More Meter, Including Maria’s, for Poetry Friday

Thanks to Buffy Silverman for hosting today’s Poetry Friday at her blog. I love the sweet rhythm in her “Rainbow-Colored Springtime” poem. It is so fun to read aloud. I will add it to my mentors, Buffy!

Last week I was working on meter and rhyme, and Linda Baie recommended Renee LaTulippe to me. This week I watched some of Renee LaTulippe’s “Peek and Critique” series on her YouTube channel–Lyrical Language Lab. Very helpful!

As a result, I continued to consider rhythm and rhyme. I tried two more triolets, inspired by Buffy’s rhythmic cicada song poem she wrote last month: “At the Oak’s Brown Skirt.” I also tried a triolet last month, but in that one I just counted eight syllables per line. This time I tried to be intentional and write in a certain meter. First, I tried iambic tetrameter, which is the common meter for English triolets:

No Algorithm for Rhythm

Afraid to write a poem today
I learned too much about the art
But not enough to bloom away
Afraid to write a poem today
Oh, will I ever find my way?
Remember I just need to start
Afraid to write a poem today
I learned too much about the art

I tried another one in trochaic tetrameter with truncated feet at the end of each line (that’s a mouthful, which I had never heard of before!)

Believe in Science

Give us science, real and sound.
Fauci, during novel strain,
Follows facts for virus round.
Give us science, real and sound.
Study will control the crown–
Vaccinate so health will reign.
Give us science, real and sound–
Fauci during novel strain.

I’m not sure how successful I was, but I will keep trying!

On another note, this week I cleaned out all the old drafts on my blog. I happened on one that I wrote in December 2013 about an event that happened in 2002. It seemed somehow appropriate for this Poetry Friday since I’ve been working on meter. Here is the post I wrote, but didn’t publish eight years ago:

I was sorting through my children’s things, scanning and purging after years of saving everything that came home from school. I found poems Maria had written in eighth grade. This paper with two scribbled poems was different from most of the things in her keepsake box. It wasn’t an assignment I had saved, but a scrap of paper that I recovered after she did her homework.

Her class was attempting rhyming with various rhyme schemes and rhythm patterns. She was struggling with the assignment. She didn’t want to write poems, and this was one of her first attempts:

This is a dumb assignment.
It needs some refinement.
You should put it in confinement.
Or sell it on consignment.

I was so excited and said, “I think that’s amazing. I’m going to share it with your teacher.”

She was quiet and continued working. Very quickly she passed her next poem to me:

Do not! I’ll get in trouble.
Don’t burst my bubble.

Sadly, I don’t know what she ended up turning in that next day because this post is all the memory I have of this scene.

Do head over to Buffy Silverman’s blog and you can find Poetry Friday hosting post with links to all the participants.

26 thoughts on “More Meter, Including Maria’s, for Poetry Friday

  1. I especially like, “No Algorithm for rhythm” is a fine poem, evocative of the poet who feels stuck. It’s great you are experimenting with different meters. And your daughters poems are sweet and funny, even more so because she didn’t appreciate how good they were.

    1. Thank you, Janice. Yes, I was feeling stuck this week. I didn’t want to learn enough to realize I’m not capable. I’d rather just keep writing!

  2. Fun to read your adventures with rhyme and meter. Hooray for Dr. Fauci! Smiled at your daughter’s poems too. đŸ™‚

  3. Hi Denise, I love the memory with your daughter. “She’s got rhythm” whether she enjoyed it or not! And I read your poems aloud, sounded good to me. I love the title “No Algorithm for Rhythm” & the feeling you’ve brought in the poem so well. And how great to have a poem about Dr. Fauci. We owe him a lot for keeping going! I’m glad you enjoyed Renee’s work. Her class itself is wonderful, too.

    1. Thank you, Linda. Yes, I enjoyed everything I’ve seen so far of Renee’s. I didn’t see any evidence of her teaching the Lyrical Language Lab class presently or in the near future. I will definitely keep my eyes and ears open for it, though.

  4. Haha! I hope you didn’t burst her bubble! I love that glimpse of your household! I really like your metric experiments, too.

  5. What a great memory–your daughter’s two-line response made me laugh. And I love No Algorithm for Rhythm. How many times do I tell myself you just need to start?!

    1. Thank you, Buffy! And thank you for hosting today. Your cicada poem for Mary Lee was certainly part of the catalyst for starting me working on my meter. Thanks!

  6. Wow! You found a gem of a post and memory! I’ve been going through our blog trying to clean out bad html in the hope that I can get it running more smoothly. I sent Franki a sweet post she wrote about her daughters 9 years ago. She had no memory of the event or of writing about it!

    I’m in awe of your work with rhyme and meter. I get bogged down in the “too much about the art.”

    1. Thank you, Mary Lee. I can see that now, that sometimes no knowledge works to make me free to express myself. Now I find myself second guessing every word and phrase. But, I’ll keep hiking along. Love those recorded old memories that would be lost otherwise. It makes me want to write more today!

  7. Love, love, love No Algorithm for Rhythm. It’s just so fun to say! What a sweet poetry memory for Maria.
    It must be a week for reviewing things. I found a lot of poems from students from 10 years ago. Some I still am in touch with and they are adults.

  8. “Remember I just need to start” — always good advice! Enjoyed your post all the way through đŸ™‚

  9. Thanks so much for sharing, Denise! I did Renee’s self-study Lyrical Language Lab a few years ago and it was so helpful to my understanding of meter and rhythm. I love your triolets. Now I want to try one!

    1. Thank you, Rose. I continue to learn from Renee, and I’ll look forward to it if she offers the class again. Great! I will look forward to your triolets.

  10. Renee LaTulippe is the master, isn’t she? I appreciate your study of rhythm and rhyme, Denise – not my strong suit at all, but I love to read/write it. And thank you for sharing Maria’s two gem poems and your post about the incident. I wonder why you didn’t publish the post at the time? Did Maria protest? My girls are of two minds when I write about them. They are better about it now that they are older. đŸ™‚

    1. Yes, Renee is the master. She makes me tired honestly, but I’m getting it more and more as I keep practicing.

      I wondered that about a lot of the posts I found in my drafts. There were 65! Most were just an outline, a thought, something I wanted to write, but never got around to. A few of them were finished, and I probably just forgot. Maria was out of college already when I wrote it, and is open to sharing, so that wasn’t the issue!

  11. Denise, your focus and effort are admirable. I hope to regain some of that after resting awhile! You were not afraid to write, and really, neither was Maria–but maybe poets’ children must resist poetry as a matter of–hee hee–form. Thanks for rearranging so I could take my requested host date–I really appreciate it!

    1. Thank you, Heidi. I’ve been enjoying my new-found time during these semi-retired months, so I can take more time for poetry. I’ve been neglecting it for years! Glad to help with the date switch.

  12. “Remember I just need to start” Yes! And maybe just toss all else to the wind and write. Lovely post Denise and fun reading and finding your daughters poems too, thanks!

  13. Oh your daughter’s poem brings back a memory of an ode that I wrote in 10th grade English class:
    Ode to the teacher, that horrible creature
    Who assigns to poor students, without any prudence
    A horrible curse. We must write a verse!

    I don’t remember the rest, and I don’t remember my grade, but I do remember that my teacher wasn’t pleased! (Unlike your daughter, I didn’t have the prudence to write a different poem for my assignment :-P).

    I am in awe of your deep dive into meter. These posts feel like a masterclass that I want to come back to and sit with, before writing my own experiments with meter. Thank you for sharing these!

    1. Oh, Elisabeth, I love your first three lines of your ode! What a hoot! Thanks for sharing. Thank you so much for your kind words. Really, it is fun to learn. Poetry seems like such a great hobby, a lifetime of always growing and learning more.

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