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Poem me

July 27, 2021

I like poetry. I can tell you that if it’s a limerick I’m sold immediately and haikus fascinate me, and I like both prose and confessional poetry. After that it’s anyone guess; if I read something that makes me feel something and think something then I tend to like it.

After Doctor Seuss, I think my greatest exposure to poetry was (nearly) every morning with Garrison Keillor on The Writer’s Almanac. He didn’t always read poems I liked, but he read enough of them I did like to keep me interested and to start me looking for others. And for saving the ones I liked. Thankfully The Writer’s Almanac is back and available on his website now. For what it’s worth, I didn’t like today’s poem (Sea Fever by John Masefield).

I know there are a lot of different poetic forms, but I can’t say that I really understand some of them. And I’m not really sure what “makes” a poem.

There are two things I think I know for certain about poetry and they are:
1. I know for certain if I like something after I’ve read it (but I might not know why)
2. I know writing a poem is not simple

Last week I was online trying to learn how to write poetry and I found a site that had some prompts. I like prompts so I thought I had struck gold, but I’m not so sure. The first prompt was to write a ballad with the ABABBCBC rhyming scheme and to follow this prompt:

(Your Name)
Who… (A)
Loves… (B)
Whose heart… (A)
And whose skin crawls when… (B)
I cheer for/when… (B)
And cry for/when… (C)
There is nothing I want more… (B)
But… (C)
(Your Name)

I came up with what you see below. And my apologies to anyone named Barry or Grace, or anyone who owns a 1970 Dodge Challenger.

Who owns a bowling alley
Loves Grace
Whose heart is as dry as Death Valley
And whose skin crawls when she sees Barry’s face
I cheer for the human race
And cry when the race is lost
There is nothing I want more than to drive a 1970 Dodge Challenger in an auto race
But I choke on the exhaust

My takeway: it takes more than rhymes.

Feel free to share a favorite poet or poem in the comments if you’re so inclined?

Do you know what horse Edgar Allan Poe rode? A Poe-ny.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 27, 2021 3:25 pm

    I have SO missed my daily Writer’s Amanac poem to start the day. Mornings just got 157 times better!!!
    Thank you!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. July 27, 2021 5:00 pm

    I didn’t know Garrison Keillor was back! He was my morning ride into work! Limericks and haiku I like. Sea Fever–always a favorite. ee cummings. Yes. Most anything else–probably not. And constantly rhyming verses…no. Just no.


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