Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Sunday Mini-Challenge

This weekend, we continue to draw inspiration from the work of established poets. I believe we have much to learn from the masters of our art, and that attempting to write in forms they innovated, allows us to be more creative in devising our own stanza forms. I was delighted to read a poem by our own Hedgewitch this week, which showcased an original form.

For this Mini-Challenge, I would like to showcase an eight line poem by William Butler Yeats.  For a reading by Anthony Hopkins, click HERE.

© Susie Clevenger

He Wishes For The Cloths Of Heaven

Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with gold and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I , being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

Yeats has used repetition of end words in the place of rhyme, and has repeated that word within the lines of the poem itself, with the addition of other words (spread, tread) repeated in line.
The syllable count is as follows:

Line 1: 9 syllables
Line 2: 8 syllables
Line 3: 9 syllables
Line 4: 8 syllables
Line 5: 9 syllables
Line 6: 10 syllables
Line 7: 9 syllables
Line 8: 10 syllables

© Margaret Bednar

This challenge may be more daunting than it first appears, especially when one considers the amount of repetition in so short a verse. For those who prefer the Free Verse option, please be guided by the pictures, which have been so kindly provided for us by Real Toads members and friends. Please acknowledge them on your blog if you upload them there.

© Isadora Gruye

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.


Marian said...

aaah, one of my most special favorite poems ever. at first blush, i am intimidated at the prospect of borrowing the form, but i'll try to get over it. :)

Anonymous said...

what a cool challenge! xxo

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Beautiful photos, by our fellow Toads! I needed a challenge today. I will give this a whirl.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Whoa! I'm first? on a form challenge?

hedgewitch said...

Very very interesting challenge, Kerry--and thanks for the shout out--I know I wouldn't have been likely to think of inventing a consistent stanza form when I needed it without the practice of craft your form challenges provide. I love Yeats, and that poem is especially lovely--will see what I can do, though I haven't been up to writing much lately.

Sherry Ellis said...

That's quite a challenge! Very pretty pictures, too!

Janine Bollée said...

Another wonderful challenge. Thank you yet again.So stimulating. How can we presume to create a line like the last one in this stanza.
Such a treasure.

Hannah said...

Wow!! Great challenge Kerry...added challenge: Writing this form with and five and two year old running amok!! lol!

Love the photos as well!!

Happy weekend Toads!

Ella said...

Beautiful photos and quite the challenge!
I will wait till the house is quiet to give it a go~

Hope everyone is doing well :D

Susan said...

So, I posted a very rough draft. I will not say how many hours it took. The form is hard, AND if I cannot say what I wish to say within 8 lines, I have to commit myself to an additional 8, not just 4. I will live with it for a while, take in your feedback and then revise as way opens.

Susan said...

OH! I did it wrong! Strike this from your list and I will post it on open Monday, repeating words instead of rhyming for this challenge. (I hate being wrong. I am embarrassed.)

Anonymous said...

Dear Kerry! I take issue here in that I do not think Yeats is being bounded by syllables but it is a quatro ameter whatever you may call that - not a pentameter but a four foot line with some of the feet dactyls or anapests - or whatever those things are. I don't know if I have time for the challenge - I certainly have the desire and may try - it's such a lovely poem and you guys are so great - it's my boss I'm worried about - but if I do, I'm going to go with a four=footed line, if that's okay. k.

Susan said...

Here I am again, wasting space. Forgive me. Aided by some dVerse friends, I redid the poem to match the form you proposed. It is posted. Please remove the first one if you can. (I'll re-post it Monday). Again, I am most contrite.

Bodhirose said...

Thank you for the's much needed to get me back on track with my posting after my move. I enjoyed the challenge.

Gayle ~

Scriptor Senex said...

Ann amazing challenge - I'm off to see how folk did. I couldn't hope to attempt it but that doesn't mean I don't get a lot out of it.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Crafting good poetry is such a gift. I've never been a good poet, so I have a lot of respect for people who can write it.

Kerry O'Connor said...

@ Karen, you are quite right about the meter :-) I find the minute I mention tetrameter, iambs, dactyls etc.. everyone heads for the hills, feeling totally demotivated before they start. I have simplified the specifications for our challenge. I hope you will forgive me..and eagerly await your purist version of the form.

Kerry O'Connor said...

@ Susan, I'm so impressed that you went at your poem again. There is no need to feel any embarrassment. These little exercises are simply a starting point for our own writing, and I have no qualms in changing the basic outline to suit what I want to say, and everyone should feel free to do the same. I'm not one of those people who poses a challenge then goes around pointing out what everyone has done wrong.

A Cuban In London said...

A mighty challenge, I must say! And one I can't wait to read later. That poem is so beautifully musical. It almost skips and pirouettes on the palm of your hand, doesn't it? :-)

Greetings from London.

Anonymous said...

Kerry - it was challenging, and then I had a lot of stupid technical difficulties as I tried to upload a reading which kept mucking with stuff! I ended up with more rhyme than Yeats - not a great idea - but just went with it.

Again I tried for a four footed line, and didn't worry too much about the syllables though I think they fit more or less. (Ha.)

I look forward to seeing what people did. Thanks again for your creativity in finding these challenges. k.

Anonymous said...

PS - the photos were lovely - I just couldn't concentrate on much beyond the form. I realized I should have used one, as they would have fit. Sorry. k.

hedgewitch said...

Well, I found a few words to play with for this--I did count syllables, but I think they feel very metered and cadenced similar to the Yeats, so hopefully either approach works. Had LOTS of fun with this challenge, and will be around as soon as I get out of my pajamas. ;_)

Kerry O'Connor said...

The photos are an optional extra for the free verse part this challenge, and the form does not have to be based on one of them.

Margaret said...

I find the minute I mention tetrameter, iambs, dactyls etc.. everyone heads for the hills,

ha ha. I wanted to, but decided to put my nose to the grindstone instead. Plus, I took some photos today that I wanted to write about. I thought repeating would be so much easier than rhyming, but I'm not so sure about that. Thank you. I'm one that needs these challenges to drag poems out of me - otherwise I flounder. Thank you.

Lisa said...

Poetry challenge, I love prompts!

Hi Ella, I hope I have arrived at the correct blog. Not sure you visited me through the oh i miss you blogfest or dVerse. But glad to have met you anyways :)

Margaret said...

Tarun Reddy,

I tried to read your response, but I couldn't access your site.

Kay L. Davies said...

I have always loved these beautiful words of W.B. Yeats, and, when I was younger, with dreams which could be trod upon, I often quoted him.
I'm still hoping to respond to this wonderful prompt.

LLM Calling said...

I slaved for hours on this yesterday and then this evening something unexpected flowed which is as close as I ever expected to get. Thanks for the challenge me.

Karen said...

Finally! I have a poor attempt at the form. I love that you call this a "mini challenge" and it takes me days! :-)