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.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Sunday Mini-Challenge

My greetings to all toads on this first weekend in December. I would like to thank Margaret Bednar for taking the initiative to bring us the inspiration of the dolls last week. Please look out for Part 2 of this feature on 15 December.

Santca Lilias (Model: Lizzie Siddal)
Dante Gabriel Rossetti: Creative Commons


Today, I would like us to take a look at a poem written by the artist and poet, Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

Sudden Light

       I have been here before,  (a rhyme)
          But when or how I cannot tell:  (b rhyme)
       I know the grass beyond the door,
          The sweet keen smell,
The sighing sound, the lights around the shore.

       You have been mine before,
          How long ago I may not know: (c rhyme)
       But just when at that swallow's soar
          Your neck turned so,
Some veil did fall - I knew it all of yore.

       Has this been thus before?
          And shall not thus time's eddying flight   (d rhyme)
       Still with our lives our love restore
          In death's despite,
And day and night yield delight once more?

The rhyme scheme is a b a b a, with successive stanzas retaining the a rhyme (end word of each opening line repeated) and introducing the c, then d rhyme to complete the pattern.
The poem is written in iambic meter, with a variation in the number of feet per line. Please do not feel the need to write your own poem in meter - use the syllable guide instead.  You may also choose the number of stanzas you would like to attempt for this challenge.

Line 1: trimeter, 3 feet per line or 6 syllables
Line 2: tetrameter, 4 feet per line or 8 syllables
Line 3: tetrameter, 4 feet per line or 8 syllables
Line 4: dimeter, 2 feet per line or 4 syllables
Line 5: pentameter, 5 feet per line or 10 syllables

Snowdrops (Model: Jane Morris)
Dante Gabriel Rossetti: Creative Commons
For those who prefer a Free Verse option, please by guided by the artwork of Rossetti. I have provided two examples here, but you may make your own selection from his body of work.


The Sunday Challenge is posted on Saturday at noon CST to allow extra time for the form challenge.  Please provide a link on your blog back to Real Toads.  We stipulate that only poems written for this challenge may be added to the Mr Linky.  Management reserves the right to remove unrelated links, but invites you to share a poem of your choice on Open Link Monday.





20 comments:

Megan Wille said...

Oh, I have a healthy respect for poets. So many rules to your writing. I am a novelist, working on my first paranormal dystopian novel. I've been told Sci-fi writers have a hard job, creating worlds and all but I find it liberating. I love letting my imagination run free. But again, very healthy respect for you poets :) happy writing to all!

Megan Wille, author

hedgewitch said...

Nice mix-up of the rhyme scheme and meters in this challenge, Kerry. I also have a soft spot for Rossetti; for both of them actually, as Christina Rossetti is a favorite poet. I will brood over this and see what transpires.

Marian said...

love these challenges, Kerry, my mind is racing! and i still have my connections poem to write this weekend, too. get cracking, girl! (she says to herself)

Listening Daisy said...

Thanks for this prompt Kerry, I am glad that I have time to write this week.

Emma Major said...

Wow these challenges are challenging :) will see how I get on, thanks

Helen said...

After spending most of the last hour researching this artist poet ... I've come to the conclusion that he was one quirky, talented, fascinating man!!!

Hannah said...

I really love Christina Rossetti as well!!

This was great fun Kerry...thank you always for the challenges!!

:)'s to all!

Fireblossom said...

Yeah, I'm all about Christina, too.

Before there was STWIASD, there was Beatrice, so named because of her resemblance to Elizabeth Siddall, pictured (painted?) above. She'd make the perfect subject for this challenge, but I'm not about to write her another poem.

Grandmother said...

As a Rosesetti fan I will work at a poem with this form but I was still back with Mary's Connections. I guess it takes me longer but I like the process.
p.s. Would you consider taking off the word verification as it seems more difficult to decipher now and takes me multiple attempts?

aprille said...

Thanks Kerry, but I'm afraid I have never been able to take Rossetti seriously, neither as a painter nor a poet. So please forgive a touch of lightheartedness this weekend.

manicddaily said...

Hi Kerry - I enjoyed this. I have a lot to do this weekend, so it was great to have a distraction, and always fun to try a new form. In some lines I went for feet (I think) rather than strict syllable count but tried to keep pretty close.

I'm not sure my poem is so great, but I have to say that I am personally quite pleased with the picture I made! (I'm laughing in my hemisphere.) k.

hedgewitch said...

As always--so much harder than it looks! I finally have hammered something out, though I'm not entirely happy with it, but a great exercise, nonetheless. Thanks for this very engaging prompt, Kerry--I always enjoy the way you challenge us to dig deeper. Will be back later this afternoon to read.

Ella said...

Beautiful prompt! I'm playing with it now...
Off to find a photo to align with my words, ;D
Happy Sunday everyone~

Fireblossom said...

Gah! I am having a time of it, trying to create an opening line six beats long. I keep wanting it to be 8.

Kerry O'Connor said...

I'm a little low on inspiration today.. but I squeezed something out - more cerebral than inventive I'm afraid..

Susan said...

This took me all day. I was distracted by a rejection of poetry from Friends Journal. I'm over it now, but it was hard fitting into the not-Quaker-enough label until I called a Friend and smiled again. I'm still smiling, though my poem has a very serious level.

Margaret said...

I have had a long weekend with a sick dog and grief stricken child. The dog will be OK, I think, and the daughter has recovered with the news. I sure hope so, but I am not convinced. I am half way done with one that isn't very.... good. But I will finish it tomorrow for Open Link Monday. Thank you for always challenging me :)

Emma Major said...

This definitely didn't flow easily for me but the subject for my muse has been healing. I just hope it works as a poem. Off to read yours now

Margaret said...

Thank you. I am running late as the weekend was hectic for me. I will post this to Open Link Monday and swing around as soon as I can to read everyone's poems. :)

Margaret said...

I am taking a couple days break - and will catch up on Sunday & Monday's comments as soon as I can. I need to help my kids deal with the loss of our dog, Moxie. We will be picking her up tomorrow and putting her to sleep most likely on Wednesday. I don't think I have ever cried this much.