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Jan's New Writing Lessons--FREE VERSE POETRY

These lessons, by one of our most consistent FaithWriters' Challenge Champions, should not be missed. So we're making a permanent home for them here.

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JayDavidKing
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Re: Jan's New Writing Lessons--FREE VERSE POETRY

Postby JayDavidKing » Thu Aug 01, 2013 11:32 pm

Jan, I wrote this one years ago. I see at least key word repetition and simile. Did I accidently get any others?

I pity the man who measures his life
in mediocre moments.
If my life must be measured in moments
Let them be spectacular moments.
Life should be a vivid variety of vibrant memories.
Each spectacular moment should resonate
With the exciting clarity of a musical note
Played in harmony with every other moment
Of my life, becoming a sweet symphony
Played grandly
As I pass into eternity.
But I pity the man who measures his life
in mediocre moments.
Who would want to hear his song?

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glorybee
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Re: Jan's New Writing Lessons--FREE VERSE POETRY

Postby glorybee » Fri Aug 02, 2013 11:57 am

Jay, this is wonderful. Love the alliteration of the 'm' and 'v' sounds and the extended musical metaphor. I've got no critique of this poem whatsoever--at first, I was tempted to say that it should be longer because I wanted more--but on a second read, I think it's just the right length. Your kicker on the last line is perfect, and some poets, I think, tend to ramble on too long, when there is beauty in an economy of words.

Thanks so much for sharing this with us.

JayDavidKing wrote:
I pity the man who measures his life
in mediocre moments.
If my life must be measured in moments
Let them be spectacular moments.
Life should be a vivid variety of vibrant memories.
Each spectacular moment should resonate
With the exciting clarity of a musical note
Played in harmony with every other moment
Of my life, becoming a sweet symphony
Played grandly
As I pass into eternity.
But I pity the man who measures his life
in mediocre moments.
Who would want to hear his song?
Jan Ackerson

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violin4jesus
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Re: Jan's New Writing Lessons--FREE VERSE POETRY

Postby violin4jesus » Sat Aug 03, 2013 1:32 am

Jan, I didn't have a comment from you, so I don't know if you saw my last poem for the Challenge: Thoughts While Awake. Despite its clearly acrostic structure (double, actually), I still consider it in a sense a free verse poem. Curious to know your thoughts on it.

Still working on the homework. I've got a few lines down about Sophie. :wink:

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Re: Jan's New Writing Lessons--FREE VERSE POETRY

Postby violin4jesus » Sat Aug 03, 2013 2:25 am

Okay, here goes (hopefully) something:


Upon this morning's emergence from shadowed chambers
The huntress stalks between my limbs
Weaving starboard and port with steadied movements
So dissimilar from boozed sailors as
Sunlight to an abyss
With dexterous stride, she precedes my entrance
Into the unlit parlor, and pretentious pose unreserved
She demonstrates her prowess over kingdoms
Of mice and men
Or perhaps, simply, mice
Headless, still, it lies
Its carcass a specimen of superior conquest
By ferocious feline, a commission Sophie
Swells to execute
"Good kitty," I exclaim
And dustpan handy, sweep her prize
From the stairway to a plastic casket
While its distinguished slayer saunters away
Her task accomplished and suitably recompensed

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glorybee
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Re: Jan's New Writing Lessons--FREE VERSE POETRY

Postby glorybee » Sat Aug 03, 2013 10:27 am

Leah, you're awesome. The insomnia poem appeals to me on so many levels--as a fellow insomniac, as a lover of word play, and as an appreciator of fine free verse poetry. It's simply superb.

As far as the Sophie poem--adorable. Although it's got almost every trick in the book, it doesn't read as gimmicky--it's got a great flow to it, probably because of your excellence in word choice. It could be used as an exemplar for just about every term I defined in my lesson--and it's awfully cute, too.

Brava!

violin4jesus wrote:

Upon this morning's emergence from shadowed chambers
The huntress stalks between my limbs
Weaving starboard and port with steadied movements
So dissimilar from boozed sailors as
Sunlight to an abyss
With dexterous stride, she precedes my entrance
Into the unlit parlor, and pretentious pose unreserved
She demonstrates her prowess over kingdoms
Of mice and men
Or perhaps, simply, mice
Headless, still, it lies
Its carcass a specimen of superior conquest
By ferocious feline, a commission Sophie
Swells to execute
"Good kitty," I exclaim
And dustpan handy, sweep her prize
From the stairway to a plastic casket
While its distinguished slayer saunters away
Her task accomplished and suitably recompensed
Jan Ackerson

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yarra
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Re: Jan's New Writing Lessons--FREE VERSE POETRY

Postby yarra » Wed Aug 07, 2013 9:12 am

Hi Jan, Am I too late to post a poem here for you to comment on? I am someone who finds some free verse much too 'free',when it has no patterns at all, or as you say, could just as easily be re-arranged into prose, or makes no obvious sense to me. So, I tend to write with rhyme, rhythm and/or pattern. This is one, written last year, that is sort of free verse-ish. I'd really appreciate your comments. Thanks (if not too late for this thread), Ellen

Yesterday (a perfect autumn day)

Still autumnal day
whispers peace
up-ends deep troves
of golden joy
runs warm fingers
down my back
playing a smile
quietly
secretly

Clear bird song notes
chorus life
intone sweet sounds
of levity
mingle with bees
in their refrain
embracing life
musically
magically

The nectar spills
over me
and my world

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glorybee
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Re: Jan's New Writing Lessons--FREE VERSE POETRY

Postby glorybee » Wed Aug 07, 2013 10:33 am

No, you're not too late, and I'm happy to comment on your poem. This is totally lovely, with it's best feature being the absolutely luxurious imagery. You're right--this would make for very odd prose, but it's not so odd that it's unapproachable. It's almost like a slide show of words and images, and I enjoyed it very much.

My only critique -- and it's very minor and totally a matter of personal preference -- is that your title doesn't really work for me. I'd leave off the parenthetical phrase and just call it "Yesterday." The bit in parentheses is redundant, and it sort of tells the reader what she's about to read, rather than letting her uncover this perfect autumn day as she is reading the poem.

Thanks for sharing--hope to read more like this from you.

yarra wrote:
Yesterday (a perfect autumn day)

Still autumnal day
whispers peace
up-ends deep troves
of golden joy
runs warm fingers
down my back
playing a smile
quietly
secretly

Clear bird song notes
chorus life
intone sweet sounds
of levity
mingle with bees
in their refrain
embracing life
musically
magically

The nectar spills
over me
and my world
Jan Ackerson

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yarra
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Re: Jan's New Writing Lessons--FREE VERSE POETRY

Postby yarra » Wed Aug 07, 2013 7:38 pm

Thanks so much Jan for your encouraging comments. I did consider removing the part of the title in brackets and certainly will if I ever post the poem elsewhere. I value your opinion.
Would you be happy to comment on one I'm just going to try to write right now in the style I see a lot? This is just a quick experiment and is not really 'me' in style, but some people like this style. Is this just prose broken into lines? I've reshaped it into prose below the verse and it reads OK. What do you think - is it 'real' poetry? Just curious to hear your opinion. I won't post more for you to answer, don't worry! Thanks and blessings, Ellen

Walking through the sunshine
carrying shopping bags
wanting to be at the beach
thinking of waves washing in
but needing to shop.

Hair flowing down my back
not tied up at all
looking messy as usual
my bags heavy with food
and I'm not at the beach.

Walking through the sunshine, carrying shopping bags, wanting to be at the beach.
Thinking of waves washing in but needing to shop. Hair flowing down my back, not tied up at all,
looking messy as usual. My bags heavy with food. And I'm not at the beach.

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glorybee
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Re: Jan's New Writing Lessons--FREE VERSE POETRY

Postby glorybee » Thu Aug 08, 2013 1:21 pm

Hi, Ellen--

I like this. Even when you write it out as prose, it's more like a series of images, not really complete sentences at all. I like the repetition of 'the beach' and the kicker at the end.

yarra wrote:
Walking through the sunshine
carrying shopping bags
wanting to be at the beach
thinking of waves washing in
but needing to shop.

Hair flowing down my back
not tied up at all
looking messy as usual
my bags heavy with food
and I'm not at the beach.

Walking through the sunshine, carrying shopping bags, wanting to be at the beach.
Thinking of waves washing in but needing to shop. Hair flowing down my back, not tied up at all,
looking messy as usual. My bags heavy with food. And I'm not at the beach.
Jan Ackerson

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yarra
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Re: Jan's New Writing Lessons--FREE VERSE POETRY

Postby yarra » Thu Aug 08, 2013 8:52 pm

Thanks Jan for your comments. Much appreciated.
Blessings, Ellen

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