Everyone knows that the United States has a Poet Laureate and that many of the states do as well.
However, more and more cities and towns across the country are getting into the act now as well.
And, why not? As the NY Times has reported, "interest in poetry has gone up, experts say, thanks to efforts by local libraries and arts councils, as well as wider programs like National Poetry Month, Poetry in Motion and Poem in Your Pocket Day."
Anyway, where was I? Oh, yeah...Cities and Poets Laureate.
On last Wednesday I attended the final day of her August poetry workshops, at the central library downtown.
The last session tested our creative skills more than the others.
This session was all about learning to use poetic forms.
Before I get to that I want to sincerely thank the wonderful, amusing, talented, and encouraging, Gwendolyn for putting on this series. It was a fun and educational experience.
She will be having a book launch, Sept. 19th, at the Houston Public Library, for her newest book!
"She discusses her new poetry book Falling in Love with Fellow Prisoners: In this collection, Zepeda captures the aching loneliness and vulnerability of contemporary urban life".
I wish to also thank my fellow attendees, especially those who, like me, braved all 4 weeks. Young and old, your creativity adds so much to that which my new home city has long been known for.
The 5 longer forms were: Ghazal, Sonnet, Rondeau, Villanelle and Sestina, all forms I have never tried before.
The other 3 are ones that I have done before and tried to encourage readers of my blogs to attempt with varied success.
Let me share some of my efforts:
Consider the HAIKU:
I like the Catnip
Yes I do, I do, I do!
Please do not run out!
Fleas are annoying.
I hate scratching them all day.
Bring on Advantage!
Always looking, nosey
High, low, dark, big, small, all fair game
God Bless this great land.
Home of the free, and the brave.
A Light unto all
in a time of great peril.
May it stand tall, and prevail.
A creature fun, brave, and smart
Loved, it gives love back
In your time of greatest need
may you have one at your side
Oh and, just for the heck of it, don't forget the Limerick!
A light humorous, nonsensical, or bawdy verse of five anapestic lines usually with the rhyme scheme AABBA.
There once were two kitties writing on a Blog
Whose efforts readers raised in toast their Grog
So they continue to write
During the day and the night
The urge in others to do it to they hope to jog
One more form for the road! Are you familiar with the Burma Shave jingles and signs?
Years ago, while bike riding on a lonely road near an airport, I encountered a set. I was soon inspired to try my hand at writing one, and ended up with a collection related to genealogy, an interest of mine:
Hello, My name is McLemire
There is confusion of which I tire
I'm your uncle and your cousin
And I've got offspring by the dozen
Billy-Bob and Bessie-Sue
Went to one from being two
Her father, he did bring the gun
By half past noon the deed was done
Roses are red
Stalin was too
Granddad was a commie
Boo hoo hoo!
Roses are white
Sidewalks are too
Gr-Grandma Edna died in a gunfight
Explain that, mother, please do
Gwendolyn encouraged us to not be afraid of trying new forms, creating poems in ways outside our comfort zone and I found myself thinking about going back through what I have written to count syllables to see if there have been certain types of meter I have been attracted to.
This week has been one of change and new experiences for me personally and as a writer; I have a job, at last, after 3 years unemployment and I have begun a 3 month blogging assignment for which I will get paid, a first for me.
Yesterday, I got to thinking of how I could express my thoughts, in regards to all this, and went and took a photo. While I still have one more photo to take I spent 3 hours this afternoon writing a new poem.
I will add a link to that poem, here, once it is posted.