Poetry Challenge #77-Heave-Ho! Chant-She-Blows!

Sing-Alongs are always challenging—and sometimes embarrassing—even for me. (And those of you who know me, know I love to sing—badly.) The worst is when someone sticks a microphone in my face and I don’t know the words. That’s when I resort to the trusty mumble-mumble-murmer-murmer— la-di-dah-daaaaaaaa

My Best Friend’s Wedding  Classic!

My Best Friend’s Wedding Classic!

Songwriters who like audiences who sing-along— pirate ship captives & those wanting tips, for example—make singing along easier by writing song with repeated refrains—the more often repeated the better. Which brings me to today’s prompt.

Poetry Challenge #77

Heave-Ho! Chant-She-Blows!

“The chant poem is about as old as poetry itself,” writes Robert Lee Brewer in his Oct. 23, 2012 post. “Chant poems simply incorporate repetitive lines that form a sort of chant. Each line can repeat [as they do in Blues’ songs], or every other line [as in a Sea Shanty].” Sailors sang shanties as they rowed or heaved on ropes to keep everyone working at the same pace. It’s believed “Shanty” is a morphism of “chanty” meaning both the type of song and a name for the sailor who leads the singing. By way of an example, below is a Chant Poem Cindy created.  

Snow fell this morning, soft and white and cold,
I was thinking of our bench in Central Park today.

I liked it more before I got so old,
I was thinking of our bench in Central Park today.

I left the city a long time ago,
I was thinking of our bench in Central Park today.

Now I hear sounds of birds—the caws of crows,
I was thinking of our bench in Central Park today.
— --Cindy Faughnan

Follow these three easy steps to create your own Chant Poem—Or “Shanty” if you will! 

  1. Find a headline in a newspaper or magazine that you like the sound of. That will be your chant.

  2. Write a four line rhyming poem where the first 2 lines rhyme and the last 2. AABB

  3. Insert the chant between each line of your rhyming poem and you have a chant poem.

“They know a song will help the job along…”

Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Start writing!

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

*Cindy Faughnan and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge more than 1042 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 poem in the comments.

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Poetry Prompt #76 Thirsty Thursday

Maybe because it’s Thursday.

Maybe because I’m thirsty.

Maybe because water isn’t cutting it, I recollected a play called The Drunkard by William Henry Smith, which brought to mind the song cowboy song Cool, Clear Water, you know the one: “Don’t you listen to him Dan/He’s a devil not a man/and he spreads the burning sand with water/Cool, clear, water….” Thus today’s 7-Minute Poetry Challenge.

Poetry Prompt #76

Thirsty Thursday

Draw inspiration from the title, Thirsty Thursday, write a poem about thirst using as many “th” words as you can throw into it.

Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Start writing!

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

Here’s to You! & Your 7-Minute Poem!

When you’re finished reward yourself with a nice tall glass of something cool. Cheers!

Thirsty Thursday Playlist:

*Cindy Faughnan and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge more than 1037 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 poem in the comments.

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Poetry Challenge #74-Where I'm From

A few weeks ago, at the Kindling Words gathering author VCFA Faculty Uma Krishnaswami turned me onto the I Am From Project , celebrating our unique voices through poetry (my summation of the project, not the official word.). The project’s goal is “to create a national river of voices, reminding America that diversity is our origin and our strength.” Uma shared a poem and invited us to join it. I’m inviting you to do the same.

Poetry Challenge #74

The Stuff of Me

Write a poem describing where you are from, your ancestors, roots, family, and or your own personal journey. Scroll down for one shining example by and the link to #iamfromproject.

Begin with the words:

Where I’m From . . .

Where I’m From” by George Ella Lyon

I am from clothespins,
from Clorox and carbon-tetrachloride.
I am from the dirt under the back porch.
(Black, glistening,
it tasted like beets.)
I am from the forsythia bush
the Dutch elm
whose long-gone limbs I remember
as if they were my own.

I’m from fudge and eyeglasses,
from Imogene and Alafair.
I’m from the know-it-alls
and the pass-it-ons,
from Perk up! and Pipe down!
I’m from He restoreth my soul
with a cottonball lamb
and ten verses I can say myself.

I’m from Artemus and Billie’s Branch,
fried corn and strong coffee.
From the finger my grandfather lost
to the auger,
the eye my father shut to keep his sight.

Under my bed was a dress box
spilling old pictures,
a sift of lost faces
to drift beneath my dreams.
I am from those moments—
snapped before I budded —
leaf-fall from the family tree.
— http://www.georgeellalyon.com/where.html
Where I'm From.jpg

*Cindy Faughnan and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge 1027 days ago and counting . . . 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 poem in the comments.

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Poetry Challenge #73-Contrapuntality of Life

I love music, love singing, love listening—am lousy at playing music. Yes, I’’ve tried. I took piano lessons from 13-17 and finally, when I could not grasp the concept of “chords” my teacher wrote me off as hopeless. But that doesn’t stop me! (My current challenge is a Uke.)

Poetry Challenge #73

Contrapuntality of Life

Contrapuntal is defined as two or more independent melodic lines in music. You can write a contrapuntal poem by combining two independent poems—one line of one and then one line of another. Try it!

1) Find two poems you’ve written that are of a similar length.
2) Alternate your poems by writing one line of one and then one line of the other. If it doesn’t seem to be working, try it using the opposite one first.
3) Change what you need to change to make sense. Sometimes that’s just capital letters and punctuation, but sometimes you might need to add or delete a word.

Here’s what came of Cindy melding two poems.

I could have made dinner tonight, but instead
alone with the elements of craft,
I read a good book and cleaned under the bed.
I wonder why
I sorted my yarn and picked up the craft table
to grow this garden better.
I folded the laundry and now I’m not able
to cook any food.
Outside the window, there’s crackers and cheese
and fruit if you like.
I see my history.
I’ll have some please.
— http://cindyfaughnan.com/faughnan/?p=950

Now it’s your turn!

Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Start writing!

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

Langston Hughes’ collection of Jazz poetry—did it come from exercises like these? I like to think so!

Langston Hughes’ collection of Jazz poetry—did it come from exercises like these? I like to think so!

*Cindy Faughnan and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge 1020 days ago and counting . . . 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 poem in the comments.

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Poetry Challenge #72-World Read Aloud Day

Happy World Read Aloud Day!

Poetry Challenge #72

World Read Aloud Day

Let’s celebrate in style. For today’s prompt, instead of taking 7 minutes to write a poem, let’s read poems aloud. Grab a collection of poems, click over to one of the poetry links below, or if you’re feeling truly brave, flip back through your notebook and reread some of the poems you’ve written. Then, take a deep breath and read—aloud! To someone or something else. After all, poetry is best shared!

Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Start Reading!

(Be warned: You just might get carried away!)

World Read Aloud Day Links:

  1. LitWorld.org

  2. Famous Poems & Poets

  3. Poem Hunters

  4. International Poetry Digest

  5. The Writer’s Almanac NPR

  6. Where The Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein

*Cindy Faughnan and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge more than a thousand fifteen 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 poem in the comments.

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Poetry Challenge #71-Lists

resolution list.jpg

January is a month of lists: resolutions, goals, projects, groceries.

Poetry Challenge #71

Lists

You can write list poems over and over with different results every time.

  1. Begin with any topic and list things it makes you think of as quickly as you can.

  2. Next go through the list and pick out one or more things that stick out for you.

  3. Try making a list from the thing you picked out.

  4. What does that thing make you think of?

  5. Why did you pick it?

  6. Add detail.

  7. Use your senses.

  8. Play with rhythm or rhyme.

Here are a couple prompts you can use to start if you want:

I like…
I wish I liked…
I remember…

resolutions.jpg

Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Start writing!

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

*Cindy Faughnan and I resolved to begin this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge more than 1010 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 poem in the comments.

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Poetry Challenge #70-Noises On!

For the last poetry challenge we explored the Sound of Silence, this time, let’s crank up the volume by focusing on noise. 

Poetry Challenge #70

Noises On!

trolley.jpg

Visualize an event, a moment, an incident—either real or imagined. Now, close your eyes and listen to the sound of significant movements and/or actions happening in that moment. What sounds do you hear? Heart beats, water dripping, footsteps, maybe bells . . .

Write a poem using these sounds. Try establishing a rhythm by repeating the sound a few times in each line followed or preceded by what is making the sound. Some hugely successful songs use sounds in this way. For example, in The Trolley Song sung notably by Judy Garland in the movie Meet Me in St. Louis sounds are used to describe the first moment Ester meets John:

Clang, clang, clang went the trolley
Ding, ding, ding went the bell
Zing, zing, zing went my heart strings
From the moment I saw him I fell

Chug, chug, chug went the motor
Bump, bump, bump went the brake
Thump, thump, thump went my heart strings
When he smiled I could feel the car shake
— The Trolley Song by Hugh Martin & Ralph Blane
Tarantella.jpg

And in one of the all-time greatest stick-in-your-head songs That’s Amore! sung notably by Dean Martin jingly sounds are what make us what to sing and dance along:

Bells will ring ting-a-ling-a-ling, ting-a-ling-a-ling
And you’ll sing “Vita bella”
Hearts will play tippy-tippy-tay, tippy-tippy-tay
Like a gay tarantella
— That’s Amore! written by Jack Brooks & Harry Warren

If you have your list of sounds, but you’re stuck for a way in, use one of these songs as a model for your poem (that’s what I did.)

Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Start writing!

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

Noises On! Playlist:

That’s Amore! written by Jack Brooks & Harry Warren

The Trolley Song by Hugh Martin & Ralph Blane

BTW: If you are wondering where the usual links are, my resolution is to stop promoting compensation-free downloading. Please download from your fav buying spot.

drum.jpeg

*Cindy Faughnan and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge more than 1000 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 poem in the comments.

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Poetry Challenge #69-The Sound of Silence

I’m writing this from the middle of a snowstorm. Heavy snow blankets the ground, outlines the trees, and continues to fall. Schools and businesses are closed. There’s no traffic. The world is silent. And that got me thinking: what does silence sound like?

snow_day.jpg

Poetry Challenge #69

The Sound of Silence

Write a poem that’s filled with silence. What images make you think of silence? What can you see and not hear?

Try using quiet sounds—s and l and w—for your words so your poem has a quiet sound to it.

Shhh. Listen. Write.

Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Start writing!

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

The Sound of Silence Playlist:

Simon & Garfunkle’s Sounds of Silence (Of course!) BTW: If you are wondering where the usual link is, my resolution is to stop promoting compensation-free downloading. The link attached is to info about the song. Please buy it if you want to listen.

*Cindy Faughnan and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge at least 998 days ago. We now take turns creating our own prompts to share with you. (This prompt was Cindy’s idea.) 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 poem in the comments.

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