Wednesday, April 30, 2008

My Poem for National Poetry Month

Today ends National Poetry Month, so I have written a poem as a tribute. This isn’t a DD or a limerick, which I think I am passable at writing. Instead, it's a regular "poem," and I don’t have a basic understanding of other types of verses. Therefore, this is just off the cuff, so to speak.

Simpler Times

Oh for the simpler times;
No worries of meter or rhymes.
I just wrote as I pleased
And never got teased.

But now all I write is workshopped
“You need a line here and this dropped.”
“Your rhyme is amiss!”
I don’t understand this.

Oh for the fun I once had;
Whatever I did was not bad.
I rhymed “girl” once with “word.*
“Not bad”’s what I heard.

So don’t give them this poem to workshop
Or they'll call it one great big old flop!
“Your meter’s all off!”
“At your wording, I scoff!”

But this Blog is my own;
I can write and not hone.
My poems won't pay all my debts,
But this is as good as it gets!

*I wrote the following limerick on Wordcraft, but got an “incomplete” from the King of Workshoppers, CJ. Granted, I was a bit clueless at the time about writing limericks, but I’ve found that innocence begets happiness.

Logomaniacal Asa
Boasts an amazing cabeza.
He peppers with words,
Is dapper with girls.
But, he loathes all the talk of cerveza.

Compare "Simpler Times" to "The Rabbit," written by Gary Snyder, who has just won the 2008 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize. [Apologies to Gary, as I couldn't get the indents to work on this Blog. The above link is how it should look.]

The Rabbit

A grizzled black-eyed rabbit showed me

irrigation ditches, open paved highway,
white line
to the hill.
bell chill blue jewel sky
Banner clouds flying,
The mountains all gathered,
juniper trees on the flanks
cone buds,
the snug bark scale
in thin powder snow
over rock scrabble, pricklers, boulders,
pines and junipers,
The trees all singing.

The mountains are singing
To gather the sky and the mist
to bring it down snow-breath
and gather it water
Sent from the singing peaks
flanks and folds
Down arroyos and ditches by highways the water
The people to use it, the
mountains and juniper
Do it for men,

Said the rabbit.

First published in Poetry, March 1968. (C) Gary Snyder


Bob Hale said...

I just wrote as I pleased
And never got teased.

Sorry to tease but...

isn't your poem a bunch of limericks with the last lines missing?


Kalleh said...

Robert John. Hush up!

Seriously, I don't know how to write poetry. Period. I did enjoy writing that, though.

Cat said...

I like 'em all
I had a ball
Reading and humming
so sue me!