INFORM POET – CHILDHOOD CHRISTMAS SONNET

Staying within our theme (Christmas), recall a moment from your youth or a childhood memory and write it in the form of a sonnet!

The SONNET is a poem, properly expressive of a single, complete thought, idea, or sentiment. It consists of 14 lines, usually in iambic pentameter, with rhymes arranged according to one of certain definite schemes. In the strict or Italian form it is divided into a major group of 8 lines (the octave) followed by a minor group of 6 lines (the sestet). An a-b-b-a, a-b-b-a pattern became the standard for Italian sonnets. For the sestet there were two different possibilities: c-d-e-c-d-e and c-d-c-c-d-c. In time, other variants on this rhyming scheme were introduced, such as c-d-c-d-c-d.

The English form breaks the poem into 3 quatrains followed by a couplet. Each line contains ten syllables and is written in iambic pentameter, in which a pattern of an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable is repeated five times (da DUM da DUM da DUM da DUM da DUM). The rhyme scheme in a Shakespearean (English) sonnet is a-b-a-b, c-d-c-d, e-f-e-f, g-g; the last two lines are a rhyming couplet. Alternate Rhyme Scheme: a-a-b-b, c-c-d-d, e-e-f-f, g-g

WALT’S EFFORT:

YOU’RE NEVER TOO OLD FOR CHRISTMAS

If there is just one lesson in life, it’s this,
you need a way you can stay young at heart,
because you’re never too old for Christmas.
So I’ll say, well before the season starts
Find your inner child and don’t be naughty,
try being as good as silver and gold.
Start to be real nice and don’t be haughty,
have a warm heart and not one that is cold.
Remember the lessons you’ve learned in life,
especially the number one lesson!
Although the world can be filled with such strife,
I stay young at heart. That’s my confession.
I take a deep breath. I take a long pause
and just try to be a young Santa Claus.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2020

INFORM POET – HOLIDAY HAIBUN

Stepping away from the banquet table, one of the next telling highlights of the holiday season can be found in the music and sounds we hear. Christmas Carols and songs seem to dominate the airwaves at this time of year obviously. I’m sure there are equally prominent songs from the other cultural celebrations. Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or even maybe a Festivus ditty could be heard.

Using a title or a lyric from one such inspiration, write a Haibun.

The haibun is the conjoining of two poetic forms: a prose poem and an ending haiku. Japanese poet Matsuo Basho made the form popular in the 17th Century. The prose poem and haiku are generally linked together  directly or indirectly.

WALT’S EXAMPLE:

I SAW THREE SHIPS

CRAFTSMANSHIP

I am Santa Claus and I come by my skills naturally. Passed down from generation to generation in celebration of the day to which I was appointed. Anointed with design capabilities and the ability to work in any medium, largely because my father and grandfather had taught me the value of a job well done. Plus in the process, I have fun. Christmas may come along once a year, but up here in my corner of the world where the winds swirl and the snow flies, I keep my eyes on the prize. I do my very best and request the very same from my helpers and friends because it all depend on them and their acquired skills as well. And let me tell you, we make great things that will bring joy to many and any who believe in the value of craftsmanship. We’re hip to it!

LEADERSHIP

Let’s face it, someone has to keep this process moving forward. But, I do not think of my support group as underlings. The elves and snow people, the fauna and birds all are my partners. For starters, it’s a grand undertaking and there’s no mistaking our commitment. We were meant to do this! And I suppose my lineage has set me up to lead and succeed. But as I’ve stated, I am elated to be able to work with a whole “army” of leaders. A bit more important than craftsmanship, leadership will keep us on the right path for the good of the world.

FELLOWSHIP

We have always been dedicated to the proposition that Christmas is the time for us to come together for the cause of all humanity. It is insanity to think one person or group is more important than another. We are all in this together, whether or not we are all the same race, religion, persuasion, orientation, color or creed. We need to join in the common cause for the sake of the world. It is in fellowship that we sail into the future for our future’s sake. Whatever it may take, we cannot forsake each other. We are all sisters and brothers in the family of man.

I saw three ships come
sailing on a steady course,
steered by Santa Clau
s

© Walter J Wojtanik – 2020

INFORM POET – SNOW WAY TRIOLET

Back to some form exploration… with a twist. Not only will I offer a form suggestion, but I will give you a subject that your poem will be based upon.

Today, we started getting our firsts glimpses of snow for the season. So, we will write a Triolet about something snow. That’s it and we’ll see how it goes.

The triolet is a very brief, tightly rhymed poem that, like the pantoum, takes part of its structure from the repetition of entire lines. A triolet is eight lines, as follows:

1st line A
2nd line B
3rd line a (rhymes with A)
4th line A (entire 1st line repeated)
5th line a (rhymes with A)
6th line b (rhymes with B)
7th line A (entire 1st line repeated)
8th line B (entire 2nd line repeated)

Wax up the sleigh and think something, something snow!

WALT’S SNOW WAY TRIOLET:

NO ELEMENT OF SURPRISE

Do not try to guess what you’re getting,
though it’s not hard to do, you know.
you may find it really upsetting,
so do not try to guess what you’re getting.
The weather will catch you off-guard I’m betting,
so get ready, you’re getting some snow!
Do not try to guess what you’re getting
though it’s not hard to do, you know.

© Walter J Wojtanik – 2020

DISCUSSION – BEST FOOT FORWARD

We all find our niche where our poetry is concerned. Sometimes we dabble to bring a diverse voice to our work. Sometimes we realize that we do one form or subject better than others. In this discussion, talk about what kind of poem you find easiest to write. Maybe someone has told you that you seem to excel at a certain kind of poem. You might write to one poetic form better than others. Don’t write a poem here, we want to know what makes our writers the passionate people they are.  What do you do best? Tell us about it!

INFORM POET – HARRISHAM RHYME

Harrisham Rhyme, created by the female poet, Harrisham Minhas, belonging to the State of Punjab in India.

It is a six-line rhyming stanza. 

In this form, the last letter of the first word of each line is the first letter of the first word of next line.

There is no restriction on the starting alphabet of the first line.

 

Rhyming scheme : ababab.

 

WALT’S EFFORT:

ENDINGS ARE BEGINNINGS

It is time to take a chance
To write a heart full of rhyme.
Over the moments, your poetic parlance,
Recharges you, time-after-time.
Surely and simply, words will dance.
You begin where you end, so sublime.

 

Copyright © 2020 Walter J Wojtanik

INFORM POET – KOUTA

A short while back, Robert Lee Brewer highlighted the Kouta poem at the Poetic Asides Blog.

In Robert’s words:

“The only poetic mention of kouta I’ve found (online or in print) is in Robin Skelton’s The Shapes of Our Singing, though I did find a post on Japan Info that claims it was a traditional song of geisha. Both sources also interpret the word kouta as meaning “little song.” Skelton provides two variations of these little songs.”

Kouta (Version 1): quatrain (or 4 lines) with the following syllable count per line: 7575

Kouta (Version 2): quatrain with the following syllable count: 7775

No other rules apply concerning rhyme, seasonal words, subject matter, etc.

Today, we’ll be trying our hand at this form.

 

WALT’S KOUTA:

SANTA CLAUS (Version 1)

This man claims to be Santa,

it’s one of my flaws.

I believe it to be so.

I am Santa Claus.

 

SANTA CLAUS (Version 2)

There are worse things I could be,

nothing wrong with who I claim.

Shakespeare asked “What’s in a name?”

I am Santa Claus!

 

INFORM POET – TRIOLET

Things are settling back to normal, so we’ll return to our poetic routine. It’s Wednesday, and it’s time to fit back into a form!

Today we explore (once again), the Triolet. The triolet is a very brief, tightly rhymed poem that, like the pantoum, takes part of its structure from the repetition of entire lines. A triolet is eight lines, as follows:

1st line A
2nd line B
3rd line a (rhymes with A)
4th line A (entire 1st line repeated)
5th line a (rhymes with A)
6th line b (rhymes with B)
7th line A (entire 1st line repeated)
8th line B (entire 2nd line repeated)

 

WALT’S EXAMPLE TRIOLET:

STAY!

I wish this Christmas spirit would stay,
it is a feeling that should not depart.
Throughout the year until Christmas Day,
I wish this Christmas spirit would stay,
it would feel like less work and more play!
I, Santa Claus, keep Christmas in my heart.
I wish this Christmas spirit would stay,
it is a feeling that should not depart.

© Walter J. Wojtanik 

INFORM POET – TERZA RIMA

Terza rima is a three-line stanza using chain rhyme in the pattern ABA BCB CDC DED. There is no limit to the number of lines, but poems or sections of poems written in terza rima end with either a single line or couplet repeating the rhyme of the middle line of the final tercet. The two possible endings for the example above are DED E, or DED EE. There is no set rhythm for terza rima, but in English, iambic pentameter is generally preferred.

There is also an adaptation of the form to six-syllable lines that has been named piccola terza rima.[

This a form that was used  by Dante Aleghieri in the Divine Comedy and Geoffrey Chaucer in “Complaint to His Lady”. Also John Milton, Lord Byron (in The Prophecy of Dante), Percy Bysshe Shelley (in his “Ode to the West Wind” and The Triumph of Life) and Thomas Hardy. More contemporary poets include W. H. Auden, T. S. Eliot, Robert Frost, and William Carlos Williams.

WALT’S TERZA RIMA ATTEMPT:

BELIEVE IN LOVE

True love is for the purest soul,
and in that, there’s no denying,
for true love puts you in control

to leave a true heart sighing.
There’s but one magic born of love,
that does not require buying

secrets whispered by a dove,
for love can just be given,
a present from the One above.

So, earn your love while you are livin’
and give as good as you receive.
Love is something to have faith in.

Yes, trust in love, it will not deceive.
True love is for those that believe.

 

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2019

***

We will be moving the INFORM POET feature to fill the Wednesday slot left by the hiatus of the POETIC BLOOMINGS READING ROOM. The READING ROOM will return in due course. We look to avoid any direct conflict with RLB’s form explorations at Poetic Aides. In place of the INFORM POET on Fridays, there will be an inspiration offered for you to stretch your literary legs under the label, FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION. It could be a verbal nudge, a block of words, or it could be a photo prompt, for a few examples. You may respond in whichever way pleases your sense of order. You can remain on a poetic tear and write in verse. If you would like to try your hand at a little flash fiction, then your prose is welcomed here. Maybe it inspires a lyric… the license is yours. Give your muse a ride! As always, we appreciate your efforts here at POETIC BLOOMINGS.

INFORM POET – TANKA

As we know, the Tanka is a Japanese poem of five lines. The first and third are composed of five syllables, and the other lines are written in seven. In Japanese, tanka is often written in one straight line, but in English and other languages, we usually divide the lines into the five syllabic units: 5-7-5-7-7. Write TWO different poems: one Japanese style (one straight line), and in the second divide the lines.

WALT’S WOJ-TANKA:

 

A GOOD SHEPARD

I walk with my sheep, it’s always just me and ewe. It is my firm belief, as I get to know my sheep, all my sheep will know me too!

 

© Walter J Wojtanik – 2019

 

INDECISION STREET

I stand in the road.
Up and down the street I peer.
Do I move forward
or return to where I’ve been?
Standing still would be a sin!

 

© Walter J Wojtanik – 2019

 

INFORM POET – PANTUN

The Pantun is a Malaysian poetic form.

Wikipedia declares that the Pantun originated as a traditional oral form of expression. The most common theme is love.

The basic Pantun consists of:

a quatrain (4-line verse),

each line containing between 8 and 12 syllables,

employing an abab rhyme scheme.  

A Pantun traditionally follows a fixed rhythm.   Again, per Wikipedia, “The first and second lines sometimes appear completely disconnected in meaning from the third and fourth, but there is almost invariably a link of some sort. Whether it be a mere association of ideas, or of feeling, expressed through assonance or through the faintest nuance of a thought, it is nearly always traceable.”

WALT’S PANTUN ATTEMPT:

BLOOMS OF LOVE

…and all at once, the rain had ceased.
When did my children grow so quickly?
The length of sunshine has increased.
Why has it left me feeling sickly

when the warmth of Spring emerges?
Little girls become young women
Comfort in this season’s surges.
and all the changes from within –

blossoms having rooted now bloom,
Decorating each life they touch,
fragrant flowers fill up the room.
truly knowing they mean so much.

Life’s bouquet gathered together,
Grown in love to know what life means;
flourishing in all kinds of weather,
ever-growing, evergreen!

© Copyright Walter J. Wojtanik