Poetry Challenge #28

Balliol

Another fun form of poetry is the balliol. The balliol is a four-line poem that has two pairs of rhyming couplets (a couplet is two lines). Each line contains four beats (which you can get by writing eight syllables). Balliols are usually funny and about a person. The first couplet includes the person’s name. The second talks about what they do or who they are.

Here’s an example I came up with:

Inventor Thomas Edison
had light bulb moments in his den.
He lit the streets so all could tell
’twas one o’clock and all was well.

Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Start writing!

Don’t think about it too much; just do it.

 

*Kelly Bennett and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge over 700 days ago. We now take turns creating our own prompts to share with you. If you join us in the 7-Minute Poetry Challenge let us know by posting the title, a note, or if you want, the whole dang poem. Scroll down and click on the comments!

Poetry Challenge #27

Here Comes the Sun!

Move to a brighter spot, somewhere you are either in the sun, or where you can witness the effects of sunshine. Don your sunglasses and shade hat to get you in a springy mood. There, now your ready!

First: Brainstorm a list of words that rhyme with either the word “Spring” or “Sun”–your choice.

Now: Using the words from your list, write a springy-sunny poem entitled “Here Comes the Sun!”

Here Comes the Sun Playlist:
• Here Comes the Sun by The Beatles
• Feeling Groovy by Simon & Garfunkle
• Sunshine on My Shoulder by John Denver
• And one for Max: Springtime in Alaska by Johnny Horton
• One that is anything but springy, but I couldn’t resist: Three Days sung by KD Lang:

Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Start writing!

Don’t think about it too much; just do it.

 

*Kelly Bennett and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge over 700 days ago. We now take turns creating our own prompts to share with you. If you join us in the 7-Minute Poetry Challenge let us know by posting the title, a note, or if you want, the whole dang poem. Scroll down and click on the comments!

Poetry Challenge #26

I’m a wordy bird! Are you?

Quite often we use too many words to get our point across. We’re going to do some math today and take away 25% of the words used in a poem. But don’t worry…it will be simple. Just do one step at a time!

Take Away!
Pick one of your poems. Count the words in the poem. Divide that number by 4 (round up if it’s not even). Take away (delete!) that many words. Reread your poem aloud. How does it sound?

Abracadabra! A poem becomes sharper, stronger, more interesting without so many words. . . And the best part is, if you don’t like the way the poem sounds without the words, you can always put them back. Bippity-boppity-boop!

If the thought of removing 25% of your words scares you, check out this example of how my poem changed when I slashed it by 25%:

Here’s the Poem I started with entitled 2/24:

“I can’t watch the news.
I see those teens
so earnest, so determined,
so hurt,
and imagine the pain
and grief
of their lives.
There can’t be peace
on earth while
lobbyist make fun
of “white mothers grieving”
Every word is loaded
and shot
with no regard
for stolen innocence.”

It has 50 words. Divide that by 4 and round up should be about 13. Subtract 13 from 50 and you get 37.
50-13=37

2/24 The 37 word version:

“Can’t watch the news.
See those teens
so determined.
Can’t imagine the grief
of their lives.
Can’t be peace
while lobbyists
make fun of
“white mothers grieving”.
Words loaded
and shot
with no regard
for stolen innocence.”

This second version feels stronger, doesn’t it? But I didn’t stop there. “Can I cut another 25%?” I asked. 37 words, divided by 4 and rounded up to get 10. Subtracted 10 from 37 to get 27.
37-10=27

2/24 The 27 word version:

“Can’t watch
those determined teens.
Can’t imagine the grief.
Can’t be peace
while lobbyists
ridicule
“white mothers grieving”.
Words loaded
and shot.
No regard
for stolen innocence.”

WHOA! What a difference! Now you try it!

Set the timer for 7 minutes.
Select a poem to revise.
Do The Math!
Take Away 25%

*Kelly Bennett and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge over 700 days ago. We now take turns creating our own prompts to share with you. If you join us in the 7-Minute Poetry Challenge let us know by posting the title, a note, or if you want, the whole dang poem. Scroll down and click on the comments!