Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Prompt Response


Okay, so here is a poem I worked on today using a prompt from Ken Ronkowitz's Poets Online site. Two prompts, actually. The current prompt is to write a poem about a sacred place, but the December 11 post from the Poets Online Blog - a different but connected site - suggested that readers try a triolet, so I thought I'd try to both at once.


Ever So Humble

Fifth floor. Four rooms. A small lanai.
Some bookcases, an easy chair.
Not a lot to be reckoned by:
Fifth floor, four rooms, and a small lanai.
But when the darkness floods the sky
On winter nights, I have my lair:
Fifth floor. Four rooms. A small lanai.
Some bookcases, an easy chair.

Process Reflection: When I think of sacred spaces, I don't have to go far. I live across the street from one of the most beautiful campuses on the planet. But I wanted to start even closer to home. Which is to say, AT home. I like our apartment. I have been liking it even more since returning from travel, which is one of the nice things about travel.

Formally, this was sort of a fun puzzle.  When you work in forms, you have to work back and forth from the free lines to the constrained lines. In this form, lines two, six, and eight made me sweat some. Since two and eight are the same line repeated, it has to be a line that works in two slightly different ways. And it has to end in a word that can be rhymed in line six. Originally line two read "Some furniture, some books." But there aren't a whole lot of words that rhyme with "books," and none that I could use. I tried half a dozen other lines before hitting on this one. Then I wound up having to break out my old Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary, the one my high school English teacher said every student should own, and which I had re-bound some twenty years ago when it started to fall apart. It's no longer even my dictionary of choice, that being the American Heritage Dictionary, but it does have the singular advantage of having a little rhyming dictionary in the back. I might have found my way to "lair" without it, but having it there in front of me helped.

1 comment:

Paradelle said...

Someone else submitted 3 related haiku on sacred places that reads like a 9 line poem, so...

Ken
http://poetsonline.org/