Experimental Poetry Form: New Year

The New Year is coming.  First, Happy New Year in advance.  Second, in light of the New Year, there will be no new blog post on this blog on Monday January 2, 2017.  Third, in light of the New Year, today’s experimental poetry form is based off of 1/1/2017.

This poem contains six lines, separated into three stanzas.  The first stanza has one line, the second stanza has one line, and the third stanza has four lines.  The line in the first stanza is just one word and the line in the second stanza is also just one word.  In the fourth stanza, the first line has two words, the third line has one word, and the fourth line has seven words.  The second line has something in it, but no words.  This something can be punctuation, a number written in numerals, a picture or something else, just no words.  The amount of things in this line is restricted to one line in length (it could however, be just one small item).  The word counts, written out, look like the date of the New Year: 1/1/2017.  Here is an example poem written in the form:

New

Year

It’s soon
!!!
Celebrate
Be happy, gleeful, and filled with joy!

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Artwork to inspire poetry: A Christmas box

Christmas box

This artwork is of a Christmas box.  The original box was made of wooden cube-like blocks.  There were eighty eight blocks.  The blocks were glued together to make the box and individually painted.  A sealer was then applied.  There are hinges holding the lid.  A picture of the box was taken and it was computer altered to give the artwork shown.

This artwork can inspire poetry.  A poet could write about:

  • What could be in the box and the significance of it.
  •  

  • The idea of individual pieces making a whole.
  •  

  • The idea of tradition, as shown by the red and green coloration.
  •  

  • The idea of making something by hand.
  •  

  • The idea of gifts.

Poem: Such is today

So let’s see,
there’s movies,
real ones,
and the ones on TV,
there’s music,
the one’s on CDs (do you know what those are?),
and on the radio,
there’s books,
how about one of poems,
and a fiction one,
there’s decorations,
indoor stuff,
and outdoor stuff,
there’s gifts,
so much to buy,
without knowing what to buy,
there’s wrapping,
it never seems to fit,
and gets torn up anyway,
there’s food,
cookies, cookies, cookies,
ham, potatoes, gravy,
there’s other stuff,
cards,
driving to see lights,
getting dressed up,
and other things.

Is all of this,
a list?
a list of things,
to get done,
to check off?
are they obligations,
needed things,
things that if not done,
(even though there is some sense of not wanting to do them),
there will be remorse,
or regret?

What if one year,
it wasn’t done?
What would that feel like?

Then,
there’s that other thing,
it’s in there,
it is,
you know,
the truth,
it’s in there,
but somehow,
it isn’t sinking in.

One day,
one day,
far away,
in a different place,
with the wood burning stove,
and the orchard,
things may be different.

Things may be,
like the unformed image,
seems to be,
with the candles,
the tree in a pot,
the real wreaths,
wood,
metal,
ceramic,
and glass,
that one long stocking,
and quiet.

One day.

Today,
sitting here though,
there’s a long list done,
and a long list to do.

Such is today.

 

P.S.  Sunday is Christmas.  Merry Christmas.  In light of this, there will be no new post on M. Sakran’s blog of and about poetry and poetry related things on Monday, December 26, 2016.  Have a nice Christmas.

Poetry topic idea: betrayal

Today’s poetry topic idea is betrayal.  Unlike some of the other poetry topic ideas that have been on this blog, betrayal is somewhat more typical as a subject for a poem.

The issue with betrayal is that in addition to whatever negative things that were done, there is the added element of who did them.  For example, it is one thing if your friend gets a job promotion you wanted.  It is another thing, if that friend lied to your boss about you to get it.  The first thing hurts in a physical sense – not getting a job promotion negatively impacts a person’s life in different ways.  The second thing though, hurts emotionally.  This is the added element of betrayal.

In writing poems about betrayal, a poet could explore different ideas.  For example, rather than writing the poem from the point of view of the betrayed, a poet could write it from the point of view of the betrayer.  They could even try different ideas where in one poem the betrayer was malicious, but in the second, the betrayer did what they did for some reason they thought was good, even though it hurt someone else.  For example, in the example above of the friend lying to get a promotion, maybe the person needed the better job to get more money so they could pay medical bills for a sick child.  They know what they did was wrong and that it hurt their friend, but they felt justified under the circumstances.

In another idea, a poet could write a poem where the betrayal was discovered by the betrayed (they knew what happened, who did it and why) and another poem where it wasn’t (they knew what happened, may have known who did it, but didn’t know why).  The poet could have both poems be about the same incident and have both together to highlight the differences.

There are different ways a poet could examine the idea of betrayal in a poem.

A photograph to inspire poetry: Living and dying

Living and dying

This photograph shows a plant that is living on one side and dying on the other.  There are many ways this can inspire poetry.  A poet could write about:

  • A person who puts on a happy public face, but in private is experiencing something painful.
  •  

  • A person who was well on one day, and diagnosed with a disease on the next.
  •  

  • An object that was in good condition one day, and destroyed the next (for example a house that burned down).
  •  

  • Flowers at a grave.
  •  

  • Something in a person dying. It could be seen as negative, such as the hope a person has dying, or it could be positive, such as an addiction a person has dying.
  •  

  • Life and death generally.

 

Poem with an explanation: the lights are dim this year

From fear,
of height and task,
the lights are dim this year,
and there within the empty walls,
sand flows.

 

This poem is about Christmas lights.  The first two lines give a reason for something, the third line says what the something is, and the last two lines describe the consequence.

In the poem, a person does not put Christmas lights on their home.  This is stated in the third line as “the lights are dim this year”.  The reason the person does not put up the lights is that they are afraid of something (From fear).  The person is afraid of climbing up on their roof (of height) and of the work that putting up lights will involve (and task).

Because the person does not put up Christmas lights, there is a consequence.  On the inside, the person wants to put up the lights (or, rather, wants the lights to be up).  The person though does not do what they want, because of the fear they have.  This causes a sense of discomfort in the person.  This discomfort comes from the fact that there is only a short time each year that the person can have Christmas lights on their house, and if they don’t put them up, they will miss their opportunity.  These ideas are described in the last two lines.

In the fourth line of the poem, and there within the empty walls, there is a literal and figurative meaning.  On the literal side, because the person has been affected by not putting up lights outside of their home, it has caused them stress, which has led to them not decorating the inside of their house as much as they would have.  That is why the walls of their house are described as empty.  In a figurative sense, the person is empty inside because they have not done something they wanted to do.  This emptiness is manifested in the fifth line.

In the fifth line, sand flows, the somewhat cliché idea of sand flowing to signify time flowing is used.  The cliché is used because the person has only taken one step in the feeling.  They have not gone to a deeper place.  All they feel, is the time flowing by and their opportunity to put lights up going away.  The person hasn’t thought more about it.

In addition to this being a poem about Christmas lights, it also has a broader meaning.  It is more generally, a poem about missed opportunity.  The poem describes a situation where an opportunity was willfully being missed, and yet there was still time to take the opportunity.  It describes the feeling of waiting while the time disappears.  It focuses on the consciousness of missing an opportunity.

This poem is a cinquain.  It has five lines, is written in iambic meter and follows the syllable and stress pattern of one type of the form.  Because the form was short, it gave a sense of trying to think of more poignant ideas and phrases to get the message across.

*****

Do you like poems with explanations?  Do you like to support writers whose work you enjoy?

M. Sakran has a self-published book of poems with explanations. It is called Understanding: poems with explanations and is available for purchase as an eBook for an available price of $0.99. If you like poems with explanations and like to support writers whose work you enjoy, then consider purchasing a copy today.

Experimental Poetry Form: Acrostic colors

This experimental poetry form is called acrostic colors.  It is simple in idea, and depending on the subject of the poem, could make a good presentation.

The poem has three lines, each separated by a line break.  The first line, is an acrostic of the word “blue”, the second is an acrostic of the word “orange”, and the third is an acrostic of the word “red”.  Additionally, the text of the blue line is colored blue, the text of the orange line is colored orange, and the text of the red line is colored red.

Here is an example poem to illustrate the idea:

Blowing lightly under eves,

outside rain almost nears glass enclosures,

remaining encased defends.