Monday, May 02, 2011

Monday Poetry Stretch - Rhopalic Verse

The last poetry in the classroom entry was a thematic list of books on poetry for kids. In it I included the book Fly With Poetry: An ABC of Poetry, written and illustrated by Avis Harley. I love this book because it often gives me inspiration when I want to try my hand at writing in different forms. This week I want to try rhopalic verse. Here's how Avis defines it.
Rhopalic Verse: (from Greek "rhopalon"--a club which is thicker at one end)
Lines in which each successive word has one syllable more than the one before it.
Here is an example.

Small spiders filigree
the garden greenery
with silken precision. Delicately, definitively,
they network tapestries
that capture
than morning's glorious

Poem ©Avis Harley. All rights reserved.
So, your challenge is to write a rhopalic verse. Leave me a note about your poem and I'll post the results later this week.


  1. Egg

    Egg whitely incubating
    its contents: intricate machinery, imaginary

    We're waiting.

    But nothing emerges.
    Not chicken, rattlesnake,
    owl, swallow, platypus.

    It's simple:
    Eggs matter
    when shattered
    from within
    by pipping, curious, oxygenated
    new earth-kin.

    --Kate Coombs, 2011, all rights reserved

  2. I wrote one of the verses & posted it on my blog: Thanks for so many wonderful recommendations and reviews!

  3. Kate, that's beautiful! I love Avis' poem, too. I've never even heard of this poem. Will try one and be back later to share.

    And I've got to get my hands on a copy of Avis' book. Thanks, Tricia!

  4. Oops, I meant never heard of this form!

    OK, this looked easier than it was, for me, anyway. Here's what I came up with, based on a lovely 15 minutes I just spent lying on our bare deck, warmed (finally) by sun. It all feels pretty forced, though. I don't use many big words, I think. Um. Grunt, grunt--that's me:>) And it got too long. Oh well, still fun to play!

    The Deck in Spring

    Grey, weathered survivor
    of winter, fossilized
    bones, backyard skeleton

    Your secret compartment,
    last summer’s Memorial,
    held July’s thunderstorms
    held August’s sunflowers
    held even September’s disappearing

    safe during December’s
    white, fluffy, beautiful
    safe during exacting January’s
    cold, stinging
    safe during demanding February’s
    old, bitter hollowness

    safe, waiting
    for April

  5. Breakfast

    crisp bacon sizzling
    hot atop mountainous
    egg islands sunnyside
    up, finger sausages,
    toast, apple marmalade,
    juice - orange, unsweetened,
    all eaten happily, irregardless
    of nasty calories.

    Barbara J. Turner

  6. Thanks, Laura! And I agree, this is harder than you would think at first glance. --Kate