In my interview with Heidi Bee Roemer on April 3rd, she advised aspiring poets to try new poetry forms. She said “most new poets never go beyond the standard couplet or quatrain. There are so many other forms to explore!” I think this is good advice for published poets as well. It never hurts to expand your field of writing and challenge your creativity.
On the No Water River blog, Heidi read her poem, "Food Fest". Food Fest is an analogy poem, a poem that compares things that are alike, or similar. I’d never written an analogy poem, so I thought I’d give it a try.
I spent several hours working on my poem, making lists and putting words with similar meanings together. Not as easy as it looks! Of course, good poems always look easy to write because they’re easy to read and to listen to. Here’s my first draft:
Green is to string beans as red to tomatoes
Pull is to carrots as dig to potatoes
Birdbaths to splashing as feeders to eating
Bees are to buzzing as robins to tweeting
Trees are to apples as vines are to grapes
Sun is to shadows as shadows to shapes
Hares are to hopping as hawks are to flight
Sunrise to morning as moonlight to night
(Backyard Garden—copyright Peggy Archer. all rights reserved)
This is still a work-in-progress. I can think of so many other things that could relate to a backyard garden! What I need to figure out is what to include and what to leave out, and how to put it altogether so that there’s a thread going through it to connect everything, with a beginning, a middle and an end. And I do think there should be a beginning, a middle and an end just like in a story. Because, like a story, a poem leaves the reader with an emotional response and something to think about.
In his book IMMERSED IN VERSE, Allan Wolf lists some different types of poems. Here are a few that you might try:
Concrete poetry is a poem in which the words are arranged to visually show the subject of the poem. For example, the words might be arranged on the page in the shape of a tree or an umbrella. This is also called a shape poem. Check out Brad Burg’s website where you can see some examples of shape poems.
A cinquain is a five-line unrhymed poem.
Line one consists of one noun that introduces the subject of the poem.
Line two consists of two adjectives that describe the subject.
Line three consists of three verbs related to the subject.
Line four is a phrase; it tells the writer’s feelings or describes the subject.
Line five is a different noun that sums up the poem.
A found poem is created by gathering existing words from different places like newspapers, books, magazines, signs, license plates, etc, and rearranging them into a poem. I have a friend who writes found poems and it’s amazing what she ends up with! I think it would be fun to gather words or phrases that are fun to say and work them into a poem.
Give it a try—take a step away from whatever form of poetry is comfortable for you and have some fun!
Please stop by on Wednesday this week and visit with children’s author and poet, Amy Sklansky, who will be sharing her books and a bit of her writing life with us!
Don't forget to leave a comment to get in the drawing for one of my books! And thanks to children's author and friend Cynthia Reeg for sharing my book giveaway on her website.