One must make a distinction however: when dragged into prominence by half poets, the result is not poetry, nor till the autocrats among us can be “literalists of the imagination”—above insolence and triviality and can present for inspection, imaginary gardens with real toads in them, shall we have it.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Weekend Mini Challenge: A Rainbow of Sonnets

Welcome to the Weekend Mini Challenge with Kim from Writing in North Norfolk.

We haven’t had a sonnet prompt for a while and I recently discovered a beautiful one by Sylvia Townsend Warner, who was born in 1893 and died in 1978. Although she's best known for her historical novels, Warner was also a poet. 
Image result for sylvia townsend warner
Image from Wikipedia
This particular sonnet struck me because of its exploration of the colour blue in the first stanza and the emotions expressed in the shorter second stanza.

‘To no believable blue I turn my eyes’

To no believable blue I turn my eyes
Blinded with sapphire, watchet, gentian,
Shadow on snow, Mediterranean,
Midsummer or midwinter-moonlight skies.
Unstained by sight, unravished by surmise,
And uttering into the void her ban,
Her boast, her being – I know not a man!
Out of all thought the virgin colour flies.

After her, soul! Have in unhaving, peace,
Let thy lacklight lighten upon thee, read
So well thy sentence that it spells release,
Explore thy chain, importune suns to cede
News of thy dark – joyed with thy doom’s increase,
And only by distinction of fetters freed.

Sylvia Townsend Warner

This weekend I would like you to write a NEW sonnet based on a colour of your choice. It could be your favourite colour, a colour that has a special meaning, a seasonal colour – it’s up to you. The challenge is to write it in two stanzas: in the first, explore the colour and in the second, express emotion(s) awakened by the colour. It can be a classic sonnet or a modern sonnet.

Join our rainbow of sonnets by clicking on Mister Linky and filling in your name and url – not forgetting to click the small ‘data’ box. And please remember to read and comment on other toads’ poems – otherwise they’ll be blue.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Fireblossom Friday : Say The Word

English is a funny language. A lot of it came from other languages, and some of those words retain their foreign sound. Some remain foreign and not strictly English at all, but are used much in the manner of "Voila!" Moreover, some of them roll off the tongue very poetically, it seems to me. Even without knowing what they mean, they just sound cool. Add the meaning, and it's pretty much nerd heaven. 

What I want you to do is to take one of the following words and build a poem around it. Don't just jam it in some place where it sticks out like a sore thumb. Make the word you choose central to your poem. I think we may get some interesting results. Write, link, enjoy!

The words:

1. Schadenfreude. (German) The experience of joy, pleasure, or self-satisfaction that comes from the learning of or witnessing the troubles, failures or humiliation of another.

2. Bete Noire. (French) A person or thing that one particularly dislikes. 

3. Sturm Und Drang. (German) Storm and stress.

4, Saudade. (Portuguese) A deep emotional state of nostalgic or profound melancholic longing for an absent something or someone that one loves.

5. Mox Nix. (German) Bastardization of "Es macht nichts", used by American GI's in WWII Europe to mean "It doesn't matter" or "It makes no difference."  Some of them brought the phrase home with them.

6. Fahrvergnugen (German) Driving pleasure. Used in 1990 ads for Volkswagen automobiles. "Say the word!" I got the whole idea for this post from listening to a tape I made of songs off the radio from around 1990. Amid the Howard Jones and Toto songs were ads featuring "Fahrvergnugen" (for VW) and Joe Isuzu, not to mention Tubby's Submarines "No Place For Wimps." So I ran with it.

Form, length, subject? Mox nix, baby. Just get writing. :-)