This past week I have been running a Poetry Pep Up across social media platforms, with thanks to the support of CQRASN and the lovely Trudie Leigo. You can play catch-up with the prompts by clicking on the relevant day below, to go direct. It’s not too late to put some sparkle in your day, fire up your creativity, and build writing muscle. Continue reading
The last month, I’ve been alternating between polishing (and submitting) picture books, and writing poetry. I’m busily at work on my Antarctic historical verse novel – trying new poetic forms and realising all over again how beneficial poetry is for writing. Truly seriously, if you are a principal, literacy coach, or classroom teacher (if you value writing muscle and creativity), you NEED poetry in your classrooms. Regularly! I know I say it often – but after an extended period of time fashioning facts into strict poetic forms I’m going to say it again – nothing builds writing muscle better than poetry. Nothing sparks creativity, wordplay and experimentation with literary devices better than poetry. It’s a challenge. It’s invigorating and rewarding. It’s valuable. It’s FUN!
Why aren’t we encouraging and enabling more kids to write more poetry?
Why do we clutter their curriculum with so many persuasives that kids can’t even be persuaded to want to WRITE!? Everything feels so prescribed. Actually, I had a little rant about something similar on Twitter last week. So maybe I should just combine the two, and do the job properly! In the hope that someone who writes curriculum might one day stumble on my blog, I’m just going to include a couple of the tweets here…
To illustrate my point, about the muscle, creativity and economy of poetry, I’ll include a little snippet from my Antarctic WIP. And a picture. From Antarctica… (Any excuse to revisit Antarctica!!)
The poem is a tetractys, (or in this case, a double tetractys) and follows a specific syllable count.
Line 1 – 1 syllable
Line 2 – 2 syllables
Line 3 – 3 syllables
Line 4 – 4 syllables
Line 5 – 10 syllables
The double tetractys reverses the syllable count in the second half. A tetractys can rhyme. Often mine do – but in this one I was focused on the facts and wordplay. And so many details! (Read more about the tetractys.)
Current version (after three days of tweaks) – which I can’t guarantee won’t change… but I’m feeling pretty chuffed with!
slick, too-smooth ice,
frozen obstacle course and push-pull squalls.
Do not snuff the lantern! Record results.
Face and fingers
Tetractys © Kathryn Apel 2017 – All rights reserved
There are so many different forms of poetry – something for every reader, writer and situation. Some forms have ‘rules’, like the tetractys, while others offer freedom. Poetry is a wealth of creativity just waiting to be unleashed!
Irene will help you Live Your Poem (Yay!) as she collects the links for the #PoetryFriday round-up today. Thanks, Irene. Whether you’re a reader, a writer, an educator or a student, (anyone, really) I’m sure you’ll find good stuff there!
It’s been a busy week on the blog. I don’t usually post this much! But here I am again, for Poetry Friday.
On Tuesday I shared a collage of pictures from my exciting mail day.
Today I’m posting a double tetractys – only my second Antarctic poem (How is this so?!) and the first thing written on a new project I’m currently researching. (It’s just the tip of the iceberg!) This poem likely won’t make it into the project – but I’m testing the water (ice-cold!) and gaining some confidence to strike out on this new adventure.
on stone on
stone near stone on
stone on stone grey stone
stacked high like brick by balanced, cold, stone brick;
bleak stone walls rise from shale floor; upturned sledge
and planks form the roof;
ice winds bluster
as snow swirls
And … for my youngest son’s benefit, I’m also posting my first ‘real’ author pic. A number of years ago he declared I wasn’t a real author until I’d published five books. He’s trying to shift the goal posts now, but … I’m claiming!
My week’s been wonderful – and super-productive. Hope yours has, too!
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.
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.
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?”
** 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.
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.
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