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. 


    1. I AM GOBSMACKED. How on earth did you do this???? Tanita was trying this method too, and I haven't been over to hers yet to see what she finished with but wow, Tricia, these are masterful! Go you!

    2. Yeah, count me with Liz---a double phrase acrostic! I particularly love the first one, and the line " she wrote with what felt like
      certainty" because it captures that feeling of drafting so well. And I like the way the second poem grows and grows, expanding as the questions do! Clever....

    3. See, THIS is what I wanted to do - a double phrase acrostic, but I got mired in my topic and couldn't pull it off. This is excellence!! It works better with a shorter phrase, for sure, but you bent this form to your will. Go, you.

    4. Tricia, nice! How DID you do this? A double phrase acrostic. Very cool.

    5. This looks so hard! Your poems amaze me though! Fabulous job!

    6. WOWSER! You are amazing. These are ROCK solid drafts!

    7. Gosh, I found it hard enough to start each line with a word from a phrase, let alone end each one also! These are beautiful!

    8. Wait. A phrase acrostic was too hard, so you did double phrase acrostics? Total insanity. I lovelovelove your second one, especially. The love pours from each word.

    9. I've done a few of these, but not using lines from others--that's a big challenge! I liked watching how you honored Ms. Maya in the first one, and then took possession of her lines for purely your own purposes in the second.

    10. Okay, Trish, you dazzle me with a double acrostic. I worked on my piece for hours that went into another day and yet, you fashioned 2 poem with the double acrostic. Kudos to you. I particularly like poem 2. It sounds like a love poem. My offering is at: