“Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance.” Carl Sandburg
“Poetry is language at its most distilled and most powerful.” Rita Dove
It’s the tingle of words, the spark of creativity that births a ripen poem. Poetry is the choosing of influential words—a kiss of humor or a strike of drama. It’s Dom Pérignon in a brothel, an elegance to the tongue transformed from the raw.
When I’ve posted a poem or talked about poetry, several people have said that they shy away from it because they’re afraid of misinterpreting it. They’re not sure if they will understand the meaning. I believe that poetry doesn’t necessarily have a singular meaning for all. Poetry lets the reader think and interpret it the way they see the poem.
I received an email in my inbox yesterday, which goes well with my pre-poetry celebration. Of course, I am so jealous. If you live in Cambridge, Boston, you’re going to want to read this article about the Sidewalk Poetry Program. The City of Cambridge is replacing sidewalks damaged by the harsh winter, and plan to imprint residents’ poetry on the replacement slabs. How cool is that!
Since April is National Poetry Month, I’ll be writing about poetry and posting poems choosing forms from Shadow Poetry and Poets. Here are a couple of poems I wrote in April 2013 and 2014. Let’s embrace our poetic side.
- April Fools (2013) - Tongue Twister
- Wear Tattoo (2013) - Acrostic Poem
- Made in Heaven (2013) - Free Verse
- Unabashed Lovers (2014) - Memento
- Black Eyes (2014) - Nonet
- Cinque Terre (2014) - CinqTroisDecaLa Rhyme
- Travel to Create (2014) - Blitz Poem
Poetry that ties your tongue when read out loud. It does not need rhyme.
April Fool’s is about cruel spools of jokes about folks of different strokes. Trap a chap into a flat full of bubble wrap. Friends clap to see the chap collapse.
Tweet Pete for a treat to eat down the street in the window seat then be discreet and retreat so Pete takes the heat for all the meat.
Buy twelve pies for dieting Di and watch her weight grow times eight. Her thighs, bigger than Shanghai, with a butt the size of Kuwait.
Play and pay this day of cliché for it displays dismay for the game of prey that make friendships decay because today you went astray.
The first letter of each line spells out a word or phrase, which is normally the title of the poem. I attempted a double acrostic that also ends each line with that letter.
Whether we’re somebody big or a shadow Everyone has a right to express their creative side Anywhere on their body—a picture of Madonna, Resting near our heart, or words from an ancestor. The whereabouts of your artistic placement Adds to its emotional want—your own galleria. Tobacco grey may be the color of choice, or a light Teal to fill in parts of a full moonset. Oblige imagination and make your body a fresco Or a secret message of graffito.
In Memory of Sandy Hook Elementary School
It’s hard to believe our tags show ‘Made in Heaven’ when we’re nowhere near the same.
Me—a young child, a life ahead, fell and perished by the hands of a hater.
Me—a class teacher a bucket list I should achieve, murdered in cold blood by hate.
Me—an official loving my job and family, had it taken by disturbed hate.
‘Made in Heaven’—I do believe you were not what HE had in mind when HE gave gifts.
Was the pain and hate too great that you made your mom a casualty of your assault?
Or did you kill her so she wouldn’t see shocking acts that her son would carry out?
Is that the price the rest of the world pays for all the ill, loners, bullied, turned rancid?
Your legacy in life, a monster in disguise, is only what we’ll remember.
Until someone else feels the same way as you, and sums up the price of human life.
It’s not my right to judge or question even though my life was cut short of its time.
For now, I will sleep with the angels and pray for the world and loved ones left behind.
And hope that they know I’m forever safe—and wait since we were all ‘Made in Heaven’.
Emily Romano created this form. It’s supposed to be about a holiday or anniversary, but I didn’t write about either one. The syllable count is 8,6,2 for each stanza, and the rhyme scheme is a/b/c/a/b/c.
Ignore the judgmental whispers That pour faster than rain No worth; Words that form on tongues like blisters Creating endless pain Unbirth.
To listen is to give power Losing a bit of you Hush now; Stomp out the negative flower To continue your woo Avow.
A nine line poem that starts with nine syllables and ends with one syllable. The first line is nine syllables, the second line is eight syllables, etc. It can be about anything and rhyming is optional.
Black eyes and wounds were the easy part. The killer was my sold guitar. You knew just how to hurt me. My strings with me longer Than your dirty ass. Now I am free With music. Bastard Gone. .
Invented poetry form created by Laura Lamarca.
This is a 10-line stanza with each line having a 15-syllable count with a rhyme scheme of AABBCCCABC.
Visions of such natural beauty goes beyond expectations Designs sublime, magical to see, sustained generations Hearts and minds amazed by the miracles brought forth in décor Scenic nature, copies fail, originals we adore Mountains, curves, straight lines of color, a glorious obsession History of aged rock, earth corrodes, water makes impression Creative arts are hard at work to find the right expression Control moved from family to nation with declarations Notable moments of love and war, bloodshed upon its shore Its splendor holds strong; exists in peace away from aggression
Created by Robert Keim, this poem is of rapid flow and repetition. The first 48 lines are short, at least two words, and the lines run in pairs. Write the first two lines, and then the last word of line 2 becomes the first word of lines 3 and 4. This pattern continues through line 48. The last two lines repeat the last line of 48 and then line 47.
The title must be only three words with a preposition or conjunction. This conjunction must join the first word of the third line with the first word of the 47th line, which is the title of the poem. Okay, I wrote this quick today, so I hope the line patterns and numbers are fine.
Live a little Live to travel Travel over time Travel to create Create the abstract Create the concrete Concrete pictures Concrete ideas Ideas that transform Ideas that move Move your heart Move to a new style Style makes you unique Style stands out Out of your mind Out of old molds Molds that redefine Molds in different setting Setting sun Setting up the canvas Canvas of our life Canvas to imagine Imagine the beauty Imagine the sin Sin is all around Sin can hide away Away from the noise Away with the memories Memories of love Memories of truth Truth gives honor Truth knows no color Color a new world Color the old world World snapped in two World beauty never ends Ends to a means Ends to the artist Artist arrives home Artist travels Rome Rome, the coliseum Rome around the land Land triggers thoughts Land inspires Inspires the artist Inspires to create Create fantasy Create dreams Dreams… Fantasy…
April and Poetry,