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Saturday, March 28, 2015

Sunday Mini Challenge - not a sestina but close

My own picture.


One of the first challenges I ever tried when blogging was to try a sestina. Somehow I believed that the harder a challenge is the better the poet I would be (which I realize it is not). However I did love how it is constructed from mathematical principles. Where the last words are allowed to rotate in an intricate order.

The sestina is as you all know based on repeating the end words according to a specific pattern, that follow an intricate spiral repetition.

I soon realized that sestina are both hard to read (with a few exceptions) and I still wanted to keep it shorter and yet both more readable and writable. Therefore I wanted to carry it through as a less challenging (shorter) form, where the writer is challenged by the repetitiveness of the last words and still create a new unique sense in each line. I started searching and found the triquina that have been featured here before, and searched for the quartina, and found examples that is basically expanding the triquina's simple cycle of words.

I wanted something different that was a "downscaled sestina", and after some thinking I got this way of using the end words instead:

So as you see it has the same repetition as the sestina where the end words are the same in consecutive stanzas.  The poems will turn out to be 18 line poems which is much more manageable than the 39 lines of a sestina. I have tried different meter, but frankly I think it works much better with free verse, so I challenge you to write something really good her.

For anyone not yet familiar with writing the sestina it use the end-words to create the effect. The choice of end-words is not unimportant. A word with different meaning and same pronunciation makes the creation easier. 

Take for example the word fair that can be a noun, adjective or adverb, to that we can add the the use of compound words like unfair and the homonym fare that can be a noun and a verb. As I have not found this form anywhere else I can only share a mediocre poem of my own:

CHEERING AND BELIED WE DRIVE

we’re hunting constantly on overdrive
while we ignore that it’s becoming worse
ignoring truth and hail the one who lied
the one who whispers with a vacant face
the climate change, a truth we cannot face
we prefer the ignorance and be belied
so we can burn the gasoline to drive
while for the polar-bears it now is worse
but though it will for humanity be worse
there’s always reasons for a faster drive
then one day we shall our children face
and tell them that “I knew the truth and lied
my comfort was important when I lied
and when I die it’s you who have to face
the earth’s destroyed by me, for you it’s worse
so join me on this hearse for final drive
down the mountain-face we together drive
when cheering and belied it can’t be worse



Wednesday, March 25, 2015

....An Old Man's Fancy









"When its spring time in Alaska... it's 40 below" or so the song says.  Many of my awesome Toad friends have been feeling the pain this year, waiting for a  lily pad to unfreeze, forearms the size of tree trunks after shoveling so much snow. Waiting and wishing for any day above 30 degrees so that they can take off a layer or two and show off that hot bod born from what a only a hard winter can create.

Herotomost at your service, and while here in in Sunny Phoenix, Arizona, I have no knowledge of these winter trials and tribulations (and I know that some like Kerry have just the opposite this time of year) I want to do what I can to help the rest ease into what I am sure is going to be one of the most anticipated springs in some time.  Hedge is already planting, that's a good sign.

So, for my challenge this week I want you to find a comfortable, quiet spot, tune out the rest of the world, close your eyes and let it all hang out.  I want you to visualize what it is that you might do on your perfect spring day given the time and the inclination. Who would you be hanging with if anyone?  Would you be walking, fishing, picnicking with that special someone? Imagine breathing in the sweet smell of citrus blossoms, wisteria, or whatever smell you associate with springtime.  Maybe you would be planting your garden. Don't pick up your pen until you can fully realize the scenario, relax a bit (you look fabulous in those yoga pants) and when you are ready, write me something that doesn't just describe spring.  We all know how wonderful that is, write yourself into spring, give me that feeling that you get.  Show me why I should be hanging with you on that one awesome day (there goes the relaxation...lol, I swear not to show up).

As always, form and format are of no consequence on a perfect day like this.  You can write, draw, make me a marble sculpture, produce a broken tile mosaic.  It is totally up to you. And as always, if this prompt does not suit your fancy (cuz in the springtime a young mans fancy turns to thoughts of love...and for us old men, it turns to thoughts of lust and sometimes food) please write whatever you would like or skip it and just enjoy your perfect spring day without worrying about writing a single word.

I love you all and Happy Spring!!!!!