Friday, July 13, 2012

Mary's Mixed Bag: Friday the Thirteenth

Friday the Thirteenth

Hi Toads and Friends,

Welcome to Mary's Mixed Bag!!  Do you suffer from friggatriskaidekaphobia?   In case this word is unfamiliar to you, it means 'fear of Friday the 13th."  According to a web article on the History Channel fear of Friday the 13th affects between 17 and 21 million Americans.  If you are interested in the history of the day, you might wish to click the link above or read the information in this Time Magazine online article.

I am so excited to be the one to present the Friday the 13th Challenge.  Rather than only one idea, I came up with four ideas for you to choose from.    Hopefully one or more will intrigue you.  Here goes:

(1)  Write a rondeau poem.  A rondeau poem has 13 lines plus two lines of refrain.

Perhaps the best-known rondeau is the following World War I poem, In Flanders Fields, by John McCrae:

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow   (A)
Between the crosses, row on row,      (A)
That mark our place, and in the sky,   (B)
The larks, still bravely singing, fly,     (B)

Scarce heard amid the guns below.      (A)
We are the dead; short days ago           (A)
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,  (A)
Loved and were loved, and now we lie  (B)
In Flanders fields.                                   (C)

Take up our quarrel with the foe!            (A)
To you from failing hands we throw       (A)
The torch; be yours to hold it high!         (B)
If ye break faith with us who die             (B)
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow  (A)
In Flanders fields                                       (C)

Notice that the (C) lines are the refrain, and the refrain is the first half of the first line!

Explained differently ( Fisher Circle Poetry Handbook):  A Rondeau has 13 lines plus a four syllable refrain—the first half of the first line—used twice, arranged in three unequal stanzas; usually two main rhymes, plus third rhyme in refrain; iambic lines with four stresses.
    a a b b a
    a a b c
    a a b b a c
(2) Think back to the time when you were thirteen years old (or thereabouts); and write a poem about that time in your life; or write about what you experience(d) when  your own son or daughter was 13 years old.

(3) Write something related to fears or anxieties about Friday the 13th or any other popular superstition(s).  Here are a few popular superstitions.  You can find more by doing a Google search.

            a.  A bird in the house is a sign of death.
            b.  A swarm of bees settling on a roof is an omen that the house will burn down.

            c.  If you say good-bye to a friend on a bridge, you will never see each other again.
            d.  A bed changed on Friday will bring bad dreams.

(4) Here is a simple prompt if nothing else resonates. Write a poem with the title "Friday the 13th."

I do hope that one of the suggestions above will motivate you to write a Friday the 13th poem!  Please link it below, leave a comment, and visit the work of other people who link.  Enjoy.



Kerry O'Connor said...

This is a wonderful array of prompt ideas, Mary, and sure to get our imaginative motors running.

Thank you.

Rinkly Rimes said...

It's quite late in the evening here and we've been saved from the dreadful F the 13th scourge so far!

Anonymous said...

Had to give the rondeau a try... *smile* Thank you for the amazing prompts and inspiration!

Laurie Kolp said...

Great post... I love all your choices, Mary. I'll be back!

Tania A said...

I didn't even realize it was Friday the 13th! Looking forward to reading everyone's. I've not tried the rondeau form before, it was challenging for me.

Akelamalu said...

Good prompts.

13 is my lucky number.

Laurie Kolp said...

Love the challenge of the rondeau... thanks, Mary.

Mary said...

So far I am enjoying seeing what people are writing. I will be BACK to comment later today. I wrote a rondeau. It is not a form I would not ordinarily attempt, so I decided to give it a try. Happy Friday the 13th to all.

Daydreamertoo said...

Great prompt Mary. Lots to say about Friday the 13th...LOL

Ella said...

I love what you have done ; )
Great choices
Happy Friday the 13th

Maude Lynn said...

Great challenge!

Susan said...

I thought I was done writing this week and that I'd spend today getting ready for the retreat this weekend, but Mary's challenge made me grin as-- despite the fate of the number and the number in a coven-- my earliest memory of the number is the baker's dozen! I enjoyed this.

Anonymous said...

Hope it isn't a cheat to post one I wrote before. Carol/Quillfyre

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Ah, reverie......I look forward to reading everyone's Thirteen. GREAT prompt, Mary!!!!!!!

Mary said...

I truly am amazed that many chose the rondeau! This makes me smile. But then again, I am enjoying everyone's writing.

Hannah said...

Hey you guys!!! I doubled up and wrote to my Friday prompt that I posted for Flashy Fiction. It is a Friday the thirteenth story so don't feel bad if you skip's a little longer than what most would like to read and I understand that.

Smiles to you guys...maybe later I can do a real offering but in case I can't at least I've offered one!

Hannah said...

Oh, drat!! I just missed being number thirteen on Friday the thirteenth with my Friday the thirteenth story!! ;) Who's going to get the lucky spot?! The suspense is killing me!! ;)

Hannah said...

Ahh...not so long a wait!!! Congratulations Mama Zen!!!

Margaret said...

Good Grief!!! This was the hardest thing I have written in a L O N G time. But thank you for the challenge.

flipside records said...

Great prompt, Mary.

Karishma Shetty said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karishma Shetty said...

I usually attempt free verse so putting the rhyme scheme together took me a while. Aah well! I love prompts that push me to write outside my comfort zone. Thanks so much guys!! You've a BIG fan in me :)

Grace said...

I wanted to write about this Mary but the events from yesterday are still fresh and close to me. Lucky day or not, but my hubby was given the pink slip from his boss yesterday. Maybe its time for him to move on, but some challenges are facing us now ~ 13th or not, yesterday was a fateful day ~

Kerry O'Connor said...

So sorry to hear that your day turned out really badly, Grace.

Carol Steel said...

I don't normally rhyme my lines of poetry so this was hard for me, but fun. Thanks for this prompt and all the prompts...great selection.

Mary said...

Grace, I am very sorry about your husband's pink slip. That can really ruin a person's day!

Scarlet said...

Thanks Kerry and Mary ~

Mary Ann Potter said...

Great prompt, Mary! I enjoyed this!

Mary Ann Potter said...

Ooops. Left this comment in the wrong spot! 8-(

Mary B. Mansfield said...

Little late, but still got it done!