Poetry topic idea: Pumpkins

In light of fall, Halloween, and Thanksgiving, pumpkins could make an interesting poetry topic idea to explore at this time.  A number of poetry ideas can come from thinking about pumpkins.

Pumpkins could generally lead to poems about one of the three time periods mentioned above (fall, Halloween or Thanksgiving).  A poet could, from one of those points, write about things such as jack-o-lanterns, pumpkin pie or decorations.

A poet could also write about the varieties of pumpkins and their shapes and colors.

Additionally, a poet could focus on the structure of a pumpkin: a thin skin, a thick wall, a hollow core and seeds inside, and use this structure metaphorically in a poem.

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Poem with an explanation: Communication

The trumpets played,
 but the elephant ears,
  could not hear.

The brushes painted,
 but the black eyes,
  could not see.

The forest wept,
 but the wise ones,
  could not understand.

 

This poem has three stanzas that follow a form.  The first lines have three words each, each with the form The noun verb.  The second lines have four words each, each with the form But The adjective noun.  The third lines have three words each, each with the form Could Not verb.

The poem is based off a garden.  The poem references: trumpet flowers, elephant ears, Indian paint brushes, black eyed Susans, weeping willows and sage.  It applies the idea of actions and ideas to the names of the plants.  It’s about the plants not being about to communicate.

The first stanza is about the trumpet flowers playing, but the elephant ears not being able to hear them.  The second stanza is about the Indian paint brushes painting, but the black eyed Susans not being able to see.  The last stanza is about the willows weeping, but the sages not understanding.

A Poem: a flower

The flowers were right in the grove,
and were upon the grave,
and as the time did travel by,
their form they could not save.

The wind did come and blow on by,
and then the rain did fall,
the sun did shine with heat and light,
and cause some pain to all.

The flowers moved within the wind,
and rain washed them away,
the sun dried out what life there was,
and there they could not stay.

And then one day a boy did walk,
and went in to the grove,
he saw the stone with chiseled words,
and then his thoughts did rove.

As he did think of the past nights,
and stories that were read,
he thought the stone did seem too gray,
and went inside instead.

Within his room the boy did cry,
as he thought of the past,
he got the book that she did read,
the time he saw her last.

He took the book and set it down,
and opened it right then,
within he found a flower pressed,
right after chapter ten.

He took it out and wondered how,
the flower it got there,
but then he smelled its light bright sent,
and then he did not care.

He took it then right in his hand,
and walk out through the door,
he went into the shaded grove,
where he had been before.

He took the flower that he held,
and set it on the stone,
and thought that she would like it there,
for he felt not alone.

 

This poem is a continuation of the poem flowers that was posted to this blog on August 4, 2014.  The poem can be read here: flowers.

A photograph to inspire poetry: Yellow Flower

Yellow Flower

Here is a photograph to inspire poetry.  It is a photograph of a small yellow flower.

There are a number of inspirations for poetry that could be drawn from this photograph.

One is the idea of the stages of the flower.  In the photograph, there is a blooming flower, flower buds, and spent flowers.  The idea of stages can be used in poetry.

Additionally, this flower could be considered a weed.  This could lead to the poetic examination of something like social class (the idea being, why is this flower a weed, but other flowers are not?).

Another idea would be to examine contrast.  In the photograph, the yellow flower contrasts with the green plant.

Also, this photograph could generally inspire a nature themed poem.

Experimental Poetry Form: Starting Rhyme

In some poetry forms that rhyme, the end words rhyme.  For example, the following poem is a couplet, written in iambic tetrameter, with the last syllables rhyming:

The sky was gray as rain did fall,
upon the grass that did grow tall.

In the June 5, 2014 post to this blog, there was an experimental poetry form entitled: Lines with internal rhymes.  In that form, rather than having the rhyme at the end of the lines, the rhyme was contained within the lines.

As another way to experiment with rhyming, rather than having the rhyming at the end of the lines, or within the lines, the rhyming could start the lines.

Here is a form with this experiment:

Stanzas: 4
Lines per stanza: 2
Meter: iambic tetrameter
Rhyming pattern: in each couplet, the second syllable rhymes
Special note: the second syllable of each couplet, should either be the last syllable of the first word, or a one syllable word that is the second word in the couplet.

Here is an example of a poem using this form:

Around the house the rain did fall,
the sound of it came with a rush,

with force it fell upon the roof,
the source of it pouring with strength.

The rain did fall outside the glass,
the pane it shook as wind did blow,

but then the rain did cease to fall,
and when it stopped the sun did shine.

Poem with an explanation: The Shadow Moth

The Shadow Moth

While trying to think of a poem,
the shadow moth flew by,
and there was the idea.

This poem is a poem about writing a poem.  While a poem for this post was being considered, a moth flew by in a window and cast a shadow that moved.  Seeing the moth’s shadow, while attempting to write a poem for this post, inspired the poem for the post.  In some ways, there is a circular aspect to the poem, in that thinking of the poem, partially led to the poem.

Artwork to inspire poetry: Grapevine

Grapevine

The last photograph to inspire poetry on M. Sakran’s blog of and about poetry and poetry related things was The Purple Berries.  This artwork to inspire poetry is related to that photograph.  The artwork derives three colors from the photograph: purple from the berries, green from the living leaves, and brown from the leaves/soil on the ground.  The three colors were used to create an artwork of grapes on a vine.  The purple berries in some way resemble grapes on a vine and led to the inspiration for that artwork.

This artwork can inspire poetry in two ways.  The first way is from the artwork itself.  The idea of grapes on a vine can be an inspiration for a poem.  The second way is to focus on how the inspiration for the artwork was developed.  This artwork derived its colors and form from something else.  This idea of drawing from one thing to create another thing can be useful in poetry.  In the same way that the colors for the artwork were derived from a photograph, a poet could derive poetry elements from things that they observe.  For example, a poet might see a grapevine with its long vines with clusters, and be inspired to write a poem that trails, with bursts of emphasis.

Poem with an explanation: Chicken Salad

Chicken Salad

Cooked diced chicken,
Sliced pepperoncini peppers,
Sliced black olives,
Sliced green olives,
Whole brined capers,
Crumbled feta cheese,
Powdered parmesan cheese,
Ground sea salt,
Ground black pepper,
Bright olive oil,
Fresh lemon juice,

Stir,
Mix,
Coat,

Shredded carrot,
Cherry tomatoes,
Yellow pepper,
Red pepper,
Romaine lettuce,

Stir,
Mix,
Coat,

Dinner.

 

This poem is a recipe for a chicken salad.  While a recipe may not be generally be thought of as a poem, this one is meant to be one.

The main reason it is a poem, in addition to being a recipe, is that its purpose is to create imagery and a sense of hunger, rather than just convey information.  The idea of it is not just to provide a recipe for a chicken salad, but more to have the reader imagine the chicken salad, see it in their minds, imagine the taste, and feel a sense of hunger.

In addition to this, it also has a sense of poetry form.  It is divided into five stanzas.  The first stanza has lines of three words each, the second of one word each, the third of two words each, the fourth of one word each, and the fifth stanza has one word.  Also, the second and fourth stanzas are identical.  Additionally, the first stanza has lines that follow a pattern of two adjectives and then a noun, the second and fourth stanzas are verbs, the third stanza has a pattern of an adjective and then a noun in each line, and the last stanza is a noun.

The idea of this poem is provide a creative view of a poem by having a poem that is also a recipe.

Experimental Poetry Form: Random Rhyming

This experimental poetry form is called random rhyming.  It consists of twenty lines of iambic tetrameter with pairs of rhymes, in the following rhyming pattern:

FEJCAJBCIHHDADGIBFGE

The rhyming pattern was developed as follows:

The numbers one through twenty were written on a piece of paper.  Each number was then cut from the piece of paper.  The twenty pieces of paper were turned face down on a desk and then mixed around.  The pieces of paper were then turned over one by one generally from left to right on the desk.  The numbers were typed in a spreadsheet as they were turned over and were grouped in pairs as they were typed (the first two numbers turned over were the first pair, the second two numbers turned over were the second pair, etc.).  The first pair was labeled with an A for each number, the second pair with a B for each number, and so on through the ten pairs.  Then the numbers were sorted in increasing order in the spreadsheet carrying the letters with them.  At this point, the numbers were then in increasing numerical order and the letters were matched with the numbers as they were originally typed.  The result had the letters in the order as they are shown in the rhyming pattern above.

The purpose of this experimental poetry form is to see how a random rhyming pattern affects a poem.

Here is an example of a poem that utilizes this random rhyming pattern:

Beneath a tree

Beneath a tree when it was dawn,
the group did stand while looking down,
at the square hole in front of them,
that had a box of wood within.
They all did stand in silence then,
as the sun rose like a bright gem,
and waited for the man to speak,
to those around who were his kin.
The man then read some words of peace,
about the one who lay asleep,
as those who stood did stand and weep,
as they did hear the words he spoke.
And as he spoke the words in pen,
the sound of sobs in the group broke,
as tears did fall beneath the tree,
as all the silence did then cease.
And those who stood did feel so meek,
as they did think of who was gone,
and wished that what they felt would flee,
beneath the tree with leaves of brown.

Artwork to inspire poetry: 500 gold squares

500 Gold Squares

This artwork is comprised of five hundred gold squares.  It can help inspire poetry in a variety of ways.

For example, a poet could look for a pattern in the white spaces and see what that inspires.  Or, a poet could connect the squares and find inspiration in the design they make.  Additionally, a poet could focus on the number five hundred and use that as a start for a poem.  A poet could also focus on the gold in the artwork and compare it, for example, to actual gold.  A poet could look at the design, and see it as a metaphor for something (for example, a group of people in a crowd).  Or, a poet could examine how they believe the artwork was made (maybe, for instance, focusing on repetition).

This artwork can help inspire a variety of poetic ideas.