Alright, so I've decided to continue the poetry prompts thread by Romulus; since Romulus hasn't been around for quite a while now and we are missing on a great opportunity to hone our skills and spread this priceless art of poetry!
So, the prompt for this week is nature. The environment, the world around you is so rich and vibrant, full of colours and mystic beauty; which is why nature has become sort of a staple for poets since time immemorial. It's fairly very easy to imagine and write about too! Considering that the most beautiful season of the year, spring has just arrived; this is the ideal time to write about it! So, if you want motivation; just look out of your window and describe what you see!
Now this is the primary requirement, but I have something for the more adventurous and daring folks too! You have to form your poem in the format of a sonnet!
A sonnet is a 14 line poem with a rhyme scheme that follows a particular set order depending on it's type. There are various types of sonnets, which are primarily distinguishable by their varying rhyme scheme and arrangement of the 14 lines. (Irrelevant of the type, each sonnet has 14 lines only.)
Also, one key thing to remember is the 'volta' of a poem. The fourteen lines are divided into two sections, usually of eight lines and six. (but depends on the type of poem) .The break between the two parts is known as the 'volta'.
But, a 'volta' is more than that, it is an Italian word meaning 'turn' and that is exactly what it does to a sonnet. Whenever there is a break in the sonnet, you have to provide a particular 'change' to the poem. This change might be in tone, argument, or thematic focus. (it generally is very rare to find a sonnet without one.)
Another important thing to remember while making sonnets is the Iambic pentameter. I think, iambic has been explained before in one of Romulus' prompts but regardless, ‘iamb’ refers to a group of two syllables, one unstressed and one stressed. There are five of these in each line when we talk about iambic pentameter, the line will sound like this,
dee-DAH dee-DAH dee-DAH dee-DAH dee-DAH.
In other words, the meter of the poem(the way a poem sounds) is in the order of "unstressed-stressed-unstressed-stressed-unstressed" for an iambic pentameter.
As an example,
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Here the bolded words are stressed and are thus sounding right of the meter of the poem. Count the syllables in the line (there are ten!). Now, count the stressed syllables (there are five!).
Sounds a bit weird and wrong, and hence is not in meter.
Sonnets can broadly be classified into three types
1) Petrarchan Sonnet: Rhyme scehem of ABBAABBA CDDECE and divided into two stanzas, each of 8 lines.
2) Shakespearean Sonnet: Rhyme scheme of ABAB CDCD EFEF GG and divide into 4 stanzas, first three being of 4 lines and the ending stanza of 2.
3) Spenserian Sonnet: Rhyme scheme of ABAB BCBC CDCD EE and divided into 4 stanzas, first three being of 4 lines and ending of 2.
You are free to follow any one of these three!
So, that's it. Also, even though opting for a sonnet is optional, I would really love to see some here. After, all we always learn and progress by trying new stuff!
If you want some inspiration, check out the beautiful nature poems by William Wordsworth, the great poet of nature. You could also use one of his same poems, but provide your own new twist/additions to it! https://interestingliterature.com/2017/03/06/10-of-the-best-william-wordsworth-poems-everyone-should-read/
(Also, you could bold the iambic pentameter syllables in your sonnet to make it easier for others to notice; but that's optional)
@Bannerlord @Crescentstar @Orange @Mizal @Lancelot @Mayana @Betaband @Kwism1127@Leoscales7 @bbshark @Drew8521 @BerkaZerka @TheBlackDragon04 @StrykerL @Palepaper@crazygurl @ISentinelPenguinI @mattc @Everwriter @BenCrucifix
Another thing, in order to make it easier for people to change their poems reply to the main thread; because of course everyone wants to form a flawless piece of literature.
Ah, that's just because Romulus pinned them in week 11 post. @ThomasLaHomme is the only one I know who's interested in poetry here. Or maybe @Gower too?
Oh, and for those who didn't know; that is a points list. You, get one point for submitting a poem, 2 for submitting it with the optional requirement and between 3 to 5 based on the poem. But, that does not mean you have to be a part of the competition to post a poem; you can post a poem just for fun and not participate too. I have given everyone who submitted a poem in week 11 1 point.
Any new folks, let me know if you want me to include you in the list too.
That does seem like a good idea! Could be a nice incentive for putting effort into poems.
I don't want to "well actually" you because that's obnoxious, but I wanted to note that iambic pentameter doesn't have to have five stressed syllables in every line, nor does it have to heed the iamb pattern in every line. It just *mostly* has to do that. Good poets know when to mix it up, to make the meter interesting.
I think that's the case with most theory in literature. Everything is extremely flexible and completely up to one's own interpretation on how to use them. Anyway, good point there, I should've mentioned that but thank you for pointing it out.
A Spensparchean Sonnet for Spring
Whenever I try to write a sonnet
I try so hard to make them intenser
Like Shakespeare, Petrarch, or Edmund Spenser--
I try to put their rhyme schemes upon it.
But the day that I began to study rhyme
Class was outside, you wore that skirt.
The day was so warm, you asked me the time;
The wind played gently with your linen shirt.
The new grass was soft, and my insides hurt.
By then the time had flown, and it was two.
I had to go away and stop mid-flirt;
And so I don't know quite what rhymes to do.
To mix the forms will make you all glower.
What can I do? I'm lovesick. -- by Gower
I like it. A short little college/high school crush story, and considering that this is a sonnet; love really suits the poem. Now, some people might not like the ending line, with intentionally adding a pause to match the meter and a word for the rhyme scheme, but it adds a sort of uniqueness to the poem.(Plus this poem could be used as a proposal to the girl in question, so it makes sense to mention the name of the poet in that regard.)
I couldn't see anything wrong with the meter, or any place that sounded off so that's good too; except maybe the third line which wasn't in order of the rhyme scheme.(and also that the rhyme scheme wasn't exactly spenserian, but that's alright since it still sounded appealing.) I would prefer if the stanzas were separated out, rather than being in line-to-line form; but that's just a personal preference. Anyway, being lovestruck by a girl is no reason for slacking off in your studies! A's before baes!
Overall, something nice, cute, and unique. 4 points.
Thanks! And that's a good idea to separate the stanzas. I was going for a blend of the three forms--the first quatrain ABBA (for Petrarch), the second CDCD (for Shakespeare), and the third DEDE (for Spenser), and then the couplet.
Ah, that's why it had such a unique-ish flavour to it! That's a cool idea.
Oh shit, I editlocked Gower. Mizal, could you help? (I did not follow myself what I asked others to do...way to go me)
I agree. If something isn't written correctly the first time, the writer shouldn't have the opportunity to fixc it.
I completely agree.
The mother finch spurns not a metal tree:
She nests beneath its iron canopy.
To her, there'd be no difference if she knew
Her tree from neither seed nor sapling grew.
Nor would man's striving, change the song she sings:
In scorn of his divine pretence it rings.
Roses are red,
Violets are blue.
Grass is green,
Sunflowers are yellow.
A nice little poem describing that nature is indifferent to man, and no matter what man does nature keeps going on. I like the usage of the term ‘metal tree’, as that is exactly how the finch would see it from its perspective. The ‘turn’ provided in the two stanzas was good; going from couplet form to blank verse form was a good change.
The meter of the second last line in the first stanza sounds a little out of place with the meter of the stanza; maybe something like “change songs she sings” sounds more in meter and in rhythm with the stanza. The colon in the ending of the same line seems out of place, a semi colon would be better. The ‘roses are red’ cliché sounds okay-ish as something the finch would sing, but I personally was hoping for something more elaborate than that, since I think that associating the singing of any bird with something complex sounds better; but this is good too, since it could symbolise birds singing short and sweet lines; but beautifully.
Good attempt overall! 3 points.
I like the ballad style rhyme scheme of the poem, really suits the meter, since the lines are relatively short. The twist at the end was good too, and gives the whole poem a slightly comedic feel. As for the context, it’s the basic description of any general park which is a good topic to choose; and the poem tries to give a vague message to be active and see nature around you.
The lines were relatively short, which in of itself isn’t a problem, but it kinda felt “bland”. Maybe you could’ve added a few metaphors, similes or tautologies or something to spice it up a bit? Or you could’ve made the lines a little bit more longer and added more description. For example:
“You could see the vibrant flowers, as alluring as a rainbow,(simile added here)
In shades of red and blue, radiant, pleasing and beautiful, (tautology added)
Some of peculiar, curious shades; as white as the snow, (simile)
Surrounding you in joyful bliss, of a rich painting so full.” (Metaphor, comparing the scenery to a painting full of richness.)
On the other hand, this could just be your style of poetry and that’s totally fine too; since I personally feel it’s a much greater challenge to use less words and express deep meaning. Example this short poem, by Emily Dickinson(not sure).
“The trees are in their autumn beauty,
The forest paths are dry,
Under the October twilight a water,
Mirrors the still sky.”
Also, I think if the point of view was first person; that could’ve given a different “feel” to the poem, but that could just be me.(Maybe I just want to see the line, “I’m a faggot!” in the end, lol)
Anyway, overall I liked it and it’s a very good attempt! 3 points.
I have literally no experience writing sonnets, but I figured this is the best place to gain some (I actually had to look up the definition of a sonnet). This also kind of doubles as a sort of apology for me not being on (my parents turned off our internet).
Please wait because I just learned what Iambic pentameter is lol. Ok I defiantly need help because none of the sites that I went to helped. I think I’m one of the people that don’t have an ear for rhythm. It may be the autism in me, but whenever I do the “scream the bolded syllable” thing they all seem right. Help me.
Here is my attempted sonnet:
Looking at deciduous trees start new,
Reminds me how we don’t have just one chance.
Looking on at the far away deer prance,
I feel an energy I never knew.
Looking at a hydrangea shaded blue,
I see a beauty lost at first glance.
As bare trees sway, fighting to keep their stance,
I see peaceful strength, and endurance too.
As my eyes adjust, I see dirty glass.
My eyes move down, as I look at my screen.
As I text, I forget all that is green.
I replace this world for one that’s better,
I find comfort in mimicking the mass.
I forget today, letter by letter.
I like the poem's context, trying to give a message on how the world is today stuck in their digital worlds and unable to percieve true nature; and I personally am a fan of petrarchan sonnets, due to their distinctive octave(the first ABBA ABBA stanza).
Yes, Iambic pentameter. It might seem tricky at first but it's actually a very simple and basic concept. Have you ever played a piano? You might notice that in a piano some keys are high pitched and some are low; and if you play the low and high keys one after the other, five times, that's essentially an iambic pentameter.
Okay, if you haven't played a piano, then I probably confused you even more. When I learn about meters and rhythm, I always like to associate them with a word. For iambic pentameter, or any iambic(unstressed-stressed combination) think of the word 'arise'. You pronounce 'arise' as 'aRISE' right? Where the 'a' is slighly lessed unstressed and 'RISE' is more stressed. Now say the word 'aRISE' five times at once. That's an iambic pentameter. (penta-5 hence 5 meters of iamb in succession i.e. iambic pentameter.)
An example from your own poem
"Looking at deciduous trees start new."
Try associating each letter with 'arise', and say it out loud.(It helps in understanding.)
In other words, the pitch goes, "down-up-down-up..." five times.
Now here you have followed the iambic meter, it's just not in pentameter form. But that's fine, because as gower mentioned before; you have to only try and follow the form; its not compulsory for a sonnet to only be in that particular structure, it should just tend towards it. Remember one thing, meters are here to make your writing easy not the other way around.
Now there is one place in your poem that isn't in sync.
This is in iambic pentameter, but the line above and below it are not; which makes it sound off. This is why if you use one type of meter in one stanza; stick with it for the rest of the stanza and don't abruptly change it in the middle. (In your first line, you stressed four syllables but the second line you stressed five. It sounds in harmony if you stick with stressing four syllables only for the entire stanza.)
I realise I'm not the best at explaining stuff :P , so if you have any more questions, or didn't understand feel free to ask.
Getting back to the poem...
Use of figures of speeches and symbolisms was nice and added a nice feel to the poem making it more lively. The 'volta' or turn given in the poem was truly very well crafted and succedded in shifting the context of the poem from real to virtual very fluidly. Aside from what I mentioned, the rest of the lines sound pretty much okay to me meter-wise. There were no sudden changes(aside from what I mentioned) and it tended towards iambic pentameter pretty well. Thing is with iambic pentameter, we always tend to follow it unknowingly. It just comes naturally to humans for some reason, but that's just my theory. Petrarchan rhyme scheme was followed properly(though the new-knew might sound a little off; try and avoid homophones in rhyming words; since it just feels a little to "simple". but I might just be weird for thinking like that.)
Overall, nice little poem, and you definetly put effort into it. 4 points
(I would've preferred if you used the the octave stanza to like, propose a question, rather directly describe nature; and then use the second setset stanza to answer the question. Maybe my turning the 8th line of the octave into something like ,"I see peaceful strength, but is this true?" which proposes if what the poet seeing is real or virtual; then the second stanza could be the answer for that. Reason for this is that petrarchan sonnets were traditionally based on this 'question and answer' form; but at the same time, poetry is after all an art and you can never define or restrict art. Its just that I somewhat like that form, but anyway, take this with a grain of salt)
I think I might be confused on when the syllables split. For example: You split ‘looking’ into ‘loo’ and ‘king,’ while I’d split it into ‘look’ and ‘ing.’ I thought that stressed syllables contained ‘hard’ letters/sounds in them, such as ‘s,’ ‘k,’ or ‘t,’ but now I’m thinking that I was wrong. I’ll just ask my teacher tomorrow since we just, coincidentally, started our Shakespeare unit and started it by talking about Iambic pentameter.
Marooned on an island, the pirate wept
No water nor food nor shelter nor shade
A loaded gun and rum were all he kept
Shaking pistol to head his mind was made
But the waves floated softly on the shore
The sand was soft against his bloated skin
The gentlest breeze left him wanting more
And way far out he saw a dolphin’s fin
Crabs too small for eating crawled all around
And he wondered at the island’s beauty
Sand that shined like gold laid around the ground
Nature is truly a sacred booty
Marooned on an island, the pirate sighed
And with a smile, he shot himself and died
Whether through font size or subject matter, this one made me actually pay attention throughout the whole thing. So good job on that.
Nice Shakespearean sonnet here. This type of sonnet goes best with storytelling type poems; since it manages to grasp the attention of the reader, so using it for telling a story was nice. The story is pretty simple, and nicely done. I liked the descriptions and the various figures of speech added a wonderful flair to the poem, making it even more captivating.
“No water nor good nor shelter nor shade” nice repetitions, really suits the poem.
I love what you did with the meter in the third stanza, by making it alternately longer and shorter. I would like it if all the stanzas followed the same style; since it could define the whole poem better, but that’s just nitpicking. Also, a few places could use some commas or other punctuations.
The overall meter was very nice to hear, since it felt like it flowed very well in an intricate detailed pattern.
Loved it, 5 points!
Seeping through the welkin, radiant sunshine,
Pouring from the heavens, like a silvering waterfall,
Passing through the sill, into the house mine,
Causing me the wonder, of nature and fall;
Painful striking wind, like a tornado threatening all,
The world all around, golden, beautiful, scenic,
But then came down snow, a blanket covering all.
Mother Nature caring, for a child who was sick.
Snow and ice all around, as hard as a brick,
But then rose up Sun, as mighty as a king,
Rays of life and healing, melting the snow thick,
Joy and allurance galore, as came forth spring.
I waver back to reality, through sheer fortitude,
All I have in this wasteland, is the bliss of solitude.
(Spencerian sonnet, since I can’t give myself points could someone give me a rating? It’s rated by giving either 3,4 or 5 points.)
I know nothing about poetry, but I'll respond since no one else has. A poor response is better than no response, right? My initial impression is that it looks very symmetrical. The beginning repeats the "ing" words, the first and third lines always rhyme. The second and fourth mostly do as well. Any reason why not all of them do? (I didn't read the explanations further up the thread. Maybe it's mentioned there). I really want to give this a 5, but the use of blanquette throws me off... I had to Bing it for the exact definition (yes, I use Bing not Google for the daily search points). The results said it was just a type of food. Although I get the intended imagery, comparing a layer of snow to white sauce isn't exactly the best metaphor. My rating: 4.
Oh, oh no! I...I had typed "blanket" in my phone but the goddamn autocorrect put it as blanquette! I didn't know myself that meant white sauce lol. That would make the next line meaningless. I was going for 'mother nature covering earth, a sick child with a blanket of snow'
@mizal could you please help me? Please change blanquette to blanket. I'll be forever indebted to you and extremely grateful!
Anyway, thank you for rating it! The alternate rhyming is the speciality of spencerian sonnets.
Sure! I’ll do it today.