Is There Anybody There?

I’m rather thrilled to be asked to judge the Primary category of the 2019 Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards. As a teacher, I used these awards to give students a real audience. I know what a big deal these awards are in the classroom! To be on the other side (and expecting to read thousands of students poems) is exciting – and a wee-bit daunting.

But mostly, it’s a huge honour – because of course, Dorothea Mackellar’s ‘My Country‘ has been burnt into my mind since first learning those impassioned words. (My overseas readers, if you haven’t read it, then you must, here.) ‘Waltzing Matilda’ is all well and good – but if we were ever to talk about a new, Australian anthem? Look no further than ‘My Country’!

It inspired my Australia Day golden shovel (above left) during #MoPoetry2019 – using the strike line from the final stanza of ‘My Country’’, Dorothea Mackellar’s iconic poem, above right.

If you’re a classroom teacher and want a poetry form to kickstart kids writing, the golden shovel is a great form to try!

HOW TO:

  1. Find a strike line (any length) from an existing poem and attribute it.
  2. Put each word from the strike line at the end of individual lines in your poem… If your strike line has 4 words, your poem has four lines. (The strike line in my poem is written are in bold. )
  3. Now fill in the gaps to make your poem. Lines can be any length.

See also Seeds of Hope for another example of a golden shovel.

Intrigued? You might enjoy learning more about Dorothea, with this YouTube, by Libby Hathorn.

Today’s Poetry Friday is hosted by Irene Latham, creator of the Progressive Poem I took part in earlier in the month. (You can catch up with the poem as it builds at the links below.) Thanks, Irene, for hosting today (during your month of happy poems!) and for sharing the Progressive Poem with the world. 🙂

The Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem – April 2019

2 Kat @ Kathryn Apel
4 Jone @ DeoWriter
5 Linda @ TeacherDance
6 Tara @ Going to Walden
8 Mary Lee @ A Year of Reading
9 Rebecca @ Rebecca Herzog
10 Janet F. @ Live Your Poem
13 Doraine @ Dori Reads
17 Amy @ The Poem Farm
18 Linda @A Word Edgewise
20 Buffy @ Buffy’s Blog
21 Michelle @ Michelle Kogan
22 Catherine @ Reading to the Core
25 Jan @ Bookseestudio
26 Linda @ Write Time
27 Sheila @ Sheila Renfro
29 Irene @ Live Your Poem
30 Donna @ Mainely Write

Recipe for a Winning Poem

Getting into the spirit with Borobi, at the Queen’s Baton Relay.

With the Commonwealth Games fast approaching, I’m sharing a favourite recipe – for a Sport Star poem. You can’t fail to cook up some winning words!

This recipe requires a mix of metaphors – so we probably should talk about how to choose a metaphor. Continue reading

Nothing Stays the Same

2017 was a huge year for our family. So many milestones and achievements for our two lads. We never could have imagined what an exciting year it would be! These last few months I have put writing on hold to immerse myself in the mum-moments. To relive and create new memories. 2018 will bring time in abundance to write … 2018 is our year of Change.

To be honest, I struggle with change. I miss special things that will never be the same – even when it’s change for the best of reasons. Though I have been soooo excited for both our lads and the opportunities that await them this year, eight days before the eldest’s departure, it hit me. Things were never going to be the same again. Life was entering an exciting and different stage. There would be … change!

I may have cried … for days … (And that was before he left.) There may have been times I thought I would choke on my sadness. Squeezing tight then letting go may have been one of the hardest things I’ve done. He may have flown over the oceans; so far away – for so long. And I may have survived! I may even be smiling again. Change may not have been as bad as I had imagined … (I should have learnt this by now.)

Which is just as well, because that is only the first of the changes in store for our family this year!

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This post is a part of the Poetry Friday link-up. The poetry form I’ve played with is the lai – a French style following an AAB rhyme scheme over three 3-lined stanzas. The first two lines have 5 syllables, and the third has 2 – and there are only the two rhymes used throughout. You can read my first lai, about willie wagtails, here. I’ve enjoyed writing lais for different photos taken over the new year period – so expect to see more, in coming weeks. 🙂

Read more about Poetry Friday.
Follow the link-up with A Journey Through the Pages.
Thanks, Kay!

Epigram How-To

katapel-epigram-witticismsmThis week’s Poetry Friday post is about another short-form poem to build your writing muscles on – the epigram. I’m linking direct to the new page I’ve created, under the Whisker of Poetry tab, so that it’s easy for people to click back and find at a later date.

To read about the wise and witty bite-sized ditty, you’ll need to click the link, or click on the pictured epigram. They’ll take you straight across. And to get the full Poetry Friday round-up, visit Tricia, at The Miss Rumphius Effect.

Happy Day!

Homograph Tetractys

Last week I created a tetractys page, with how-to and examples. Such a versatile little poetry form. I particularly like the double tetractys, and included a couple of my own variants, including the homonym, and homphone tetractys – but discovered I didn’t have a homograph tetractys. But I do now. You will perhaps recognise numerous clichés, cut and confuddled to create the poem.

katapel_leadhomographtetractys

Lead Homograph Tetractys

Sometimes it feels like there are lots of empty gongs clanging loudly in life – filling the silence of those who are quietly, consistently putting words into actions. Sometimes my heart sinks like lead, listening…

You can read more about the tetractys under the ‘Whisker of Poetry’ drop-down tab. I think my favourite has to be the ‘War’ homophone tetractys. Perhaps you’d even like write one yourself. Feel free to share in the comments.

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This week I’m visiting Alphabet Soup Blog, to kick off the Pass the Book Baton series. I’m responding to Joseph, who says;

I really enjoyed Bully on the Bus and On Track, both verse novels. But you’ve written other books, too. Why did you decide to write those two books as verse novels?”

Click on the link to read that interview. And visit  Violet Nesdoly | Poems where you will find all the Poetry Friday links for the week. Enjoy!

** To answer Brenda’s question in the comments, this is how you have some control over the formatting in your comments. By typing this, when it’s posted as a comment it looks like my response to Brenda, below.

html code formatting.jpg

A Lune and a How-To Link

Earlier in the year I saw a tweet by Jocelyn Blumgart (@jocpyp) introducing me to the poetry form lunes, as shared by one of our Poetry Friday crew, Alan Wright, during a workshop he was presenting in Adelaide.

poetry-lunes

For Poetry Friday today, I share my first attempt at a lune, inspired by our indolent SavvyCat, snapped in holiday mode earlier this week.  Continue reading

How to Storybird

Last week I posted about my discovery of Storybird. (You can read more here.) Storybird has been around since 2010, so I was feeling a little late to the party… but it soon became apparent that I wasn’t the only late arrival. So… for those of you who’ve never flown the nest, here’s a little peek into the process of creating a poem in Storybird. (You can also write picture books and chapter books, without the word ‘tags’ but I love the immediacy of the poetry – and haven’t yet spread my wings much in the other areas. And besides, this is Poetry Friday. 😉 )

First, you choose a photo (1) as inspiration. There are so many illustrations to choose from, generously shared by incredibly talented artists. There are vibrant pieces with an abundance of colour, or simpler black and white illustrations – or muted colours in between. (Something for every mood and preference!) For this example, I chose bright rain by thedreamygiraffe

Storybird Collage01 Sm
Continue reading

January Month of Poetry: Part Two

This year my goal for Month of Poetry (MoP12) was to write a sonnet. In truth, I wanted to play and ‘perfect’ the form. Not that I particularly *loved* the form – but because in other MoPs participants who have written a sonnet speak as if they’ve climbed Mount Everest. A challenge? I’m in!

I asked my friend Di Esmond for some pointers. Which she gladly gave in her own inimitable style. You can read Di’s simple sonnet tips on the Month of Poetry blog.

I wasted a day on my first attempt. Tried three different sonnets, on suitably learned topics. Failed. Crushing defeat. Rising frustration. Those five strong beats were a syncopated constipated curse! I quit.

At which point, my anger and frustration bubbled over… (Oops…) and resulted in Sonnet: Finito.  …..  Continue reading