Tag Archives: National Poetry Month

Japanese Poetry Forms



I think this post is all my daughter’s fault. She has been fascinated with the Japanese culture since she was about seven years old–art, culture, society, etc. What once was an infatuation, has become a life thread for her, because she is engaged to a wonderful Japanese man and has been studying the language for years.

We homeschooled for several years, and because of her love of Japanese art styles (and because of my love of poetry) we did a haiku & tanka segment for English lessons. I loved haiku and tanka because at that time of my life, I was trying to break away from strictly rhymed and metered poetry, but was having a hard time finding my free verse voice. It was a win-win segment of study for us!

I actually found a website that says everything I want to say on the topic of Japanese Poetry Forms, but I noticed that there is a little word (Challenge) near the top of this particular page. Did someone just challenge me? Did they? Huh. DID THEY!?

Perhaps I will have to do another 100 [Poetry Form] challenge of some sort after the 100 Haiku(s). I have haiku in the queue (not intended to rhyme, but I’m a poet & I don’t know it–but my feet show it; they’re longfellows (a ditty my grandpa used to always recite to me since I was the family poet from a very early age! I sure miss that wonderful man (Grandpa)), but just started working on the actual cards themselves. I have homes for about a dozen cards so far…after that is anyone’s guess as to where I will send them!



Posted by on April 12, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Ice Cream/I Scream

Even my ice cream is celebrating National Poetry Month. Please bear with me, so I can share the story, which will eventually come back to the ice cream.

Here’s another ‘I’ word: Icky, which is how I’m feeling– thus another day-late post and the screaming, but in my quietest inner-whisper voice. I’ve been battling a bevy of illnesses – shingles, autoimmune disease and migraines for a solid six weeks now. As a result, my appetite is nearly non-existent (which is good for losing weight, but not so good for regaining strength & energy). The migraine part has become another ‘I’ word, intense. Pain, brain fog, auras, fever & nausea and after a couple weeks of this, I was put on a medication to hopefully kill the migraine today, but I had to eat with it. I also needed gasoline, or my car would not have made it home or back to work today. What does one eat, when nausea makes everything sound horrid?

The thought of ice cream didn’t completely gross me out, so I bought some of the chocolate-cherry variety at the gas station. Limerick Cherry Chocolate, to be exact. It’s made by a company I’ve never heard of (2nd Street Creamery) and it didn’t taste half bad! The cutesy limerick, on the other hand, was on the cheesy side and could use a little work…



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Posted by on April 11, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Collage Poetry

Collage Poetry has been fascinating me, because it incorporates two things that make my creative muses happy–art AND writing. Years ago I took a collage & altered book class with a couple of friends, and since then I’ve tried my hand at a handful of collages, but nothing that made me say, “Oooooh, I really should frame this!”

I knew that I wanted the C bit of the A to Z Challenge to be about Collage Poetry, but who knew I’d find sooooo many creative folks out on the web. Wow! What talent!! I wish I could share everyone’s work that I came across, but more than anything, I wanted to show you how easy it is to create your own style of Collage Poetry.

Corinna West creates her poetry collages digitally. She uses “digital photography, spoken word poetry, and Photoshop based collaging techniques to make images that are more than the sum of their parts.”

A different computerish version, even more blog friendly, can be found at Kyle Godfrey’s Blogger site. Just slightly different is Mary Bast’s version of photography with found and classic poetry, some of which can be found at The Pulitzer Remix.

According to Austin Kleon, it’s just as easy as blacking out words you don’t need on a newspaper to create poetry. He has written a book called, Newspaper Blackout, which shares some of the poetry he has created in this way.

How linktastic is this getting? And, I’m just beginning. We’re approaching my very favorite form of the poetry collage arts–the ones that could be found hanging in prestigious art gallery exhibits. It’s where my poems want to live when they grow up!!

Vivian Faith Prescott prints out her poetry, cuts it into stanzas & pastes it to a collaged background.

As someone who keeps art journals, I found these pages by Annie Yu to be breathtaking! Let’s be honest, my poetry would love to live in journals like hers too!!


Mixed media artist, Jess Schneider, uses a variety of techniques to create her stunning poem-art. Some of Charles Henri Ford’s collage poetry can be find in one of my neighboring city’s university’s websites. These pieces date back nearly fifty years!

Could I pretty please with whipped cream & a cherry on top take Sara Naumann’s workshop? Her work is gorgeous! Here is a quick, free tutorial, by Quinn McDonald, if you would like to try your own hand at a poetry collage. No matter which technique inspires you, you’re sure to create a one-of-a-kind masterpiece. Carpe diem!


Posted by on April 3, 2013 in Uncategorized


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books quote by king

What’s your favorite book, and why? Mine is and probably always will be A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle. It’s my favorite because I identified strongly with Meg, the main character at a time in junior high when I was ridiculed by my peers for my intelligence, awkwardness & whatever else they could find to pick on. Meg was my kindred spirit, and in her character, I found myself. A good book can do this for you. By the way, here’s an interesting timeline I found on the history of books.

The ballade originated in France and is a strictly rhymed and metered poem that has my little pea brain boggled on how to explain it, so click the handy link above. Here are some examples of ballades to help your comprehension (and mine!). Now that I’ve learned about the ballade, I think I will have to try writing one for myself. How are you celebrating this B day of National Poetry Month?

Beat Movement & Its Poetry: This Bohemian style of writing influenced a generation of non-conformists in the 1960s. It is the poetry I’m most comfortable with & I’d love to see a revival at spoken word & open mic events–I’ve even tried to recreate that vibe when I perform my own pieces at such gatherings. This style of poetry was meant to bring the art of poetry to the streets–edgier, free, raw and less confined by the constraints the academia demanded. You can still find traces of the beat movement in the small coffee shops and art centers tucked in quiet corners of cities all over the world.

What exactly is a broadside? In a nutshell, it’s a sheet of paper with art and words. It’s commonly used in bookstores for displaying original poetry & artwork, and it can either be handcrafted & posted on bulletin boards at will…or it can also be a broadside including the words of a famous poet and/or artist for a cost. Most coffeehouses, libraries & bookstores have a bulletin board where you can post a broadside for the world (or at least your community) to see.

A smaller version of the broadside is a poetry bookmark. You can download free poetry bookmarks found on the internet, or get inspired to make one of your own with your favorite, original or found poem! If you want to pay-it-forward, slip a poetry bookmark into the next library book return.

Art, film, books, poetry, music, dance–all of these are meant to inspire you in a beautiful and meaningful ways. May you be broadsided by the arts in an inspiring way today and every day.


Posted by on April 2, 2013 in Scribbles, Uncategorized


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Big A, Little A, What Begins with A?



Aunt Annie’s Alligator, A…a…A.

Actually, all sorts of writerly fun is going on in April! I’ve been assigned to a very quiet cabin at Camp NaNoWriMo, so I should be able to get oodles of writing done! This is a good thing because April is also National Poetry Month. Each day I will honor National Poetry Month with some sort of poetic justice. Not only am I attempting 25,000 words for my Camp NaNo project, celebrating National Poetry Month, but…

I also signed up for the A to Z Blog Challenge, which might seem insane, but well…I never have made any formal declarations regarding my sanity or lack thereof. Since today is brought to you by the Letter A, I will share some fun tidbits with you!


  1. A to Z Blog Challenge became a hit in 2010 due to a random blog post by the organizer, challenging her followers to blog every day in April except Sundays, using a different letter of the alphabet each day as the theme. She got tremendous support and feedback, and when I signed up at the eleventh hour of 2013, I became Blog Entry #1673. I kept seeing my writerly friends tweeting #atozchallenge and there were so many of them, I became intrigued. I was already planning a bunch of posts to show how I was honoring National Poetry Month because I needed an excuse to blog!

  2. Ann is my middle name. It’s a family tradition. My grandma, who was named Aracelia, gave her name to my mother as her middle name (Anny Aracely). My mother gave her name to me in the same fashion (Cheryl Ann–only bill collectors call me Cheryl, by the way). In turn, I gave my name to my daughter (Jolie Cherie). She’s engaged to a wonderful guy…I wonder if she’ll carry on the tradition.

  3. Asparagus is my favorite vegetable. Especially wrapped in Bacon. Mmmmmm. I’ve been low-carbing since January…so far I’ve lost 19 pounds! 14 more to go…I can do this! Bring on the asparagus!!

  4. Abecedarian – A poetic form using alphabetic order to guide the beginning of each line or stanza. (Great example here.)

  5. Acrostic – Another poetic form, a cousin to the abecedarian, if you will, in which the beginning of each line, when read top to bottom will spell out the theme of the poem. Write your own acrostic poem using your name at this fun website.

So many more “A”-listed writing tools to talk about, but I shall save them for another post. Ah, fare-thee-well for now, my amiable friends, Allegory, Alliteration & Analogy!


Posted by on April 1, 2013 in Scribbles, Uncategorized


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