Friday, July 29, 2022

Poetry Sisters Write Phrase Acrostics to Maya Angelou

This month's challenge was to write a phrase acrostic. Is that even a thing? We chose our phrases from the poem Still I Rise by Maya Angelou. Whew! Talk about a challenge ... I tried to approach this as a "backwards" golden shovel, with the words at the beginning of each line instead of the end. This was a bad analogy for me, as I couldn't get the golden shovel form out of my mind. I wrote several drafts and tried to write someting that reflected the spirit of Angelou's poem, but couldn't seem to make it work. 

Instead, I challenged myself to use not one, but two lines in each poem. After some tinkering, I wrote two poems that include two lines from the Angelou poem, with one forming the beginning words of each line, and the other forming the end words of each line. They need work, but I have solid drafts to play with.

Poem 1
With an open mind and heart, with just
the whisper of an idea, she wrote with what felt like
certainty ... a first draft tinged with hopes
of literary magic, of a perfect twist of phrase like springing
tides ... rising, rising, lifting words on high

Poem 2
Just another day of asking why
like that time he wondered if stars are
moons or could be … he looked at you
and before you could answer you were beset
like moths to a flame with more questions … do all planets dance with
suns and on and on … the incessant chatter and his smile erased the gloom

Poems ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2022. All rights reserved.

I missed our Zoom this week, so I have no idea what my sisters have written or how far off the mark I might be. I can't wait to read them! You can read their pieces at the links below. 

    Would you like to try the next challenge? Next month we are writing Bop poems. You can learn more about this form at Writer's Digest: The Bop. We hope you'll join us. Are you in? Good! You’ve got a month to craft your creation(s), then share your offering with the rest of us on August 26th in a post and/or on social media with the tag #PoetryPals. We look forward to reading your poems! 

    I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by Marcie Clinchum Atkins. Happy poetry Friday friends. 

    Friday, June 24, 2022

    Poetry Sisters Write Byr a Thoddaid

    This month's challenge was to write in the form of Byr a Thoddaid. You can learn more about this form at Writer's Digest. It has a lot going on in terms of rhyme and meter and frankly, looked a bit complicated. Once I got started, it wasn't so bad. The form I used was this suggested option:

    xxxxxxxA
    xxxxxxxA
    xxxxxxxBxc
    xcxxxB

    I was inspired to write to this photo Liz Garton Scanlon took while hiking the West Highland Way.

    Photo by Liz Garton Scanlon, 2022.  

    I couldn't get this sweet image out of my head. Since I have a hard time writing to form without a topic, I decided to focus on these lambs. Here's my poem.

    West Highland Lambs

    Lambing season arrives each spring
    when tender-hearted little things
    roam the Scottish countryside. Rain or shine
    they twine beside the lane

    two undisturbed by those who pass.
    A mother and her bonnie lass
    quietly witness with wonder this pair
    under a sky so fair.

    Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2022. All rights reserved.

    Interestingly, after writing this poem I found a different description of this form that I actually like a bit better. Instead of 3 rhymes, it uses only 2. You can read more about this version at Poetry Magnum Opus. Here is the form they suggest:

    xxxxxxxA
    xxxxxxxA
    xxxxxxxA-xb                 
    xxbxxA

    Needless to say, I decided to try again with this form. Here's a second poem written to the photo of the lambs.

    they followed the West Highland Way
    discovering beauty each day
    mother and daughter under gray skies spied
    in a hide in the hay

    two lambs twined together asleep
    this sight made their open hearts weep
    mother and daughter felt bone-deep wonder
    found oneness with wee sheep

    Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2022. All rights reserved.

    I'm not sure I followed the rules exactly, as the guideline is "the main rhyme appears somewhere near the end of a longer line and the end word is a secondary rhyme... The last syllable is echoed  somewhere in the first half of the next line as secondary rhyme, alliteration, consonance or assonance." I didn't use the same approach in each stanza. In the first the words rhyme (spied/hide). In the second I've used assonance (wonder, oneness). I'm not sure I like this as much as the first, but there are ideas here I like. I'll need to keep playing with this form.

    You can read the pieces written by my Poetry Sisters at the links below. 

      Would you like to try the next challenge? Next month we are writing acrostic phrase poems. Choose any line from the poem "Still I Rise" by Maya Angelou and use each word in the phrase to begin a new line of your poem. We hope you'll join us. Are you in? Good! You’ve got a month to craft your creation(s), then share your offering with the rest of us on July 29th in a post and/or on social media with the tag #PoetryPals. We look forward to reading your poems! 

      I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core. Happy poetry Friday friends. 

      Friday, May 27, 2022

      Poetry Sisters Write to the Theme of String/Thread/Rope/Chain

      This month's challenge was to write a poem using the words or theme of string, thread, rope, and/or chain. I thought a lot about kites and sewing, but none of my ideas really hit the mark. Yesterday I spent a few minutes watching an industrious spider and decided that was what I wanted to write about. 

      Spider Triolet

      They swing and dangle in the air
      spiders spinning webs of string
      patterned with unconscious flair
      They swing and dangle in the air
      perfect traps designed to snare
      insects walking or on the wing
      They swing and dangle in the air
      spiders spinning webs of string

      Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2022. All rights reserved.

      You can read the pieces written by my Poetry Sisters at the links below. 

        Would you like to try the next challenge? Next month we are writing poems in the form of Byr a Thoddaid. You can learn more about this form at Writer's Digest. We hope you'll join us. Are you in? Good! You’ve got a month to craft your creation(s), then share your offering with the rest of us on June 24th in a post and/or on social media with the tag #PoetryPals. We look forward to reading your poems! 

        I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise. Happy poetry Friday friends. 

        Friday, May 06, 2022

        Poetry Friday - More Primary Source Poems

        I'm still working my way through family documents and still writing every day, though not strictly in Japanese poetic forms as I did for this year's National Poetry Month project on poems and primary sources.

        Here are the poems I've written for May 1-6. (Click images to enlarge for a better view of the documents.)

        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. 

        Saturday, April 30, 2022

        NPM 2022 - April 30

        I can't believe it's the last day of April. Where has the month gone? I feel like I have so many more primary sources to share.

        Today's poem is written to a photo of my brother and sister with our Semmelmayer cousins. This was taken Christmas day, 1960, five years before I came along. I missed some awfully good times. 

        This poem is written as a choka. The choka is a Japanese form of unrhymed alternating five and seven syllable lines that ends with an extra seven syllable line. It can be any odd number of lines. You can learn more about this form at Poets Collective.

        Here is a listing of all the poems I've written this month. I've also shared these poems on my Instagram, which is a good place to go to see them altogether. 

        April 1 - Senryu to a photo of my grandmother as a child
        April 2 - Haiku to my mother's recipe
        April 3 - Dodoitsu to a war memento
        April 4 - Choka to my mother's engagement announcement
        April 5 - Gogyohka to the receipt for my mother's engagement ring
        April 6 - Senryu to a student's drawing of my dad
        April 7 - Tanka to a photo of my grandmother and her mother by a car
        April 8 - Dodoitsu to a piece of V-mail from my great uncle 
        April 9 - Senryu to a Christmas card from Paris during the war (1944)
        April 10 - Somonka to a war letter to my father
        April 11 - Dodoitsu to an early family portrait of my mother
        April 12 - Senryu to a photo of WWII nose art 
        April 13 - Senryu to a pair of postage stamps issued in 1934
        April 14 - Somonka to a war letter to my father
        April 15 - Senryu to a photo of my mother as a child 
        April 16 - Senryu to an Easter card my grandmother sent my grandfather
        April 17 - Senryu to an Easter card my grandfather sent my grandmother
        April 18 - Tanka to a First Day Cover celebrating NATO's 10th anniversary (1959)
        April 19 - Somonka to my grandparent's wedding photo 
        April 20 - Dodoitsu to a list my grandfather made of the cars he owned 
        April 21 - Haibun to a newspaper story about a car accident my father was in
        April 22 - Tanka to a newspaper masthead from NAAS Jacksonville (1945) 
        April 23 - Senryu to my grandfather's christening photo (1899)
        April 24 - Senryu to a photo of my father and his parents at the beach (1929)
        April 25 - Senryu to a letter my father's sister sent him during the way (1945)  
        April 26 - Senryu to a button envelop (1950) 
        April 27 - Sedoka to a photo of my grandfather and his twin sister 
        April 28 - Senryu to my dad's navy photo 
        April 29 - Dodoitsu to a family photo (1946)

        Friday, April 29, 2022

        Poetry Friday - Poetry Sisters Write In the Style of Taylor Mali

        This month the challenge was to write in the style of Taylor Mali. If you've ever seen the video What Do Teacher's Make, you know who he is. Mali is largely a spoken word poet. When you read his print poems, they are long and recursive. I wasn't sure I'd be able to pull off a poem like this, so I went to his Writing Exercises page and found a poem on the Rhyme Time Lesson that I thought would be good to emulate. The directions were to use his poem as a model, and then write about "thoughts, memories, fears, joys, and mostly OBJECTS that generally fill your head each day." His model poem is really a list poem. I didn't follow his directions exactly, but I'm not too far off. 

        Insomnia Brain Remembers
        When I can’t sleep at night and my brain won’t shut down
        I feel like a tourist in memory town
        Remembering people, places, and more
        Reliving the bits that will not be ignored
             My grandmother Stohr in her yellow housecoat
             The day I was published for something I wrote
             My father’s wry wit, my mother’s quick laugh
             The first time my son fed a captive giraffe
             The day that my sister packed up and moved out
             The first job after college that filled me with doubt
             The yellow VW owned by my brother
             The last day in June when I lost my mother
             The mountains, Tibet, and the glorious view
             Sundays in church on a hard wooden pew
             The first day of school when I started to teach
             The jar of treats grandma kept high out of reach
             The winter the dog was found caught in a trap
             Charting our trips on an unfolded map
        Try too hard to rest and it all rushes back
        But I’ve lived and been loved, so there’s nothing I lack
             (only sleep!)

        Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2022. All rights reserved.

        You can read the pieces written by my Poetry Sisters at the links below. 

          Would you like to try the next challenge? Next month we are writing poems using the words or theme of string/thread/rope/chain. We hope you'll join us. Are you in? Good! You’ve got a month to craft your creation(s), then share your offering with the rest of us on May 27th in a post and/or on social media with the tag #PoetryPals. We look forward to reading your poems! 

          In addition to today's Poetry Sister collaboration, I'm close to wrapping up my National Poetry Month where I'm writing poems in Japanese poetic forms to primary sources. Today's poem is written to a family photo. I'm also sharing these poems on my Instagram in case you want to see them all in one place. 

          I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by Jone MacCulloch. Happy poetry Friday friends. 

          Poetry Friday: NPM 2022 - Day 29

          Today's poem is written to a photo of my grandparents, great grandmother, and great aunt and uncle. The back of the photo is stamped June 17, 1946. 

          This poem is written as a dodoitsu. I haven't really followed the form too well this time.  While I have followed the pattern (a 4-line poem with a syllable count of 7-7-7-5), I have not focused on "love or work with a comical twist." The post What is a Dodoitsu? contains more information about this Japanese form.

          I hope you'll come back tomorrow and see what new inspiration I've found for a poem. Until then, you may want to read previous poems in this series. I'm also sharing these poems on my Instagram in case you want to see them all in one place. 

          April 1 - Senryu to a photo of my grandmother as a child
          April 2 - Haiku to my mother's recipe
          April 3 - Dodoitsu to a war memento
          April 4 - Choka to my mother's engagement announcement
          April 5 - Gogyohka to the receipt for my mother's engagement ring
          April 6 - Senryu to a student's drawing of my dad
          April 7 - Tanka to a photo of my grandmother and her mother by a car
          April 8 - Dodoitsu to a piece of V-mail from my great uncle 
          April 9 - Senryu to a Christmas card from Paris during the war (1944)
          April 10 - Somonka to a war letter to my father
          April 11 - Dodoitsu to an early family portrait of my mother
          April 12 - Senryu to a photo of WWII nose art 
          April 13 - Senryu to a pair of postage stamps issued in 1934
          April 14 - Somonka to a war letter to my father
          April 15 - Senryu to a photo of my mother as a child 
          April 16 - Senryu to an Easter card my grandmother sent my grandfather
          April 17 - Senryu to an Easter card my grandfather sent my grandmother
          April 18 - Tanka to a First Day Cover celebrating NATO's 10th anniversary (1959)
          April 19 - Somonka to my grandparent's wedding photo 
          April 20 - Dodoitsu to a list my grandfather made of the cars he owned 
          April 21 - Haibun to a newspaper story about a car accident my father was in
          April 22 - Tanka to a newspaper masthead from NAAS Jacksonville (1945) 
          April 23 - Senryu to my grandfather's christening photo (1899)
          April 24 - Senryu to a photo of my father and his parents at the beach (1929)
          April 25 - Senryu to a letter my father's sister sent him during the way (1945)  
          April 26 - Senryu to a button envelop (1950) 
          April 27 - Sedoka to a photo of my grandfather and his twin sister 
          April 28 - Senryu to my dad's navy photo 

          In addition to today's National Poetry Month poem, I'm also in with the poetry sisters challenge to write in the style of Taylor Mali. You can find my poem here.

          I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by Jone MacCulloch. Happy poetry Friday friends. 

          Thursday, April 28, 2022

          NPM 2022 - Day 28

          Today's poem is written to my father's navy photo. I didn't often see him write his full name, so it makes we wonder if my grandmother called him Frederick.

          This poem is written as a senryu. Senryu is a three line poem written in the 5-7-5 form like haiku. While haiku focus on nature, senryu focus on human foibles. You can read more about senryu at How to Write Senryu Poems: Understanding the Senryu Form.

          I hope you'll come back tomorrow and see what new inspiration I've found for a poem. Until then, you may want to read previous poems in this series. I'm also sharing these poems on my Instagram in case you want to see them all in one place. 

          April 1 - Senryu to a photo of my grandmother as a child
          April 2 - Haiku to my mother's recipe
          April 3 - Dodoitsu to a war memento
          April 4 - Choka to my mother's engagement announcement
          April 5 - Gogyohka to the receipt for my mother's engagement ring
          April 6 - Senryu to a student's drawing of my dad
          April 7 - Tanka to a photo of my grandmother and her mother by a car
          April 8 - Dodoitsu to a piece of V-mail from my great uncle 
          April 9 - Senryu to a Christmas card from Paris during the war (1944)
          April 10 - Somonka to a war letter to my father
          April 11 - Dodoitsu to an early family portrait of my mother
          April 12 - Senryu to a photo of WWII nose art 
          April 13 - Senryu to a pair of postage stamps issued in 1934
          April 14 - Somonka to a war letter to my father
          April 15 - Senryu to a photo of my mother as a child 
          April 16 - Senryu to an Easter card my grandmother sent my grandfather
          April 17 - Senryu to an Easter card my grandfather sent my grandmother
          April 18 - Tanka to a First Day Cover celebrating NATO's 10th anniversary (1959)
          April 19 - Somonka to my grandparent's wedding photo 
          April 20 - Dodoitsu to a list my grandfather made of the cars he owned 
          April 21 - Haibun to a newspaper story about a car accident my father was in
          April 22 - Tanka to a newspaper masthead from NAAS Jacksonville (1945) 
          April 23 - Senryu to my grandfather's christening photo (1899)
          April 24 - Senryu to a photo of my father and his parents at the beach (1929)
          April 25 - Senryu to a letter my father's sister sent him during the way (1945)  
          April 26 - Senryu to a button envelop (1950) 
          April 27 - Sedoka to a photo of my grandfather and his twin sister