Definition

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.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Epistle Poem


Epistle poems date back to ancient Rome and Biblical times.  Epistle comes from the Latin term, epistula meaning letter.  The subject matter for the traditional poem is love, religion or philosophical matters. This type of poem is usually found written to an imaginary person or thing.  Think about  the tone and  the person or thing you are writing to.  Is it a friendly, business, formal, angry, sad or casual letter?   You could write to someone dead or famous.  There is no fixed form.


Here are some examples:

This is my letter to the world,
      That never wrote to me,
The simple news that Nature told,
       With tender majesty.

Her message is committed
       To hands, I cannot see;
For love of hers, sweet countrymen,
       Judge tenderly of me!

 ~Emily Dickinson

Here is one in postcard form:

On the other side of these words
are the tender green cane fields
my sugar, my alcohol, my rum
the chartreuse just after the rain.

This is my green wheelbarrow,
beauty, compelled by verdure,

even the white roses in head
burn jealous in a candle flicker

petals turn and coil in the flame
blacken to a foil of happy ash
that scatters among the palms.

~Richard Blanco



I look forward to your letters.  I mean poems~

19 comments:

Kerry O'Connor said...

Ooooh! That Emily Dickinson is one of my favourites! What a good idea this is, thanks Ella.

Kenia Cris said...

Love it! I'm writing mine, will come back later to link it! Excellent idea. <3

Kay L. Davies said...

I had so much fun being silly with yesterday's rondeau, perhaps I'll manage to be serious today. "Epistle" just means "letter" I know, and I've written plenty of letters, but "epistle" conjures up Serious Lessons from St. Paul in my mind. "Now, listen here, Ephesians, and listen good. You've got to live the way I say you should."
Sigh.
— K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

Mystic_Mom said...

I posted, and thanks for the great prompts and fun here!

shawnacymariekiker said...

HA! i had something sitting around but could never find the right context for it. a letter worked perfectly. :)
thanks a million!

Ella said...

You all are so fun today! I really enjoyed your comments~
My son's friend(a girl, but she has a boyfriend) came in while I was working on an article submission. I had it almost done. Got up to go tend laundry. When I returned she is on my computer. She infected it and my word document was rolling. I couldn't save it...gone! I did print out the rough draft, prior..augh~ I look forward to your letters I mean poems ;D

Ed Pilolla said...

i like dickinson's better, not that you asked for a vote:)

Sherry Blue Sky said...

I wrote a silly one after way too much caffeine, and in the afternoon too, so I likely will be posting wild poems in the wee hours this morning - that's what happens when the sensorily-deprived get Taken Out of an afternoon. Hee hee.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Okay, as this site has one of the most erudite memberships on the internet, might I ask a question? In my interviewing, the word "favourite/favorite" comes up often. I see Kerry's spelling above, which is what I used to use, and it seems to be the one most often used in Canada. But in the States everyone seems to use favorite, so I started using THAT.When I look it up online, it comes both ways....... And now I am most dreadfully confused. What is the poll? I will abide by the majority vote, hee hee. (WAY too much caffeine today!)

Kenia Cris said...

I posted what should be read as a letter to Theo, Van Gogh's brother, a letter from a good friend or a lover - you'll find the best way to tell which of these. Thanks for an adorable prompt! <3

Kerry O'Connor said...

Hi Sherry.. I don't know about erudite (could just be I like the sound of my own voice ;) but the American dictionaries decided to drop the gratuitous 'U' a very long time ago. In all other parts of the world, English spelling is followed, which includes the silly old thing. Personally, I don't see the point in hanging on to it, but I am a sucker for tradition, so cling to the spelling rules I was taught in grade school.

I'm so thrilled to see many letters for my reading enjoyment here... I'm behind with mine again. Perhaps later, I'll have something worth showing.

shawnacymariekiker said...

shanyn - the link isn't working.
you can get to it (i think) by clicking your homepage, though. :)
also, i only use the u when i'm feeling extra spunky... no idea why.

Tiaden said...

I'm English so I put the u in there.
This poem(thing) is written in my half asleep, 'gods I hate mornings' state so appologies if not quite to the prompt.

Mystic_Mom said...

Shawnacy, and everyone who had the bad link, here is the correct one: http://sunflowershan.wordpress.com/2011/09/14/dear-me/

I must remember to check that no volunteer random words end up on the end of my url :-)

I use the u because I'm Canadian and it gives me a little laugh when my spell check wants to leave jagged red lines under my Canuck spelled words! :-)

Laurie Kolp said...

Thanks, Ella, for the inspiration!

Philip Thrift said...

"To: Miss Emily Dickinson"

Kerry O'Connor said...

@Shen, unfortunately the link you provided is not working.. Will you try to link up again?

Tiaden said...

Thanks Kerry - No idea why the other link did't work, was fine when I did a direct copy/paste into my browser, but computers aren't particularly fond of me! I've linked direct to the front page of my blog this time, with the poem as the top one 'Little one, a note'

Ella said...

I have been sick and trying to play catch up! I am really enjoying your poems!