Friday, November 01, 2019

Poetry Sisters Write Villanelles

This month Tanita set the challenge to write a villanelle on a wintry topic. We had the added requirement of including a pair of words (or homonyms thereof) from the following eleven: bleak, draft, gutter, chill, chime, glitter, gust, harsh, rime, nip, thaw.

The villanelle is a nineteen-line poem with two repeating rhymes and two refrains. It is made up of five tercets and a quatrain. The rhyme scheme is aba aba aba aba aba abaa. The 1st and 3rd lines from the first stanza are alternately repeated so that the 1st line becomes the last line in the second stanza, and the 3rd line becomes the last line in the third stanza and so on. The last two lines of the poem are lines 1 and 3 respectively.

As much as I love winter, I tend to get the blues from December through  February. I started thinking about the coming season, the snow projections (more than usual for VA), the prospect of indoor recess, the early placement of Christmas items (before Halloween!), and a number of other ideas. Once I started writing, I realized I'd chosen an odd end word for the "a" rhyme, which made choosing words a bit challenging, but the poem finally came together. Here's what I came up  with.

December's Discontent

December’s onset brings a discontent
a case of blues that lingers into spring
when winter’s snow and chill will not relent

Short days a coda to the heart’s lament
it’s fall’s crisp days to which we madly cling
when December brings a discontent

As autumn turns to winter we resent
the doldrums of the months that clip our wings
when winter’s snow and chill will not relent

The house is bleak, the family in dissent
for cabin fever leads to arguing
December’s onset brings a discontent

Time outdoors brings nothing but torment
as ice and wind assault the cheeks and sting
when winter’s snow and chill will not relent

But we'll hunker by the fire, breathe in its scent
and dream of early thaw and blossoms crowning
December’s onset brings a discontent
when winter’s snow and chill will not relent

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2019. All rights reserved.

You can read the poems written by my poetry sisters at the links below. Kelly and Andi are both on  the mend, so we'll welcome their  return  when  they're both feeling better.
I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by  Tabatha  Yeatts at The  Opposite of Indifference. Happy poetry Friday friends!

Friday, October 04, 2019

Poetry Sisters Write Pastoral Poems

Rebecca set this month's challenge to write a poem in the pastoral mode. We could choose the form and topic, so this one was wide open. Rebecca shared an excerpt from one of my "go to" books on form, The Making of a Poem: A Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms. I also found Poetry 101: What Is a Pastoral Poem? to be particularly helpful. Here is an excerpt:
What is the Purpose of a Pastoral Poem? 
An overriding, defining theme of pastoral poems is the idea of an idealized vision of country life, in which humans live simply and in harmony with nature. Other common themes and motifs that characterize the pastoral mode include:
  • A beautiful, natural setting
  • Shepherds as central characters (who are often used as vehicles for political or religious allegory)
  • Religious allegory in pastoral poetry is aided by the common association between Christianity and shepherds/flocks of sheep
  • The trope of a return to an idealized Golden Age, when humans lived in complete harmony with nature
  • Focus on imagined life in the country, rather than reality
  • The working belief that country life is superior to urban life
It was hard to live up to some of these motifs, but I gave it a shot. I have been scribbling random lines of poetry all over my field notes this week. I'm not sure I have a finished poem, but the idea here is to be brave and share our drafts. Here's mine.

On Retirement In a Tiny House 

In dreams I Marie Kondo my life
pack what remains into a tiny house
built from reclaimed barn wood
and church windows
(indoor plumbing be damned)

I put down roots in my very own Walden
find solitude in a wildflower meadow
just beside a copse of trees
or shallow, vernal pool
a bucolic spot to loiter through the seasons
my only neighbors the birds and wild creatures

No television, phone, or radio to distract
from the serenading of the hooting owl,
chirping cricket, chittering squirrel

I've all the time in the world
to tend a garden
read books
write poems
walk and wander and wonder
grateful and thrilled to be alive

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2019. All rights reserved.

You can read the pieces 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 at Library Matters. Happy poetry Friday friends!

Sunday, September 08, 2019

Poetry Sisters Get Herpetological

Laura set this month's challenge to write a "poem comparing something with a snake — some snake pairing you think has never been done before! 8 lines or less."

Hmmmmm ... my brain has been on overload since I started my sabbatical in earnest 3 weeks ago. I'm going to blame it for my inability to follow the rules in any meaningful way. I did however come up with something that is a close tangent.

What a Herpetologist Sees

That lamp cord, that shoelace,
that bathrobe waist tie,
some pasta just rolled up
jet trails in the sky
Anguiform, serpentine
shapes all around
each place that I look
snakes simply abound

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2019. All rights reserved.

You can read the pieces written by my Poetry Sisters at the links below. Kelly will be back with us next time.
I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected by Sylvia Vardell at Poetry for Children. Happy poetry Friday friends!

Friday, August 23, 2019

Poetry Friday - #DearOneLBH

Today I'm sharing a poem that includes a line from a Lee Bennett Hopkins poem and is inspired by the man himself. He is so very missed.

The line I chose is "He opened the door." It is the first line from the poem entitled Librarian, found in the book School People. Here is that poem.

And here is mine.

Always Opening Doors
He opened the door
to the magic of words
of word play
of metaphor
of poetry
He was pure poetry

He opened the door
for writers of rhythm
writers of rhyme
writers of nature
of space and of time
He was pure poetry

He opened the door
for teachers
for children
for young and for old
for the love of a poem
and the joy that it holds

Lee opened the door

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2019. All rights reserved.


I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater at The Poem Farm. Happy poetry Friday friends!

Saturday, August 03, 2019

Poetry Sisters At It Again with Ekphrastic Poems

This month the challenge was to write to one of three photos Sara shared with us. Here's the photo I chose and a few of the poems I scratched out.

Street Art, along the waterfront, Tel-Aviv
Photo by Sara Lewis Holmes

13 Ways of Learning This Landscape

I.
open your heart
open your mind

II.
rely on all your senses
what do you see?
what do you hear?
what do you smell?

III.
start with the sky
the blue
the white
the spaces in-between

IV.
notice the dark
the light
the rising
the setting
the moon and the sun

V.
lower your eyes
to the horizon
where lines blur

VI.
see what rises
out of the landscape
tall and imposing

VII.
admire flora
and fauna
earth and water

VIII.
take your shoes off
sink your feet in the sand
dip your toes in the water

IX.
shift your view
to what man has made
take it in from
every angle

X.
find structures of
concrete and metal
barbed wire

XI.
look for color
for movement
for light

XII.
find it not among
the buildings
but on their sides

XIII.
birds take wing
street art bringing
hope to life

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2019. All rights reserved.

You can read the pieces 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 by Heidi Mordhorst at my juicy little universe. Happy poetry Friday friends!

Thursday, July 04, 2019

Poetry Friday and Triolets

Welcome! Poetry Friday is here today. It's also the first Friday of the month and that means the Poetry Sisters are sharing poems for a new challenge. This month we were charged with writing triolets with heat as a theme.

A triolet is an 8-line poem that uses only two rhymes throughout. Additionally, the first line is repeated in the fourth and seventh lines, while the second line is repeated in the final line. Because of this, only five different poetic lines are written.  The rhyme scheme for a triolet is ABaAabAB (where capital letters stand for repeated lines).

My poem was inspired by a memory of my grandmother and the realization that I was complaining and just needed to buck up and do my work. While writing it, I was also reminded of a letter my grandmother wrote to my father during the war. (One page is pictured below.)
If you can't read it, the portion at the beginning says:
We are having lots of fun trying to get butter, so far we have had enough, & now Truman says we have to tighten up our belts, so we can feed the other countries, & we are going to have to eat dark bread, so there was a flour scare on & Sat. I went shopping in the Star Market & the people in there it was just like a mad house & no flour.
So, that's a long introduction to my poem, which isn't really about heat, but uses the word.

Grandma Quoted Truman
Grandma quoted Truman in times of trial
"If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen."
Would tell tales of Depression and war, if you'd just sit a while
Grandma quoted Truman in times of trial
Made my worries seem so juvenile
I think of her words when I feel like bitchin'
Grandma quoted Truman in times of trial
"If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen."

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2019. All rights reserved.

You can read the pieces written by my Poetry Sisters at the links below. (I won't be adding them again to the round-up below, so be sure to visit them!)
I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today. I'm rounding things up old-school style, so please leave a comment and I'll add you to the post. Happy poetry Friday all!

***************
Original Poems
At A Journey Through the Pages, Kay shares an original poem entitled Lady Liberty.

Kimberly Hutmacher shares a poem she wrote for a clunker swap (cool idea!). It is entitled Be Changed, Be You.

Molly Hogan shares a "little love song to oatmeal" in her poem entitled Oatmeal.

Linda Baie shares a poem entitled Looking Long. It was inspired by the exhortations of a John Moffitt poem that says "If you would know that thing/You must look at it long."

Michelle Kogan is sharing an acrostic poem for the 4th of July reflecting on American values. She's also sharing "The New Colossus" by Emma Lazarus.

Amy Ludwig VanDerwater is sharing her poem "For A Little While" in the new anthology I Am Someone Else.

Carol Varsalona is reflecting on nature the part it plays in her writing life. She shares some digipoetry and a cherita.

Matt Forrest Esenwine shares a tanka in the form of photo poem. What a lovely window box!

Irene Latham is sharing a number of poems she's written, inspired by LOST WORDS>

Inspired by the word feldgang, Margaret Simon wrote a poem while looking out her kitchen window.

Heidi Mordhorst is cleaning out, going through papers, and sharing some original poems from childhood.

Mary Lee Hahn is showing off her fence beautification project and her poem entitled The Choice is Yours.

Cheriee Weichel is writing about her family history and sharing these inspired poems. Today's poem is entitled Crossing.

Jone MacCulloch is sharing a lovely haiga/haiku.

Poems of Others
Tabatha Yeatts is sharing the poems of Christine Potter and Cambra Koczkur, two poets writing about current events.

Catherine Flynn is honoring her dad and sharing the poem High Flight by John Magee.

Ruth is sharing a lovely collection of thoughts and poems on and by Donald Hall.

Sylvia Vardell is is asking poets to share poems that did not end up in a published collection. One such poem and an interview with Janet Wong are highlighted today.

Little Willow is sharing song lyrics from the Duncan Sheik song She Runs Away.

Poetry Projects and Exchanges
Linda Mitchell is showing off some of the incredible poetry swap goodies she has received.

Talking Poetry and Writing
Michelle Heidenrich Barnes is kicking off a new series of reader highlights. Today she's spotlighting Linda Mitchell, who also set the ditty challenge for the month.

Poetry Books and Other Inspirations
Carol is sharing a review of Kate Messner's middle grade novel, Breakout, where one of the main characters uses mentor poets to write her own poems.

Myra from Gathering Books is sharing thoughts about the collection Standing Female Nude: Poems by Carol Ann Duffy.

Robyn Hood Black shares a link to her artsyletters Summer Letter. There are so many fun things in it. Do stop by for a visit.

Friday, June 07, 2019

Poetry Sisters Write Skinny Poems

Andi set this month's challenge to write a skinny poem. A skinny poem consists of eleven lines. Lines 1 and 11 can be any length and line 11 must use the same words from line 1, thought they can be rearranged.  Lines 2, 6, and 10 must be identical. And finally, what makes this poem skinny, is that fact that all lines except for 1 and 1 (the first and last) my be only ONE WORD LONG. You can learn more about the form at The Skinny Poetry Journal.

This form scared me. Couple that fear with a hellacious work schedule as of late, and that meant I had no poems the afternoon before posting. So, I was poem-less, but promised I'd try my hand at this form. Here are several first drafts of poems I whipped up just in the nick of time.

Skinny 1
A poem is a prayer
a
touchstone
of
truth
a
triumphant
metaphorical
wonder
a
prayer is a poem

Skinny 2
My numbers don't lie
just
forget
the audit
just
trust
my
calculations
just
don't number my lies

Skinny 3
Carefully chosen words
are
poems
stories
psalms
are
epistles
lyrics
speeches
are
words carefully chosen

Skinny 4
Traveling through time:
one
dimensionally
transcendental
TARDIS,
one
Doctor.
We
are
one,
traveling through time.

Poems ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2019. All rights reserved.

You can read the pieces written by my Poetry Sisters at the links below. Liz and Sara hope to have poems in the next week or so. 
I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by Michelle Kogan. Happy poetry Friday friends!