Poetry Challenge #85-Yes, You May!

It’s May! It’s May! Flowers are blooming, birds are chirping, grass is growing, trees are branching out—and so are we! Hooray! Hooray!

Ring around the May Pole

Ring around the May Pole

Mothre May I.jpg

Taking a cue from the musical Camelot’s Lusty Month of May song, in which merrymakers prance about singing “It’s May! It’s May! The month of Yes, You May!” we’re giving ourselves permission to break a few rules.

 

 

Poetry Challenge #85*

“Yes, You May!”

With “Yes, You May” as the title, write a poem giving someone (or something)—maybe yourself—permission to be naughty, mischievous, daring—in other words, to do something he, she, it—YOU—would never, ever do. As this poem is a celebration of May, use flowery, colorful, provocative language. And, if you’re in the mood to be extra daring, give permission to go all out by having every line begin with “Yes, You May” . . .

Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Start writing!

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

As if you need permission

As if you need permission

“Yes, You May!” Playlist:

Lusty Month of May from Lerner & Lowe’s Camelot

 *Full disclosure: This is a repeat of #33. We had so much fun we decided to do it again, because…We Can!

*Cindy Faughnan and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge over 750 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!

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Poetry Challenge #81 Don't Bother Checking Twice

Santa still snoozing at some sunny warm spa, recovering after the busy holiday season. So, while he’s otherwise occupied, no need to bother about checking twice—unless it’s to be sure you have ink/lead in your writing implement of choice—thus clearing the way for this prompt:

Poetry Challenge #81

Make a List

Although at first glance you might not notice, soooo many poems are list poems: Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s “How do I Love Thee”, Billy Collins’ “Bread and Knife,” Shel Silverstein’s “Eighteen Flavors” to name a few.

In a list poem, you can list things you like (animals, colors, kinds of cars, playground games), signs of a season, tasks you have to do, items in a category, or what you’re going to do today.

Once you have your list, play with the order.

Choose better words that sound the same (maybe rhyme, or use alliteration).

Can you make the poem sound like it has an ending? 

Try writing a list poem. What are your plans for the day today? Or use one of the ideas above.

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 1100-ish 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 #79-Fibonacci Awakening

Hurrah! It’s spring! Take a close look at the way the leaves on a plant and petals on a flower grow. Notice how they often grow in a pattern: One in the center; next row 2; third row 3; fourth row 5; fifth row 8 and so on. This pattern, which allows each leaf/petal to have maximum exposure to light and moisture while maintaining a tidy spiral pattern, called is the Golden Ratio, is the Fibonacci Sequence in action! Pure poetry, right! Which leads naturally to today’s prompt:

Fibonacci Sequencing Succulent

Fibonacci Sequencing Succulent

Poetry Challenge #79

Fibonacci Awakening

Number sequences are fun ways to create a form for a poem in that they pose a puzzle without too many rules. You could write a poem with using your phone number, birthday or another important date to determine the number of words or syllables on each line. For instance, this year the first day of spring is March 20th or 3202019 which would be kind of weird or maybe fun as the zeros could be stanza breaks. Get mathematical and write a poem based on the first six digits of pi: 314159, or have some spring fun with Fibonacci.

A Fibonacci sequence begins with 0 and 1. Each number is the sum of the two previous numbers. The third number would be 0+1=1. The fourth number is 1+1=2. And so on.

Write a poem matching the number of syllables or words on each line with the first six numbers in the Fibonacci sequence: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8.

In celebration of Spring Awakening, let the theme of your poem be Springish!

Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Start writing!

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

When you finish step outside and find the Fibonacci Busting out all over!

If the Fibonacci has you fired up for More MATH! Here’s a fab Math Challenge game!

*Cindy Faughnan and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge more than 1050 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 #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 Challenge #75-Anagram

bananagrams.jpg

Have you played a game where you’re given some letters and you have to see how many words you can make out of them? Bananagram and Scrabble are two family favorites. For today’s prompt, let’s start there and push it further.

Poetry Challenge #75

Anagram Poetry

For today’s poem, begin with a title. Then, create a poem from words you can make by rearranging the letters in the title. You might want to spend a few minutes listing words ala an anagram game before you start writing. You can come up with your own title or use one from the list below:

A Walk in the Garden

Birds Fly over My House

The Bus is Late--Again

Snow Falls in Silent Forests

Here’s Cindy’s attempt:

The Last Time I Went to Town

The last time
I went to town,
the lawn was mown.
I lost a shoe,
the steam was mean.
It went to
a test to see what the mist meant.
Now was the time to stow meat low.
In the lost mantle, I settle.

*Cindy Faughnan and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge more than 1030 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 #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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