The poem I chose to write in the style of, as did a few of my poetry sisters, is entitled Turtle.
by Kay Ryan
Who would be a turtle who could help it?
A barely mobile hard roll, a four-oared helmet,
she can ill afford the chances she must take
in rowing toward the grasses that she eats.
Read and listen to the poem in its entirety.
I had a hard time settling on a subject. I started a poem on the heron, inspired by a morning walk and watching our local heron wade through the mud near some sunning turtles. It didn't go very far. I also tried mongoose, cockroach, and bat. I suppose this was hard for me because I'm fascinated by these animals and don't see too many drawbacks to their design. I finally settled on the naked mole rat. The poem is entirely too didactic, but I enjoyed working on the internal rhyme in the piece. In fact, I ran it through The Wall Street Journal analyzer. (Props to Laura Purdie Salas for sharing this!) Their algorithm breaks words into component sounds and then groups similar-sounding syllables into rhyme families, which are color-coded. You can learn how they did it at How WSJ Used an Algorithm to Analyze ‘Hamilton’ the Musical. Here's what a portion of my poem looks like.
Image licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License.
Who would be a naked mole rat who could help it?
A wrinkled mess with random whiskers
and excess hair between her toes, she does not know
that beauty escapes her. She’s a prime
example that form follows function. Living
a lifetime underground, it’s no wonder
she is built for digging, skilled in
wielding her prominent teeth and snout
to excavate her route. Fate determined
by birth, she labors for her queen.
Keeping chambers clean, finding food,
minding pups, life is busy enough.
Neither mole nor rat, she’s tough
to define, closer relation to the porcupine.
Despite the strangeness she’s
undeterred, unaware of how absurd
her subterranean life is.
Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2016. All rights reserved.
You can read the poems written by my Poetry Seven compatriots at the links below. Andi's not sharing a poem today, but she's always with us in spirit.
The Opposite of Indifference. Happy poetry Friday friends!