I've been having a lovely time lately, re-acquainting myself with haiku and tanka via the Carpe Diem blog hosted by Chevrefeuille, and learning new things about writing them – particularly haiku.
I've been responding to prompts, and have also been reading the very informative e-book, IN THE WAY OF BASHO, available free from the site.
Chevrefeuille often quotes the late Jane Reichhold who used to co-host with him. I particularly like the following:
There is, thank goodness, no one way to write a haiku. Though the literature has haiku which we admire and even model our own works on, there is no one style or technique which is absolutely the best. Haiku is too large for that. Haiku has, in its short history been explored and expanded by writers so that now we have a fairly wide range of styles, techniques and methods to investigate.
I asked a friend to do me the favour of casting a critical eye over my latest manuscript before I submit it. One thing she queried was my practice of not capitalising the initial letter of every line of my poems. Evidently she is more comfortable with the convention of initial capitals. For the sake of others who may be interested in this question, here is my reply to her:
Many poets still use the convention of capitalising the first letter of every line. At least as many, if not more, no longer do that. There's an interesting discussion of the matter here, amongst poets.
The practice of initial capitalising in English poetry began in the 16th Century. This changed with the advent of free verse in the 20th Century, as initial capitals would have been intrusive to the flow and to the various ways that poetry can now be arranged on the page. It is very common now for formal poets, too, to dispense with initial capitals, though some retain them. On the other hand, some practitioners of free verse, when using a fairly conventional arrangement of lines on the page, like to adopt initial capitals — but have to abandon them when they venture into things like shape poetry or prose poetry.
I write mosty free verse, but like to play with form sometimes. I don't want to be inconsistent within my own work so I adopt prose rules for capitalisation, whatever kind of verse I'm writing.
When all's said and done, these days it depends on the personal preference of the poet.
My blog on MySpace had had 30957 views last time I looked. Those people have given me ‘kudos’ for my writing only 1386 times, and I have received only 2130 comments. Some have been from the same people returning over and over again. Even so, I think that’s a lot more people than would find and like my poetry in any in-print Australian literary magazine.
My MySpace blog includes prose and has been going for four years. On Blogger I have three blogs just for poetry: ( Read more... )
Or actually IntPoWriMo* as I'm not of the nation that has National Poetry Month in April.
Whatever you call it, I've decided I'm doing it. Other Aprils recently I've participated in the Poetic Asides Poem A Day challenge hosted by Robert Lee Brewer; and my first online experience of this kind, also repeated since, was the September month of poetry at Poewar, hosted by John Hewett. Both great fun and inspirational. Robert and John, in their respective months, offer prompts for participants.
NaPoWriMo is simpler, and perhaps more challenging — just write a poem a day.
At a recent session with PsychLady I spoke of my passionate love of beauty, all kinds of beauty, and my sorrow at not being beautiful myself. I explained that this is why I began writing poetry when I was very young – I wanted to add to the beauty of the world, and for me poetry was the most beautiful thing a human could create.
[Error: unknown template qotd] "far on the ringing plains of windy Troy" (from Tennyson's Ulysses) - for no better reason than the music of it, and the evocativeness, indeed the POETRY. And that it can be taken out of context and still be every bit as wonderful. (This does not mean Tennyson's my favourite poet, not even close - but when he's good, he's marvellous.)
I'm participating. NaNoWriMo for poets, lol. Don't expect me to be active nor even very present here for the month!
Find my poems among hundreds of others (many marvellous!) at Poetic Asides, or on my blog The Passionate Crone - or join my Google group of Rosemary's Readers to have them float into your personal inbox as written.
1. Groupies 2. My TV is broken 3. Mom said I shouldn't 4. Befuddling telemarketers is fun 5. I wrote a poem once and it felt good 6. Publish one hit poem and you're set for life 7. Someone once said I look like a poet 8. I was dropped on my head as a baby 9. Falconry is cost prohibitive 10. Ice fishing is too seasonal 11. Women want me - men want to be me 12. I don't believe in the number that people say comes just after twelve 14. I'm sorry... what was the question? 15. Researching my erotic prose 16. You know what they say about sex with a poet, don't you?... 17. Explains all that time I spend in book stores 18. I have done everything else 19. Trust fund not empty yet 20. Because it's there 21. No drug testing 22. Open mike nights 23. I'm too old for law school 24. It explains the aluminum foil headgear 25. Vegans really respect my dedication 26. Not enough math credits for rocket science 27. If I stop writing poetry, something BAD will happen 28. It pays better than cloud counting 29. Politicians find me annoying, I like that 30. Bag ladies give me things 31. Poetry is the new retro 32. Malice aforethought 33. Poet action figures 34. For the sympathy 35. One perfect sunset 36. It runs in the family 37. Paying bills is overrated 38. The voices in my head tell me so 39. Explains the ebullient vocabulary 40. Offending extemists can be fun 41. I can only sell platelets twice a week 42. Voting is easy - straight Green ticket 43. A poetic liscence looks good framed 44. I haven't heard back from the NBA 45. Being understood is overrated 46. It explains the wardrobe 47. Black is slimming 48. Farming is smelly 49. No experience necessary 50. Appropriate dress includes sandals 51. Legendary retirement benefits 52. I can be my own biggest fan 53. "Poet" looks better on a resume than " Loquacious Word Monger" 54. It doesn't matter. Nothing does...**(SIGH)** 55. Torch wielding mobs 56. Why not? 57. Advice from the homeless 58. Annual Poets Union conventions 59. Standardized rehabilitation 60. If one is to be ignored, it should be for something special 61. The training includes internship in the great capitals of Europe 62. Everyone thinks I don't care what anyone thinks 63. My character flaws improve my market share 64. If you are confused, then my work here is done 65. It's a ground floor opportunity 66. You don't have to know anything 67. You can make stuff up 68. It doesn't have to make sense 69. It doesn't even have to rhyme 70. Good poetry is cheaper than "ganja", and easier to find 71. In my world, the sky is cerulean 72. It explains the nudity 73. I'm overqualified for McDonalds 74. Sun-kissed butterflies 75. I needed a secret identity<76. The witness protection program is seriously underfunded 77. I can do it with a pencil- on a napkin- by candlelight 78. The derision of the majority has a perverse appeal 79. Ribbons, Trophies, and Certificates of Appreciation 80. I promised to use thes powers for good, not evil 81. Free pie with every poem (not available in all locations) 82. Associating with Bohemians, Beatniks, Hippies, and Liberal Artists 83. The occasional word of praise 84. Most of the laws against it have been repealed 85. Explains the pretentiousness 86. It's not "derivitive", it's "homage" 87. I don't know; I was really drunk at the time 88. Poets are no longer hunted for their pelts 89. I have a black belt in haiku 90. Poets are better than normal people 91. I am fond of feathery phrases formed on fictitious foundations 92. Roses ARE red, and violets ARE blue, and there is no further need to discuss it with you 93. People with real jobs get all jealous 94. Logic hurts my head 95. A royal household might make me their Imperial Poet 96. Lost my job, lost my girlfriend, lost my mind 97. I am surrounded by a poetic aura 98. There is just too much violence in modern professional chess 99. Calliope, Clio, Erato, Euterpe, Melpomene, Polyhymnia, Terpsichore, Thalia, and Urania 100. You sane people don't know what you're missing 101. Incomprehensible literary onanism holds a perverse appeal 102. Violets are purple and roses pale yellow, though I meant no offense to that earlier fellow 103. Certain forms of poetry require three naked people 104. I am the reincarnation of "Billy the Quill" Shakespeare 105. My high school guidance counselor said that this is the career for which I am best suited 106. This is only until I can repair my star-ship 107. One day there will be no more poets 108. I've arranged to have "Orange" rhyme with hinge, flange, and strange 109. While searching for the perfect turn of a phrase, my spirit soars unbound on the wings of celestial visions 110. The critics who hate my work are small-minded weasels 111. Kudos! Kudos! Kudos!
The absolutely lovely John Hewitt over at PoeWar (Writer's Resource Centre) is all set to repeat his successful game from last year: 30 poems in 30 days as soon as we hit September. It was such lovely fun last time! He is very good at thinking up interesting and innovative prompts; no-one better.
Last September I found myself writing on topics and in styles that I hadn't expected, but which tapped into deep stuff I needed to say. And I made some great new friends! Also it was a lovely way to connect with certain old friends.
I do hope some of youse will sign up this year. Please pass the word along!
P.S. I've just noticed that this year you need to go to "Write Poems with Me" (the second paragraph in the left-hand column of his home page, at present) and actually send your contact details to sign up - unlike last year when we all just lobbed in. Some people, it seems, wanted more privacy. I think that takes some of the fun out of it, but I'm willing to play along and see how it goes.
This is from an email just received from John:
"I'll be posting the assignments to the blog in the same way I did last year, but I am also hosting a private forum where people can post and discuss their poems in a more workshop format."