Friday, May 03, 2019

Poetry Sisters Write Dizain

Sara set this month's challenge to write a French Dizain, with bonus points awarded for using the word “square” in the poem. This form consists of one 10-line stanza with 10 syllables per line. The rhyme scheme is a/b/a/b/b/c/c/d/c/d. You can read more about the form at Robert Lee Brewer's site at the Writer's Digest.

I played around with a several topics and wrote three poems, all of which are fair attempts at the form. However, I couldn't get past the calendar and the date, so I decided to write one more poem. You see, my father would have been 93 on Sunday. The tenth anniversary of his death is May 7th, and on the 10th, he and my mother would have celebrated 67 years of marriage. I hate that the beginning of May makes me so downcast, especially because I thought it would be easier by now. It's not. Here's the poem I was inspired to write about my dad. I struggle with titles, so this one is untitled at the moment.

In early May my heart’s a hollow square
a box that holds my memories of you
Time heals all wounds but this cannot repair
Ten years without a father, I’ve made do
despite the dark and sad days I pushed through
I long to call you up, seek your advice
This time I’d listen well, would not think twice
Despite the gruff exterior you cared
I knew your heart, your work, your sacrifice
I’m pained by all you’ve missed and should have shared

Here are two additional poems I wrote while experimenting with this form.

How to Write a Poem
A poem doesn’t need to rhyme they said
it’s all about the heart and words you choose
select the ones that mend a broken thread
or square with all you know or just amuse
then tell the story of your faithful muse
take form and substance over what is new
eschew the window dressing, find a view
translate the human drama into art
dig deep into your soul and tell it true
love letter to the world a splendid start

Welcome to Boot Camp
A military life? They were surprised
It didn’t seem the hill I’d want to climb
The day we all arrived we exercised
our independence for one final time
then changed our clothes and scrubbed the floor of grime
We marched from place to place our corners squared
No matter what we thought we weren’t prepared
They broke us down and built us up again
as iron bonds were formed by hardships shared
they gave us swords but I preferred the pen

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

I also gave Laura's photo poem format a try and posted another dizain to Twitter. Head on over to check out  my math-themed poem.

You can read the pieces written by my Poetry Sisters at the links below. Kelly, Laura, and Andi  are all grappling with life this month, but they'll be back with us soon.
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!


  1. Wow. I think this may be your signature form, Tricia. I'm glad you wrote a fourth one, too. I love how you step us through all that "fills" your hollow heart in May. Achingly real.

  2. Oh, Tricia. That poem for your dad. So beautiful. How proud he'd be...
    And I'm with Sara -- you REALLY get this form. I'm so impressed!

  3. From three parts of your life and your heart, Tricia. It feels like you spoke for many of us who miss our dads. That one is so full of love and missing a part of you.

  4. I agree with what others have said -- you've nailed this form. The one about your dad is especially poignant, and I know what you mean about beginning a new month with sadness instead of anticipation (both my parents died in April so that month will never be the same).

  5. If say the fourth one is the charm, but I agree with our cohort here, all four worked.This form really synced with your brain.

    I also admire your facility with working through feeling... Thank you for sharing yourself.

  6. I like all of these - great job! So sorry about May bringing sadness. As I get older I find there are more and more anniversaries - many happy but also many sad.

  7. Your first poem, about your dad, resonates in my heart. The missing never really stops. It looks like the dizain form would be fun to try. But I fear you make it seem easier than it is.

  8. I love all three! Your first one made tears spring to my eyes. March is my month of anguish--my parents passed a day apart and 23 years apart, but I still find myself longing to share my life with them.

  9. All of your poems are amazing, but your first one resonates deeply for me. There are dates and months that trigger loss no matter how many years pass.

  10. These are all wonderful. The dizain to your father is a beautiful tribute to him and your relationship with him.

  11. Wow! When I first read about this new-to-me form, I thought it sounded incredibly difficult. Your poems make it look easy. All three are fantastic, but I love the How to Write Poem.

  12. You nailed it, Tricia. Loved them all, but that first one is so poignant. It definitely brought a lot of emotions to the surface for me. Thanks for sharing.