Writing Down Dat Dem Poetry

Ah PAD, not my strong suit this year. I thought I would have poetry flying out of my ears, but I seem to be a tad too emotional as of late for some of the topics to really come out in a good poem. Or one that is a decent poem right off the bat. Most of them are needing some serious reworking and editing.

I had started off rhyming in my head in a partial iambic pentameter, but then I would get stuck writing sonnets that weren’t going well. At all.  But it dawned on me the other day that I needed to stop trying to write sonnets. Just write. Write whatever comes to mind with the prompt, from spirit animal to wire (I liked wire), and just let it flow. Then if I want to take whatever I wrote and turn it into a sonnet with the ideas from the poetry just written, okay fine.  And it’s going better. If I don’t feel inclined to write a sonnet, I don’t have to. But if I want to dabble something out, I can. Which I have done.

It’s actually kind of helpful to have all of the poem written out with all of the ideas there, then to rework it into the sonnet. Now, I’m not saying the sonnets are good, and I only have one mostly done, but  it’s still there.

The fence is wired with rusty barbs and nails
And tangles tight to hold and grip the ties
The baling wire and hooks cling without fail
To posts that once held rails for trains that fly
~Katie Lyn Branson (Wired)

That is the start to the wired poem. Not great, but not bad. All about fence posts on the plains that are faded and held together with wire.

Who knew you could take such an ordinary thing and write a sonnet out of it. But I’m trying to get out of my head, which is harder to do than you think, and just let it come out. I think another part is I’m inspired by certain music I’m listening to, specifically the Strumbellas with their songs of  “Spirits” and “Wild Sun”, and the Lumineers “Stubborn Love”, which is a personal favorite song. I think the folksy aspect of it.

jackie-and-ryan-2014-movie-posterAnother inspiration is the film Jackie and Ryan, with Katherine Heigl and Ben Barnes. I can’t explain how much this movie hit me (I was nearly crying at the end). But the music and the story line and the lyrical quality of it all. If you are a writer, or a musical lyricist, I recommend it. Best part, it is based on a true story of a man,  Nick Hans, who was playing at SXSW, if I remember the story correctly. So that is really cool.

So, is anyone else hard at work on PAD? I’d love to know.

Kate

November Starts With Writing

Today is the start of PAD (poem a day) through Writer’s Digest. This is the Chapbook challenge.  I did it last year, writing as many sonnets as I could. This year I’m starting off the same way, writing a sonnet. Granted, I’m only one stanza in, but I have the vibe going. I guess playing around with iambic pentameter for some blank verse I did for an open reading my writing group did, has put me in the same mood to play with that form. I can think in that form easier than I did last year, and I hope that I will be able to write some sonnets.

However, I don’t have plans to stick with just that form. Thirty days of sonnets gets to be a bit much, so I hope to be able to share open verse or free verse or whatever as the month proceeds. I have two people in my writing group that have just now decided to do NaNoWriMo, to which I say, wow, late start… Sorry Dona and CP, I just don’t see how you are going  do that, but I applaud anyone who attempts such a feat. I have never really had the desire to do so, though I suppose there is a tiny part of me that would like to actually be able to write a novel that fast.

But I’m actually quite happy with my poetry. Honestly, I never thought I would be writing more poetry than fiction. I have been reading Ada Limon‘s “Bright Dead Things” and Billy Collins‘s “The Rain in Portugal”  and I am inspired to send out poetry to magazines, things I have never done.  A part of me wonders if I could send off something to The Sun magazine, which would be cool. Or others. I have great hope to be published with something. And if I start with poetry, that’s cool. So, I need to start sending it out!

Does anyone have some places they would recommend sending to first?

So, November is starting off with all kinds of things going on. And what a gorgeous day it was here in the mountains. Such a perfect fall day that I mean, you could just revel in it. The trees are still covered in gorgeous color. I love it.

And now to finish the Cubs game… Come on Cubs!

Final Thought on Writer’s Digest PAD Chapbook Challenge

I spent November in a world of sonnets.  I loved working on the Poem a Day challenge by Writer’s Digest.  I pushed myself more than I have with poetry before. I could not keep up with writing a sonnet a day. It took me usually two days to write one, and some prompts left me going, ‘Oh boy.’  I struggled with ideas, and I ended up with a lot of sonnets that were winter inspired or sadness inspired.  Hence my manuscript title of Midwinter & Melancholy.  I ended up with 13 really good sonnets that I just submitted last night.

Right now I’m sitting here going, oh did I do enough?  Did I write enough?  I could only send in between 10-20 sonnets.  And I picked my best ones. I had a couple other silly ones that did not get into the chapbook manuscript.  I wrote one about White Christmas, the film, and then a vampire-y one. I had two about the holiday season.  I had my silly Once Upon A Time one.  I wanted to write a Once Upon a Winter’s Night sonnet, but then forgot.  Oops.  It would have worked perfectly with what I had typed up.  Oh well. It’s too late now because the file is out of my hands and now in Mr. Brewer’s.

So now comes the waiting process.  Until March.  I hate this feeling of sending in a manuscript. I hate the waiting. I hate the feeling that I forgot something. Nerves. Paranoia.  Will I ever get over sending in manuscripts?  I sent in a short story in January to three literary magazines.  Now I have to find more to send in to. I have found two.  But I’m panicking.  I panic a lot when it comes to writing. That inferiority complex. The “I’m not good enough to get published…..”  The “Dammit! I’m good enough I’m gonna send it in…..oh God, my work is crap what was I thinking?!!!”  Feeling.

Do all writers feel like this?  Do you feel like this?  Will it ever go away?  Sigh.  Le sigh.  I guess if I want to be published, this is part of the process.  Pardon me while I go curl up in a ball and rock back and forth in terror.  No, just kidding.

So….. There you have it.  I am glad I did this poetry challenge.  I love writing sonnets now and I have kept it up.  My new prompt of the week is Whispers from the guy who’s giving me word prompts. I love these prompts.  I need something to keep me focused.  This is certainly doing it.

So. There you have my PAD followup.

Kate

A Poetry Challenge That’s All Friendly

Angel statue in repose

Angel statue in repose

So I was talking to a guy I know who writes poetry, is a photographer,  we get along….. And I told him about my doing PAD Chapbook Challenge…. (which I’m technically still working on since I didn’t finish a PAD once and I have a few more I want to add to the chapbook)   He told me in all intensive purposes that I didn’t need to worry about challenges, though I didn’t explain that it was a contest. Whatever.

But he did challenge me to a poetry challenge just in the sense that he would give me a word a week for me to write a poem and in turn, I would supply him with a word.  For him, I gave him Oolong.  I was thinking about the tea and it seemed unique enough. I’m not sure he wants me posting his poetry, but suffice to say, his first poem made me not ever want to drink Oolong again.  He redeemed himself with a redo of the first poem, but it still makes me think about the first one.

We have no set completion of this challenge, just dabbling in poetry.

He gave me the word Repose, and this is what I wrote from it.  I am still in sonnet mode; thinking in sonnets or more iambic pentameter. I’m getting to the point where I can think a phrase and know if I am there or not. Or close at least. I am getting the unstressed/stressed aspect easier and easier, and I find I really like working in this medium of poetry. There is something kind of special about it.

So here is my reposed sonnet.

A Statue in Repose

She lies reposed a blanket white and cold
From snows so icy while her marble warm
A study bold as winter’s cold untold
And gardens sleep away the chill of storms

The land of Nod is where she sleeps and dreams
A figure whose one dream of summer sun
Is all she dreams as snows do fall it seems
And  summer suns will one again undone

She’s classic style, all grace and beauty fair
A sculpture formed from hands so rugged strong
She’s warmth and love from man’s eternal despair
And beauty lies in silent repose song

A statue full of every wish desired
For she is meant to be adored admired

An Open Letter Sonnet – Open Letter to Shakespeare – PAD

I couldn’t resist posting this. I just finished my sonnet for PAD’s  Day 29 who’s prompt was basically an open letter. I am doing my sonnets, so what better way to write an open letter sonnet then to the Bard himself.

 

Open Letter to Shakespeare

Dear Bard, in your small verse you write so odd
From lines that stop then start then go along
And heroes spouting words the crowds applaud
That until tired my eyes do wave so long

But plays to make us laugh and sigh you do
Fair ladies face full with youth’s beauty bright
The story strong the setting lush it’s true
And endings leaving us to know all’s right

But your expanding sonnets make me sigh
And wonder why you wrote so strange and long
When words so simple could be said to lie
And all could know and love such words, your song

Am I to keep to mocking your old plays
But I do love your plays it’s true, these days

 

I really had fun with that one.  Any opinions on this piece, be it flow, word phrasing, and is it really iambic pentameter, let me know.

 

Kate

A Smattering of Sonnets for PAD Chapbook Challenge

English: Shakespeare's sonnet 1

English: Shakespeare’s sonnet 1 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have been knee deep in writing sonnets. Thinking about them, thinking in iambic pentameter, or at least iambic. I have figured it out finally. The iambic thing. Writing sonnets, well it’s a lesson every time I set my pen to paper.

We are nearly done with the challenge, and I am having to play catch up. I wished I could have written one a day, but it’s more like a one ever two days kind of thing, unless absolute inspiration hits me and then I splat one out, and I do mean splat. It hits the paper running and is there without a chance of changing it.

I wanted to include a few here. I told CB Wentworth that I would post some. Her haikus, by the way, have been totally inspiring.

Did anyone else do the PAD Chapbook Challenge by Writer’s Digest? I would love to know if you did.

So because the holiday season is upon us, here is my Festive sonnet—

All Good Cheer

The eggnog sits upon the table top
and whipped cream islands are floating there
We wait for guests to drink the rich stuff up
And clink a glass to wish us all good cheer.

The music plays in subtle waves of sound
And candle light is glowing golden bright
The snow is falling softly to the ground
The peace is here on this, this Christmas night

We wait for Santa bringing gifts of joy
For carols sung in happy songs refrain
A tree for all to reflect and enjoy
As toasts are clinked with a glass of champagne

This Christmas Eve we wish you all good cheer
A pleasure lasting us throughout the year

 

Then my ‘Divided’ sonnet—

Trust is But a Divide

I trusted you in moments like we had
A force of love and friendship here right now
It took me time to see the flaws unsaid
Divided we stand is what I will avow

In time we may forget the lines that break
I stand on lines you stand right there apart
A split on down the middle thoughts we make
Can we go on this way and not depart

If sides must choose I choose my side it’s clear
And you are wrong as wrong as wrong can be
I must not break this stand I take to bear
And you will go and leave me you will see

We once were strong and now we are broken
These words are worse than when they were spoken

And my ‘idea’ sonnet. This one is inspired by a particular holiday film. A classic. If you know it, tell me.

The Idea’s Ideal

A grand idea call for troops to come
We’ll throw a show and make it big, you say
Ideal it is oh ho let’s go have fun
It’s rather good, idea that’s to day

The girls can do their number sparkling blue
We are in army duds and with our caps
We’ll sing to General, he’s our good man true
A rousing cheer for him, the best of chaps

The war has passed us long ago we’ll sing
Let’s clap our hands and give one last applaud
This man is ours salute him for this fling
As snow is falling and we all stand awed

It’s Christmas now so sing a song to joy
For love and hope and friends we all enjoy

 

 

So there are three that are quite fun. I have more, but I want to revise some. And we shall see. I finished up one tonight that has my heart just so happy, despite the sadness I’m putting into it. It’s weird. I am getting to vent some frustration I’m having with Boris.  I put so much emotion into my writings.  Honestly, if you feel your writing is stale, have some angst in your life. It really solidifies feelings.  Anger, hurt, sadness, pain…. love. It all comes out when you write poetry.

So, enjoy. Only two more days of the challenge, then a month of revision. And I still have four more days of Writing 101 to finish up. Aahhhh, I need to get hustling!

Kate

A List Of Poems I Like – Writing 101 Day 2

Okay, so day two for the Writing 101 was ‘Make  a List’.  Well, let’s not waste time just writing a list, so here is a list poem, of sorts. Or my reasons for writing them.

 

Sonnet: why did I ever think I could write you?
Ode: Oh ode, must you be sad? No, but Keats did you best.
Haiku: So brief, you are full of life. Portable and almost cute.
Ballad: I can sing you when an artist makes you great.
Prose: Elegant, me, open and true. You are the best
Sonnet: Beautiful, you are so hard to achieve.
Ode: I could write you to everything and nothing.
Haiku: Your forms are small, execution is great.
Ballad: I can never write you properly, but you are epic.
Prose: My true self is in your form, but I forget you exist.
Poetry: You are who I am, but you are so hard to write sometimes…

 

I kind of like that.

Kate

Sonnets We Are Not – Or, My Attempt At Writing Them

I am dabbling in the PAD (Poem A Day) Chapbook Challenge for the Month of November. You can find the information over at Writer’s Digest, and you can see CB Wentworth tackle the month with Haiku’s.  I thought it sounded like something fun and a good challenge for me to work on sonnets.  Unfortunately I seem to be having issues with iambic pentameter. I can get the pentameter no problem, but iambic… whew. Turns out, I haven’t a clue how to write that way. I have not been writing sonnets, but mixing trochee, spondee, dactyl, anapaest, and iambic all together. Sigh. It does not make a sonnet. So there I am on Youtube attempting to make sense of unstressed and stressed words. For those who don’t know, iambic means one unstressed and one stressed.  I’m sort of getting it. Kind of. (not really) Argh!

However, while I’m not succeeding fully, I have semi sonnets. Lacking true Iambic Pentameter but almost there. Here are two that I wrote so far.  The first one deals with the ‘day after’, in whatever form you want. I kind of want to go back and do a day after Halloween, or Christmas, or some event. The other one is prompted with Once Upon A ______ (blank). Due to my love of the show, I went with Once Upon A Time (ABC)  Sue me. I’m a girl.

So take a look. I hope you enjoy. I’m really working on this metre thing.  I hope to have it down by the end of the month

The Morning After

It is the day after, look at the mess
I have made things more cluttered than need be
In a moment of lust losing that dress
To hopes and dreams and things that can’t be

It was a wicked night full of things too full
A night of passions running wild and high
We threw caution to the wind with a pull
The sheets landed on the floor a kiss and sigh

Now I stare down at you in sweet repose
A frisson of delight tangles me more
I want to stay here in your arms enclose
Not leaving the delight we had before

But it’s the morning after of reckless
And you won’t stay here to pick up the mess.

Once Upon a Time Ago

Once upon a time it was long ago
When a lady came to a town in Maine
The clock tower stood silent ever slow
And the sheriff was a huntsman arcane

A mayor with an evil side of darkness
A woman lost in teaching in the school
A man who lost his mind in suddenness
A town so full of sad and grim and blue

She is the savior for whom we foretold
In the books they knew her name and story
Now we hold her to break the curse twofold
And bring us into hope with the glory

But darkness lurks in every page turned
This story is best in the lesson learned

The Pleasure of Your Company – Blogging U – Poetry 201

English: Shakespeare's sonnet 1

English: Shakespeare’s sonnet 1 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So, I actually have been looking forward to writing this sonnet, which is why with the Poetry 201 course, I am doing it before the concrete poem, and the ballad.  I was inspired by someone who I met this year. The way I responded to him has changed my outlook on who I need and want in a partner.  This person made me feel so much of who I am, I didn’t even question it. I could be exactly who I was without any artifice or a hidden doors. I was who I was, and it was the most comfortable place in the world.

So the assignment was : Day 10: Pleasure, Sonnet, Apostrophe

I went with the Shakespearean  Sonnet in the abab cdcd efef gg writing scheme. As for pleasure, easy to see, and as I was writing this to someone, well, the apostrophe fits. I hope. 😛  I do hope you enjoy.

 

The Pleasure of Your Company

I’ve had the pleasure of your sweet time
On this the day you came from far away
When the summer sun had yet to be mine
And the warmth of you next to me that day

I was lost but you found me once again
Becoming more to what I was before
Now I know truth of so much more remain
And a change is what I know desire for

My hopes are open and so much clearer
All things have taken on a grander light
The pages I write are my true mirror
You brought be back from the darkest of night

I can be me in all that I now see
This is the pleasure you have brought to me.

Kate

Future – A Sonnet to Think On

Future

The future is a foggy mist waiting
And like water it slips through our fingers
Opening drawers of thoughts of waking
A landscape of ideas that will linger

Dare I attempt to write the things over
An elegy here and a ballad there
The ballad first, an elegy slower
Maybe I should just write the prose to compare

Poetry is in my future plans I know
And the past mistakes will fade in time
Time always fades the mistakes I know
New horizons are in the coming rhymes

I shall miss the companions I write with
But life will go on for I am a word smith.

 

 

Hello all you wonderful people I connected with in the Commons.  This is my last *sob* assignment. A sonnet on the future.  What a perfect way to end the course.  I attempted to stick with a Shakespearian sonnet in style  abab cdcd efef gg, and along with the iambic pentameter.  I’m not sure I managed that perfectly, but I have not had a lot of luck with sonnets.  (@BenHuberman I knew you were going to throw a sonnet at us!)

I thought it might be nice to include bits of the themes from the past two weeks. Water, fog, drawers, landscape, ballad, elegy….  And I think it actually turned out rather well. I have been wanting to work more with sonnets, especially since reading Edna St. Vincent Millay‘s sonnets this last year. She has some stunning poetry.

I also want to say that one of the best ways to write poetry has been using the McGill Dictionary of Rhyme program. It is this rhyming dictionary with the space to write your poetry. It gives examples, a thesaurus of sorts, and the schematic of certain poetry forms, including sonnets, since there are several variations.  You might want to check it out if you are like me and have issues rhyming. That being said, I still use my rhyming dictionary more often, but this is nice.

So, I will probably write one more post on this whole experiance, but for now last assignment down, and what fun this course was.