|Poetry: April 29, 2009 Issue [#3024]|
This week: Edited by: Red Writing Hood
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One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 - 1832)
Fight Write: Battling with poetry
Ladies and gentlemen, in this corner—wearing the smoking jacket and carrying the pipe and quill—we have “The Bard,” and in this corner—wearing bunny slippers, silk pajamas and a terrycloth robe—is “The Poetess.”
“Gentleman fight with their mouths, not their fists.” Chinese Proverb
Following the Chinese proverb above, today we will look at a couple of forms that use the “pen is mightier than the sword” theory—although I’d add “Ladies and” to the front of it, since females know how to fight with their mouths, too.
Out of the two forms, this is the more light-hearted example. In this form the object is to make crazy, yet creative, insults with the idea that you are trying to out-do a real or imagined opponent.
It is hard to pinpoint when this type of poem may have originated, but it is believed to have come from the long tradition of African tribesman (Padgett, 91). In fact, “some people think that the highly ritualized Black American form of ‘playing the dozens’—which involves people, usually young men, exchanging insults in a verbal battle, until one can’t think of a come-back for the latest outrageous insult—has its roots in these African insults, which were probably familiar to some of the tribespeople brought to the U.S. as slaves in the eighteenth century” (Padgett, 91).
--Insult someone or something in poetic verse.
--Be creative in your insults.
COULD HAVES or What's The Poet's Choice In All This?
This one is actually more of a genre than a poetry form, and is usually more serious. A simple definition is that it is “an argument in formal verse, usually between abstract qualities” (Williams, 138).
This form is well over a millennium old, but in the 1100’s there were three men (d’Grezzo, da Leutino, and Mostacci) who made it fashionable to write.
--Select a formal verse form (example: Sestina, terzanelle, sonnet, etc.).
--Do not create this in free verse.
COULD HAVES or What's The Poet's Choice In All This?
--Which formal verse chosen.
--Rhyme, meter, etc. will all be determined by the formal form chosen for the poem.
I thought it would be interesting, and certainly an extension of the form, to select a formal verse form that traditionally used for a certain subject matter, and then to argue something that falls into that subject area. If you like satire, you might chose to do the exact opposite.
Padgett, Ron. The Teachers & Writers Handbook of Poetic Forms. 2nd. NY: T & W Books, 2000.
Williams, Miller (1986). Patterns of Poetry: An Encyclopedia of Forms. Baton Rouge, Louisiana: Louisiana State University Press.
Theme: Fighting or arguing poetry style (may or may not reflect the forms above).
Have an opinion on what you've read here today? Then send the Editor feedback! Find an item that you think would be perfect for showcasing here? Submit it for consideration in the newsletter!
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RESPONSES to last month's poetry exercise:
Submitted By: Fyn
Submitted Item: "The Wanderer" [E]
Quite a while ago, I believe I had an earlier version of your poetry guide/book in a class i had. The 'assignment' surely seems very familiar to me. The following was the result of that assignment.
That doesn't surprise me at all. The exercises in the book are from poets that also teach, and teachers are notorious for sharing lesson plan ideas.
Recap: I've decided to use The Practice of Poetry: Writing Exercises From Poets Who Teach: ($12.98 from Amazon.Com) in order to hone my skills.
Every month I will share a synopsis of one of the exercises I want to try. If you also try the exercise, please feel free to share it with me and the Poetry newsletter subscribers. If you send me a link to your item, I shall place that link in this section next month.
The exercise I will try this month comes from Part 2, page 37, and is by Roger Mitchell. This exercise is similar to a poetry form called a List Poem. In this exercise you are to write a list of images. By doing this exercise (and why I chose it) you practice getting away from "the sentence and all its rules and proprieties." I think I suffer from this, and I'd like to see if I can refine my most recent poem after doing this exercise. I might even use the images in the poem I want to work on for this exercise. Objective: less prose and more imagery.
Have a question, answer, problem, solution, tip, trick, cheer, jeer, or extra million lying around?
If so, send it through the feedback section at the bottom of this newsletter OR click the little envelope next to my name Red Writing Hood and send it through email.
Comments on last month's newsletter:
Submitted By: ♥ just jess ♥
Submitted Item: "you're my weakness" [ASR]
I'm so glad to see a newsletter on projective poetry! When I first started writing poetry, I thought that everything had to rhyme, and then a year or so ago I discovered free verse, projective verse specifically, and now that's almost the only thing I write. Great newsletter!
Submitted By: cackalacky
RWH! WOW! Thanks so very much for featuring my work in your newsletter! I cannot TELL you how very much it means to me! I absolutely love the newsletter! I was soaking it all up -- LOL -- and came across my own poem! Thanks tremendously! I look forward to reading some of your work soon!
Submitted By: Nonnie
Hi Red Writing Hood, I am very new at sharing poetry I have written with anyone other than my children. As matter of fact it was my eighteen year old son's idea that I further my interest in writing. He took some of my poems to his English teacher who recommended that I join writing.com.
As you can imagine I am like a little kid in a Candy Shoppe. I have no idea where to begin, everything looks interesting and strange to me, but I want to read it all. I crave and welcome any suggestions and plan to visit your newsletter often! Thanks, nonnie09
PS - I have been a wife and mother for 28 years! It has been at least 25 years since I have taken classes of any kind! I feel a little like a dinosaur in the group!
I understand some of where you are coming from Nonnie. I went back to school 4 years ago when my youngest started pre-school. It has been the best thing for me. I am amazed at the amount of things that I had no idea that I didn't know about or enough about. Kudos to the English teacher that got you here, because that was my first step--discovering Writing.com Your journey may not include going back to college, like it did for me, however self study will help you tremendously on your writing journey, as well. Have fun in the W.com Candy Store!
To all: thank you again for your wonderful comments and feedback!
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