllable count is 3/5/3/3/7/5. A shadorma may consist of one stanza, or an unlimited number of stanzas.

That's it! Easy-peasy, right? I hope you'll join me this week in writing a shadorma. Please share a link to your poem or the poem itself in the comments.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

NPM 2017 Day Twenty-Three: Dog

For National Poetry Month this year I am sharing poetry that celebrates my late sister-in-law and what it means to be human. These daily posts focus on traits that Pam exuded—empathy, kindness, caring, friendship, gentleness and love.

*****
Pam loved animals of all sorts, particularly those that were down on their luck, homeless, helpless, and unloved. Her heart seemed to expand with every new creature she took in. The first dog she took in was Pungo, named for the place where he was found. He was a sweet dog, made more affectionate by all the love heaped upon him.

Dog 
by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

The dog trots freely in the street
and sees reality
and the things he sees
are bigger than himself
and the things he sees
are his reality
Drunks in doorways
Moons on trees
The dog trots freely thru the street
and the things he sees
are smaller than himself

Read the poem in its entirety.

I'll leave you today with this parting shot.
Dogs are our link to paradise. They don't know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring—it was peace. ― Milan Kundera
Thank you for reading. I hope to see you here again tomorrow.