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Showing posts from January, 2013

Oh, The Places You'll Go...

The world is literally at your fingertips.

Any world you want. Any world you are willing to create with your mind and beyond in the world of books. Anyone that knows me knows that I am complete bibliophile. It started when I was little, reading my bible by the nightlight, and other books thereafter. Insomnia was my best friend even in prepubescent years. I battled dragons, fell down rabbit holes, entered tollbooths with clocks as dogs, and had a prince on a white horse in the end. When the book ended, it was almost surreal. How could this be? Here I am, with this imagination far beyond my brain can comprehend and the world keeps ticking as if this other world doesn't exist. I craved more. Wanted more day by day. Where friends lacked, books were my comfort. They taught me unique words that surprised my Mommom.

"Cumulonimbus clouds. Yep. It's gonna rain," said a wiser me, looking outside my grandmother's silver Celica, waiting for the oncoming storm to come.

I nev…


All of time and space,
Compacted in Pantone 2955C
Hidden corridors and secret spaces
Blanketing stars and the dimension of galaxies.
Take me there, my sweet wooden box
Lets run among danger and fantasy
Land on soils of earth and discover
The language of rewritten history.
I want to say hello to her.
Hello, sweet girl. For you,
I will pause a breath in rewind
or pinpoint an area of fixed time
Open the blackness that was ugly in despair
Show you the future in a blue box
And tell you to take care. Cause we'll run
Won't we run, my ancient and new lord of time?
Spark a newness in souls
And see beauty redefined
For all of time and space
You point to the sky and say choose one
And beyond all the eyes can see
Supernovas explode
For the journey has just begun---
My little blue box
As I'm given the silver key.


White Rabbit

Pity the woman that feels
her soul falling down the
Rabbit hole,
The intricate madness of all things joy and despair.
Where down is up
And up is down,
Riddles become the silenced of
A former lovers sound,
And sweet nothing's are rushed
Instead of hushed into slick
Dick magnificence that births
Life of lust.
Pity her
For she keeps falling more
Darkness becomes a tunnel
Pigeonholed and clipped wings can't fly
Nor see. Air all around, wishing
For the solidarity of
Sweet soil of the ground
The firmness of real arms
The swooping of a hero absent
A man, not everything,
Shoulder not wept on
Laughter not heard.
She falls.
Deeper, still.
Fall deeper into what can be and what could be
The what ifs and mere possibilities
The congratulations and bittersweet salutations
The false hopes and can't cope
Of being with someone
That isn't your second heartbeat.
Grasping at straws, fragmented.
The keen remembrance.
I remember. Do you?
Most importantly, I …

Understanding Poetry: Palindrome

Types of Poetry: Palindrome.

This specific type of poetry is not for mere amateurs. I say this with the most respect, because the palindrome is perhaps one of the many types of poetry that is challenging to write and to make complete sense while still respecting the subject matter at hand. The palindrome derives from the Greek word palindromos: "palin"meaning again, and "dromos"meaning a running. Combining "palin" and "dromos" we have the collective term of running back again. This gives us a mirrored image which the palindromeis: a poem that is read forward is read the exact same way backwards. With in the palindrome, there is a short break in its center that denotes a specific "turning" as a reversal point which the mirrored image reflects.

It's also important to note that the palindrome poem can be achieved by word (letter by letter) or by sentences in the poem.

Whatever is read forwards is the exact mirrored image of what is r…

Exploring Poetry: The Diamanté Poem

Exploration of Poetry: Diamante.

The diamante poem is Italian for the word "diamond" and is an un-rhymed seven lined poem that has a specific diamond shape upon completion. The seven lines create one stanza, which completes the poem. Each line has a specific rule for the form throughout.

Line One: Noun or subject.
Line Two: Two Adjectives describing that noun or subject matter.
Line Three: Three words, all ending in "ing" describing the subject matter.
Line Four: Four words in total. The first two words describing the subject, then two contrasting words about the antonym/synonym
Line Five: Three words, all ending in "ing" describing the antonym/synonym
Line Six: Two adjectives describing the antonym/synonym
Line Seven: The Antonym/synonym for the subject.

As you can see, there is a shift in the middle of the poem which begins the antonym phase. The last word-line seven-will be the antonym of line one.

Think of it like this:

Lines 1 - 3: Word that states …


I remember. Time has passed though. Wrinkles are beginning to form, and grey Hairs rooted. Doesn't take away the simplicities or Mere intricacies from the amazement of you.  Although its fragmented.  A laugh becomes hallow. Bounces off walls Acoustic not in tune with realities dimensions. Smiles become visible only on a photograph, the unpleasant  Aftermath of the only thing which now to hold.  Dreams. Dreams are divine. They curve into the cerebellum, leaking false images of you Drawing naked paths on skin and arching my spine- but awakening is the sad goodbye. Your scent. I can still smell it. Soaks  Into my pores and wafts my nose Tickling the this and that of spice and musky Heartbeats Through the breeze of the wind, there It blows. and I remember. 
Sweet God of Lord above, I remember.  Do you gather sweet musings about me? Thirst the same emotion, beg to be touched by me yet again? Reverse time and become the beautiful reality? I dare not ask for the real answer. Life is cru…

Understanding Poetry: Doggerel

This poetry type is just completely bad verse. I say that with complete honesty, because doggerel is unintentionally filled with humor but the verse is filled with cliches, a slight clumsiness within the syntax throughout the stanza. This specific type of poetry really holds no literary value so to speak; the writer and the reader both understand that the verse is essentially bad poetry, but is often enjoyed for the realness which it may captivate and the point which it often makes. The term doggerel was coined in the 1630's meaning that it was unfit for anyone but dogs.

doggerell late 14c. (adj.); 1630s (n.), probably from dog + pejorative suffix -rel and applied to bad poetry perhaps with a suggestion of puppyish clumsiness, or being fit only for dogs. Attested as a surname from mid-13c., but the sense is not evident. (Etymology Dictionary, 2011)


The Tay Bridge Disaster

It must have been an awful sight,
To witness in the dusky moonlight,
While the Storm Fiend did la…

Discovering Poetry Styles: Cento

The Cento poem is beautifully unique just as it is something borrowed. Derived from the Latin word which translates as "patchwork" the poem is simply one poem (either rhymed or un-rhymed) in any variation of length that has lines from other poets not by self. This is a collage poem; you're taking a line from a poem here, there, and everywhere, while composing a masterpiece in and of itself. The cento does not have to be composed of lines from just one poem, or from one particular poet; the style, rhythm, syntax, and length of stanzas is completely up to you. The Latin poet Ausonius took a more concrete stance with composing a cento:

The pieces, he says, may be taken either from the same poet, or from several. The verses may be either taken in their entirety, or divided into two; one half to be connected with another half taken elsewhere. Two verses should never be used running, nor much less than half a verse be taken. In accordance with these rules, he made a cento from…

Exploring Poetry Styles: The Bop

The Bop poem is a fixed form invented by Afaa Michael Weaver (pictured) formerly known and born to this world as Michael S. Weaver. This form is a poetic argument in which the stanzas present the problem, go into detail what the problem is, and offer a resolution (if any) at the close of the poem. The poem consists of 3 stanzas, all which have a determinate amount of lines, followed by a refrain.

The Bop
Stanza One: Six Lines Long. This stanza states what the problem is and has a refrain (repeating line that is found throughout the poem) as a separate line that follows.

Stanza Two: Eight Lines Long. This stanza goes into detail the specifics of the problem. After this stanza, the refrain is stated as a separate line that follows.

Stanza Three: Six Lines Long. This stanza offers a solution, if any, to the problem. If a solution is not found to the problem, then this stanza will offer an imprint of the failure that was reached since it was not successful in its attempt to fix the problem…

Discovering Poetry Styles: The Clerihew

The Clerihew poem reminds me of some sort of stand up comedy routine; always of a comic nature, and always with a "punch line" so to speak. It's a verse, which consists of four lines in the concrete rhyme scheme pattern of aabb. Invented by Edmund Clerihew Bentley, (the popular English novelist of such works as "Trent's Last Case"in 1913) this humorist also wrote his first collection of poetry in 1905. The first line will always describe the person; lines 2-4 gives a humorous take on that person. The Clerihew is not satirical in nature, or is an offensive type of humor; the humor is light and silly while the person in the poem is often famous-but doesn't have to be.


Sir Humphrey Davy
Abominated gravy.
He lived in the odium
Of having discovered sodium.
~E.C. Bentley

Prompt: Visit a celebrity or entertainment blog or website and pick a headliner's article. Use that name to develop a series of clerihews, poking silly fun at tha…

Understanding Poetry: Poetic Schools & Movements

A school of poetry is formed when many poets develop a centralized or similar pattern in which they write; often coinciding with a particular era or time period within history. Poetry itself predates literacy, in which many traditions and history of regions were often orally told and then transcribed into records. In any case, poetry has a significant and cultural contribution which makes understanding the history of this art form necessary.

Some school include:

Aceism : school of modern Russian poetry, writing about the natural world and the environment.

Augustans: school of English poetry using wit, famous for heroic couplets and mock epics.

Beats : 1940-50's movement involving battle of social conformity and immersion of eastern religious studies, such as Buddhism.

Black Arts: 1960-70's movement rooted in Civil Rights writing about race relations and issues.

Black Mountain : 1933-56 school of teaching creative arts and analytic skills. Most poems use long forms or structur…

Understanding Poetry: The Epigram.

The epigram poem is a specific type of poem found in hundreds of years ago, but flourished in the 16th and 17th century with popular English poets such as Donne and Jonson, although found in philosophy as well. The epigram is a short verse written with the quick with of satire, focusing on a specific person, thing, or event. This poem is extremely brief, written in about 2-5 lines and contain only one stanza. Derived from the Greek ἐπίγραμμα this "inscription" can be found with any writer, not just poets.


Candy is dandy,
But liquor is quicker
~Ogden Nash

Tagged: #30in30 #PoetsWorkshop #Poetry

Poetry Prompt: Write an epigram based on the not so obvious humorous subjects. Where there's tragedy, there's also comedy. Find the satire and wit, and connect then with an epigram of end rhyme, 2-4 lines.


Understanding Poetry : Lines and Stanza Forms

A line is a sentence of a poem. Where a natural sentence has punctuation, and has defined parts to convey a thought, the line of a poem doesn't have to have a subject and a predicate. The lines of poetry create stand alone lines, or simply several lines to compose a stanza, or paragraph of poetry. Lines of poetry are absolutely unique in which it is up to the poet themselves to establish meter and end with a pause where it would occur naturally. It is natural to desire to pause at the end of a line in poetry, but the reader should allow the punctuation and beat of the poem to establish the "pause" when reading through.

although time passes in
several multitudes of eras, I find myself falling
in love with you where time
has no beginning
life has no ending
and we all stand still.

In this example, there are 6 lines. These six lines are grouped together to form 1 stanza. This is a sestet, as it has 6 lines, and is free verse, with no fixed form or rhyme scheme. Sta…

Understanding Poetry: The Triolet

The triolet is a fixed form dating back to the 13th century with French origin. It's composed of a total of eight lines, with the rhyme scheme of ABaAabAB which creates one stanza in length.The first line sets up the refrain, or the repeated lines in the poem for lines one, four, and seven. With this pattern, only two rhymes are used throughout the poem. The first line is the declaration, while the other lines go further into the subject matter. The subject of the triolet is up the Poet.

How Great My Grief by Thomas Hardy

Line One (A) How great my grief, my joys how few,
Line Two (B) Since first it was my fate to know thee!
Line Three (a) - Have the slow years not brought to view
Line Four (A) How great my grief, my joys how few,
Line Five (a) Nor memory shaped old times anew,
Line Six (b) Nor loving-kindness helped to show thee
Line Seven (A)How great my grief, my joys how few,
Line Eight (B) Since first it was my fate to know thee?

Notice how lines one, four, and…

Understanding Poetry: Consonance, Assonance, and Alliteration

These three poetic devices implore the sound of words. As words are the only medium for poets to use, the effects of sound in wordplay can come across as stressed, unstressed, soothing, harsh, light, upbeat, or heavy.

is the repetition of consonant sounds at the end of words that are placed near each other
Example: creamin(g) sin(g)e of win(g)s hitting the hot windowpane

is the repetition of vowel sounds in words that are placed near each other
Example: (a)ttempted to (a)scend in the full (a)lignment of clouds near Heaven

is the repetition of consonant sounds at the beginning of words that are placed near each other
Example: (f)eebly (f)reestanding his next verse in mind

Poetry Prompt
Use any (or all) poetic device(s) in your next piece. While alliteration is the most obvious of all three, try to expand on wordplay and meter while respecting the subject matter in the use of harsh/soothing words. Do not attempt flowery language, but be natural with words…

Understanding Poetry: The Minute Poem.

This concrete poetry form contains 60 syllables (one for each second to make a minute) and has strict iambic meter. Written in 3 stanzas with a specific rhyme scheme of aabb, ccdd, eeff and each stanza with the syllable count of 8444, the poem has 12 lines in total.

Stanza One
Line One: (a) 8 syllables
Line Two: (a) 4 syllables
Line Three: (b) 4 syllables
Line Four: (b) 4 syllables

Stanza Two
Line Five: (c) 8 syllables
Line Six: (c) 4 syllables
Line Seven: (d) 4 syllables
Line Eight: (d) 4 syllables

Stanza Three
Line Nine (e) 8 syllables
Line Ten (e) 4 syllables
Line Eleven (f) 4 syllables
Line Twelve (f) 4 syllables


I Need Someone

I need someone to hold me tight
Through dark of night,
Who won’t go ’way
At break of day.

Someone whose love will mend the seams
Of broken dreams,
And give me back
The trust I lack.

For love, it holds the magic key
To set me free,
To heal my soul
And make me whole.

by Linda Newman

Poetry Prompt: I would say that this concrete form is for the experi…

Understanding Poetry: Terza Rima

In the 13th century, poet Dante Alighieri created the fixed form terza rima to compose his famous three part poem of The Divine Comedy. This Italian form is typically written in iambic pentameter, but iambic tetrameter can be used too. The rhyme scheme of aba, bcb, cdc, ded is used, with an 11 syllable count for each line. In a variation of the terza rima the sonnet form has the rhyme scheme of aba, bcb, cdc, ded, ee, still using the 11 syllable count for each line. Translation of Dante have created many other forms of the terza rima, some altering the tercet to an ending couplet. There is no specific number of lines which the poem can have altogether, but if additional lines are used, they should all be of equal length.

Image Credit: Domenico di Michelino, La Divina Commedia di Dante (Dante and the Divine Comedy). 1465 fresco, in the dome of the church of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence


Understanding Poetry: The Pantoum

Understanding Poetry: The Pantoum

Originated from Malaysia as typical rhyming couplets, the pantoum has developed into a concrete form with a series of quatrains (four lined stanzas) and specific rhyme scheme for that quatrain. The number of lines can be of any length, but each series has the 2nd and 4th lines of each stanza serve as the 1st and 3rd line of the next stanza. This creates continuous refrains throughout the entire poem. Rhyme scheme of ABAB BCBC CDCD DEDE EFEF FGFG and so on are used, ending with ZAZA. The pantoum flourished in the 19th century with both French and British writers.

First Stanza
Line One (A)
Line Two (B) first refrain
Line Three (A)
Line Four (B) second refrain

Second Stanza
Line 5 (B) repeat the first refrain here.
Line 6 (C)
Line 7 (B) repeat second refrain here.
Line 8

A perfect example of a pantoum can be found at Carolyn Kizer "A Parents Pantoum"

- brr

Understanding Poetry: Tetractys

Understanding Poetry: Tetractys

Greek τετρακτύς for tetrad, (triangle of 10 points in total) this poetry form influenced by math and geometry consists of at least 5 lines to form one stanza. A strict syllable count of 1, 2, 3, 4, 10 must be achieved when writing this poem, upon any subject matter (but poems of thought are often used.) Rhyme scheme does not have to be established, but if more stanzas followed for the tetractys then a bereversed (or mirror image palindrome pattern) can be used.

Stanza One
Line One: 1 Syllable
Line Two: 2 Syllables
Line Three: 3 Syllables
Line Four: 4 Syllables
Line Five: 10 Syllables

(if another stanza follows)
Stanza Two
Line One: 10 Syllables
Line Two: 4 Syllables
Line Three: 3 Syllables
Line Two: 2 Syllables
Line One: 1 syllable

Poetry Prompt: Write a one or two stanza tetractys poem. Subject matter: the meaning of life or death.

Image Credit: Pythagoreans celebrate sunriseby Fyodor Bronnikov


Submitting Your Poetry To Literary Journals: The Do's and Dont's I learned Thus Far.

Been years since I've submitted anything, but it's been a goal I desired to accomplish for a while.

Databases I'm looking through : Poets & Writer's Magazine, and Duotrope. The Poetry Society of America has an A-Z literary journal section as well. This also includes me creating an Excel sheet with necessary info to keep track of submissions; and loading up a bookmark folder with submission guidelines from each site.

Not only is it important to pay attention to the submission guidelines, its pertinent to adhere to those guidlines. Each journal/magazine is different, and can come with the following:

1)What Genre is the Magazine/Journal?
Some accept not only poetry, but fiction, essays, and the like. Pay attention to the "feel" of the magazine and what their themes may be. Reading a copy of the journal will help.

2) What is the reading period for the journal?
This is critical. Each magazine can read year around, or certain periods of the year. Check the d…

Understanding Poetry: Fixed Form versus Free Verse

Understanding Poetry: Fixed Forms **vs** Free Verse

All poems have form, regardless if the poem is fixed or not-closed or open. The form of poetry is how the lines are arranged to display the content. Essentially, the form is how it is composed-whether there is a type of structure or not, if there is a pattern or not. The fixed form however, follows a specific set of instructions of how the poem is composed. This type of poem has a specific type of meter, rhyme scheme, or refrain---or the stanza itself can have its own form. There is a plethora of fixed forms out there-from a sestina to a haiku (and beyond) that has its own specific set of rules.

Free verse does not have a specific meter which consists of rhyming patterns and so on, but it does have form. You're free to break the poem into any line you desire, you're free to not rhyme. What you're not free to do, however, is to compose a bunch of ramblings together and call that free verse poetry. Free verse poetry has a …

Understanding Poetry: Shakespearean Sonnet

Understanding Poetry: Shakespearean Sonnet.

Italian for sonetto or little song, a sonnet has many forms. A traditional sonnet is a fourteen line poem written in iambic pentameter with a specific rhyme scheme, but the Shakespearean Sonnet is written with the rhyme scheme of abab cdcd efef gg using three quatrains and a couplet. The Shakespearean sonnet also has a "volta" which is the dramatic turn or shift in thought normally occurring in line nine, but can also be placed at the end of line 12 as well. The couplet at the end of the poem gives final clarity of the previous stanzas, and acts as the conclusion for the basis of the poem. The subject matter of a sonnet is based on love.

Stanza One (Quatrain = 4 Lines)
Line One: a
Line Two: b
Line Three: a
Line Four: b

Stanza Two (Quatrain = 4 Lines)
Line Five: c
Line Six: d
Line Seven: c
Line Eight: d

Stanza Three (Quatrain = 4 Lines)
Line Nine: e (This line will have the volta or shifting of dramatic change)
Line Ten: f
Line Ele…

Understanding Poetry: The Villanelle

Understanding Poetry: Villanelle

A form of poetry that originated in the 16th century but didn't become a fixed form until the 19th century, the Villanelle_began as Spanish and Italian songs of a rustic nature. The poem itself is composed of 19 lines in its entirety, with two refrains, and two repeating rhymes. The rhyme scheme of aba aba aba aba aba abaa is used. This is a total of 6 three lined stanzas. Lines 1 and 3 alternate to create the two refrains throughout the entire poem.

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night
by Dylan Thomas

Line 1 Refrain) Do not go gentle into that good night,
Line 2)Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Line 3: Refrain)Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Line 4)Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Line 5) Because their words had forked no lightning they
Line 6) Do not go gentle into that good night.

Line 7)Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Line 8)Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,

Understanding Poetry: Naani

Understanding Poetry: Naani

The Naani poem hails from India, introduced by a well known poet Dr. N. Gopi of the Telugu people and its script. _Naani_ translates as "expression of one and all" in this language, and is a relatively new poetry form existing in modern times. The form itself is composed of one stanza, which is four lines in total. Each line is generally 3 - 5 syllables (no more than ten) equaling a total of 20 - 25 syllables in its entirety. The subject manner can be of anything the writer desires, but Telugu poets typically have discussed the human condition, race, relations, and life in general. There is no rhyme pattern scheme for the naani, and it is not used. The first line usually states the subject matter, while the remaining three lines express the foundation of the subject, or go into detail about it.

Example of Naani:

A dialogue
When lengthens
Remain questions
Without answer as criticism.

Copyright © 2001 Bollimuntha venkata Ramana Rao

Writing Prompt…

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