Thanks to Colleen for a weekly TankaTuesday challenge, which asks for any syllabic form based on the theme prompt. This week’s theme is “Transitions.” I’ve again tried a new form of poetry. This poem is a Crown Cinquain, five stanzas, each with syllable count of 2/4/6/8/2. Thanks for the inspiration Colleen.
Poetry is said to be good for the soul, as it soothes our emotions, helps us dig deeper into thoughts and dreams and makes us discern the aesthetic pleasures around us. If you avoid poetry and prefer thrillers, probably you have never been exposed to the love of reading a good poem.
Nurturing the love for poetry starts in childhood. If you are a parent, read a poem everyday with your child. Ask the child what s/he likes about that poem. If the child likes it, don’t hestitate to read it everyday but add another one. Begin with simple and short poems.
Encourage your child to collect little poems and make a scrapbook. You can browse poems for kids online. Think about your favorite poets and poems you liked as a child or as a youngster. Share those thoughts with your children or siblings. Discuss what makes you like poetry.
Encourage your child to write a short poem. Bette A. Stevens offers excellent guidelines for writing haiku (an unrhymed poetic form consisting of 17 syllables arranged in three lines of 5, 7, and 5 syllables respectively.)
Why is poetry disliked? Whenever this question haunts me, I try to look back to search some answers. The only poetry we were exposed to in schools, was the rhymes and that too in Kindergarten.
While reading story books is stressed upon but good poetry books are not easily available. Either they haven’t been written or their level is too high to be understood by children.
Some poems that we meet in textbooks fail to inculcate the love for reading of more poetry though ‘Mr. Nobody’ stayed in my thoughts and I love it even today.
Here is the fun poem: I wish more such poems could be written!
I know a funny little man, As quiet as a mouse, Who does the mischief that is done In everybody’s house! There’s no one ever sees his face, And yet we all agree That every plate we break was cracked By Mr. Nobody.
’Tis he who always tears out books, Who leaves the door ajar, He pulls the buttons from our shirts, And scatters pins afar; That squeaking door will always squeak, For prithee, don’t you see, We leave the oiling to be done By Mr. Nobody.
He puts damp wood upon the fire That kettles cannot boil; His are the feet that bring in mud, And all the carpets soil. The papers always are mislaid; Who had them last, but he? There’s no one tosses them about But Mr. Nobody.
The finger marks upon the door By none of us are made; We never leave the blinds unclosed, To let the curtains fade. The ink we never spill; the boots That lying round you see Are not our boots,—they all belong To Mr. Nobody. – Walter de la Mare
Whenever a door squeaks, I think of Mr. Nobody!
Poems for children and middle schoolers have to be short and simple. The following poem by Robert Frost could speak to them if imagery is explained by the teacher:
Fire and Ice
Some say the world will end in fire, Some say in ice. From what I’ve tasted of desire I hold with those who favor fire. But if it had to perish twice, I think I know enough of hate To say that for destruction ice Is also great And would suffice. – Robert Frost
Love for poetry is also connected with how well the poems are taught by our English teachers. Some just read them and inspire children to analyze. While it may be good for developing critical thinking, discussions have to follow to share the opinion of others.
Creative writing workshops in schools that focus on poetry writing develop sensibilities at an early age. Do you have any memories of writing poetry in your school?
In honor of National Poetry Month, two of my poetry books are being offered for just 0.99 cents. If you love poetry, grab your copy now. Thank you. Please share this post at your favorite social networks.
When a writer puts the first word on paper; a dream world opens before him, a world that ignites his creativity as well as fantasy. Former makes him produce his magnificent work but the latter makes him a celebrity overnight (in his dreams.)
You may be writing out of creative compulsions or the satisfaction of venting your voice could be your trigger, most writers harbor a secret wish – to be read, to be reviewed and admired. Admiration comes easily but you never know how hypocritical it is. Reality hits you when you see how much money you are earning from your books.
You may stay determined with the cliché – “never give up” but when you read others’ work and feel that many average books are overflowing with 5 star reviews; you wonder whether something is wrong with you when you feel like dropping a book that has been fetching 5 stars… (for whatever reasons!)
However, there are critical readers too. They know what they want, their discerning eye can’t be escaped. Their expectations are immeasurable.
You think you have the most original ideas, you would be the best seller but your readers feel you ramble, you repeat and the setting of your story is vague or the title of your book is a misnomer.
You think you write perfect English, your beta readers are excellent helpers and you have a long list of friends under the acknowledgements but your readers find typos and structural errors in your book.
Each reader expects an amazing book; he doesn’t want to think what were your compulsions or exhaustions. He doesn’t want to buy your excuses. He doesn’t want to digest your lack of finances for hiring an astute editor. All readers are not writers and they have every right to judge your book according to their own parameters. All readers are not kind enough to overlook imperfections in the plot, style of writing or characterization.
Then there are writers who focus on money. They write just what sells. The day writing becomes a chore for you, you are no longer a writer, and you become a businessperson, churning out book after book, devoid of any real emotion.
Your writing may not be “like a windowpane” or “impenetrable fog” but it has to be an “exploration,” it has to “enrich the life of those who read it.” If it is just inconsequential chitchat between a few characters, going around in circles, you may befool a few readers but not all.
Robert Frost’s definition is worth pondering: “The ear is the only true writer and the only true reader. I know people who read without hearing the sentence sounds and they were the fastest readers. Eye readers we call them. They get the meaning by glances. But they are bad readers because they miss the best part of what a good writer puts into his work.”
Are you an “eye reader” or a critical reader? Do you drop a book if you don’t like it? What do you expect from your readers?
Thank you for reading this. Please share your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.
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Yecheilyah (e-SEE-li-yah, affectionately nicknamed EC) is an Author, Blogger, and Poet and lives in Marietta, GA with her wonderful husband. She has been writing poetry since she was twelve years old and joined the UMOJA Poetry Society in High School where she learned to perfect her craft. In 2010, at 23 years-old, Yecheilyah published her first collection of poetry and in 2014, founded Literary Korner Publishing and The PBS blog where she enjoys helping other authors through her blog interviews and book reviews. The PBS Blog has been named among Reedsy’s Best Book Review blogs of 2017 and 2018 and has helped many authors in their writing journey. I am Soul is her fourth collection of poetry.
Fun Facts about Yecheilyah:
She loves to laugh, and her favorite comedy TV show is Blackish
She is originally from Chicago, IL
She’s been married to her husband 8 years, together for 11 years
She believes eggs make everything better
She is a twin
She is addicted to reading and new notebooks
Her favorite desert is ice cream