Writing on the Rocks

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.)

The process. Early versions of a tetractys draft – though I know there were many other combinations that don’t seem to be in my document. #Ooops  There are ERRORS in the above, btw. Can you spot them?

The portion of text that shaped the poem.

Current version (after three days of tweaks) – which I can’t guarantee won’t change… but I’m feeling pretty chuffed with!

Dark
hill slope,
blinding snow,
slick, too-smooth ice,
frozen obstacle course and push-pull squalls.
Do not snuff the lantern! Record results.
Face and fingers
frostbitten;
wind has
teeth.

Tetractys © Kathryn Apel 2017 – All rights reserved

Different bay, different season, different era, different character, but… Antarctica! (So that’s okay – right?) #breakingalltherules

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!

Bossy Words

This year I’ve been back on class. And the planning, marking and soon-to-come reporting, has been a concern. I can’t seem to write creatively, with such big thinks hanging over my head.

On Monday, I finished the official planning documentation. I then threw myself into some pressing writing business, and then… I should just let my tweets tell the story!  Continue reading

#MoP16 Poetry Friday Update

Poetry Friday is here again. Well – it is in American-time, anyway. But I’m running late in Australia. Thank-you to Keri at Keri Recommends
 for collating the round-up this week. Click across to Keri’s blog to read the assortment of poetry posts and be inspired.

Today I’m sharing a snippet from a verse novel that I’ve finally (halfway through Month of Poetry) started working on… It had some attention (and some loving) during #MoP14 and into the year – then sat untouched in my drafts folder throughout 2015. I opened it up mid-week, and laboured over one poem … but success came yesterday, when I jumped a big segment that persists in tangling me up, to land in the later stages of the MS.  Continue reading

Book Week – An Idea

This week’s Poetry Friday post is a snippet from my current WIP, another verse novel for early readers – this one about friendships. On the surface it sounds sweet and light, but as with friendship it’s a balance of the good and bad.

I’m sharing this particular snippet because it flows on from last week’s Light sci-ku for Science Weekbut more importantly, fits this week’s Book Week theme; Books Light Up Our World. (You think they planned that connection?)

KatApel_Lightbulb
Continue reading

Sneak Peek – What I’m Writing

I’ve been tagged again – this time by talented picture book author and beautiful, supportive friend, Katrina Germein.

The challenge is to share 7 lines from page 7 or 77 of a current WiP. Then tag other writers to continue the game.

Here’s 7 lines from page 7 of my current WIP – another verse novel.

 

My hand hurts and the
harder I try the more
those blue lines
squeeze my letters
out of                         place
.           out of
.                        shApE.

 

Now to tag the next writers to share a sneak-peek of their work…

1) Adam Byatt , 2) Rebecca Newman and 3) Samantha Wheeler.

Looking forward to seeing where you’re all at with your current WIPs! (And congrats Sam, on your beautiful new UQP book, Spud & Charli. xx)