National Poetry Month has been a blast. I haven't always posted a poem a day, but I've been posting more than one poem on other days, so I'm practically even. I got a bit busy over the last few days, so I have a few to make up. My goal was to write thirty rough drafts of poems in April, and I think I'll make it. Some of the poems are crap (simply no other words to describe 'em); others have a little something in them that works, a phrase or line that may provide a foundation for another poem at a later date. A few contain real promise of becoming good, with some inspired revision. And I knew it when I started -- that a lot of what I would be writing would be crap. But I have been delighted by a few poems that show an inkling of becoming something worthwhile, and if I hadn't been brave enough to write (and publish) crap, the good stuff wouldn't have come along, either. So overall, I'm quite pleased overall with the project. :)
I'm teaching some poetry forms to my little bi-weekly writing class that includes our two middle kids T and J, plus a lovely little neighborly writer, and also to one of the high school students I tutor who finished his MLA research essay and now has some time to be creative and have fun with language now that the big deadlines are over for the year. Yesterday I sat down with this latter student and his mom, and we played around with cinquains, diamante, haiku, tanka, acrostics, and free verse. If you aren't familiar with these forms, you can find definitions and examples of all sorts of poetic forms at this wonderful site: Shadow Poetry. Cinquain and diamante forms are more schoolish exercises -- not really serious poetry but definitely a good way to learn to plug words into a set format.
So here are a few of the poems I wrote with them:
Cinquain:There. Now I am caught up through tomorrow, with only one poem left to write!
excited in his doggie way,
playing, darting through the house
yet adorable while cuddling with me --
chopping, braising, sauteeing
delectable, satisfying, satisfying, sparkling
scrubbing, buffing, mopping
Haiku: At Home
sun streaming on floor,
blurs of motion, flashing shapes --
kids and dog at play.
Tanka: On Writing Poetry
words rush from my pen --
mind stops, blocked, then whirls on.
simile and metaphor
tango with angry faces.
all poems here (c) 2009 Susanne Barrett
I am enjoying this foray into poetry much more than I thought I would, although I must admit that I will be quite glad when rhyming Tweets and Facebook updates are done, especially since I am much more of a free-verse writer than a rhyming, set-form-and-meter kind of poet.