Well, we have done it! We have lived long enough to berate ourselves for not doing what we should have done in 2003. Whatever your list of Things Not Done contains, surely you can find a reference to writing more poems. Nearly every honest poet (and even a few others) will admit that composition is easily put off--too easily put off. Therefore, we find ourselves at the end of an old year and the beginning of a new one grabbing ourselves by the scruff of our neck and demanding an explanation for the small number of new poems written recently. Thirty-Seven Cents serves each month as a reminder to write new poems and also to revise old ones. Our workshop challenges us monthly (although it seems like weekly because time goes so fast) to try this or to try that. We begin this new year with couplets. You have time to write a couplet--and because your assignment is short, you can pick out another lesson. Doing two lessons each month, you can catch up. My goal is to have a poem by each of you in response to each lesson. I recall some of you saying you wanted to be in this chapter because you needed prompting to write more. So, feel prompted. Write more. Enough said?
We are nearing the end of our list of the most popular variations poets
have used for centuries in metrical verse. This fourth variation is
hypermetrical syllables, that is, syllables that do not count in analyzing
a poem's meter. If a poem is written in iambic meter, the last
syllable in the line is usually stressed (and called a masculine ending).
If the ending is, however, unstressed, the last syllable is usually
hypermetrical (and called a feminine ending). We have duh DUM duh at
the end of what to that point was a duh DUM duh DUM duh DUM line. Some
theorists call such a measure (duh DUM duh) an amphibrach foot; others
call it an iambic foot with a hypermetrical syllable. Either way it
works the same. Here are some examples of this variation, including
some where the foot after the hypermetrical syllable is truncated to give
an iambic effect carrying over from one line to the next. Name the
poet and the poem for a seat on the next space shuttle (might as well
shoot for the moon this new year, eh?).
1. "As the death-bed whereon it must
expire" = William Shakespeare, "Sonnet 73"
HAVE YOU CHECKED OUT THE BULLETIN BOARD OF
THE MISSOURI WEB SITE RECENTLY?
In every light your facets shine
You'll hold me in a place so high
Our souls of intricate design
Although we anger, we won't fret
Still BIC, as belatedly christened,
The reliable car in the parking lot provided refuge
As I approached the scene, it crossed my mind
Later, as the cab took all of us home--
Nothing fresh here but gimmicks
I'm thinking while steaming a plump figgy pudding
For no one goes overboard more than yours truly,
That this year I'll serve up Aunt Sadie's old recipe--
So don¹t call me Scrooge, I'm not one to go chiseling
Winter has a smell
The cornerstone his strength belied,
With sleep mislaid, he tried
Slow, silky, sensuous stretch
Joyful, gigantic jump
Body language exquisitely expresses
Without words, he also cures and comforts.
Colorful, caring companion;
BRIEF TIMEPIECE, TICKING
I have springs inside,
I, brief timepiece who hates waiting,
It is New Year's Eve.
December 31st . . . like you,
Now you, my moon-man,
MYSTERIOUS AS MUSIC
Mysterious as music is the heart's response to sound
or sight, or thought of what we love, wonder at or fear.
The wonder is, harmonic tones surround
us, tuning us, and play us from celestial spheres
that rock the planets. What a harp--my heart
plucked by a moonbeam, or a shard of pain
off beat, rhythm restored by a falling star
melting away discord in cosmic rain.
The rhythm of continuous creation must be
what harmonizes us with Earthly destiny.
With all this rhythm going on, come dance with me
to Music of the Spheres by our heart's synchrony.
LIKE A DRAINPIPE SUCKING SEWAGE
If I had known
You embarrassed me
My face turned
You slurped those oysters
THE END OF THE ROPE
dangling there, inviting
The day my guru died, I cried.
Years later, I'm the guru
But when we got this Christmas card
"Was he the one we knew? Or she?
We mused and searched to no avail,
Old friends are more than friends extant;
The Lord is good
When His peace
The Lord is gentle
VISIT THE WORKSHOP FOR A POETRY ASSIGNMENT.
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