Poetry and Poets: October 2006 Archives

Linked Verse, Ended

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My thanks to everyone who contributed to this wonderful experiment. There were a small number of entries, but we got from it three interesting poems that would not otherwise be.

Linked verse is a kind of word game. It served as a sort of community building exercise among the poets of the Japanese Court. Of course, there was oneupsmanship and all manner of odd exercises that go with poets writing poetry together; however, it is an elegant and charming way to introduce the poetry shy into the art of poetry and to give the participant some sense of the diffiuclty of composing images in few words.

Everyone who chose to partipcate did a magnificent job of fulfilling the object of the exercise and producing their links. Thank you so much. I emjoyed, as well, watching the verse grow from its separate pieces and influences.

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Be sure to check below this first post for additional posts. This is being kept high up on the list so that people will continue to add and admire the works of others. Autumn Brightness is really taking off, and we've even had an adidition to "Autumn? What Autumn?" thanks to Mrs. Darwin.

While it is more usual to assemble linked verse one contribution at a time, because so much good was offered and so much that will work together, I have assembled the following offerings.

The next step is to choose a strain (please indicate in your contribution) and add the next link in the verse.

To be faithful to the authors--I removed additional indications of break as they are not usual part of the linking. In one case I made a plausible edit, in another requested an author's permission to add to the contribution.

Now I present my compilation and ask for the next contributions. The fun of linked verse is to wrench the poem out of the direction it was going and give it a new heading that still makes sense. I hope these do that so far.

Autumn Brightness

Fall fell in one night
cold crept in, painting the sky,
summer's cessation

The calendar page rustles
Smoke in the rain wind wakes me

One last cricket song
Train whistles while gutters drip
Dark night but cheerful

Now grass is dry from summer
Heat lingers on golden hills

As our summer ends
We wait for the winter rain
But first the wild fires

fires that burn in falling leaves
in leaves in swirls underfoot

Cool in the nostrils
Running loose on the wet grass
Fall remembers me

The sounds of dried leaves crunching
The smell of hot dogs cooking

Cheers from the home crowd,
On a crisp fall afternoon:
Football has returned!

Winter grey-brown sea begins
to limn the shoreline--salt frost

Birds return, ibis
once again strut and pluck lawns--
bold October looms.

Seeking porchlights, out past dark
Muffled laughter, running feet

Tennis-shoed pirates,
Princesses, ninjas and ghosts;
Ding-dong: Trick or Treat!

Blue Angels each October,
While the ocean turns cooler.

Fog in the morning
Near the sea, sunny afternoons,
November fireplaces.

Autumn. Poor Souls Purgatory
Reminds us of death decay.

But my Spirit rises
As I see resurrection
In luminous leaves.

dewdrop on red leaf fallen
in the early autumn grass

color surprises
morning's brightness magnified
with a trace of chill

Autumn Bleakness

Fall fell in one night
cold crept in, painting the sky,
summer's cessation

I am her friend and lover
waking to her misty dawn

prayers spill from mouths --
cloudy little pools of hope
lost as the day warms

Like grey leaves, our lives grow dim.
Will we see the winter's birth?

Drive, work, a pay stub:
These define life's borderlines.
Happiness eludes.

To be found again in sweat
Spent for love without reward.

O little bold squirrel,
You cross the road fearlessly,
But brother lies dead

Autumn? What Autumn?

Fall fell in one night
cold crept in, painting the sky,
summer's cessation

But not all is quiet,
with the children who are working together
to create a puzzle picture
while Mama writes a poem.

Images alive become
Images living in words.

Happy laughter rings.
Mama pauses, wishes she
Could find the camera.

Note this last strain is a more avant-garde form in which the more or less thirty-one syllables are used at the poet's command. A much more challenging linkage.

Remember, to add on--2 7-syllable lines, and a 5-7-5. So, overall you have: 7-7-5-7-5--thirty-one delectable little syllables to share autumn where you are.

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Linked Verse


I want to encourage everyone to continue to contribute. We've had several really nice additions to the "brightness" thread over the past few days from people who very modestly say "We're not poets." The reality is that every person is a poet from birth--we just have it drummed out of us as we study the mind-numbing nonsense that most people consider literature classes. We won't all produce world-class poetry, but as children of that greatest Poet, we each have our own voice and charms. The constrained form of the linked verse also helps in versifying--it gives strong rules that help to guide the writing in distinct ways. So all you not-poets out there, abandon your inhibitions, drop your protections, and give us some linkages to our verse. So far, Autumn Brightness is a pretty good read, and give a nice sense of the diversity of Autumn around the country.

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Poetry and Poets category from October 2006.

Poetry and Poets: September 2006 is the previous archive.

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