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Supporting Your Local Poets

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MichaelS36

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The other day, my husband tim told me about a little poetry challenge on GA, offered by @AC Benus  He had decided to rewrite his Tanka Poetry prompt. 

I decided to 'support my local poet' and offer myself up as a guinea pig. But frankly, I had doubts even though I've written some okay poetry, following the instructions and writing something 'properly' rather worried me. 

 

But, I just had to try. 

 

So I read the prompt.. Tanka's should be personal, emotional, show how things affect you. Of course there's the syllable count 5-7-5-7-7 as well. AC had given lots of wonderful examples. Here is one I really enjoyed: 

 

The bursting cherries,
Blooming with all their might,
Bid me to please stop;
To give them some attention,
If not all of my power.

 

You can feel the power in this little piece, the beauty of the blossoms, and you are in the moment with the poet, urging those blossoms to open. 

 

So with AC's excellent prompt read and sort of in my head and along with some history and examples, I wrote the first:

 

Cool in his t-shirt

No longer afraid to be

The man that he is

There is no shame in his scars

They are badges of courage

 

AC had included a checklist, so you could try and determine if you were close or not to writing one of these gems correctly. Well, to me, the 'personal' wasn't really in that poem.  So I reread the prompt

and tried again. I hoped this effort would be better. 

 

Cooling soft breezes

Chase off remnants of the heat

They chill my hot flesh

And I stop to watch my skin

Reply with welcome shivers

 

I sent them off to AC, saying be honest, I will not collapse into a heap of ego if you say they aren't right. 

 

I hope AC doesn't mind me quoting him here:

 

Well, it's true that you as the poet are missing from the first one, but perhaps me knowing it's Tim made up for that. I can see your point and I'm really glad it led you to try again. I thought perhaps you thought the first one was too like a series of complete lines. What you did by providing no punctuation is one to deal with that, but I think with some careful punctuation, you can make it flow. That being said, you did make the theme of the poem travel over the five lines (and create a stanza), so that is very good to see.

 

As I think you already know, the second one you wrote is stronger as a Tanka. Your efforts give me hope the checklist self-quiz is going to be a good tool to help people improve That's a relief.  

 

For punctuation (if you want it), I might suggest the following: 

 

Cool in his t-shirt,

No longer afraid to be

The man that he is,

There is no shame in his scars:

They are badges of courage.

 

 

 

Cooling soft breezes

Chase off remnants of the heat;

They chill my hot flesh,

And I stop to watch my skin

Reply with welcome shivers.

 

I think anyone who truly wants to try and learn more about poetry will want to do this. I see what he is saying about the punctuation.  But too, I see what he means about flow and single lines, rather than the whole stanza being a single flowing thought. 

 

I wish more people would consider poetry. Prose is wonderful, but poetry offers more for the soul I think.  In any case thank you for reading, if you don't want to write, then please give reading some poetry a try.  Poets have come a long way.  Support Your Local Poet!!

 

Only by trying will we do ... 

 

Thanks AC!

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Both poems are great. I liked the visuals you presented in both.

 

As for the blog itself, @AC Benus is a marvelous poet and author. GA should be proud to have him here. I haven't seen the new checklist, but I did try the Tanka prompt before, and well it was a dumpster fire.

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58 minutes ago, BHopper2 said:

Both poems are great. I liked the visuals you presented in both.

 

As for the blog itself, @AC Benus is a marvelous poet and author. GA should be proud to have him here. I haven't seen the new checklist, but I did try the Tanka prompt before, and well it was a dumpster fire.

No, not a dumpster fire at all :) But, the new prompt challenges should be rolling out pretty soon. When it's up, I'd be honored if you check out the new version. Hopefully I've improved the proper amount of background a person needs to start their study of poetry. 

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Thanks for giving my re-worked prompt a tire-kick and test run, Mike. You gave me some good feedback about the info I provide, and really respect your Tanka :)  

Edited by AC Benus
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2 minutes ago, AC Benus said:

When it's up, I'd be honored if you check out the new version.

I definitely will be looking it up, when it comes out.

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Michael, I think these are indeed gems. tim is right that you may need to take on the Poet designation soon. Each of these appealed to me, but I agree that the second may be more immediately personal. I am so glad you chose to respond to AC’s appeal. 

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well done Michael Sir

this one:

 

Cool in his t-shirt

No longer afraid to be

The man that he is

There is no shame in his scars

They are badges of courage

 

made me smile because i know what it took to get here

 

in this one:

 

Cooling soft breezes

Chase off remnants of the heat;

They chill my hot flesh,

And I stop to watch my skin

Reply with welcome shivers.

 

i could feel the breeze

 

i am also glad You responded to AC and this challenge

and that You shared it with all of us

Edited by mollyhousemouse
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Mike, your courageous foray into the world of poetry produced amazing results. They are both excellent, but I have to favour the first one for what you’ve said and what those words say to me. 

 

🤗    

 

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On ‎7‎/‎19‎/‎2018 at 11:28 PM, BHopper2 said:

Both poems are great. I liked the visuals you presented in both.

 

As for the blog itself, @AC Benus is a marvelous poet and author. GA should be proud to have him here. I haven't seen the new checklist, but I did try the Tanka prompt before, and well it was a dumpster fire.

Thank you, A.  Indeed, @AC Benus is a very talented man, and generous with his time and talent. 

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On ‎7‎/‎20‎/‎2018 at 12:31 AM, AC Benus said:

Thanks for giving my re-worked prompt a tire-kick and test run, Mike. You gave me some good feedback about the info I provide, and really respect your Tanka :)  

My pleasure AC.  It was a worthwhile challenge. I appreciate your help and advice. 

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On ‎7‎/‎20‎/‎2018 at 6:34 AM, Mikiesboy said:

Most of MIchael's poetry is here in his blogs. i said if He's not careful, He will have to take the Poet or Author designation soon.  i think the Tanka are good.  For me personally, they are harder to write, but they are, as Michael said, little gems, and can be very powerful. 

 

All of the poetry prompts are worth trying. Poetry is not just sentences slapped down with the right number of syllables and called a poem.

 

I think Samuel Taylor Coleridge said it best:

 

'I wish our clever young poets would remember my homely definitions of prose and poetry; that is prose; words in their best order; - poetry; the best words in the best order.'

 

 

Not going to happen. I look terrible in pink.

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On ‎7‎/‎20‎/‎2018 at 7:41 PM, mollyhousemouse said:

well done Michael Sir

this one:

 

Cool in his t-shirt

No longer afraid to be

The man that he is

There is no shame in his scars

They are badges of courage

 

made me smile because i know what it took to get here

 

in this one:

 

Cooling soft breezes

Chase off remnants of the heat;

They chill my hot flesh,

And I stop to watch my skin

Reply with welcome shivers.

 

i could feel the breeze

 

i am also glad You responded to AC and this challenge

and that You shared it with all of us

Thanks molly pop … it was a good thing to try. Very worthwhile..

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1 hour ago, Reader1810 said:

Mike, your courageous foray into the world of poetry produced amazing results. They are both excellent, but I have to favour the first one for what you’ve said and what those words say to me. 

 

🤗    

 

I like a good challenge. That's why I married tim!   Seriously, I appreciate your comments and support. 

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