For the past eight weeks we have been looking at various 10-line poems, studying forms that were invented by fellow poets and teachers. Today I would like to showcase one of these forms, the Ercil, a decastich created by James Gray in honor of Arkansas poet Ercil Brown. And in particular, I’m going to show you by way of a video demonstration the process I went through to write one of my Ercils, namely, “Carolina Wren.”
The Decuain (pronounced “deck-WAN”) was created by Shelley A. Cephas.
Many of us write poetry, but what is it, really? What is poetry? What distinguishes it from prose? I would like to answer these questions and define a few terms specific to the genre of poetry, for those of you who truly wish to join me in digging deeper and improve our poetic writing skills.
What Is Poetry?
Poetry is a literary form that uses a distinctive style and rhythm to express emotions and ideas. It may be rhymed or unrhymed, short or long. It almost always has rhythm, but sometimes the rhythm can be measured, while at other times it seems as random and as natural as normal conversation.
The opposite of poetry is prose. Prose lacks rhythm. Short stories and novels are written in prose.
Let me ask you a question—or better yet, give you a pop quiz of sorts. Suppose we take one of the sentences from above, and perform an experiment.
Poetry is a literary form that uses a distinctive style and rhythm to express emotions and ideas.
Now, I’m going to break that sentence into shorter lines, like so….
a literary form
that uses a distinctive style and rhythm
to express emotions
This sentence is obviously prose, but did I turn it into poetry by merely creating line breaks? Continue reading “The Nuts & Bolts of Poetry: Rhythm, Meter, and Rhyme”
The Decathlon was created by Anne Pendleton as a teaching tool or writing exercise. The name comes from the Greek, meaning “contest of ten.”
The Ercil was created by James Gray in honor of Arkansas poet Ercil Brown. It appears to be an exercise in meter.
The Gardenia was created by Viola Gardner to be used as a teaching tool or learning exercise.
The Amphion is another form created by Viola Berg to be used as a teaching tool or learning exercise.
Today let’s try our hand at the Sacred Signia.
Continue reading “10-line Poem Challenge #3: Sacred Signia”
Decastich. Not your everyday word overheard in the checkout line at Walmart on a typical Tuesday afternoon. Do you know what it is? If you read my post last Friday, you may remember. It’s the technical term for a 10-line poem. Last week we began a study of 35 decastich poems, starting with the San Hsien.
Today we have another form, the Quinnette.
Continue reading “10-line Poem Challenge #2: Quinnette”
As a little girl, I began to keep a diary, and not long after, I also began to write poetry. Journaling remains a daily habit with me, as does poetry. Journaling is good, because I can pour my thoughts out unedited and unmeasured. But poetry is better because it is beautiful. Continue reading “What Motivates Me to Write?”